Kosovo separatists are dreaming to occupy the north Kosovo

October 28, 2008

Former Kosovo PM Agim Ceku told reporters on Sunday 26th Oct. 2008, that the government in Priština should declare the northern part of Kosovo “a zone of special interest”.  “If this part of Kosovo is declared a zone of special interest, that means presence of state officials of Kosovo must be secured there. Those officials would work there and be the state authority of Kosovo,…, such measures in the Serb-dominated north which rejects Priština’s authority would be “temporary”.

Ceku, who is the leader of the Social Democratic Party, said the Thaci government has no concrete plan to spread its authority in the north. For his part, Ceku did no rule out using force to achieve this. “Use of force is the task of every security organ. I would not say use of violence, but of force, if necessary. The functioning of the state and government in every part of the country is the task of institutions, which have their instruments and powers. Force is one of those powers,” he elaborated.

Ceku’s wish is of course easy to understand in dreamworld he is living in.  The fact de jure however is that acording highest international law (UNSC 1244, UN Charter etc.) Kosovo still is under Serbia’s sovereignty, International Court of Justice is giving its opinion about province’s unilateral declaration of independence btw asked by UN General Assembly.

Whatever – depending point of view – status Kosovo has, the province is de facto administrated by international community.  However the administration is still in full chaos because there is administrators more than enough.  1st (not order of authority) we have European Union Special reparesentative (EUSR) who is douple hatted as chef of International Community Office;  2nd we have Head of EU Commission lianson office; 3rd we have EULEX mission; 4th there is KFOR troops including Europe’s second largest Nato base, 5th international administrator is from UN side – SRSG as Head of UNMIK mission.   All these administrators are playing in the same sandbox wondering who is doing what and where.  In addition in Kosovo is also local stakeholders like separatist governments institutions in areas habitated by Abanians and parallel Serb institutions in areas habitated by Serbs.

The fact on the ground is that northern part of Kosovo is integrated to Serbia like it always has been, as well those pats south of Ibar river, which are not ethnically cleansed by Kosovo Albanians.  Between ethnic groups a huge operation of international community is going on with its foggy ideas.

Coming back to original statements of ex-PM Ceku – who BTW before was wanted about his war crimes – they may reflect the frustration to present situation and this has some potential to escallate violence again. If this self-declared quasi-independent puppet-state wants to start again some new conflict in Balkans lets hope that international community does not go to the same trap than before.

More articles about Balkan and Caucasus politics one may find from my Archive:Blog


Spark, fire and water: Kosovo & Georgia

August 19, 2008

Bearing in mind the risks for Poland’s allies in the Caucasus, Georgia above all, Warsaw’s recognition of the Kosovo Albanians’ secession was described as an irresponsible move by Nobel Peace laureate and former Polish president, Lech Walesa. “Recognizing Kosovo will bring nothing but trouble. No one can be denied the right to self-determination, but only within the bounds of common sense,” he was quoted as saying at the time. Walesa stressed in his statements to the Polish media that Kosovo was “with its irresponsible behavior, causing new divisions in Europe and globally and undermining international relations”. Jiri Dienstbier, former UN human rights rapporteur for former Yugoslavia and former Czech foreign minister has stated that “It is clear and certain, after all that’s been said and done, that Kosovo will never, but really never, be a legal and legitimate independent country.”

Spark & fire

Making references to both prestigious politician Mr Obrad Kesic from UPI has made quite interesting analysis with name “Kosovo spark, Ossetia fire” published in Middle East Times Aug. 13th.  He claims that “Kosovo’s independence came about in large part through an arrogant and reckless attitude in Washington, as well as in some EU capitals, that the positions of Serbia and Russia could simply be ignored”.

Mr.Kesic continues:

“The U.N. Security Council and international law could be bypassed simply by arguing that the Kosovo problem was “unique” and easily quarantined from other similar ethnically motivated disputes over territory. There was a mistaken belief that if American and EU diplomats, officials and leaders repeated the official mantra that “Kosovo is unique” and that “Kosovo is not a precedent” that this would suffice to contain any possible repercussions from a policy that was hastily endorsed as “the only possible” option. American and some European diplomats grew fond of saying that Serbia and Russia should accept “reality” and the “facts on the ground” in Kosovo.”

Water

The one exit way from current crisis is the one I fully can agree.  Mr. Kesic states:

One option is to admit the EU and U.S. policy on Kosovo was a mistake and attempt to manage the Georgian crisis in light of this. That would mean freezing Kosovo’s independence by returning complete authority over the province to the United Nations and by restarting negotiations between Serbs and Kosovar Albanians under U.N. sponsorship. For Georgia this would signify the only hope that Russia would lose its moral ground for further military escalation and that it could return to the status quo prior to its own military actions on Aug. 6. This would also allow for the United Nations to regain credibility and legitimacy for new peace talks on South Ossetia and Abkhazia and for any possible peacekeeping role.

If American and EU officials continue to ignore the new international reality that they have helped create by backing Kosovo’s independence, they will have chosen a road that will lead to new separatist conflicts well beyond the Balkans and the Caucasus.

Mr Kesic really hit the nail on the head – nothing to add!


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U.S. is satisfied with the progress Kosovo???

