23 January 2007

Kosovo protesters attack UN site

BBC (UK), Tuesday, 28 November 2006, 19:26 GMT

UN police and local security forces have used teargas to disperse thousands of ethnic Albanian protesters in the Kosovan capital, Pristina.

Protesters smashed windows and threw red paint at the Kosovo parliament, government building and UN compound.

The pro-independence Vetvendosja (Self-Determination) movement held the rally to show opposition to further negotiations on Kosovo's future status. 

Kosovo is still legally part of Serbia, but is run by a UN administration.

The demonstrators want the right to vote on independence from Serbia.

The international negotiating countries - the Contact Group - have delayed a decision on Kosovo's status until after Serbia's general election on 21 January.

Serbian voters have already approved a new constitution asserting that Kosovo is an integral part of the country.

Kosovo has been under UN control since 1999 - the year that a Nato bombing campaign forced Serbia to pull its forces out of the province.

Nato's action was prompted by Belgrade's harsh crackdown on ethnic Albanian rebels in Kosovo. Serb violence against civilians triggered a huge exodus of ethnic Albanians to neighbouring countries.

The Contact Group is made up of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the US.