European rights official concerned on justice in Kosovo

A leading European human rights official has expressed concerns that 18 years after the end of the conflict in Kosovo, thousands of people are still denied justice.

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks issued a memorandum Monday following his Kosovo visit in February.

Muiznieks said Kosovo, with a predominantly ethnic Albanian population and an ethnic Serb minority, needs "to change course and build a just and cohesive society" by prosecuting wartime crimes, promoting inter-ethnic tolerance, caring about displaced persons and clarifying 13 murders and disappearances of journalists in the years after the war.

Some 10,000 people died and 1,660 are still missing from the 1998-1999 Kosovo war that ended after NATO intervened on behalf of the Albanian majority.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which Serbia has not recognized.