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UN Chief Voices Concern About Kosovo's North

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (file photo)

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern about Kosovo's strategy to integrate the country's ethnically divided north.

In a report to the Security Council, the U.N. chief warned that tensions in the region could increase unless the government of Kosovo acts with transparency and in consultation with local communities. Serbian media say the report was distributed to Council members Monday for a discussion on Kosovo in early May.

Ethnic Serbs and Albanians in northern Kosovo have been divided since 2008, when Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leadership declared independence from Belgrade. Serbs who are a majority in northern Kosovo refuse to recognize ethnic Albanian authorities.

Mr. Ban commended Serbian President Boris Tadic for supporting reconciliation in northern Kosovo during Mr. Tadic's visit to the region in January.

In a separate development, Swedish police said Wednesday they have arrested a Serb from Kosovo on suspicion that he committed war crimes in Kosovo 11 years ago.

A police official says the man in his 30s was arrested without incident in western Sweden Tuesday. The man is suspected of war crimes committed in 1999 in the village of Cuska in western Kosovo. The official did not name the suspect, in accordance with Swedish laws.

Many ethnic Albanian civilians were killed during the 1999 NATO bombing in the region, aimed at ending Belgrade's crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists in Kosovo.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.