Thursday, November 23, 2006


Tim Judah writes:

Kosovo Albanians are still reeling from the discovery that the “final status” of Kosovo will not be decided by the end of this year as their leaders promised and as members of the Contact Group countries dealing with the issue had hoped.Now they face what some diplomats are calling the “the double disappointment” of additional delays that could push recognition of their new state back to late next summer or beyond.


Looks like my mission to blog to independence day has been extended by a couple of months. I'm sad and furious. The next couple of days will be very interesting. Depending on how much this news spreads in Kosovo we may be in for some good old rioting on the 28th. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Two bombs

A bomb explodes in a classroom that 20 minutes earlier had hosted Serb children B92

This is just what Kosovo needs at this time. We're lucky nobody was hurt.


Several sources have been reporting the same thing. Stances of the internationtional community on status will be presented soon after the elections in Serbia - probably in January. There won't be a wait for a new Serb government to form.

“After the postponement, this means right after the elections, several days, a week or two, but soon after the elections, the two sides will be presented with Mr. Ahtisaari’s proposal. After that we wish to quickly continue towards the completion of the process.” [US Ambassador Michael] Polt said.

B92 - News - Politics - Solution to immediately follow elections

Of course, it would be interesting if the whole Serb government resigns in wait for the new coalition to be formed in Belgrade. Do you think Serbia will be able to buy more time this way? What if it really starts making significant cocessions in January?

Monday, November 20, 2006


"We are suggesting no more than 2,500 people in all [to be the national defense force], very small, to be recruited from across the population of Kosovo, with no bars ethnically to anyone, no bars to current members of the Kosovo Protection Corps applying for posts within the defense force, but no right to posts within the defense force," said General Welch.

VOA News - New Report Calls for Creation of Defense Force for Kosovo

And what are you going to do with the rest of them? The KPC force already has only 3,000 permanent members, with 2,000 in reserve. You don't just disband an army. I thought we learned this in Iraq.

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Branch Office of Kosovar Agency for Investment Promotion opens in ViennaLuan Ibraj20 November 2006As per a project financed by the Austrian Development Agency – ADA, the Economic Initiative for Kosova - ECIKS will represent the Investment Promotion Agency of Kosovo - IPAK in German Speaking Countries. The project is to be implemented by ECIKS and supported by Kosovar Ministry for Trade and Industry.

SEE Portal - Homepage / News / News:Kosovo - Branch Office of Kosovar Agency for Investment Promotion opens in Vienna

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Kosovo's Identity Crisis

"Now that they have almost achieved their goal of independence, the Kosovar Albanians are playing it safe. They have nothing to gain from upsetting negotiations on final status," says a European diplomat. "But there is a limit to their patience, and the politicians say it is increasingly hard to keep control of the more unruly elements," he adds. Many think the outburst of violence in 2004 was in fact salutary because it reminded the international community that Kosovo still existed.

During a visit to Paris last month the Kosovar prime minister, Agim Ceku, underlined his people's "concern" at the delay to negotiations. "People are fed up. They get the impression nothing is happening, whereas the situation is dramatic," says Nehad Islami, a moderate Albanian writer. "Almost half the population is unemployed and the others are living below the poverty line. They may blow their top at any time," warns Avni Zogani, of the Cohu! (Wake up!) organisation, which is trying to raise civic awareness among Kosovars.

Le Monde through Guardian Weekly

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

God's glory, man's shame

God's glory, man's shame, originally uploaded by kosova cajun.

Kosova cajun has many more beautiful photos.

Monday, November 13, 2006

FT Commentary

There are risks in imposing an early settlement. Belgrade could stir up Kosovo's Serbs, break transport links and - just possibly - provoke violence. But it must see that only the Serb-majority zone in northern Kosovo could possibly benefit. Serb communities in the south would face total isolation, or worse.

However, the dangers of international inaction are greater. Delay poisons Kosovo by preventing ethnic Albanians taking responsibility for their future and hampers economic development, as few companies will invest in a stateless zone. And, worst of all, it risks provoking renewed violence from frustrated ethnic Albanians.(FT)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Inevitable Chaos?

Morton Abramowitz and James Lyon:

The West must ignore Belgrade's siren song. Serbian politics will be chaotic and unstable for the foreseeable future, and Serbian politicians will attempt to present this as an excuse to avoid facing the loss of Kosovo. Likewise, there will be problems establishing ties between Serbia and Kosovo under any circumstances.

