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In Kosovo, UN Slammed by Amnesty But Says Not in Position to Act

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 29 -- Days before today's Kosovo debate in the UN Security Council, Amnesty International issued a damning report about the UN Mission there, urging the UN "to ensure that, in accordance with international standards, those who... have had their rights violated by UNMIK are provided with access to a remedy, including access to justice, and to adequate and effective reparation, including restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition."

Given the UN's recent denials and dismissals about bringing cholera to Haiti, this urging of a remedy sounded similar.

   So too was the answer: when Inner City Press asked UN spokesperson Farhan Haq about the report at Thursday noon briefing, he said that UNMIK "is not a position to follow through."

  But at the Security Council stakeout when Inner City Press asked Kosovo's foreign minister Enver Hoxhaj, he said that the UN should play a role on the issue of disappeared people. He also said that UNMIK's $50 million budget could and should be spent elsewhere -- compensation to at least some of the cholera victims in Haiti came to mind -- and the UN remain with an office in Pristina, coordinating UN funds and programs. (Haq referred, at the end of his answer, to EULEX.)

  Inner City Press asked Hoxhaj about Amnesty's report. He said he has been traveling seeking recognitions and has not yet read it. He said he'll do so and respond when he get back to Pristina. Watch this site.


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