Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Germany's World Cup title

Read more

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Farnborough air show takes off but F-35 jet is grounded

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Bastille Day celebrations

Read more

TOUR DE TECH

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll increases in Sierra Leone

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Viviane Reding, MEP, European People's Party

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Schulz returns to Parliament presidency: back to business as usual?

Read more

  • Live: France celebrates Bastille Day

    Read more

  • In pictures: 2014 World Cup historic moments

    Read more

  • Boules and booze: Bastille Day à la New Yorkaise

    Read more

  • Kremlin mulls 'retaliatory strikes' after death of Russian civilian

    Read more

  • Senegal honours the soldiers who fought for France in WWI

    Read more

  • Clashes erupt in Paris as thousands march to support Palestinians

    Read more

  • Operations underway to refloat shipwrecked Costa Concordia

    Read more

  • Germany defeat Argentina 1-0 to win fourth World Cup title

    Read more

  • Paris’s Bastille Day fireworks ‘a homage to victims’ of WWI

    Read more

  • Thousands flee northern Gaza after Israeli warning

    Read more

  • Major differences remain as deadline looms in Iran nuclear talks

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • French military to extend Mali 'counterterrorism' operations into Sahel

    Read more

  • Legendary conductor Lorin Maazel dies aged 84

    Read more

EU takes over from the UN in Kosovo

©

Video by FRANCE 24 , Yuka ROYER

Latest update : 2008-12-09

The European Union's justice mission for Kosovo begins Tuesday. Some 2,000 observers will be deployed throughout the country to supervise its transition toward independence from Serbia.

AFP - The European Union's justice mission for Kosovo -- the bloc's biggest ever civilian operation -- officially starts work on Tuesday, taking over from the United Nations despite ethnic frictions.
  
The task of the mission, known as EULEX, is to supervise ethnic-Albanian majority Kosovo's transition after it declared independence from Serbia, superseding the almost decade-old UN interim mission UNMIK.
  
EULEX says "some 1,400 internationals and 500 locals will be deployed in police, courts and on the borders of Kosovo," including the volatile north where Serbs who oppose the EU mission form a majority.
  
"There is an order that we switch on at 8:00 am (0700 GMT)," EULEX spokesman Victor Reuter told AFP. "EULEX will be responsible for the rule of law area... our people will take their positions in police, judiciary, customs."
  
Delayed for around six months largely thanks to opposition from Serbia, the launch of the European mission of up to 2,000 personnel has been far from a simple changeover, however.
  
Belgrade, which continues its diplomatic battle against Kosovo's independence, agreed to EULEX's deployment in a six-point plan reached with UNMIK chief Lamberto Zannier.
  
Under the deal, EULEX will remain neutral regarding Kosovo's status, while Serb-majority areas will initially remain under the UN umbrella, which ethnic Albanians have protested against fearing partition.
  
But it will progressively take over from UNMIK in the Serb strongholds like the northern half of Kosovoska Mitrovica, the flashpoint northern town ethnically divided by the Ibar river.
  
EULEX, which already numbers some 1,200 police, law experts and customs officers, was launched in February just as Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia.
  
But it finally received UN Security Council approval in November, ending a power vacuum in Kosovo where the EU mission was to originally take over from the UN one in June under a plan for its "supervised independence."
  
The outgoing UN mission came in for criticism for failing to properly use its powers during its administration of Kosovo, ever since NATO's 1999 air war drove out Serbian forces waging a brutal crackdown on Albanian separatists.
  
Led by former NATO commander in Kosovo, French General Yves de Kermabon, EULEX members will have limited executive powers, notably to investigate serious crimes.
  
Leading global rights group Amnesty International warned on Monday that the EU mission must address a huge backlog of war crimes and other violations neglected by UNMIK.
  
It called for "much greater scrutiny and accountability" for EULEX, whose contributors include almost all 27 EU member states plus several non-members including Croatia, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States.

Date created : 2008-12-09

Comments

COMMENT(S)