NY Times
UN quarrel

June 13, 2000


PRISTINA, Kosovo, June 12 (Reuters) -- The top United Nations envoy in Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner, denounced another senior United Nations official today for criticizing his running of the Serbian province and, losing his diplomatic cool, told him to "shut up."

At a news conference marking the first anniversary of United Nations administration of Kosovo, a questioner had asked Mr. Kouchner to comment on charged by Jiri Dienstbier, the United Nations human rights investigator for former Yugoslavia, that he had allowed extremists to operate with impunity in Kosovo and interfered with teams investigating human rights violations.

Clearly furious, Mr. Kouchner said Mr. Dienstbier had visited Kosovo for only two days in March and called the charges "unfair." "Do you believe that I am in favor of killing?" he demanded.

Mr. Kouchner said he had interfered with an investigation only once, in a particular circumstance, and concluded: "Please, Mr. Dienstbier, shut up!"



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