Tag Archives: Kosovo

UN And EU Agree Kosovo Can Be Independent

The United States and the European Union have sharply denounced Russia’s intervention in the dispute between South Ossetia and Georgia on grounds the government of Georgia has a right to retake regions which have broken away. Within days of blasting Russia, the UN and EU handed over power to the new EULEX which will work with the government of Kosovo and, in effect, recognize the right of the former part of Serbia to virtually be an independent nation. It is no wonder Russia regards support for the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia as hypocritical on the part of the United States and the EU. From the Russian perspective, the EU and American support the right of a region to break away from its mother country, but to not support the right of South Ossetia to break away from Georgia.

Sebia’s Defense Minister denounced the action as a violation of international law. Perhaps, it is time to clarify the right of regions to secede from a mother country. Currently, the situation is completely confusing.

Pro European Party Wins Serbian Election

The people of Serbia sent a message to the world of their support for entry into the European Union and gave nationalist forces a crushing defeat. President Boris Tadic’s pro European bloc won 39% of the vote while Serbian nationalists trailed far behind with 29%. The results surprised most political experts since opinion polls had indicated the nationalists would win by a solid margin. Tadic said: “Serbian voters have confirmed the clear European path for Serbia. Serbs want to go down the road to European Union and Serbia will be in the EU.” He, in effect, made the vote not just one that supported his government but one in which the people of Serbia were deciding to enter the EU or remain outside with the rabble rousing nationalists.

Most Serbians have come to recognize the old days of nationalistm and hate lead nowhere but to violence and economic backwardness. They want a resolution of the Kosovo issue and realize this best can be resolved within the contour of a European Union decision. Hopefully, this vote puts an end to the terrible war in Yugoslavia which devastated the country in the 1990s.

EU Concerned Over Serbian Election

The European Union is worried about the May 11 elections in Serbia where the ultra-nationalist Radical Party may become the stongest group in parliament. It is led by Tomislav “Toma” Nikolic, a rabble rouser who plays to nationalistic emotions and promises never to give up the fight to ensure Kosovo remains part of Serbia. He insists the European Union can not dictate what happens in Serbia or Kosovo and rejects the ideas of Serbian President Boris Tadic who wants his nation to enter the EU and find a way to resolve the Kosovo issue without violence. However, if Nikolic’s party gains about 30% of the vote it will probably become the largest political party in parliament.

Sebian nationalist refuse to enter into negotiation with the European Union until there is agreement that Kosovo is still part of Serbia, a demand that will not be accepted. Many Serbs want membership because it allows Serbians to find jobs in any EU nation. Most probably the election will result in a stalemate in Serbia with no political party strong enough to face the reality of an independent Kosovo.

Serbia Escalates Violence In Kosovo

The city of Mitrovica in northern Kosovo is a Christian Serbian enclave surrounded by Muslims who are happy at their nation’s declaration of independence from Serbia. Early this week, hundreds of Serbians in the town stormed the court house, took possession, and raised Serbian flags in protest. UN and NATO peacekeeping soldiers attempted to take back the court house, but hundreds of civilians poured into the street creating scenes of chaos in the town. The angry mob even freed a few dozen men who had been seized by NATO forces.

The Serbian government is engaged in a rather precarious game in which their goal is assuming control of areas in northern Kosovo where many Serbians still live and unite those areas with Serbia in an act of defiance to the world. The European Union and the United States fear any action to placate Serbians will initiate anger and violence on the part of Albania and Kosovo which could escalate into a more extensive war. On Monday, Serbian Foreign Minister for Kosovo said: “Have faith in Belgrade. We will pay back the international community for what they have done to us. Only Serbia should be responsible for Kosovo.”

The fighting words of the Serbian diplomat are certain to incite further action on the part of Muslims in Albania and Kosovo. The Serbian government realizes an invasion of Kosovo would bring down the wrath of NATO and the United States. In the meantime, they intend to keep things in a state of chaos.

Serb Riot In Kosovo Against UN Forces

Serbs living in northern areas of Kosovo rioted against western peacekeepers in the worst unrest since the Muslim dominated government of Kosovo declared its independence. UN riot police backed by NATO helicopters and armored vehicles used stun grenades and teargas to restore control of a court-building occpied by Serb activists in the Serb controlled town of Mitrovica. Dozens of people were hurt in explosions and clashes after riot police stormed the building at dawn. Most of Mitrovica’s 40,000 people are Serbs who oppose the Muslim decision to make Kosovo an independent nation and break away from control by Serbia.

There is little question the 300 Serbs who took over the court house were being supported by Serbian officials. The protestors raised Serbian flags over the building and indicated they want to remain part of Serbia. Milan Ivanovie, the Serbian leader claimed the Kosovo govenment had ordered NATO forces to drive out the protestors. There is fear Serbia wants to create a separate Serbian led government in northern Kosovo which would run the area, and, in effect, declare its independence from the govenment of Kosovo.

As always, ethnic conflicts divide and separate people in Europe and other parts of the world. The tangled web of anger and hate will not soon disappear from Kosovo until its government and Serbia can create the semblance of peaceful relations.

Serbians Riot And Europe Worries!

