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Kosovo: UN efforts to maintain law and order get strong backing

Kosovo: UN efforts to maintain law and order get strong backing

Saying that they will not tolerate a “culture of impunity,” representatives of a large group of countries in Kosovo today voiced their full support for the efforts by the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in the province (UNMIK) and the international security force (KFOR) in maintaining law and order.

A statement released in Pristina on behalf of the international community in Kosovo stressed that the rule of law was one of the top priorities in the province and the cornerstone on which the foundation of a democratic Kosovo had to be built.

“If Kosovo is to establish itself as a society grounded in democratic ideals and respect for the rule of law, Kosovars must be ready to condemn criminality – regardless of the perpetrator or the victim,” said the statement released by the liaison offices of the United States, the European Union, Germany, France, Italy, Demark and the United Kingdom.

Referring to a recent arrest of three men charged with committing crimes against their fellow Albanian Kosovars, the statement underscored that those individuals would have the opportunity to defend themselves against the charges in a court of law.

“We as friends of Kosovo wish to convey in the strongest of terms that these arrests were not directed against any organization,” the statement said, adding that UNMIK had been very clear that those arrests were not directed at the organizations with which the arrested individual were affiliated at that time, or with which they were currently employed.

“We urge anyone possessing information concerning these cases or any other crimes to share the information with law-enforcement authorities,” the statement said. “It is not acceptable for any groups or individuals to prevent the application of the rule of law in Kosovo through intimidation of witnesses or others.”