Six-month extension recommended for UN mission in Prevlaka

Six-month extension recommended for UN mission in Prevlaka

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has recommended a six-month extension of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Prevlaka peninsula, a strategic area disputed by Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

In a report to the Security Council released today, Mr. Annan urges the extension of the UN Mission of Observers in Prevlaka (UNMOP) through 15 January 2002 "given the importance of ensuring that conditions on the ground remain calm and free of tension, and in order to maintain the stability that is essential to meaningful progress towards a political settlement."

The Secretary-General says it is "encouraging" that the two sides have resumed discussions on the Prevlaka dispute. He notes that while the parties "prefer to continue their efforts to solve the dispute bilaterally," the UN remains available should they require its assistance in the search for a solution.

According to the report, there have been a number of violations of the security regime in the demilitarized zone monitored by UNMOP. While the violations - often involving the unauthorized presence of civilians and officials - do not constitute a security threat, they do "demonstrate disregard for a regime that was agreed upon freely by the parties and which UNMOP is obliged to monitor," the report says.

Established in January 1996, UNMOP is currently comprised of 27 military observers from 25 countries.