The question on everyone's minds lately is whether or not the UN Security Council will make a decision soon about the future status of Kosovo. If bookies were taking bets on when Kosovo would gain independence, a lot of people would be losing money. No one really knows what will happen in the next few weeks, months, or even years. Kosovo PM Agim Ceku when asked when Kosovo would be independent said "Very Soon" while one Kosovo newspaper quoted an unnamed Western diplomat who said that the vote would occur by June 29th. Meanwhile, the US ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, told reporters that the US expects that the issue will be voted on sometime this week.
The issue of deciding Kosovo's status seems to boil down to a situation much like after you've gone all in at a poker game and you are looking around the table to see what everyone else will do. Thinking of poker, to a degree the West has been criticized for not taking Russia's threat to use its veto seriously enough...perhaps they thought to call a bluff when the other side wasn't really bluffing.
The situation does make one wonder if the countries who have been pushing to resolve the status are really overly concerned about what the Albanian population wants. IMHO it's more about "what's in it for me". For the US, it's the creation of a Muslim-state in the "heart of Europe" and proving that our country and government isn't waging a war on Islam just terrorists (who happen to be Muslim?!) For Russia, well it goes both ways, they'd probably be happy with any decision because they can apply it in Chechnya or other breakaway provinces who want to rejoin Russia. Indonesians are looking at how the situation can be applied to them and their two provinces that are vying for independence.
MTCowgirl's Kosovo News Update -->
Albin Kurti was indicted yesterday for having a role in organizing the violent protest on 10 February which resulted in the deaths of two protestors. He also is facing charges for obstructing police and "calls to resistance" according to a UN statement. Kurti was released some time ago from his pretrial detention but was re-arrested shortly after being placed on house arrest for speaking to the media and leaving his home without permission.
Reuters AlertNet takes a look at What's Wrong with Ahtisaari's Plan and the Jakarta Post looks into how some Indonesians seem to be more concerned about Muslims abroad (Kosovo) than at home (Aceh). The LA Times features an article on how the future of Kosovo independence cuts two ways, the Albanians get what they want but the Serbs say it diminishes their chances of returning.
When it comes to separatist movements elsewhere in the world, many politicians have said over and over that the Kosovo situation is unique but others have compared Kosovo to say the Kurdish territory in Iraq and drawn many parallels. No matter what the diplomats or Security Council says, movements around the world are carefully watching the situation and waiting to see if they can apply any decisions made to their own causes. The Washington Times looks into some of the different groups watching Kosovo. The leaders of breakaway republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia signed a joint statement on Monday that states that they have "more rights than Kosovo to be recognized independent". The statement was addressed to the Secretary-General of the UN and Council of Europe as well as the heads of various international organizations in order to "represent Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's position" on the independence of Kosovo.