Adding insult to injury:
By Matt Robinson
PRISTINA (Reuters) – U.N. authorities in Kosovo told Serbia on Wednesday to stop interfering in Serb areas of the new state, where a Serb boycott has fuelled speculation Belgrade is trying to partition the territory.
The U.N. mission called on Serbia to respect its mandate in the former Serbian province, where the 90-percent Albanian majority declared independence with Western-backing last month.
It said Serbia should cooperate in re-establishing customs points on Kosovo’s northern border, which were burned down by Serb mobs, allow Serb police officers to return to work and stop strengthening Belgrade-financed “parallel structures” in health, education, courts and administration.
“If Belgrade says publicly that (U.N. Security Council Resolution) 1244 should be respected, we expect them to put their money where their mouth is,” U.N. mission spokesman Alexander Ivanko told a news conference.
“We are trying to re-establish the courts, we are trying to re-establish the customs,” he said. “This will take time, it will not happen tomorrow.”
Kosovo declared independence on Feb 17, nine years after NATO bombed to drive out Serbian forces and halt the killing and ethnic cleansing of Albanians in a two-year Serbian counter-insurgency war.
Backed by big-power ally Russia, Serbia has rejected the secession and is instructing the 120,000 remaining Serbs to do the same, deepening an ethnic divide that almost nine years of international administration since the war has failed to tackle.
Jihad in BosniaÂ
Oric’s Hague Acquittal Enrages Serbia
03 July 2008Â Belgrade _ Serbia has condemned a decision by The Hague Tribunal to acquit Srebrenica Army Chief Naser Oric, saying it is “another serious blow to international justice.”
But the verdict will not have effect on Serbia’s further cooperation with the tribunal, some politicians vowed.
Serbia’s National Council for Cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY, based in The Hague, added in a statement that it would be difficult to explain to anyone in Serbia that the tribunal does not have “double criteria” in deciding on command responsibility.
Earlier on Thursday, the Appeals Chamber acquitted Oric, a former commander of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Srebrenica, of crimes during 1992 and 1993 because judges ruled the first trial failed to prove he had control over his men. Read more:http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/main/news/11526/
“Though we have restrained from commenting on the tribunal’s rulings so far, we have to say that this one cannot contribute to either achieving justice and truth or to regional reconciliation which is one of the basic intentions of the ICTY,” the Council’s statement said.
Bruno Vekaric, the spokesman for the Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor, agreed, adding that Oric’s acquittal “will only strengthen those who anyway believe in (the tribunal’s) selective justice.”
He did not want to go into the details of the verdict but said that it was proven beyond doubt that “terrible crimes were committed against the Serbs in the town.”
Former Serbian Justice Minister Vladan Batic also said that those who criticised the tribunal would now have more material, adding “such a verdict leaves a bitter taste.”Â
He also said that there was enough evidence against Oric as there had been against former Kosovo guerrilla commander Ramus Haradinaj who was acquitted in April. Read more:Â http://balkaninsight.com/en/main/news/9128