Monday, May 21, 2007

Independence Delayed???

In his weekly radio address, Kosovo PM Agim Ceku has stated that "Independence will not happen this month, but in June".  Just a few weeks ago, Ceku said that Kosovo would be independent by the end of May.    It is not uncommon for Kosovo politicians to promise independence by a certain date and then retract those statements.  Ceku's predecessor Kosumi had promised independence in June 2006.  Ceku has also toned down some of his unilateral declaration rhetoric and is now saying that Kosovo will not declare independence following a Russia veto until it has consulted with its allies in the US and EU.
The UN has overthrown a decision by the local government concerning building a protective wall around a church in Pec/Peja.  The local government ordered the work on the wall because the church allegedly did not receive permission to build.  The SRSG, Joachim Rueker, issued an executive order that the work can continue until the dispute is resolved.  The patriarchate of Pec stated that the wall is needed to protect the church and its inhabitants as the Italian troops and their sandbags would not stay forever.  In response to the SRSG's executive order, around 30 Vetevendosje activists attempted to march to the patriarchy but were stopped by police.

In other news, in Macedonia an ethnic-Albanian who worked for the Ministry of Justice was arrested for attempting to smuggle three Kosovo- Albanians across the border into Greece.  Menduh Kuci, a courier from the Tetevo branch of the ministry agreed to transport three K-Albanians to the Greek border in exchange for a payment of 130 Euros.  Because Kuci took a wrong turn, he was arrested at the Macedonian-Serbian border (he went north instead of south!) He reportedly mistook the border crossing for a toll-booth and showed his government ID card to pass the "toll".  The K-Albanians were deported as they were in Macedonia illegally.

On 2 June, the Sports Committee is going to hold a Beach Volleyball and BBQ at TSS.  Look on Lotus Notes and the Intranet for more details.  You can get a registration form online or at one of the Pristina UNWind Gyms.  Oh, and let me welcome the new American Civpol contingent to Kosovo :o)