Members of KPC (Former KLA soldiers) stand guard wile visitors pay their respects. Reports say that Rugova had asked to be buried in the cemetery with the fallen soldiers of the former Kosova Liberation Army.
''His wish was to be buried in the martyrs' graveyard,'' a source close to the presidency told Reuters yesterday, as thousands queued in driving snow to see Rugova's flag-draped coffin in parliament.
Many former guerrillas and their supporters never forgave the scholarly Rugova for refusing to throw his weight behind their armed struggle for independence from
But a source in the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC), the civil successor to the disbanded KLA, said the corps, which will take part in the burial ceremony, would ''act in accordance'' with the decision of the funeral committee.
The arrangement was in keeping with a thaw in relations between the two camps since Rugova's Democratic League of Kosovo entered a coalition in December 2004 with former guerrilla commander Ramush Haradinaj, who became prime minister.
Haradinaj, who later quit to face charges before the United Nations war crimes tribunal for former
Rugova leaves a leadership in the U.N. protectorate on the eve of UN-mediated talks to decide whether the 90 percent Albanian majority wins independence, or Kosovo remains part of
Serbian President Boris Tadic said he wanted to attend the funeral, posing a potential security for the NATO-led peacekeeping force. During his first and only visit to Kosovo last year Tadic's convoy was stoned and pelted with eggs when passing through Albanian areas.
''It would be a matter of basic courtesy for the Serbian president to go to Kosovo, which is part of
A UN official said they had received Tadic's request and had passed it on to Rugova's family. It would be up to them and the Kosovo presidency to decide, not the U.N. mission.
''The funeral should not be politicised,'' the official said.
Rugova was the of a decade of passive resistance from the moment former Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic stripped Kosovo of its autonomy in 1989. With an underground system of schools and , he created a parallel state.
But he underestimated his people's readiness to die for their cause and clung stubbornly to his tactics as support swung behind the guerrilla KLA in 1998.
He was sidelined when NATO bombed
While Kosovo Albanians look for a successor, the U.N.
mission has called for unity, fearing a messy power struggle that could delay a Western-backed process seen leading to independence.