Balkans News, Anyone?

by Gilles d'Aymery

November 27, 2000



From reading the news this week on an issue that has by in large gone under the radar screen it would seem that the renewed efforts from some "independentists" in Sandzak to create a Kosovo scenario all over again will fall on deaf ears in the chancelleries of the Western powers. Serbia has all but in name become the latest piece of the free-market puzzle in the Balkans and the stability of the region is messier than ever.

For cause:

The New York Times, Nov 25 (OP-ED) -
NATO troops are still essential for Balkan peace. Secretary General of NATO, Lord Robertson ends his Op-Ed with these words: " When historians look back, they will point to Dayton, and particularly the decisive role played by the United States and NATO, as the beginning of the events that have led to renewed hope for the entire region."

Questions: A hopeful region, really? Is Lord Robertson aware that the past elections in Bosnia- Herzegovina saw a significant gain of the three nationalist factions?

PRISTINA, Yugoslavia, Nov 23 (AFP) -
A group of armed ethnic Albanians have blocked a road leading from the southern town of Bujanovac to the province of Kosovo, the Serbian interior minister said Thursday.

"Armed Albanians have blocked the road linking Serbia with the (eastern Kosovo) town of Gnjilane between Konculj and Bujanovac," Stevan Nikcevic told AFP by phone.

Question: This kind of hope?

PRISTINA, Yugoslavia, Nov 23 (AFP) -
A senior political advisor to moderate Kosovo leader Ibrahim Rugova, Xhemajl Mustafa, was shot and killed Thursday in Pristina, UN police spokesman Charley Johnson said.

Question: Or this kind?

BELGRADE, Nov 24 (AFP) -
Serbian police have given NATO-led peacekeepers in Kosovo 72 hours to put an end to ethnic Albanian guerrilla attacks in a buffer zone in southern Serbia, an interior minister said Friday.

"We're serious. We will wait 72 hours beginning at 7:00 pm (1800 GMT). After that, we will return to this territory with all the forces at our disposal," said Bozo Prelevic, one of Serbia's three interior ministers.

He said that if the peacekeepers from the Kosovo force (KFOR) had failed to produce results by Monday at 7:00 pm (1800 GMT), the police will ask Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica and NATO to re-open an accord on the buffer zone.

Under that accord negotiated between Belgrade and NATO last year, Yugoslav troops are forbidden from entering a five-kilometer (three-mile) demilitarized zone that runs along the Serbian side of the administrative border of Kosovo.

Question: Or again this one?

ZAGREB, Croatia, Nov 24 (AP) -
The chief United Nations administrator for Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner, warned the European leaders that the province may be racing toward a new round of ethnic violence.

"I'm very worried," Mr. Kouchner said. "I hope that I will be completely wrong, but I'm very, very worried.

Note: Because, as we all know, the violence had subsided in the past 18 months!

The New York Times, Nov 24 (Steven Erlanger's article) -
"To help develop market activity and promote democracy and regional trade, the European Union is offering the main countries of the western Balkans - Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia, Yugoslavia and Albania -- $3.9 billion from 2000 to 2006." [One quarter of this economic aide has already been provided]

Question: And how much has been destroyed in the region by NATO?

"The European Union also, at the beginning of this month, lifted nearly all customs duties for products from the region [95 percent], another effort to stimulate economic growth. While European Union countries import from these Balkan countries less than 2 percent of what they export to them, the symbolism and incentive is clear."

"Client state: a country that is economically, politically, or militarily dependent on another country" (Webster's 10th).
Synonyms: "vassal state" or "occupied territory"


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Related links

Back to the Future - by Aleksandra Priestfield



Resources on the War in Yugoslavia and its Aftermath


Articles Published on Swans Regarding the War in Yugoslavia and its Aftermath

Published November 27, 2000
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