UNMIK will need three to six months to leave Kosovo

Prishtinë, 24 November 2006 – The newspaper ZERI quotes UNMIK Spokesman Neeraj Singh saying that UNMIK will require three to six months to leave Kosovo once a decision on its status is reached. Singh said that even though the decision to move out of Kosovo has not been taken yet, “we are planning for a transition.”

“Kosovo institutions are very much involved in this process because many of the responsibilities will be transferred to them. However, we cannot at this time say which
responsibilities will these include,” Singh is quoted. The paper writes that Singh and representatives of other international missions in Kosovo confirmed that KFOR and OSCE will remain in Kosovo even after status is resolved.

“KFOR will remain in Kosovo for as long as it’s needed. Our aim is to create a safe and secure environment for all in Kosovo,” KFOR Spokesman Rainer Senger is
quoted. OSCE is expected to be involved in the field of human rights after status, writes Zëri. Spokesman Sven Lindholm said that OSCE will remain in Kosovo “for a long time.” “The tasks that we are dealing with, human rights, democratization, these are long term projects so we will stay here and closely cooperate with the Government and people here,” Lindholm said.

Dailies also report that the Kosovo Government adopted yesterday an organizational structure for taking over competencies from UNMIK after status is settled. “This will be the main process in the 3-4 coming months,” said the Kosovo Government Spokeswoman Ulpiana Lama. She said that there are five working groups focused on legal transition, governance, civil administration, rule of law and economy. Lama said that the last group, the one on economy, may be split into two subgroups because of the huge volume of work.

“Transition requires the engagement of the entire government. It demands work and effort and it includes UNMIK, EU mission, Kosovo institutions working together on
how to organize and where to transfer these competencies,” Lama said.