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Kosovo's Government Urges Parliament To Set Up War Crimes Court

Kosovo’s government on July 31 asked the parliament in Pristina to reconsider its rejection of an ad hoc court to put ethnic Albanian former guerrilla fighters on trial for alleged war crimes -- including organ harvesting.

The United States and the European Union, Kosovo’s main diplomatic and financial supporters, have lobbied hard for Pristina to address war crimes accusations and were disappointed by parliament’s rejection of the court in June.

Much of Kosovo’s current political elite had been part of the now-disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) that fought for independence from Serbia during the 1990s.

For years, former UCK members have faced allegations that they removed organs from ethnic Serb captives who were then killed while their organs were sold on the black market.

Many ethnic Albanians in Kosovo see those allegations as an attempt to tarnish the reputation of the UCK, which fought a guerilla war in 1998 and 1999 against Serbia’s repressive rule.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP