Monday, March 03, 2008

Latest Article from Peter Lippman

I mentioned the recent article by Peter Lippman, posted at Balkan Witness, in a post intended to alert readers to the spate of new articles at that website.

Given that Lippman touches on one aspect of this mostly uplifting story I haven't addressed yet, it is worth giving his article a bit more attention:

KOSOVO INDEPENDENCE

Specifically this paragraph:

" Albanians have been protesting what they see as the sellout of their self-determination by their leaders and by international officials. They see the negotiations and the international plan for "supervised independence" as trickery that will leave Kosovo partitioned. Indeed, a northern section of Kosovo never came under the UN's control; it is most likely that that area, never disconnected from Serbia administratively, will now remain under Belgrade's rule."

It is worth remembering that Kosova's independence is still somewhat "managed" by the international community. There is nothing wrong or sinister about this; given the circumstances, I cannot imagine any other process by which the region could move to full independence. But Lippman is correct to note that this arrangement--which has given grist to knee-jerk defenders of Serbian "sovereignty"--could also rankle ethnic Albanian sentiment.

3 comments:

Daniel (Srebrenica Genocide Blog) said...

There is about 5% Serbs and 92% Albanians in Kosovo. Northern Serb-controlled Kosovo was ethnically cleansed from Albanians and it comprises about 15% of Kosovo's territory. It is rather unique for 5% of minority to make so much trouble for an independent state. I cannot think of any cases in the world where 5% (or probably less than 5%) of people comprising one country can make so much trouble for that country. It's unbelievable and NATO, UNMIK, UN, and most importantly the Government of Kosovo must take control over their affairs and over their territory. This mess caused by 5% minority must not be tolerated.

Kirk Johnson said...

Hold on now, Daniel--I think most of the "mess" in Kosova can be attributed by the different governments in Belgrade and the hysteria whipped up by nationalists in Serbia proper. Let's not single out the 150,000-odd ordinary Serbs in Kosova who have been alternatingly deceived, exploited, and betrayed by the politicians of Serbia.

The Serb minority has every right to be anxious and more right now; at some level, I'm sure many of them realize that Serbs in Serbia proper don't really care about them except in the abstract.

Placing blame on the Serb minority is misplaced, and plays right into the hands of the elites who have manipulated this situation for too long.

Daniel said...

Well Kirk, you can put it any way you want, but they need to stop violence. Being anxious is fine, but terrorizing independent state of Kosovo isn't.