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The UN isn't just about Oil-For-Food. Remember Kosovo? Here's the latest on UN efforts to establish a new government there:
23 March 2005 ? The United Nations administrator of Kosovo today welcomed the Kosovo Assembly's election of a new government, following the previous prime minister's resignation and surrender on war crimes charges earlier this month, as reflecting the province's democratic process and the proper functioning of institutions which have shown political maturity within the constitutional framework.
An amazing feat that only took 6 years.
The UN has run Kosovo since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) drove out Yugoslav troops in 1999 amid grave human rights abuses in the fighting between Serbs and Albanians. Ethnic Albanians in Kosovo outnumber other ethnic groups, mainly Serbs, by about 9 to 1.
Of course, the UN is urging the Serbs in Belgrade to encourage the Serbs in Kosovo to participate in the Government:
The United Nations administrator of Kosovo met with top Serbian leaders in Belgrade today and urged them to encourage Kosovo Serbs to participate in the political process in the province where Albanians outnumber Serbs and other minorities 9 to 1.
No word on whether the government will be legitimate without Serb support.
Meanwhile, in a related story:
An elderly Serb couple were assaulted and severely injured on Monday by unknown attackers in their village in the northwest of Kosovo, police and medical sources in Kosovo said.
The Serbian agency SRNA said the attackers were "a gang of Albanians", though there was no independent confirmation. Attacks on minority Serbs by ethnic Albanians -- and vice versa -- have triggered cycles of revenge in the past.
The victims were identified as Nedeljko and Nevenka Vucic, aged 71 and 73. They were taken to a Serb hospital on the northern side of the divided city of Kosovska Mitrovica.
"Nedeljko had concussion and injuries caused by sharp and blunt objects. His head was severely injured, his ribs were broken. Surgery was necessary for his lungs," doctor Aleksandar Bozovic told Reuters.
"His right ear was cut off and he was stabbed with a metal object in the spine," Bozovic said.
"Nevenka has several cuts on her head and severe injuries to the chest caused by stabs and blows. Her life is endangered. She will undergo further surgery at 2 p.m.," he added.
Calling for the perpetrators to be quickly apprehended and brought to justice, officials in Belgrade and Pristina on Tuesday (29 March) condemned an attack carried out the previous day against an elderly Kosovo Serb couple.
She could probably use some encouragement.
But she's not alone. There's Jim, who bumped into Risawn and recognized her as "the blogger" and who is a blogger himself. He has also just recently arrived there and he has some awesome pics that gives you a real taste of Kosovo. Just scroll to view them all.