507 UN Personnel to Remain in Kosovo

The United Nations Mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, will be keeping 507 personnel in the country, the world body’s spokesman in Kosovo announced on Monday.

“UNMIK has been undergoing a reconfiguration process since last year, and the new budget, which is being debated by the General Assembly, calls for the presence of 507 people. This number includes international and local officials in Kosovo, and the offices in Belgrade and Skopje,” Ivanko told KiM Radio, a Serbian- and Roma-language program in Kosovo.

UNMIK began its administration of Kosovo in 1999 with 5,000 personnel, a number that has been decreasing since the EU began its rule-of-law mission, EULEX, meant to take over from the UN in
December 2008. EULEX has already taken over key posts such as the police and judiciary, while UNMIK has remained behind with a strictly political mandate.

“Previously, our main components were police and courts, since we are no longer working on them, we do not need a large number of personnel. The mission will be political, it already is, we have no operative functions, we will deal with political reports and monitoring for communities and foreign officials in Kosovo,” said Ivanko.

Ivanko said the UN mission had been a successful one, and that the majority of its objectives based on UN Security Council Resolution 1244 had been fulfilled.

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