Vlastimir Djordjevic, a Serbian ex-police chief, has been sentenced to 27 years in prison in connection with the mass murder of more than 700 ethnic Albanians in Kosovo in 1999, the International Business Times reported. “In the large majority of cases the victims, including many women and children, were civilians, who were unarmed and not in any way participating in any form of armed conflict,” the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia stated in its verdict.
International efforts to stem the bloodshed in Libya are gaining momentum, with the United Nations Security Council scheduled to meet to discuss a draft proposal for sanctions against Libyan leaders and NATO convening an emergency session in Brussels. The New York Times reported that antigovernment demonstrators pledged to take to the streets of Tripoli on Friday, despite threats of a violent crackdown by pro-government mercenaries and security forces.
Protests in Iraq and across the Arab world show the need to resolve long-standing disputes between Arabs and Kurds in northern Iraq before they trigger conflict, Reuters reported. “As long as these issues are lurking and are unresolved, they at any moment in time can just be the trigger for conflict and polarization,” said Ad Melkert, UN special representative in Iraq.