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Report: UN Kosovo Mission Failed To Protect Rights

14 July 2004 -- The head of a UN-backed institution in Kosovo says the United Nations mission in the province has failed to ensure even basic standards of human rights.

The head of the Ombudsperson Institution, Marek Antoni Nowicki, said much more work is needed "to achieve even a minimum level of protection of rights and freedoms in Kosovo."

Nowicki said in his report that the situation in the largely ethnic Albanian province is especially difficult for two minority populations, Serbs and Roma. He said that some minorities are unable to move freely in Kosovo because of the threat of violence.

Ethnic violence during two days in March left 19 people dead. Many Serbian houses and churches were also destroyed in the riots.