The United Nations administrator for Kosovo has called on all citizens of the ethnically divided province to continue their efforts towards building a peaceful, stable, and multi-ethnic society following the announcement that President Ibrahim Rugova has lung cancer.
In a statement yesterday, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative Søren Jessen-Petersen expressed his hopes for Mr. Rugova’s speedy recovery.
“Meanwhile I also appeal to the citizens of Kosovo to stay united, to remain dignified in their solidarity with the President, and to continue our efforts to move forward and work towards the early achievement of the aspirations that we all - and the President first of all - have for Kosovo, that is, a peaceful, stable, democratic, multi-ethnic and prosperous society,” he added.
The UN has run Kosovo since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) drove out Yugoslav troops amid grave human rights abuses in fighting between Serbs and Albanians in 1999.
Last week Mr. Jessen-Petersen said the situation in Kosovo, where Albanians outnumber other communities, mainly Serbs, by about nine to one, had greatly improved since the riots of March 2004 when 22 people were killed and 500 injured in ethnic fighting in the worst violence since the UN took over.