Balkans: Kosovo Catastrophe Coming

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June 15, 2006: Under pressure from the European Union. Bosnia admitted that in 2002 it allowed U.S. troops to seize six Algerian men suspected of terrorist activity, and move the six to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

June 13, 2006: Turkey and Australia signed a new defense cooperation agreement. The agreement specified cooperation on training and defense material. It also mentioned cooperation on ANZAC Day commemorations (no doubt at the World War I battlefield of Gallipoli).

Serbia's prime minister said that Serbia is "counting on Russia's support" to solve the Kosovo issue. For centuries Russia has regarded itself as the protector of the south Slavs (the Yugo Slavs). Serbia hopes that Russia will stop any UN effort to permanently separate Kosovo from Serbia.

June 9, 2006: UNMIK police in Kosovo arrested 36 Albanian Kosovars. The ethnic Albanians were participating in a pro-independence demonstration.

June 7, 2006:Turkey's "moderate Islamist government," led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that it is committed to joining the European Union. Turkish secularists (Kemalists) have accused Erdogan of diminished interest in joining the EU.

June 6, 2006: UN peacekeepers will increase security operations in Kosovar Serb-dominated areas of Kosovo. Kosovar Serbs have accused the Kosovar Albanians of "reverse"ethnic cleansing--ie, attempting to drive ethnic Serbs out of Kosovo.

June 5, 2006: Serbia ended its participation in the Serbia-Montenegro union. Serbia action was a pro forma response to Montenegro's decision to declare independence. Action in the Serb parliament declared Serbia as "the successor of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro."

Serb leaders in Kosovo said they would end contacts with the United Nations and Kosovar Albanian authorities. Kosovar Serbs also demanded a return of Serb police to protect them from attacks by Kosovar Albanians.

June 2, 2006: Bosnia's State Investigation and Protection Agency arrested three alleged war criminals. The arrests took place in the town of Mostar. The suspects were identified as Marko Radic and Dragan Sunjic (both Bosnian Croats), and Emir Brekalo (a Bosniak, ie Bosnian Muslim). The three men served with the Bosnian Croat HVO militia from 1992-95.

June 1, 2006: NATO peacekeepers said they would reopen a military base in northern Kosovo. The base area is adjacent to Serbia and was at one time operated by Belgian peacekeepers. The UN and NATO are under pressure by Kosovar Serbs to provide additional protection to Kosovo's Serb minority.

 

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