UN police arrest alleged leader of last month's deadly Kosovo riots

12 April 2004

United Nations police officers in Kosovo have arrested a Kosovo Albanian man for his alleged role in last month's wave of deadly rioting that swept across the province.

A UN spokesperson told reporters today that Avdyl Mushkolaj was detained on Saturday, following the issuing of a warrant for his arrest by an international judge. Mr. Mushkolaj is alleged to have led and incited riots in the town of Decani on 17 March.

Several days of rioting and violent attacks in Kosovo last month, the worst since the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) assumed control of the province in June 1999, left 19 people dead and hundreds injured and drove thousands of people, mostly Kosovo Serbs, from their homes. Hundreds of homes and religious buildings, including churches and monasteries, were destroyed or damaged as well.

In another development, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for the province, Harri Holkeri, has replaced the managing director of the Kosovo Trust Agency.

In a statement Mr. Holkeri said he had decided to replace Marie Fucci in the post "to continue the privatization process more decisively." He thanked Ms. Fucci for her dedication and commitment "in very difficult circumstances."


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