The government of Serbia encouraged mass demonstrations in the streets of Belgrade against the Kosovo announcement of independence. An estimated 200,000 people took part in the protest and as the evening wore on, hundreds headed for the United States Embassy to express anger at American support for Kosovo. Protestors trashed rooms, ripped down an American flag and set the building on fire. Firemen later found the body of one of the protestors who apparently died in the evening’s confusion. The United States issued a strong condemnation of the riot and said it would “hold the Serbian government personally responsible for th safety and well-being of our embassy employees.” The European Union also made clear its disapproval of acts of violence. Serbia has withdrawn its ambassadors from Autria and Germany because their governments have recognized Kosovo independence.

Lost in the night of rioting was increased concern in many parts of Europe which harbor separatist groups within their nations. Spain has problems with both Basque and Catalan separatists who might take hope from the success of Kosovo. Russia is always concerned about the issue of separatism since its nation contains many diverse ethnic and racial groups who not only have differing historical devlopments but are Muslim in religion.

The question of the hour is not so much the independence of Kosovo, but does it open a pandora’s box of separatist desires.

Independence Day– Kosovo Style

A tense quiet holds in Kosovo as the nation initiates its independence from Serbia. NATO peacekeepers believe they have the situation under control. A recent study reveals people in Kosovo are among the most optimistic in the world regarding what the future holds. The feeling of optimism comes from having the support of the European Union even though Russia is violently against the action. The choice of Sunday, Februaryy 17, was intended to link with the meeting of 27 EU member states in hope there would be quick recognition of the event. There are 3,300 French troops stationed in northeastern Kosovo in case any action is taken by Serbians in that region to circumvent the independence process.

It is reported the Serbian army has agreed to observe a five-kilometer corridor to avoid any conflict with European Union forces. The original fear the northeast heavily Serbian area would break away and declare its independence from Kosovo apparently has disappeared. EU officials expect rhetoric to be present in Serbian comments about the Kosovo action, but there is little concern any form of violence will ensue. The EU intends to make certain ethnic rights of Serbians in the new nation of Kosovo are protected.

China Opposes Kosovo Independence

Jubilant people in Kosovo celebrated the birth of their new nation, but Russia and China expressed strong displeasure at this move and placed blame on the United States and the
European Union. Russia expressed its view that “we strongly warn against any attempts at repressive measures should Serbs in Kosovo decide not to comply with this unilateral proclamation od independence.” The Chinese government also expressed anger at the announcement. “Kosovo’s unilateral act can produce a series of resutls that will lead to sereiusly negative influence on peace and stability in the Balkan region and on the realization of building a mlti-ethnic society in Kosovo.”

Both Russia and China contain peoples of diverse cultures and backgrounds so they oppose attempts by ethnic or racial groups to separate from the mother country. China is not concerned so much about stability in the Balkan region as it is within its own nation which contains large numbers of minority groups like the Tibetans who would love to be an independent nation.

At this point in time, the Russian government is posturing but it is doubtful if it has the capability of confronting the European Union or the United States in a military standoff.

Kosovo Conflict Returns To The Fore

Kosovo is preapared to declare its independence this coming weekend, and the world awaits Russia’s response to this event. The Putin government is strongly supporting Serbian opposition to the formal breaking away of an area that once was part of initially Yugoslavia, and later, Serbia. A more confident Russia is prepared to throw its weight of power behind its ally. Russia can not halt independence, but it has blocked recognition of this event by the United Nations. A major source of conflict that is emerging is over control of the Serb majority city of Mitrovica which is located in the northern part of Kosovo.

In 1999, the Yeltsin government sent Russian troops to seize the major airport of Kosovo and they remained until President Clinton exerted pressure for their withdrawal. No Russian troops will appear at the main airport in the coming days, but Russia might well support a Serbian takeover of the city of Mitrovica. Putin might even order in Russian troops to assist the Serbians which, in effect, would lead to a partition of the new nation of Kosovo.

In reality, neither NATO nor the UN have ever been able to exert control of theMitrovica area and, most probably, will stand down from an armed clash if Serbian and Russian troops seize control of the city. In the real world, nations don’t always get everything they desire.

Serbia Moves Right And May Be Left Out Of EU

The continuing presence of Kosovo made a large impact on this week’s election in Serbia with right wing extremists gaining victory in round one of the vote. Nationalist Tomisla Nikolic came out ahead of pro-western incumbent Boris Tadic by a score of 39% to 35%. Tadic told the nation the vote was between walking on a road leading to Russia or venturing on the more significant road leading toward membership in the European Union. A central issue of the vote revolved around the future of Kosovo which intends to declare its independence in the coming months. Tadic is trapped in a Catch 22- he opposes immediate independence for Kosovo but also wants Serbia to enter the EU. The European Union is supporting Kosovo’s desire to be an independent nation. Nikolic favors close ties with Russia which has been supportive of efforts to prevent Kosovo independence.

Nikolic wll employ waving the red flag of defiance against Kosovo, but, at best, he can delay but he can not prevent the breakaway from taking place. Tadic is speaking reality, but in many such cases a demagogue will gain the initial victory although when it becomes apparent it was rhetoric, the reality of what must be done will become reality.