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Annan chides Kosovo for delays in meeting international standards

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned Thursday that Kosovo [UN Interim Administration website, JURIST news archive] has not moved quickly enough to implement international standards of human rights, democraticization, ethnic tolerance and law enforcement. The Serbian province, under UN administration since the end of the Kosovo conflict in 1999 that forced out the Yugoslav military and allowed the return of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanian refugees, is struggling to meet criteria that will determine its future status. While its ethnic Albanian majority is pushing for independence, local Serbs have thusfar objected to self-rule [JURIST report] that they feel would leave them vulnerable to discrimination and violence. International negotiations regarding the future status of Kosovo were temporarily put off when President Ibrahim Rugova [Wikipedia profile] died [BBC report] of lung cancer last week at 61. Rugova was Kosovo's first president and leaves no apparent successor. Reuters has more.

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