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Thursday, June 10, 1999 Published at 23:40 GMT 00:40 UK

World: Europe

Q & A: The UN resolution on Kosovo

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The United Nations resolution on the Kosovo agreement follows the signing by Nato and Yugoslav military commanders of a Military Technical Agreement on Wednesday. BBC News Online examines the most important articles of the resolution.

Q: What does the UN resolution say about the role of Nato - wasn't this a key sticking point for Yugoslavia and Russia?

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A: The text of the resolution doesn't even mention Nato, just an "international security presence".

But, by a diplomatic sleight of hand, which helps both Belgrade and Moscow swallow a bitter pill, there is reference to "substantial Nato participation" and a "unified command and control" - but only in annexes to the agreement.

These annexes comprise the document adopted by the G8 in May and the agreement taken to Belgrade by Maarti Ahtisaari in early June.

Q: What role is there now for Russia?

Kosovo: Special Report
A: It has always been clear that Russian troops would play a part in the peace-keeping arrangements, but not so clear whether they would answer to Nato's command.

The stipulation of "unified command and control" in the resolution appears to make it clear that Nato would be in overall command - and the Americans have ruled out the possibility of a specific sector of Kosovo assigned to Russian troops.

Q: Is the resolution clear about arresting war crimes suspects?

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A: Unlike earlier agreements, the resolution specifically calls on "all concerned" to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

This has particular significance, since Slobodan Milosevic stands indicted by the tribunal over Serb atrocities in Kosovo, and the deal will put Nato troops within 200km of Belgrade.

But the text does not spell out under what circumstances Nato forces would be expected to arrest Serb suspects or whether they would have any mandate beyond Kosovo.

Q: Do all Yugoslav forces have to leave?

A: The resolution says there must be "an immediate and verifiable end" to violence in Kosovo as well as a "verifiable phased withdrawal of all military, police and paramilitary forces according to a rapid timetable".

But it adds that an unspecified number of Yugoslav personnel will be allowed back to perform certain functions like guarding historic sites and liaising with the international force.

The military technical agreement signed on Wednesday details how the Yugoslav forces should conduct their withdrawal and outlines the legal basis for the deployment of the international security force known as K-For.

Q: What about the KLA?

A: The UN resolution demands that the Kosovo Liberation Army "end immediately all offensive actions" and comply with the "requirements for demilitarisation", as laid down by the K-For commander.

Q: Does it say anything about the refugees?

A: The resolution tasks the international security force with "establishing a secure environment in which refugees and displaced persons can return in safety".

Q: So how is Kosovo's future supposed to look?

A: In the short-term, the resolution envisages an interim administration in Kosovo, under a special representative appointed by the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.

Crucially, though, the resolution says this official will "coordinate closely" with K-for, and officials conclude that, while the UN will oversee civilian administration and reconstruction, K-for will not fall under UN control.

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In the longer term, the resolution remains vague, saying only that the interim administration will "facilitate a political process designed to determine Kosovo's future status, taking into account the Rambouillet accords."

There is nothing specific about the ultimate status of Kosovo, and the Rambouillet proposal for a referendum after three years is absent.

The K-For operation initially has a 12-month mandate, but will continue "unless the Security Council decided otherwise".

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