July 5, 2008

This week U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried said that the U.S. is satisfied with the progress Kosovo. He also add that:

It is a place completely independent, regardless of whether a UN resolution says that exists or not. It is independent. Kosovo has been recognized by two-thirds of the EU sates, Europe, Japan and Australia. It is as an independent country. I feel sorry that Russia has chosen to make this thing more difficult rather than to ease it, risking the stability but also the European future of Serbia”.

Few comments:

  • Completely independent must be a joke. Kosovo is UN protectorate where UN and EU are arguing who has authority to supervise it, Kosovo is occupied by KFOR troops owns one of the biggest Nato bases in its territory and has all symptoms to come next “failed state” in World.
  • Recognizing as argument fails also: 40 countries is not the world, some World´s biggest countries – Brazil, China, India, Russia have not recognized it are not planning to do it before new negotiations about status.
  • Russia has indeed made thing more difficult because it has defended UN Charter and international law which US&allies have been breaking last decades.
  • Strong arguments could be made that US Balkan policy has been risking the Balkan stability by creating a precedent to some 5000 ethnic groups scattered across the globe.

James Bisset was Canada’s ambassador to Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania. He is widely recognized as one of the foremost authorities on Balkan politics. I agree with most of his analysis and quote one of them here:

“United States policy in the Balkans has been dysfunctional since March 1992 when their Ambassador, Warren Zimmerman, persuaded Izetbegovic the Islamist leader of the Bosnian Muslims to withdraw his signature to the Lisbon Agreement. This decision which led to US acceptance of the results of an illegal referendum and recognition of the first Muslim state in Europe triggered civil war in Bosnia and led directly to the death and destruction that followed. In the following years US decisions have proven to be equally disastrous for the region.

The decision of the United States government to support the cause of the terrorist KLA in its armed rebellion to secede from Yugoslavia is another example of US policy making gone wrong.Their current policy supporting independence for Kosovo is but another chapter in an unfolding series of strategic errors.

United States policy in the Balkans has been characterized by cynicism, duplicity and short term tactical gain. By backing Islamist aims in the region and supporting terrorist groups in Kosovo there might be the immediate advantage of establishing a large military base in Kosovo or appeasing further Albanian demands by advocating independence for Kosovo but in the long term it will backfire.”

To me it is alarming, that this US policy has made both during democratic and republican US presidents and not only in Balkans but e.g. in Iraq also. Future shows if the change will come with new president, will he change old advisers also. And will US succeed to gain support for these actions either through the use of NATO or by persuading the European Community or the newly emerging states of Central and Eastern Europe to get on side.


Kosovo quasi-independence and it´s economical base

June 15, 2008

Today Kosovo had proclamation of it´s constitution. The mainstream media has highlighted conflicts of administration between UN and Kosovo institutions as well between UN and EU. The fact is anyway that the highest authority is the UN resolution 1244, which says that Kosovo is part of Serbia
(ex-Yugoslavia). Indepence declarations, local constitutions, Ahtisaari plan and EULEX are only at secondary level.

More important factor by my opinion for future of Kosovo is the economical base of this province. Official statistics from year 2006 shows that export from Kosovo amounted to 71.3 millon Euro while import increased to 1,241.7 million Euro (u by 802 million Euro compared with 2005). So the increase of import was more that the whole export.

From where is money coming to this consumption. The estimate is that when export brings mentioned 71 million Euro the organised crime (mainly drug trafficing) brings 1 bilion Euro, diaspora gives 500 million Euro and international community 200 million Euro.

If border control will bemore effective and when donations rom diaspora and international community are decreasing (like they have during last years) the basic question is how to reinforce the economical base of province.

Public debatte between UN and local politicians or between UN and EULEX is covering mentioned economical fact under. In my opinion Kosovo needs more economical development mission than rule and law mission. The later can be implemented trough UNMIK and Interpol. The future self-governance in Kosovo should have healthy economical base.


Co-rule as new option to open Kosovo deadlock

June 10, 2008

Albanian dominated Kosovo government is planning to start implement their quasi-independence 15th June, when UN should transfer administration to EULEX mission. Without new UN SG decision this is not realistic option so the the meaning of whole international administration, UN legacy and EU civil crisis management is in question.

One reasent option came public last week: UN may deside co-rule Kosovo with Serbia. This option is possible according resolution 1244. Practically it would mean, that Serbia would run vital services in Kosovo’s Serb populated areas. The UNMIK-Serbia partnership could be areas like bordercontrol Serbia-Kosovo boundary, customs, police, transport and telecom, justice and protection of Serbian cultral heritage. Already today e.g. education and health care north of Ibar river are integrated to Serbia.

Under UN/UNMIK EU could implement in some degree their EULEX so this option can be a realistic solution to this frozen conflict.

This kind of functional division would de facto mean partition but so what if this is pragmatical, long lasting and peaceful solution acceptable to local stakeholders.


Kosovo problem/my viewpoint

May 31, 2008

The Kosovo conflict is again its critical stage as serb and albanian postions are opposite. However situation is creating a possibility to find a pragmatic solution which could be acceptable compromise to both sides.

My proposal is simple: give the independence to south part and give the north part to Serbia. This solution was before not accepted in Contact group but many fieldworkers like I (nearly three years in Kosovo) have opinion that this is the only way out, it can solve the problem fast and with durable way. After this solution both sides can concentrate to future and international community can avoid a frozen conflict.

Official position of both sides is against any partition but in real field both ethnic groups will favor this. This pragmatic solution helps you to remove one conflict from the world, it can help to develop better relationship between great powers and it can give future perspective to the whole western Balkans.