Thursday, June 14, 2007

Last One Left, Turn Off the Lights

This week begins a sad procession of friends leaving the mission.  Over the next month, at least five people that I consider friends will leave Kosovo for home.  As the mission drags on, more and more people are leaving and it makes me wonder if I'll be left in the end to turn off the lights?!  To my friends that are leaving, I hope that we will meet again sometime soon and until then take care!

MTCowgirl's Kosovo News Update...
Russia is protesting being excluded from talks on Kosovo.  A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry stated that the private discussions between leaders of Western countries leads "one to think that unilateral scenarios for Kosovo's independence are being prepared".

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has released a report that the UN has undermined its legitimacy due to a lack of accountability.  The report goes on to discuss the lack of remedies for human rights violations by the two organizations.  Despite all appearances of having mechanisms in place to investigate or deal with complaints, the offices are weak with little authority to do anything in regards to citizen complaints.  In 2006, the Ombudsperson Institution was stripped of its ability to investigate complaints against UNMIK or KFOR.  The report also tells the EU mission planners to avoid arrogance and make itself accountable to Kosovo courts.

There are always reports of people being denied exit from Kosovo due to fake or altered travel documents however in an interesting case yesterday, 19 Albanians from Kosovo were arrested by Macedonian police after attempting to cross the border with fake Swedish passports.  I don't recall ever seeing a report of so many people arrested with the same kind of fake document.