Kosovo: At funeral of slain officer, UN envoy urges unity

30 November 2003

Paying tribute to a police officer slain in Kosovo, the senior United Nations envoy there today called on the province's people to choose peace over violence.

Harri Holkeri told a ceremony that the killing of Officer Isuf Haklaj on his way to work last week demonstrates the high stakes involved in trying to bring stability to the strife-torn region. "As KPS officers are increasing in number and abilities, as they take over more difficult and important tasks, the KPS becomes more dangerous to criminals, but its officers are ever more in the line of fire," he said.

Mr. Holkeri, whose own father was a policeman, called on the leaders of Kosovo to support its people in their quest for peace. “Kosovars now have a choice: to decide, like Officer Haklaj, that there is a right way and a wrong way to live, and to apply it in all their dealings," he said.

The envoy praised Officer Haklaj for making the choice for peace. "His sacrifice will not be in vain if we join him now in making it," Mr. Holkeri stressed.


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