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Human Rights Group Says New Ethnic Cleansing Threatens Kosovo

An international group monitoring the situation of minorities says new ethnic violence could flare up in Kosovo without strong legal safeguards for them.

London-based Minority Rights Group International in a report Monday criticized the international community for failing to protect minorities in Serbia's restive southern province.

The report says that after seven years of United Nations and international administration, the situation in Kosovo is "little short of disastrous." It notes that segregation of ethnic communities has become entrenched in the province and says thousands of people remain displaced.

It says the situation of Kosovo's ethnic groups, including Serbs, Albanians, Croats, Turks and Roma, remains the worst in Europe because the society is "so fractured that none of its people feel protected."

The group calls for radical efforts to end segregation and for strengthened rule of law to protect minority rights.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.