Tim Guldimann, head of the OSCE mission in Kosovo, said on Monday 8th that Kosovo today is “not what we could call a multi-ethnic society”. “Different communities live in Kosovo, but a multi-ethnic society means integration, mutual understanding, tolerance and cohabitation. We do not see this,” he stated. His words have good base in a new OSCE report on human rights, ethnic relations and democracy in Kosovo for the period from the summer of 2007 to the summer of 2008. Also the headline of other report by Amnesty International tells enough “Kosovo (Serbia): The challenge to fix a failed UN justice mission.
The Kosovo judiciary continues to suffer from serious shortcomings due to the failure to properly apply the law and international human rights standards. OSCE report e.g. highlights that
- Almost nine years after the conflict, a large number of properties remain illegally occupied, despite the resolution of almost 30,000 residential property cases as of summer 2008. In total, these property claims and cases amount to approximately 59,000 the vast majority of which involve Kosovo Serbs, whose properties were damaged, destroyed or illegally occupied as a result of the conflict and have not yet been addressed or settled.
- The Kosovo judiciary failed “to properly apply the law and international human rights standards,” the report said, resulting “in widespread violations of fair trial standards.”
- Both police and courts “are often exposed to political interference,”
Guldimann added that “When it comes to the return of members of the Serb community, the question if there are conditions for Serbs to view their future in Kosovo as safe and if they trust Kosovo institutions needs to be answered.”
The facts are showing that other ethnic groups than Albanians do not see their future in Kosovo. Since Kosovo separatists took power, over two thirds of ethnic Serbs have been ethnically cleansed by Albanian separatist. According to statistics from the UNHCR there are about 206,000 internally displaced persons from Kosovo living in Serbia. This fact has mostly ignored in western mainstream media. Their attitude is understandable since this media from the very beginning had fixed their one-sided picture about good and bad guys so Serbs somehow deserved their fate. The outcome is that Serb Refugees (from Croatia and Bosnia) and IDPs (from Kosovo) are one of the forgotten and forsaken victim groups in the former Yugoslavia.
The vast majority of those people – Serbs, Roma and Gorani – were forced out by ethnic violence and intimidation and still live in dreadful conditions in camps and emergency housing in Serbia. The remaining Serbs in Kosovo are barricaded into enclaves keeping their lives mainly with help of international KFOR troops or in de facto separated Serb majority region in North Kosovo.
The situation described here and e.g. in OSCE report is very discouraging also from other perspective. Since 2000, the international community has likely invested more non-military resources per capita in Kosovo for stabilizing and developing Kosovo than in any other post-conflict area in the world. In spite of the billions and billions of dollars the international community has poured into Kosovo since NATO ousted Serbia’s military in 1999 the result is mono ethnic, corrupted society where gangs of thugs are left free to roam around terrorizing the people and pretty much imposing their own ‘law’ either on streets or in government.
Failed mission has lead to failed state.