Kosovo. In July, the message came from the International Court of Justice in The Hague, which, at the request of Serbia, tested whether Kosovo’s declaration of independence in 2008 was in accordance with international law. The UN Court answered the question, which for Kosovo was a historically important success. Yet only 69 of the world’s countries had recognized the new state, including the United States and 22 of the EU’s 27 members. In the capital Priština, residents celebrated in the streets, but Serbs in northern Kosovo protested.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Kosovo has a population of 1.81 million. The Belgrade government also criticized the decision, saying that Serbia will never recognize the unilateral outbreak of the province. Despite this, in September Serbia said it was ready for direct talks with Kosovo, following pressure from the EU.
Shortly thereafter, Kosovo went into a political crisis when a court surprisingly ruled that President Fatmir Sejdiu could not simultaneously be the head of state and party leader. Sejdiu resigned and his party LDK (Kosovo Democratic Party) left the coalition government. In early November, Prime Minister Hashim Thais’s government lost a vote of confidence. The crisis caused the planned talks with Serbia to be frozen, and important economic reforms slowed down.
New elections were announced until mid-December. The election was conducted under calm conditions. The Thai party PDK received 34 percent of the votes and declared themselves victors. But accusations of cheating were made and the electoral authority decided that the election should be redone in five locations, in January. A few days after the election, the Council of Europe presented a report in which Thaçi was appointed as the leader of a mafia-like criminal in the 1990s. murder and organ trafficking. Thaçi, who was guerrilla leader during the 1998-99 fighting, dismissed all charges.
According to softwareleverage, Central Bank Governor Hashim Rexhepi was arrested in July in connection with a corruption investigation by the police and the EU legal authority EULEX. Rexhepi was the highest ranking person arrested for suspected corruption, but several other suspects had also had their offices searched. Kosovo’s leadership is accused of widespread corruption and is clearly aware that action must be taken if the desired EU membership is to be relevant.
- Abbreviation Finder: Check to see how the two letter abbreviation of KS stands for the country of Kosovo in geography.
In July, the UN Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia decided to resume the trial of former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, who was released in 2008. The court referred to new witnesses.
Milosevic’s Serbia and Rugova’s parallel state
On April 24, 1987, the president of the Serbian Communist Party, Ivan Stambolic, refused to participate in the demonstration organized in Kosovo Polje by a group of activists of Serbian nationalism, against which he had taken a stand several times, and appointed his deputy, Slobodan. Milosevic, to go there in his place. Milosevic, although never having expressed interest in the fate of Kosovo, immediately sensed that he could use the tensions and difficulties highlighted by the Serbian political intellectual party, as well as general discontent, to the advantage of his own political career. That same day, by chance a spectator of a brawl between demonstrators and police, he pushed through the crowd improvising a speech on the inviolable rights of the Serbs. He thus became the interpreter of
In late 1987, with Milosevic’s seizure of power in Serbia, tensions in Kosovo escalated further. When the government banned the use of Albanian as the official language in November 1988, the Trepca miners went on strike and marched to Pristina to join the student protest; the repression of the Serbian police was extremely harsh. In 1990 the autonomy of Kosovo was abolished and a strong campaign of Serbisation of all Kosovar institutions began.
Ibrahim Rugova, an intellectual from Pristina who had also been a pupil of Roland Barthes in Paris, took the field against these measures. Rugova promoted the formation of a non-violent resistance movement, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK, Lidhja Demokratike and Kosovës) and in 1991 organized a referendum on the sovereignty of Kosovo which was voted on by 99% of the voters and culminated in the proclamation of an underground state, the Republic of Kosovo, whose legitimacy was immediately recognized by Albania and of which Rugova became the first president. A curious coexistence was thus determined in the territory between the official Serbian state and the ‘parallel state’ of the Kosovo Albanians, within which Rugova had reorganized Albanian society, in an attempt to create new perspectives in the world of work, school, health and justice. The Serbs, while not recognizing this parallel structure, nevertheless tolerated it.
In 1995, when negotiations for the resolution of the conflict in Bosnia took place in Dayton (USA), with Milosevic for the Serbs, Tudjman for Croatia and Itzebegovich for the Bosnian Muslims, Rugova was not invited to the negotiating table and the question of Kosovo was mentioned only once in the final treaty, with the decision to bring numerous Kosovar exiles back to Pristina. This determined both a further exasperation of the tensions between the nationalists and Belgrade, and the formation, within Kosovo, of more and more energetic protests against the non-violent attitude that belonged to Rugova. In the urban centers of Kosovo, starting with Pristina, an anti-weed protest movement similar to the Palestinian intifada was formed and the KLA was started by an underground military movement (Ushtria clirimtare and Kosovës), a very tough guerrilla warfare, with terrorist attacks both against the Serbs and against the Albanians accused of collaborationism.