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Kosovo: European Police Phase In As UN Phases Out

Kosovo: European Police Phase In As UN Phases Out

After nine and a half years of policing Kosovo, the United Nations mission has started phasing out its police component, handing over to European Union’s Rule of Law Mission known as EULEX.

The move is part of the reconfiguration of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), which was set up in 1999 to run Kosovo after NATO forces drove out Yugoslav troops amid deadly fighting with the majority ethnic Albanian population there.

EULEX is set to police throughout Kosovo under the overall authority of the UN after UNMIK succeeded in establishing from scratch a local police force that is well respected in Kosovo and the region.

The UN is neutral on the question of the status of Kosovo, which proclaimed independence in February this year in a move that Serbia rejects.

In his latest report to the Security Council last month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for the reconfiguration of UNMIK in response to the “profoundly changed reality” on the ground.

He noted the EU’s preparations to undertake an enhanced operational role with EULEX and said his Special Representative for Kosovo Lamberto Zannier was facilitating its deployment.

ENDS

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