Thursday, March 23, 2006

International Pressure

With independence seeming inevitable for Kosovo, the international leaders of the EU and contact group are putting pressure on the Albanian leadership to stop giving lip service about minority rights and start acting.  Javier Solano, the EU's foreign policy chief, says that it is time "to talk less, and act more".  The EU is stressing that guaranting minority rights in Kosovo is a fundamental issue that must be resolved during the status talks.  So far minority rights have not been discussed during the negotiations but rather the focus has been on local government issues.  The next round of talks are scheduled to begin on the 3rd of April in Vienna.

Elsewhere in the news, a report from the Council for Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms shows similarities between the manner that the Albanians lived in the 1990's under Milosevic's reign and the manner that the Serbians are living in Kosovo today. There is alsol a large community of Roma, Ashkalia, Egyptian (RAE communities) living in North Mitrovica in extreme poverty.  Flooding and fires this winter has left many families with nothing more than the clothing they were wearing at the time.