UN envoy calls for probe into alleged human organ trafficking in Kosovo

09:43, February 17, 2011      

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The chief of the UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) on Wednesday called for an investigation into alleged human organs trafficking during the Kosovo war.

Addressing the Security Council in an open door meeting on Kosovo and the UN mission's work, Lamberto Zannier, the UN secretary-general's special representative for Kosovo, noted the recent report by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe calling for the investigation.

"In my view, this Council of Europe report needs to be taken seriously and an investigation launched as a matter of priority in the interest of all," Lamberto said.

On Jan. 25, the Council of Europe adopted a resolution in a report titled, "Investigation of allegations of inhumane treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo."

It was alleged that near the end of the 1999 Kosovo war, hundreds of Serb civilians were kidnapped by Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) guerrillas and transported to neighboring Albania. They were killed there and their organs were harvested to be sold abroad.

Lamberto called on the Council of Europe's Special Rapporteur, Dick Marty "to make any and all evidence available to the competent investigating authority without delay."

"For my part, I can only reiterate that UNMIK will give its full support to the investigating authority," he said.

Looking at the overall situation in Kosovo, Lamberto noted that the security situation has remained "largely unchanged" since his last reporting period.

Pointing to unresolved issues, he said the key to long-term stability, was to overcome economic challenges in the region.

"Mounting fiscal difficulties and the possible economic hardship, they may cause could soon overshadow political differences as the greatest threat to Kosovo's stability," he said.

Lamberto also said that long-term stability and development in Kosovo hinged on the successful process of reconciliation among communities.

"Therefore there is a pressing need to launch the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and work towards establishing viable cooperation and lasting peace and security," he said.

A breakaway province of Serbia, ethnic Albanian-dominated Kosovo unilaterally declared independence in February 2008. However, Serbia has vowed it would never recognize Kosovo's independence, describing the move as illegal and in contrary with international law.

Source: Xinhua

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