UN official in Kosovo condemns attack against Serb convoy

7 August 2001

Reacting to this morning's ambush of a Serb convoy in Kosovo that injured three people, a top United Nations official today strongly condemned the attack as a threat to peace in the province.

"This violent and irresponsible behaviour by a small element of the society is seriously jeopardizing the future of all citizens of Kosovo," Gary Matthews, the deputy head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), said of the attack that had taken place near Podujevo as a group of Serbs was travelling in a convoy to Serbia.

"As we move towards elections in November, such acts of violence are extremely destabilizing as they undermine our efforts to bring peace and stability to Kosovo," Mr. Matthews said, adding that it was the second attack over the past 24 hours.

In a separate development, UNMIK retook control of a building in Gracanica in which an Office of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's Committee on Kosovo had been inaugurated on 3 August without any prior consultation with UNMIK.

UNMIK said that it had repeatedly made clear to the Committee that the Office could not be opened with the UN's authorization. On 5 August, the UN Mission requested the Yugoslav authorities to take immediate action to close the Office and restore the building to its former status. "The request was not followed," UNMIK said.

 

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