Wednesday, October 19, 2005

UN turns to FUND

Today around 12:20 CET around 100 demonstrators assembled at the gates of MHQ and proceeded down Police Avenue spray-painting the letters F and D around the UN on the doors of the vehicles.  "Fund" in Albanian means "the end" so I guess it is a sign that they want the UN to leave.  Most of the staff members eating along Police Avenue were stunned by the sudden demonstration and it appeared that the police were equally surprised as the entire city block was vandalized before the demonstrators were stopped.  According to the news, the leader of the "Self Determination" group Albin Kurti, whose father is reported to work for UNMIK, was in the group that was arrested by KPS (Kosovo Police Service) following the demonstration.  As far as we could see from our front-row view at the Chinese Restaurant, no one was arrested during the demonstration...we only saw KPS bring a couple vehicles full back to the station 30 minutes after it dispersed. We got some pictures of the vandalized vehicles (and maybe the vandals!) and I'll share them as soon as I download them off the camera :)

News is emerging about the group that threatened to kidnap and kill international personnel.  The group call themselves the "Independence Army of Kosovo" or UPK and have been operating in the Pec/Peje region. Reportedly, the group has stopped two KFOR vehicles and told the occupants that they should pack-up and leave or face harm.  KPS is denying that the group exists but both the UN and KFOR acknowledge the existence and have restricted travel in the Pec/Peje region.  The group appears to be organizing and uniformed in black with masks.  They have been manning illegal checkpoints and controlling passengers in western Kosovo so vehicle traffic has been restricted to certain areas as it is a serious matter.