Kosovo group calls for boycott

Kosovo youth group called on ethnic Albanians to boycott Serbian food and other products that are sold in the disputed U.N.-run province, its members said Tuesday.

The group, which calls itself "Self-determination," said that through a boycott "Serbia will be harmed, and Kosovo will be aided."

The group, led by former student leader and political prisoner Albin Kurti, has designed billboards, given away T-shirts and planned to distribute leaflets calling for the boycott.

"The boycott should continue for as long as Serbia doesn't let go of Kosovo, recognizes the crimes it committed and pays rewards for the incurred damages," the group said in a statement, referring to the 1998-1999 Serb forces' crackdown on independence-seeking ethnic Albanians.

The group has organized protests, low in turnout, but with high attention in local media, demanding that the province's U.N. administrators leave Kosovo.

Its members press for the province's independence from Serbia, and oppose the current U.N.-brokered talks between ethnic Albanian and Serbian officials aimed at steering the two sides toward a negotiated solution on the province's future status.

Kosovo has been administered by the United Nations since a 1999 NATO air war halted the Serb offensive.

The ethnic Albanian majority wants independence, while Serbs living in Kosovo demand that it remain part of Serbia, reports the AP.

I.L.