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The BBC's Helen Wade
"Ethnic tensions show no sign of abating"
 real 28k

The BBC's Mark Devenport at the UN in New York
"Mr Annan acknowledges that the overall security situation remains fragile"
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George Robertson, Nato Secretary General
"I deplore the violence against Serbs"
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Friday, 9 June, 2000, 20:56 GMT 21:56 UK
Kosovo revenge attacks condemned
Gracanica burned out
Violence earlier this week in Gracanica highlighted the shaky security situation
The United Nations refugee agency has condemned the ethnic Albanian treatment of Serbs in Kosovo - a year after peacekeepers moved in.

A UN spokesman in Geneva said the oppressed had become the oppressors in a cycle of violence and revenge.

The remarks came as a report by the UNHCR and the OSCE (the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe) highlighted the suffering of minorities in Kosovo.

UN envoy Bernard Kouchner has said the UN will have to maintain a presence in the province for years to come.

Killings, kidnappings, bombings, beatings, arson attacks, and other abuses continue unabated

UN spokesman Ron Redmond
The UN refugee agency says the biggest failure in Kosovo has been the inability to stop the spiral of violence against minorities. Over the past year, tens of thousands have been driven from their homes by ethnic Albanians committed to revenge.

UN refugee spokesman Ron Redmond said: "Each departure has further eroded hopes for at least a semblance of multi-ethnicity and tolerance.

"Killings, kidnappings, bombings, beatings, arson attacks, and other abuses continue unabated."

Serb suffering

The report said the violence had been exacerbated by the continued shortfall of UN police, and a lack of a functioning and impartial judicial system.

Albanian in hospital
Ethnically-motivated attacks continue to put people in hospital
But it also highlights the everyday discrimination against minority groups.

In some areas Serbs and Roma are trapped in their homes, unable to venture out without a heavily-armed escort.

Many Serb children are taken to school under military guard, while Serbs are often excluded from the health care services and have to go to Serbia for treatment.

The report says the UN mission in Kosovo will be judged on its success in upholding minority rights and ensuring their security.

No end in sight

The report coincided with a briefing at the Security Council in New York by UN special representative Bernard Kouchner.

He said the UN administration of Kosovo would have to continue for years to come.

Burned out van
Despite advances, the UN still has much to do to make Kosovo safe
"When the United Nations mission arrived in Kosovo, there was nothing. It was a dead desert.

"We are not in Kosovo for 12 months or 24 months, we are there no doubt for a significant number of years," Mr Kouchner said.

He said it would take that time for building a society built on tolerance and democracy.

But Mr Kouchner was not able to say what kind status Kosovo would eventually enjoy, citing "lack of clarity" in the wording of the resolution setting up the UN administration.

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Kosovo: One year on
Click here for in-depth coverage and latest news
Key stories:
Nato's incomplete victory
The view from Kosovo
Serbs fear new war
Nato strikes: The untold story
An Uneasy Peace
Talking Point
Is the West losing the peace?
Is Nato guilty of war crimes?
See also:

09 Jun 00 | Europe
Analysis: Serbs under fire
07 Jun 00 | Europe
3,000 missing in Kosovo
28 Feb 00 | Europe
Kosovo: What happened to peace?
16 Mar 00 | Europe
Kosovo one year on
07 Jun 00 | UK Politics
Kosovo campaign 'illegal', say MPs
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