South Africa voices concern over media attacks against UN mission in Kosovo

February 17, 2011 12:28 pm 

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 17 — South African UN Ambassador Baso Sangqu on Wednesday expressed his concern over attacks against the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo in the media, amid ongoing political tensions.

"South Africa continues to be concerned that the current political impasse undermines peace and stability in the region, thus further undermining the full potential for sustainable development and full regional integration," said Sangqu in an open meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation of Kosovo.

"Since dialogue is essential to start fully-fledged dialogue on outstanding matters between them to achieve a sustainable solution to the situation in the western Balkans," he added.

In his latest report to the Security Council on Kosovo, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that few Pristina media outlets misrepresented UNMIK's role as a political obstacle and challenged the mission's authority.

UNMIK was established after Western forces drove out Yugoslav forces amid inter-ethnic fighting in 1999. Ethnic Albanians outnumber ethnic Serbs and other minorities by about nine to one in Kosovo.

"The fragile progress towards stability is also undermined by the continued volatile situation in Northern Kosovo/Mitrovica. It is essential that the Security Council mandated mission be respected throughout Kosovo and its authority not be undermined," said the South African ambassador, whose country is currently one of the 10 non-permanent members of the 15-nation Security Council. (PNA/Xinhua)

DCT/ebp

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