Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Former KFOR chief: Kosovo is destabilized

15 April 2008 | 18:19 | Source: B92, Tanjug
ROME -- Lt. Gen. Fabio Mini says insecurity and destabilization are being reinforced in Kosovo.

The Italian general, one of the former commanders of the NATO forces in the province, said that this is made possible "with the arming of Kosovo Albanians and the strengthening of the nationalist bloc in Serbia".

"The situation will be increasingly tense and unstable, and it is the most difficult for Serbs in Kosovo. And it will get even worse for them," Mini said in an interview for the Belgrade daily Večernje Novosti, published today.

"If the majority of the world countries continue to refrain from recognizing the independence of Kosovo, people might start thinking that perhaps it was not the best outcome and that it is possible to find a new solution. That is why the doors for dialogue should be kept open, regardless of the existing ratio of force," the Italian general said.

KFOR in Kosovo is acting within its mandate, he pointed out, "but the same, unfortunately, cannot be said for UNMIK, which has a very small, practically non-existent authority in Kosovo".

"The European Union mission EULEX is superfluous in Kosovo and it cannot establish the peace that nobody is currently guaranteeing," he continued.

"Moreover, it is not clear what kind of authority and responsibility EULEX has, because no new resolution has been passed by the United Nations Security Council that would authorize the EU mission."

"Therefore, I sincerely doubt that the sending of 2,000 police and judges to Kosovo will help, when we know that the UN has been sending police and judges for eight years already and yet has failed to achieve anything," Mini said.

"The forces in the field, the police and KFOR, have shown that they are impotent in the face of sudden outbreaks of violence," the Italian general said, pointing out that there are so-called families that rule Kosovo, "controlling everything - from politics, economy, to crime".

"It is very naive to believe that the criminal organizations which operated more or less without any opposition during the times of Tito and Milošević, which managed to persuade the Americans and the British and all of NATO to do the job on their behalf, to corrupt and compromise many high-ranking international representatives and the occasional NATO general, will not succeed in using and abusing policemen and judges who will come to Kosovo with limited contracts within the EULEX," Mini told the newspaper.

Asked whether he believed the UNMIK and Albanian-language media accusations that Belgrade is destabilizing the situation in the province by secretly deploying MUP officers there, Mini said that this is "possible", but something he could "neither reject nor confirm".

On the other hand, the Italian general said he is sure there are many Albanian factors south of the Ibar River who are destabilizing the situation.

"Even while I was in Kosovo, KFOR was searching for the members of a paramilitary organization knows as AKSH [ANA], who were wearing the Kosovo Protection Corps uniforms during the day, while at night they planted bombs. The capacity of the Kosovo Albanians to destabilize Kosovo is much greater than that of the Serbs," Mini concluded.

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