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UN mission in Kosovo helps Serbian convoy to deliver aid

UN mission in Kosovo helps Serbian convoy to deliver aid

Despite a lack of timely notification, the United Nations mission in Kosovo and the Kosovo international force have helped a large Serbian convoy to deliver humanitarian aid to various Serbian enclaves, a UN official in Pristina reported today.

The large convoy, consisting of 10 buses with more than 300 people and five trucks of humanitarian supplies, officially notified UNMIK of its arrival only on 12 July -- too short a time in terms of required notification, according to Susan Manuel, a spokeswoman for the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

As the security could not be arranged in time, UNMIK decided that the convoy could not travel through Kosovo, Ms. Manuel said. A compromise was found on 13 July for a smaller convoy to come on 15 July, but the convoy organizers chose to attempt entrance on 14 July with the full entourage.

KFOR, the international security force in Kosovo, stopped the convoy to prevent possible incidents. Because of some protest among the population against the convoy, KFOR transferred all supplies onto KFOR lorries and allowed some Serb representatives to monitor delivery. Five small convoys then delivered the supplies to several enclaves, completing the operation on Sunday.

"We do not oppose such visits," the spokeswoman said, "but we have a clear policy on notification in order to make the needed security arrangements."