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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08PRISTINA453
2008-08-25 17:25:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Pristina
Cable title:  

KOSOVO: EULEX DEPLOYMENT MOVES FORWARD, BUT

Tags:   PGOV  PINR  PREL  EAID  KV  UNMIK 
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8452
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RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 1063
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RUEPGEA/CDR650THMIGP SHAPE BE PRIORITY
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RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUZEJAA/USNIC PRISTINA SR PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PRISTINA 000453 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR DRL, INL, EUR/SCE
NSC FOR HELGERSON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/28/2018
TAGS: PGOV PINR PREL EAID KV UNMIK
SUBJECT: KOSOVO: EULEX DEPLOYMENT MOVES FORWARD, BUT
QUESTIONS ON THE NORTH REMAIN

Classified By: Ambassador Tina S. Kaidanow for Reasons 1.4 (b), (d).



1. (C) SUMMARY: Despite prior delays, EULEX is now
proceeding with the operational aspects of deployment with
reasonable efficiency and speed. On August 18, EULEX signed a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with UNMIK that expedites
the transfer of physical assets to EULEX. EULEX expects
contributors to sign participation agreements by September 2,
and it will commence the buildup of its forces shortly
thereafter. Absorbing 80-100 personnel per week, EULEX
expects to have 2800 police, criminal justice and police
staff in Kosovo by the end of November; its 1505 police
officers will compare favorably with UNMIK's current strength
of 1932, and EULEX plans to recruit an additional 400
officers who would be available to augment forces in the
north if necessary. EULEX expects the transfer of authority
from UNMIK to occur in December. We view these developments
-- specifically the cooperation between EULEX and UNMIK on
technical issues, as well as the planned staffing levels and
deployment schedule -- as positive signs that the mission is
moving forward. Less certain, despite repeated assertions by
EULEX head of mission Yves de Kermabon, is that EULEX will
deploy successfully Kosovo-wide. The prospect of UNMIK
police operating in northern Kosovo and EULEX operating south
of the Ibar would confirm the Kosovars' worst fears of
partition, but UNMIK continues to fashion plans along these
lines and there is suspicious silence from key European
capitals and Brussels on whether they will act assertively to
assure EULEX operation in the north if Belgrade continues to
oppose such a deployment vociferously. END SUMMARY

EULEX finally moves forward on deployment



2. (C) EULEX tells us it expects participating states to
approve its deployment plan on September 2. This will remove
another roadblock to deployment and permit EULEX to grow by
up to 100 personnel per week through the end of November.
Easing this transition is the EULEX-UNMIK MOU signed August
18, which allows for the transfer of physical assets such as
equipment, vehicles, and buildings. The MOU is a significant
and positive step for EULEX, demonstrating improved
coordination and cooperation with UNMIK, and it eliminates
concern about the lack of facilities to house personnel as an
impediment to deployment. UNMIK and EULEX have had extensive
meetings to determine the disposition of assets. More
detailed discussions to coordinate the transfer of equipment
are ongoing.



3. (C) EULEX currently has 88 police officers deployed
throughout Kosovo, including three in Mitrovica, though the
latter operate without fanfare or obvious identification. In
September, EULEX will start deploying 1505 police officers

throughout Kosovo, a task expected to take three months. Of
the 1505 officers, roughly 400 or so comprise "formed police
units," or forces designated to deal with crowd and riot
control. (As a comparison, the current strength of UNMIK
police is 1932, including its own formed police units.)
EULEX is also recruiting an additional 400 regular officers
designed to augment its presence in the north should this
become necessary.

Pace of deployment increased



4. (U) EULEX is pursuing a rolling deployment and intends to
have its full force of 2800 -- police, criminal justice, and
local staff -- in place by the end of November, poised for a
transfer of authority from UNMIK to EULEX in December. The
pace of EULEX deployment is in fact quicker than earlier
plans, and EUPT now tells us it will increase the rate even
further from 80 to 100 officers per week.



5. (SBU) The total USG personnel commitment to EULEX is 80
police officers and a combination of 8 judges and/or
prosecutors. Some of these personnel will be transferred
from UNMIK and some will be new hires. INL, EUR/SCE and
EUR/ACE are working with counterparts in Brussels to approve
the participation agreement which will map out the roles and

PRISTINA 00000453 002 OF 002


responsibilities of each party, but they have yet to reach
agreement on privileges and immunities, a matter of some
disagreement as well between EULEX and UNMIK. While the
issue of privileges and immunities has been much debated in
Brussels and EU capitals as a possible obstacle to
deployment, EULEX chief de Kermabon told DCM on August 19
that EULEX will deploy with or without resolving the immunity
question.



6. (C) COMMENT: There is finally a feeling that EULEX is
moving forward on deployment despite the many problems it has
encountered over the months -- indeed years -- of planning
and discussion. Interlocutors on both the EU and UNMIK side
tell us that cooperation between the two is good, that
operational discussions are well underway, and that the pace
and shape of deployment will ensure there are no gaps in
supervisory authority over law enforcement and justice in
Kosovo.



7. (C) Comment, cont. That said, the critical issue looms
before us: Will EULEX make the attempt to begin operations
in northern Kosovo, given mounting evidence that the Tadic
government in Belgrade will not alter its position on the
acceptability of EULEX's presence? EULEX chief de Kermabon
makes all the right noises in public, but he has acknowledged
on numerous occasions to the Ambassador that neither Brussels
nor key EU capitals are likely to support the insertion of
EULEX in the north under conditions of conflict or
confrontation. While EULEX is a major European ESDP
undertaking, it is not apparent that European capitals are
using their full leverage with the Belgrade regime to insist
that Tadic and his foreign minister take a new approach on
EULEX. Some in Europe may wish at all costs to avoid
conflict with Serb hardliners in the north, insufficiently
estimating the negative response this could provoke on the
ethnic Albanian side. There is still time for the Europeans
to intensify their pressure on Belgrade regarding EULEX, and
we can encourage them to do so. Without it, the visual
divide between UNMIK operating in the north -- plans for
which are now well-advanced in New York and locally -- and
EULEX operating in the south will begin to convince the
Kosovars that partition is a real and growing possibility.
End comment.
KAIDANOW