UN’s Kosovo envoy voices concern at apparent attack on monastery

31 March 2007

The senior United Nations envoy to Kosovo has voiced concern about a recent apparent attack on the Deçan/Deæani monastery, which he said holds great value for the province's Serb community, currently outnumbered nine to one by the ethnic Albanian majority.

The senior United Nations envoy to Kosovo has voiced concern about a recent apparent attack on the Deçan/Deæani monastery, which he said holds great value for the province’s Serb community, currently outnumbered nine to one by the ethnic Albanian majority.

On Friday afternoon, a grenade launcher was found on the hillside overlooking the monastery, and a rocket engine was discovered lodged in one of its outer walls, according to the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). This follows reports of two explosive noises heard by the monks on Friday.

The Police and KFOR international forces “are investigating what exactly happened yesterday,” said Joachim Rücker, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Kosovo.

“Violence, especially directed at minority communities, is intolerable and impermissible and has no place in Kosovo,” he declared.

“The Deæani monastery is a place of immense spiritual importance for the Kosovo Serb community and a treasure for the people of Kosovo and beyond. I expect quick results from the ongoing investigation.”

The province has been run by the UN since Western forces drove out Yugoslav troops in 1999 amid fighting and ethnic abuses. A UN envoy on Kosovo’s status, Martti Ahtisaari, has presented a report to the Security Council which says that independence is the only option that will foster a politically stable and economically viable Kosovo.

 

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