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Ex-Rebel Leader Decries UN Kosovo Mission

11 June 2004 -- An ethnic Albanian former rebel leader says the United Nations has failed in Kosovo and should be phased out within months.

Hashim Thaci charged today that the UN mission (UNMIK) has lost all credibility and should be limited to an advisory role after parliamentary elections in October.

Thaci, the former leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) who now heads the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), made the comments in an interview marking the withdrawal of Serb forces and the entry of NATO peacekeepers exactly five years ago.

More than 90 percent of Kosovo's roughly 2 million people are ethnic Albanians demanding total independence from Serbia, and Thaci's comments echo widespread discontent among them.


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