New head of EU mission pledges order in Kosovo's tense north

15th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

The new head of the EU civilian mission in Kosovo, French ex-general Xavier Bout de Marnhac, on Friday listed his priorities as bringing law and order to the north and fighting organised crime.

"We are moving to the next phase of the work of EULEX," The European Union Rule of Law mission, de Marnhac said in a press release on the day he took over as head of the mission.

"My principal concerns will be to re-establish the rule of law in northern Kosovo and to continue the fight against corruption and organised crime," he said

De Marnhac, who had commanded NATO-led peacekeeping troops in Kosovo (KFOR) in 2007-2008, replaced former French general Yves de Kermabon at EULEX.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008 and is recognised by 70 countries, despite Belgrade's fierce opposition.

The 3,000-member EULEX mission was launched in December 2008 to enforce the rule of law in Kosovo and supervise Pristina's police, customs and judiciary.

EULEX has the the power to step in and take on cases that the local judiciary and police are unable to handle because of their sensitive nature.

© 2010 AFP

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