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Saturday, 9 December, 2000, 04:49 GMT
Dane named as new Kosovo chief
Hans Haekkerup
Haekkerup will take over in January
By Jacky Rowland

The Danish Defence Minister, Hans Haekkerup, has been named as the new head of the United Nations mission in Kosovo.

Bernard Kouchner
Kouchner alienated many Kosovo Serbs
He will take over from the current UN administrator, Bernard Kouchner, in January.

The naming of Hans Haekkerup as chief UN administrator in Kosovo brings to an end months of speculation about who would succeed Mr Kouchner.

He had made it clear for some time that he was eager to leave the province after leading it through its first 18 months as an international protectorate.

It has been a daunting task. As head of the UN mission he was in charge of the civilian aspects of rebuilding Kosovo after years of conflict and neglect.

The military side is the responsibility of the Nato-led peace keeping force K-For.

Mixed legacy

Mr Kouchner leaves behind him a mixed legacy.

Kosovo Albanian refugees
Kosovo is a province riven with ethnic conflict
Local elections were held in the province in October installing democratically elected municipal councils, but the UN mission has done little or nothing to heal the hatred between the majority Albanian community and other ethnic groups, notably the Serbs.

A flamboyant and passionate man, Bernard Kouchner won the confidence of many Albanians while alienating Kosovo Serbs, who felt he was biased against them.

The task facing the new administrator will be to secure some sort of future for all ethnic groups in Kosovo.

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See also:

17 Nov 00 | Europe
Kouchner: Doctor with a vision
17 Nov 00 | Europe
Kosovo's Kouchner to quit
28 Oct 00 | Europe
Kosovo Albanians flock to polls
21 Apr 99 | UK Politics
'My worst experience' - Ashdown
19 Jul 99 | UK Politics
Ashdown on mission to Kosovo
10 Aug 99 | UK Politics
Action man bows out
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