EU Force Set for Kosovo on Eve of Independence

2,000 police and judges to help smooth transition
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2008 9:39 AM CST
Ethnic Albanians celebrate in the suburbs of Kosovo's capital Pristina on Friday, Feb. 15, 2008. Kosovo's predominantly ethnic Albanian leadership is expected to proclaim independence from Serbia on...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – As Kosovo stands poised to declare independence from Serbia, the European Union is preparing to send a civilian police and justice mission to help enforce the rule of law in the fledgling country. The US and most of the EU support Kosovar independence; Serbia and Russia oppose it, but will not intervene with the EU mission, BBC reports.

Excitement is building in Kosovo, where many expect the declaration of independence to come tomorrow, to the strains of "Ode to Joy," the EU anthem, AFP reports. The 2,000-strong EU force, which will begin arriving next week, seeks to prevent human rights abuses, fight corruption and organized crime, and track down suspected war criminals. (Read more Kosovo stories.)