But failure to proceed definitively now on Kosovo's final status will produce a worse Balkan situation -- one that blocks Serbia's move toward the West and membership in the EU, condemns Kosovo's ethnic minorities to dangerous ambiguity and imperils fragile states like Bosnia and Macedonia.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

BIRN Goodies

Richard Holbrooke, the former American diplomat and wartime mediator in Bosnia, suggested Russia’s threats over Kosovo were mainly bluff. He said he did not believe that “Russians are that stupid” to use their UN veto over Kosovo.
“The Russians don’t give a damn about the Serbs,” Holbrooke added. (
Full Article)

Turning to the failed negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo in Vienna, Holbrooke says that irrespective of tactical errors on the Albanian side, “history is on the side of the Kosovo Albanians for the first time in 800 years. The horrible events of 1912 and 1989 are in the process of being reversed. Albanians are very understandably impatient.. [and] I share that impatience”.

Holbrooke says the atmosphere of diplomatic lethargy in the State Department under Colin Powell only changed when Condoleezza Rice replaced him as secretary of state in January 2005 and as Nicholas Burns became her under secretary for political affairs.
“They made a brilliant decision to appoint Frank Wisner as the American envoy,” he said. “Wisner is one of the greatest diplomats of his generation. Wisner has just mastered the issue, and he and Ahtisaari will push it forward.” (The other article/interview)

Holbrooke also chastises Bush for not solving the problem when Dindic overthrew Milosevic. Not to stop with the Powell replacement, I would add that the recent sweep of the Hill by the Democrats is a good sign as well considering the similar approaches to foreing policy that Democrats and the career diplomats at the Foggy Bottom have.


Andrej Nosov, human rights activist from Belgrade, on the other hand talks of the "EU fix" for Serbia. Is EU helping the matter by closing its eyes? Is Europe by lowering its standards spoiling Serbia? 

There is no a rationale for Kosovo to remain under the Serbia's jurisdiction, whatever new draft constitution says. It is crystal clear that Kosovo has been independent from Belgrade for seven years already. The only issue for Belgrade is to negotiate a new position for the Kosovo Serbs with its counterparts in Pristina.
 Isolated in their remote enclaves, the Kosovo Serbs have been left to their own devices, to be used as pawns in Belgrade's power games. There is even a danger that Belgrade may encourage them to pack up and flee to Serbia proper in keeping with its own internal agenda. (
Full commentary)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Rape of Serbia

A Serb poet commented last year: "If Kosovo is not ours, why are they asking us to give it up? If it is theirs, why are they taking it by force? And if they can take it by force, why they are so circumspect about it?"

The Empire is pushing hard for the ruling circles in  Belgrade to give up Kosovo, declare the rape of 1999 consensual, and abandon claims to law and principle in favor of temporary expedience. It is not a trade; the Empire is not offering anything. To take Kosovo, the Empire needs Serbia's The Rape of the Sabine consent. Much as some people in Belgrade would be happy to oblige, that consent is not theirs to give.

The battle for Kosovo is not over yet. (

Methinks: If the Empire offers something, does that make Serbia a prostitute? Ok, ok, how about a depressed gold digger?

Prizren, Kosovo [edit]

Prizren, Kosovo, originally uploaded by cabiria8.

One thing Serbs and Albanians agree on - that Prizren is called Prizren.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Gloomy ICG

International Crisis Group report on the new constitution of Serbia:

Belgrade continues to pursue three main Kosovo goals: first to delay status resolution indefinitely, in hopes of provoking Albanian violence and so strengthening Serbia’s position at the bargaining table; secondly, partition; and thirdly, to keep Kosovo from gaining diplomatic recognition and UN membership.

The new constitution makes it legally impossible – without further constitutional amendment – for Serbia to recognise Kosovo independence and could contribute to long-term political instability should it sanction neighbouring states for doing so. This would continue Serbia in its generation-long role as a source of instability in the Balkans, though it does not appear Belgrade would use its security forces to assert its territorial claim to any areas of Kosovo south of the Ibar River.

There is significant domestic political pressure against early parliamentary elections, particularly from the SPS, SRS, and DSS, but there is an increasing possibility they may be held within three months. It is doubtful that they would include a presidential election. The government, however, still wants to delay new elections as long as possible, partially in the hope this would cause the international community to delay the Kosovo status process out of concern an independence decision could bring the SRS to power. A real possibility exists that the new constitution could be misused to impose a temporary state of emergency to deal with the government’s political enemies.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Lynx

Balkan lynx gets featured on the BBC. Once the lynx was an inhabitant of the deserted and mountainous Kosovo-Albania border. With the mines, bomblets, and the people movement in the recent years, I wonder what has happened to what is a very shy animal.