Yugoslav Army Threatening New Kosovo Fight

July 7, 2008 - 7:07 PM

(CNSNew.com) - The Yugoslav army is reportedly threatening to return to Kosovo if the United Nations doesn't let some Serbian troops return to the war-torn province to protect the Serbian minority in Kosovo from attack.

"The [Yugoslav] army will not do anything until it gets the order to act, but it is ready to act," Yugoslav General Nebojsa Pavkovic told the Los Angeles Times.

The Yugoslav military is reportedly angered by attacks on Serbs and other ethnic minorities in Kosovo following a UN and NATO led peace accord that ended the air war over Kosovo in June. Under the deal, called the Military Technical Agreement, the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) is supposed to be dismantled, but Pavkovic says it is not happening.

"They didn't do what they were supposed to do: protect the borders, provide security for the non-Albanian population, disarm the KLA, create a platform for the political solution of the future of Kosovo," said Pavkovic.

NATO has about 40,000 peacekeeping troops stationed in Kosovo after battering the Yugoslav army for 78 days with an intense bombing campaign. The peace deal ratified on June 3 says "an agreed number of Serb personnel will be allowed to return to Kosovo" to serve at border crossings and protect Serb historical sites.

Three months after the cease-fire more than 218,000 refugees, mostly Serbs, have fled Kosovo amid continuous attacks by ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. A recently released UN survey estimates that 97,000 Serbs still live in Kosovo, but that many continue to leave the province out of fear or desperation due to harsh conditions.