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Saturday, October 24, 1998 Published at 17:40 GMT 18:40 UK

World: Europe

UN demands action over Kosovo

Serb police still in Kosovo

Kosovo Section
The United Nations Security Council has adopted a resolution demanding that Yugoslavia comply with an agreement to withdraw its forces from Kosovo.

But the resolution falls short of explicitly authorising Nato intervention if Belgrade fails to implement the accord.

Flora Botsford reports on the diplomatic developments
China and Russia, who are against the use of force, abstained from voting even though the text was amended to remove language which they said would amount to an endorsement of Nato intervention.

The resolution, which was passed by a vote of 13-0, does however authorise:

  • Ground and air monitors to ensure compliance with the agreement

  • Emergency action to be taken to ensure the safety and freedom of movement of international observers

It also expresses deep alarm at what it describes as the impending humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo.

Kate Adie finds no trace of the international monitors in Kosovo
Our UN correspondent, Richard Lister, says the resolution tacitly acknowledges that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has yet to fulfil his part of the Kosovo agreement signed with US envoy Richard Holbrooke on 13 October.

But its failure to mention Nato intervention is a reminder of the division that still splits the Security Council.

Kosovo still unsafe

[ image: General Wesley Clark: Talks with Milosevic]
General Wesley Clark: Talks with Milosevic
Nato has nevertheless been stepping up pressure for Belgrade to comply with its commitments by Tuesday or face possible air-strikes.

The alliance's Supreme Allied Commander, General Wesley Clark, and General Klaus Naumann, chairman of his military committee, met Mr Milosevic on Saturday to reiterate its demands for Serb withdrawal from the province.

BBC Correspondent Paul Wood has reported on the withdrawal of some Serb forces following a successful diplomatic mission.

Richard Lister in Washington: "I do not think the United States is going to be stopped by this"
But American diplomats in Kosovo say there are still police units and heavy weapons in the province that should not be there.

On Friday, western monitors reported further serious violations of the informal ceasefire between Serb and ethnic-Albanian forces, although they said they did not know which side started it.

Heavy artillery and tank-fire was heard around the Drenica region and guerrilla forces inflicted casualties on the Serbs.

Other UN demands

The latest Security Council resolution, which endorses the 13 October agreement, also:

  • Demands that President Milosevic and the ethnic Albanian leadership enter into dialogue with a clear timetable for a negotiated solution

  • Reaffirms the right of all refugees to return to their homes in safety and says Yugoslavia must create conditions that allow their return

  • Calls on the Kosovo Albanian leadership to condemn and stop all terrorist actions

  • Demamds the "prompt and complete" investigation of all atrocities against civilians and co-operation with the UN war crimes tribunal in the Hague.

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