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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

UN Selects French Minister To Head Kosovo Authority




UNITED NATIONS -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan Friday appointed French Health Minister Bernard Kouchner to run the massive civilian administration responsible for rebuilding Kosovo.


Appointed as his deputy was James "Jock" Covey of the United States, UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said.


Kouchner, who was among the founders of the aid group M?decins Sans Fronti?re in the 1970s and was an outspoken proponent of humanitarian objectives during the Bosnian war, will be Annan's special representative for Kosovo, replacing the interim chief, Sergio Vieira de Mello.


"He has those qualities that I think the secretary-general said he was looking for: vision, the ability to manage, and knowledge of the region," Eckhard said in announcing Annan's decision.


The United Nations was given the task of rebuilding Kosovo following the destruction of the province in the Serbian campaign against ethnic Albanians, which ended with the entrance into the province of international peacekeepers.


Kouchner, 59, will head a team of UN officials responsible for overseeing the return of refugees and the reestablishment of civilian infrastructure in Kosovo. The group will supervise the establishment of courts and a local police force.