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Security Council eyes end to UN mission in Prevlaka, extends mandate two months

Security Council eyes end to UN mission in Prevlaka, extends mandate two months

The Security Council today authorized the United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka (UNMOP) to continue monitoring the demilitarization of the strategic peninsula for two more months, until 15 December, and expressed it readiness to shorten the time frame for wrapping up the Mission if Croatia and Yugoslavia so request.

The Council's unanimous decision follows the recommendation of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who recently reported that the Yugoslav and Croatian authorities have been making progress in resolving their long-standing dispute over the region.

Today's resolution welcomed the continuing progress in the normalization of relations between the Governments of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the establishment of an interstate Border Commission. It also urged the parties to accelerate efforts towards a negotiated settlement on the disputed issue of Prevlaka in accordance with article 4 of the Agreement on Normalization of Relations.

In the face of such progress, the resolution requested the Secretary-General to prepare for the termination of the Mission's mandate by gradually reducing the number of personnel and "concentrating its activities in a way that reflects the stable and peaceful conditions in the area and the normalization of relations between the parties."

The Council also reiterated its calls upon the parties to comply with the demilitarized regime in the UN-designated zones, to cooperate fully with the UN military observers and to ensure their safety and full and unrestricted freedom of movement.

UNMOP was established in February 1996, but UN military observers had been deployed in Prevlaka since October 1992, initially as part of the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR) and later with the UN Confidence Restoration Operation (UNCRO).