KLA wrangle over deal to surrender its arms
Monday 20 September 1999
While suggesting that only minor details were responsible for the delay, K-For officials nevertheless failed to conceal the increasingly obvious difference in hopes held by the KLA and K-For over the future role of the Kosovo rebel army.
"There was no last minute glitch," insisted a K-For spokesman, Lt-Col Robin Clifford, at a press conference yesterday, where the signing ceremony was due to take place. He was referring to a question about whether the number of weapons to be handed over to K-For by the KLA was causing the delay.
Two stumbling blocks - the name of a new civilian national guard force to be created, and the number of weapons some KLA commanders wanted to remain in possession of - were reported by sources close to the KLA to be the sticking points that prevented the signing ceremony going ahead.
But these details mask the more fundamental disagreement between K-For and the KLA over the future of the force: while the KLA wants to be transformed into a new defence force for Kosovo that will eventually serve as the nucleus for an independent army, K-For insists that the KLA should cease to exist, and its former members be directed to civilian organisations, including the police and a new national guard with solely civilian duties.
Divisions within the top ranks of the KLA also appear to be unraveling the demilitarisation process. The top KLA commander, General Agim Ceku, cancelled an appearance with a K-For commander, Lt-Gen Sir Mike Jackson, yesterday morning to meet instead Ramush Harudinaj, a KLA zone commander in south-western Kosovo. Mr Harudinaj is one of two KLA regional commanders who was yesterday reported to be refusing to comply with giving up weapons to K-For. According to the demilitarisation agreement offered by the KLA and accepted on 19 June by Lt-Gen Jackson, the KLA was to turn over all weapons by yesterday. The KLA had handed in more than 10,000 weapons by the weekend, according to K-For.
Since it was deployed three months ago, however, K-For commanders have shown sensitivity to the KLA leaders' desire to play a role in post- war Kosovo. Despite the agreement also banning KLA soldiers from wearing their uniforms, K-For allowed them to appear in uniform and lightly armed for the last time on Saturday, as the force held a parade in Pristina.
- 2 'Don't blame all men for rape' campaign backfires spectacularly
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
UK's biggest male rape charity Survivors UK has state funding slashed to zero despite 120% rise in men reporting sexual violence and seeking help
Iran launches anti-Isis cartoon competition 'to expose true nature of Islamic State'
Priest warns pupils the 'Charlie Charlie Challenge' is 'demonic activity'
Tinder and Grindr dating apps blamed for surge in cases of HIV, syphilis and other STDs
Fifa corruption arrests: Sepp Blatter 'quite relaxed' and confident he is 'not involved'
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
£22,400: The Grange Retirement Home: This is a key role which requires a sound...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...
£30 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software / Web Developer (PHP / MYSQL) i...
£18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive is needed to join one...