UN to phase pull-out from East Slavonia

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The special UN administration for the Serb area of Eastern Slavonia in Croatia will be dismantled in two stages under plans released in New York yesterday.

In a report to the Security Council, the Secretary General, Kofi Annan, proposed halving by mid-August personnel numbers deployed in Untaes, the United Nations Transitional Administration in Eastern Slavonia.

Under Mr Annan's plan, which is likely to get Security Council support, the Untaes numbers would fall from 5,000 troops to just above 2,500 in August and to just 720 by October if all goes smoothly.

The prerequisite for an eventual withdrawal of Untaes, Mr Annan said, was the "full cooperation of the Croatian government which bears responsibility of convincing the local population that reintegration of the people of the region is sustainable". David Usborne - New York