While the rise of Russia is seen as a good sign to contain America’s belligerence, on the flip side, Moscow is courting the Serbs in Bosnia threatening the Muslim majority country in the Balkans.2
After a five-year trial, Radovan Karadzic, the Serbian terrorist and mass murderer was sentenced to 40 years in jail for killing 8,000 Bosnian men and children in Srebrenica in July 1995. His other crimes--crimes against humanity and war crimes--were in addition. Most people felt it was not enough. He should have been given at least a life sentence. After all, he got only 1.85 days for each murder. Is that justice?
The two defendants convicted of genocide were Lt. Col.Ljubisa Beara, 70. A third Bosnian Serb Army officer, Drago Nikolic, 52, was found guilty of aiding and abetting genocide and sentenced to 35 years. Four other defendants were convicted of crimes against humanity and other wartime atrocities...
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was in the headlines again last month. On June 12, Milan Martic, the former leader of the rebel Serb authorities in Croatia, was found guilty of most of the charges in the indictment against him. He was tried, found guilty and sentenced to 35 years' imprisonment by the ICTY.
Albanians constitute at least 90 percent of Kosova’s population, populating virtually the entire country, while the tiny Serb minority is mostly in an enclave in the north and in much smaller ones in the predominantly Albanian-populated areas. The Albanians laid the basis for their country’s independence and for the exercise of their right to self-determination under international law as a result of the 1998–99 Kosova war that successfully ended Serbia’s control.
It was as long ago as 1999 that NATO launched air attacks on Serbia, ostensibly to end the ‘ethnic cleansing' of Kosovan Albanians, and the UN Security Council turned Kosova into a protectorate of the UN, with six countries – America, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia – acting as the ‘contact group'. Yet the UN is still administering the province, and NATO troops (about 17,000 of them) remain in place to preserve a grudging peace between the Albanian Kosovars and the remaining Serb minority.
It is not as unfair as it might sound to describe the management of Kosova’s affairs (mismanagement, according to many analysts) by the UN and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) as meddling...
Last month’s conviction of three Serbs as war criminals at the Hague Tribunal brought little joy to the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Hundreds of thousands still await the results of forensic tests to identify relatives after their bodies were exhumed from mass graves...
Four years after being forced to leave Kosova (1999), Serbian politicians have stepped up what Kosovar prime minister Bajram Rexhipi calls "diplomatic attacks on Kosova". As on many occasions in Serbia’s recent history, Serbian politicians appear to be competing in their use of nationalist rhetoric against non-Serb neighbours in order to rally support (presidential elections are due next year) and to divert atttention from domestic issues.
The arrest last month in Serbia of Slobodan Milosevic on corruption charges has aroused hopes that he might one day be brought to the Hague to face war crimes charges. He has already been indicted as a war criminal.
The west’s handling of the recent outburst of violence in south-eastern Serbia and north-western Macedonia has exposed what it stood for all along: to quash the aspirations of ethnic Albanians in the former Yugoslavia for independence and freedom...
A major Serb offensive which began in late July has made major gains against the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA) during August.
Last month’s much-vaunted demonstration of NATO air power had no effect whatsoever on Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic’s campaign of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Kosova. Eighty-five aircraft, representing 13 of NATO’s 16 members...
Serbia’s ethnic cleansing of parts of Kosova was stepped up again early this month, in the west of the country. The epicentre of the latest drive appears to be Decan, a town of some 60,000 Kosovars and an estimated 500 Serbs.
Talks between Belgrade and Prishtina on the future of Kosova finally began last month, following pressure on Kosova president Ibrahim Rugova by Richard Holbrooke, the US diplomatic ‘troubleshooter’ who mediated the Dayton Peace Agreement which ended the Bosnian war in December 1995.
The first point any informed reader will note about this book is that Malcolm uses the Serbian form ‘Kosovo’ throughout in preference to the Albanian form ‘Kosova’, used by Kosovars themselves. As in the Bosnian case, the use of terminology in discussing Kosova is politically sensitive.
The Serb assault on the Muslims of Kosova was renewed late last month, with operations in the Decani and Djakovica regions southwest of the capital Prishtina, close to the border with Albania.
Kosova went to the polls on March 22, to re-elect Dr Ibrahim Rugova as president and to elect 130 members to the country’s second Parliament, even though the first Parliament, elected in 1992, was never able to meet.
The long awaited and feared Serb assault on the Muslims of Kosova was feared to have begun earlier this month. In scenes eerily reminiscent to the beginning of the Serb assault on Bosnia-Herzegovina...
The recent ethnic wars and crises that have ravaged the Balkans over the last few years are a reminder of the complexity of a region where past enmities and unsettled grievances, as well as thwarted national aspirations and traumas, retain their powerful presence, often hidden behind the artificial carapace and boundaries of the modern nation-State.