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|Friday, July 21, 2000, updated at 10:19(GMT+8)|
Belgrade to Reject Results of U.N.-Conducted Census in KosovoYugoslavia said Thursday that it will not recognize the results of a census conducted by the U.N. Special Mission in its breakaway southwestern province of Kosovo because the census is "a gross violation of the U.N. resolution 1244."
Stanimir Vukichevich, head of a cooperation committee formed by Yugoslav officials and members of the U.N. mission, said in a statement that the census, which started in February, was widely boycotted by non-ethnic Albanian residents in Kosovo.
"Although the U.N. mission kept putting pressure on non-ethnic Albanian residents in the mostly Albanian province," he said, "they still refused to take part in the census in a bid to prevent the double standard imposed by the U.N. mission from being legalized."
Since the U.N. body began to administer Kosovo last June, Vukichevich said, 360,000 non-Albanian residents have been forced to flee the region while 250,000 ethnic Albanians illegally entered Kosovo from the two neighboring countries of Albania and Macedonia.
At present, non-Albanians can neither move about safely in Kosovo nor freely use their own language. Under such circumstances, he said, it is apparently inopportune to conduct a census in the province.
The U.N.-organized census was also boycotted by the Yugoslav government, which claims that the move is an encroachment of Yugoslavia's sovereignty and it should be taken by the country itself.
Late last month, representatives from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), co-organizer of the census, told reporters in a Kosovo city that the census had failed.
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