YU accuses Annan of bias in Kosovo report

UNITED NATIONS, Jun 22, 2000 -- (Reuters) Yugoslavia has accused U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan of being biased and giving short shrift to the plight of Kosovo's minority Serbs in a recent report on security in the U.N.-administered province.

In a letter circulated on Wednesday, Belgrade's U.N. envoy, Vladislav Jovanovic said Annan marginalized the Serbs' woes while focusing on problems of Kosovo's ethnic Albanians, who make up the vast majority of the population.

While Annan's report said that a flurry of recent attacks on Kosovo Serbs appeared orchestrated, "the perpetrators are not condemned and called to account, while the responsibility of ethnic Albanian leaders is not highlighted," Jovanovic said.

"No mention is made of the failure of the (NATO-led) Kosovo Force and the U.N. Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo to provide a secure environment," he charged.

Annan's June 8 report focused on the security situation in the Yugoslav province. The United Nations is in charge of civilian administration and international police while NATO has organized the 40,000 peacekeepers.

The Security Council authorized the U.N. mission following an 11-week NATO air campaign to force Belgrade to stop repressing the ethnic Albanians, withdraw its troops and permit the return of hundreds of thousands of refugees who had fled.

Annan said the attacks had undermined Serb confidence in the future and added the international community had not intervened in Kosovo "to make it a haven for revenge and crime."

Jovanovic's letter accused the U.N. mission of detaining 450 Serbs without legal basis and of failing to protect and promote the human rights of Serbs and other non-Albanians.

He also said the mission had failed to demilitarize the Kosovo Liberation Army, a guerrilla force that battled Serb forces during the Kosovo conflict. The army, he said, had now "metamorphosed into the armed wing of the ethnic Albanian narco-mafia."

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