What do Serbs think of Bulgaria?

politics : The attackers mistakenly consider the Bulgarian in Pristina to be a Serb

A mob of young Albanians attacked an employee of the UN mission in Kosovo for the first time, killing him with a shot in the head. 38-year-old Bulgarian Valentin Krumov was lynched by men on a busy main street in Pristina on Tuesday night after answering a question in Serbian. On Tuesday, the day before UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's visit to Kosovo, the UN police urged all their officials to be more vigilant. The man was the victim of brutal hatred, said the head of the UN mission, Bernard Kouchner, in Pristina. "The murder of a UN employee is unacceptable."

The Bulgarian had started his service in Kosovo hours earlier. He was the first UN employee to be killed in a fatal attack. Outwardly, he was not recognizable as a UN envoy because he was wearing street clothes. The UN police said that the man was attacked by Kosovar Albanians on a stroll in Pristina, where he was traveling with two colleagues, abducted about 50 meters and then shot. The UN police, who are responsible for security in Pristina, are looking for a group of five or six young men around the age of 17.

While the United Nations has taken on central civil administration tasks in Kosovo, military protection in the province is provided by NATO. The ongoing tensions between Albanians and the few remaining Serbs in Kosovo repeatedly lead to assaults and attacks.

According to their current commander Mike Jackson, the KFOR peacekeeping force will have to stay in Kosovo for at least a few more years. The British general commented on Tuesday when he returned to NATO headquarters in Mönchengladbach. As long as there is no political stability in Kosovo, the presence of the peacekeeping force is necessary, he said. How long this is essentially depends on Belgrade. "I am not satisfied with the current security situation," said Jackson: "Ethnic hatred makes life in Kosovo difficult." It cannot be assumed that all problems have subsided.

The UN representative for Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner, made a similar statement. He assumes that the "very difficult task" of establishing and understanding processes in Kosovo will take years. Although there is progress in the school system, with clearance at the borders, the establishment of television and the preparation of a household, Kouchner said on Monday in Paris. On the other hand, demands are being made and there is impatience, "such as when it comes to the protection of minorities, which is very difficult to ensure completely".

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder discussed the situation in Kosovo with the Yugoslavia representative of the Russian government, Viktor Tschernomyrdin. Schröder received Chernomyrdin in the federal government's guest house on the Petersberg near Bonn. At lunch, the two politicians took stock of the situation and looked at how the still difficult situation could be improved. Details of the conversation were not disclosed. The meeting took place on the fringes of the "day of industrial medium-sized companies" organized by the Federal Association of German Industry (BDI) in Bonn, to which Schröder had come to the Rhine.

The Chancellor reportedly thanked Chernomyrdin for his efforts in brokering the peace plan for Kosovo. Chernomyrdin played a decisive role in the peace settlement. Schröder and his guest welcomed the fact that the United Nations had taken on the central task of civil administration in Kosovo. At the same time they paid tribute to the work of the international military peacekeeping force.

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