Balkans: One Step Closer to War in Kosovo

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March 11, 2006: The newly elected Kosovo prime minister, Agim Ceku, is a former commander in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). As such, he has been convicted of war crimes by Serb courts, and if international courts looked into Cekus record, they would probably concur. To the Serbs, Cuku as prime minister means that the Albanians mean to clear all the Serbs out of Kosovo, by any means at hand. The majority of Kosovar Albanians agree with this, making it difficult for the UN to send troops to protect Kosovo from a Serbian invasion. And that's what the Serbs are threatening, to protect the Serbs in Kosovo, and the claim that Kosovo still belongs to Serbia.

March 7, 2006: The UN insists that Kosovo must protect Kosovar Serb rights. The UN is sponsoring "final status" talks between Kosovo and Serbia. Kosovar Serb reluctance to participate in Kosovo's politics is understandable-- Albanian Kosovar guerrillas have been conducting a quiet version of "ethnic cleansing" in an attempt to drive Kosovar Serbs out of the province. The new Kosovo prime minister-designate, Agim Ceku, is trying to bring Serb Kosovars into the political process (does this sound familiar?).

March 6, 2006: Thee United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) said that it would not interfere in the prime minister election process. Former Kosovo Liberation Army member Agim Ceku will likely become prime minister. Serbia had asked the UN to block Ceku's election. The EU said its Bosnia peacekeeping force may be reduced from its current 6,700 troops. The EU says the force may go down to 6,000 troops after Bosnia's next elections, which are scheduled for October.

March 4, 2006: Bosnian sources reported that a Bosnian businessman "associated" with alleged war criminal Radovan Karadzic, was murdered by gunmen in the town of Toplik.

March 2, 2006: Bosnian border guards killed a drug smuggler in a shootout near the town of Bileca. Bosnia, Serbia-Montenegro, Albania, and Macedonia have discussed improving police efforts to stop smuggling in the Balkans. The Balkans have become the primary drug route for shipping heroin into western Europe.

 

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