CEOL - YU hits out at UN role in Kosovo

BELGRADE, Dec 20, 1999 -- (AFP) The Yugoslav government on Sunday promised tough action in Kosovo if guarantees in a U.N. resolution on the province are not kept to.

Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Ratko Markovic said "if the U.N. guarantees are not respected, Yugoslavia will have the legitimate right to use all means, on its territory, to establish its power.

"Yugoslavia will not tolerate the United Nations pursuing with civilian means in Kosovo what NATO started with military methods. Bernard Kouchner (the U.N. civilian administrator) must not become a Wesley Clark (NATO supreme commander)," added Markovic.

Markovic made the comments in Novi Sad, the main city in the northern province of Vojvodina, where he handed out decorations to police in the name of President Slobodan Milosevic.

Milosevic ordered the decorations given for the police units' service during the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia earlier this year.

"Today, Kosovo is a question of to be or not to be for the United Nations. The United Nations will either have the force to apply its resolution in Kosovo or the the organization will not exist any more," said the deputy premier.

A new interim administration between U.N. administrators and local leaders was unveiled Wednesday by the U.N. administrator Kouchner, in a bid to give local politicians a say in the running of the post-war province.

Resolution 1244, which halted NATO's bombing campaign to stop Belgrade's oppression of Kosovo's ethnic Albanians, gave the province substantial autonomy but not independence from Yugoslavia.

There have been rising tensions between minority Kosovo Serbs and the international community.

Two U.N. policemen were injured in clashes between Serbs and ethnic Albanians in the divided northern town of Kosovska Mitrovica on Thursday, while a grenade attack in a Serbian enclave of the southwestern town of Orahovac left one man dead and nine injured on Friday.

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