Despite the freezing weather, tens of thousands of people from all over Kosovo have been paying their respects to President Ibrahim Rugova.He died from lung cancer on Saturday aged 61. The late head of state will be buried on Thursday in the martyrs’ graveyard in Pristina alongside fallen guerrillas of the 1998-1999 war. Normally the cemetery is reserved for members of the Kosovo Liberation Army. Many former fighters and their supporters never forgave Rugova for refusing to throw his weight behind their armed struggle for independence from Serbia, which eclipsed his policy of passive resistance. Negotiations on the future of the province – part of Serbia but under United Nations control since 1999 – had been due to start this week but have now been postponed until February. Kosovo has rejected a request from the Serbian president to attend Rugova’s funeral.
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