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Top UN envoy in Kosovo resigns amid spate of ethnic violence in province

The top UN official in Kosovo, Harri Holkeri of Finland, who has been widely criticized for playing down recent ethnic violence in the province, said he had submitted his resignation after just nine months on the job. “Last night I called Secretary General Kofi Annan and asked to resign as his special representative and as head of UNMIK (the UN mission in Kosovo), due to my health,” Holkeri told reporters in the Finnish capital. Holkeri, 67, a former Finnish prime minister, was hospitalized in France earlier this month when he collapsed after briefing European foreign ministers in Strasbourg on the situation in the troubled Serb province. The former Finnish conservative head of government took over last year as the fourth leader of the UNMIK, and was originally scheduled to be replaced in August. Full Story

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