Updated: 21-Nov-2001 Week of 30 June - 6 July 1999

30 June 1999

(Belga photo)

Troops are still arriving in the war-torn province of Kosovo as part of the NATO-led peacekeeping force, KFOR. KFOR units continue to conduct high tempo patrolling and an overt military presence. This presence is beginning to yield positive results. Serb and ethnic Albanian workers in Pristina have returned to the electrical station and, overall, there have been few reports of disturbances in Kosovo recently.
KFOR continues to provide a secure environment and support to the United Nations Interim Administrative Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), headed by the recently appointed French Health Minister, Bernard Kouchner.

The close cooperation between UNMIK and KFOR is reflected in UNMIK's recent appointment of judges and prosecutors to conduct hearings of individuals currently held in KFOR detention. In accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999), KFOR have the mandate and responsibility to ensure both public safety and order, as well as law and order in Kosovo until UNMIK itself can take full responsibility for this.

KFOR confirms that all major routes are secure and that the main refugee camp at Kukes is now empty. Furthermore, the humanitarian situation is improving and life is quasi-normal in cities. The procurement of 8 000 sets of civilian clothing has been initiated to assist the demilitarisation of the UCK by allowing the replacement of uniform for those with no alternatives at present.

However, as the situation gradually stabilises in Kosovo, proof that the destruction of homes and crops of ethnic Albanians living in Kosovo was systematic and planned is being unveiled by the international organisations present on the ground. Several mass graves have already been discovered, revealing the extent of the atrocities committed by President Milosevic's regime.

30 June 1999
Press conference by Chairman MC

The new Chairman, Admiral Guido Venturoni (left)

On June 30, Admiral Guido Venturoni gave his first press conference in his new capacity as Chairman of NATO's Military Committee. He focused on the lessons which could be drawn by the Alliance from the Kosovo crisis, raising questions on the European Security and Defence Identity, the Alliance's intelligence assets, its force structures and the value of the Partnership for Peace programme.

Additional information:

  • NATO Speeches: Speaking notes by the Chairman of the Military Committee at his Initial Press Conference
30 June 1999
A World Economic Summit in Salzburg

A World Economic Summit, organised by the World Economic Forum in Salzburg on Central and Eastern European issues, took place on 30 June-2 July. It brought together Heads of State and Government and experts from 16 countries in the region, from the European Union, from international institutions and from commercial banks. NATO Secretary General, Dr Javier Solana, participated in the closing plenary session of the Summit.

2 July 1999
Secretary General in Bosnia and Herzegovina

During a visit to Sarajevo on 2 July, NATO Secretary General, Dr Javier Solana, met with the members of the three-person Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina: the Croat representative, Ante Jelavic, the Bosniac representative, Alija Izetbegovic, and the Serb representative, Zivko Radisic. He also met with the SFOR Commander, General Montgomery C. Meigs, the High Representative, Ambassador Carlos Westendorp (to be replaced by Wolfgang Petritsch mid-July), and representatives of international organisations.

6 July 1999
Indicted war criminal

On 6 July, NATO Secretary General, Dr Javier Solana, announced that SFOR detained Radislav Brdanin, indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The detainee has now being transferred to The Hague. The Secretary General called on other persons indicted for war crimes, who are still at large, to surrender immediately to the ICTY.