Far from independence, Kosovo’s Albanians will find themselves with a status of limited autonomy, closely monitored by the United Nations.
Special UN envoy Hans Haekkerup declared in Pristina on November 15th that next Saturday’s general elections in Kosovo will give the Albanians the autonomy they have been hoping for. However, the Kosovar Albanian leaders have been using the word “independence” in their political rallies.
As the Independent International Commission on Kosovo stated in a report released recently, independence will always be an illusion but never a fact.
The fact is that Haekkerup will have full powers over the newly-elected parliament, including the power to dissolve it. As governor of Kosovo, Haekkerup will be able to stall any moves towards independence.
Originally the birthplace of Serbia, after the battle of Kosovo Polye against the Ottoman Turks formed the Serbian nation, Kosovo has been the subject of decades of Albanian immigration, as these people came in search of better living conditions. Eventually, this ethnic minority turned the scales in the population balance and now forms 90% of the province’s ethnic composition.
Increased demands, first for cultural institutions, later for political organs, led to a clamp-down by Slobodan Milosevic, as the demands of the Kosovar Albanian politicians were backed up by the Ushtria Clirimtare e Kosoves (Kosovo Liberation Army), equipped and trained by the USA.
Terrorist activities by the KLA, against Serbs and Albanians alike, were met with stern action by the Yugoslav armed forces and interior ministry personnel. Accused of ethnic cleansing, President Milosevic was warned by the international community to adhere to the Albanians’ demands.
His defiance was his downfall, the beginning of NATO’s bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru