London Times
Row with French costs RUC man job in Kosovo


March 11 2000

Pristina - The dismissal of a British police commander for criticising French troop conduct in the tinder-box town of Mitrovica has exposed widening cracks in the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

John Adams, sacked as a deputy regional commander, is from the Royal Ulster Constabulary and had been sent to Mitrovica because of his experience in policing divided communities in co-operation with the military. The day after violence in the city left 40 people injured, Inspector Adams had accused the French of denying an investigation unit of UNMIK police access to the scene until six hours after the event, by which time, he claimed, the French had destroyed the evidence.

"Kfor headquarters ordered the French to let my men through their cordon," Mr Adams said. "The order was given in the presence of one of my liaison officers. That order was not complied with, for reasons I can only imagine." He accused the French of a series of failures in co-operating with UN police forces, and spoke of his frustration.

A day later he was brought before the French commander of the Mitrovica sector, General De Saquis de Sannes, who insisted that Mr Adams retract his allegations. Mr Adams refused to do so, and walked out. Hours later, still standing by his account, he was removed from his job, and sent back to Pristina.

The UN was quick to distance itself from Mr Adams, who was discredited by its spokesmenin Pristina and New York.

Another senior police officer in Mitrovica, the Texan station commander J.D. Luckie, was dismissed from his post last month for criticising the French to a journalist. International officers are becoming disillusioned at the restraints placed upon them by the UN.

Original article