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Kosovo peace plan leaves some critical details up in air

soldier on tank
One key issue left to be worked out is the military leadership of a Kosovo peacekeeping force

CNN's David Ensor looks at some of the potential sticking points in the Yugoslav peace proposal (June 3)
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European envoy says Kosovo war could end in days

June 3, 1999
Web posted at: 10:17 p.m. EDT (0217 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Kosovo peace plan approved Thursday by the Yugoslav parliament appears to meet NATO's demands. But as U.S. officials cautioned, the "devil is in the details," and many details remain to be worked out before the Kosovo conflict can be solved.

For example, the plan states that the U.N. Security Council -- where Russia has a veto -- will decide on Kosovo's interim government. Serbs believe that will give them some key leverage.

"The role of the U.N. is re-emphasized," said Vladislav Jovanovic, the Yugoslav charge d'affaires to the United Nations.

Other questions as yet unanswered by the peace plan include:

  • When will Serb forces start to withdraw?
  • What is a verifiable withdrawal that would prompt NATO to stop bombing?
  • When will NATO and other peacekeeping forces start moving into Kosovo?
  • Will Russia be part of the peacekeeping force?

"We in the United States, and I think this a view shared by all our allies, think that it would be a very good thing if Russia were part of (the peacekeeping force)," said U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott.

U.S. officials point to the way Russian and American troops have worked together in Bosnia keeping the peace as a model for Kosovo, but there is no agreement yet.

There is also the question of the ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army will react. Is the rebel group willing to be disarmed, as called for in the plan?

"The Kosovar Albanians were not consulted and it's a big mistake and that's another reason why this may not be workable," said James Fox, a former State Department official.

Another key issue is who will command the peacekeepers.

The United States said the force must be under the military command of NATO. The peace plan said the forces will be under overall U.N. jurisdiction.

"Before the United States puts a single soldier in, or anybody else from NATO, you have to be sure about who's in charge," said Robert Hunter, former U.S. ambassador to NATO. "And there's a test: will refugees feel comfortable enough to go home?"

But while the deal is not yet done, U.S. officials are pointing out that their strategy of sticking with the air campaign for more than 10 weeks does appear to have convinced the Serbs to give in to NATO's demands. They aren't celebrating at the Pentagon yet, but they are relieved.

Correspondent David Ensor contributed to this report.

Yugoslav OK of peace plan cautiously welcomed by Washington
June 3, 1999
Clinton: Wait until we 'see real results' in Kosovo
June 3, 1999
Peace talks with Milosevic to resume Thursday
June 2, 1999

  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kesovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News

  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosova Liberation Peace Movement
  • Kosovo - from

  • NATO official site
  • BosniaLINK - U.S. Dept. of Defense
  • U.S. Navy images from Operation Allied Force
  • U.K. Ministry of Defence - Kosovo news
  • U.K. Royal Air Force - Kosovo news
  • Jane's Defence - Kosovo Crisis

Resettlement Agencies Helping Kosovars in U.S.:
  • Church World Service
  • Episcopal Migration Ministries
  • Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
  • Iowa Department of Human Services
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Immigration and Refugee Services of America
  • Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
  • United States Catholic Conference

  • World Relief
  • Doctors without borders
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (Kosovo aid)
  • Doctors of the World
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Kosovo Humanitarian Disaster Forces Hundreds of Thousands from their Homes
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page
  • The Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Mercy International

  • Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

  • Expanded list of related sites on Kosovo
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
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