Tuesday, September 18, 2007

MTCowgirl Rising

That would be rising from beneath the pile of paperwork that has found its way to my desk over the past couple of weeks!!!  In addition to my normal work, I've been busy with my volunteer work in the UNMIK SRC Sports Committee organizing a football tournament last weekend, a basketball tournament this weekend, and a beach volleyball tournament the week after!  UN folks, look for the UNMIK Broadcasts for registration deadlines and times!
Over the past week the electricity situation has taken a downward turn when KEK took the B-plant offline for maintenance.  However now with the beginning of Ramadan, it looks like some power is being imported because the power cuts have stopped.  With the ABC scheduling, A-areas have 24/7 power, B-areas are supposed to have 5:1, and C-areas will either have 5:1 or 4:2.  The power schedule can be checked on KEK's website each day.  Related to the power situation, I found an article on the Trading Markets website about how the power cuts have affected Kosovo businesses.

Also as expected, the water situation has been bad over the past couple of months.  I don't notice it so much due to a huge water tank at the flat but my other friends in the neighborhood have been complaining about frequent water cuts during the daytime and of course, the normal cuts from 11pm-5am each day.  There are predictions that because we have had a long, hot summer this winter will be long, cold and there will be lots of snow.  That hopefully will help refill the water reservoirs for next year although I do believe that the local population needs to be taught water conservation techniques.

Around Kosovo in the past week or so a couple interesting things have happened.  The first is that KPS discovered a document forger during a vehicle checkpoint last week.  During a vehicle search, officers found numerous passports and other official documents.  Following up with a warrant, the police searched the home of the suspect and found more documents issued by both Yugoslav and UNMIK authorities.  The investigation continues and it seems that KPS is searching for associated suspects.

A memorial to an Albanian murdered in 2000 was demolished by a group of persons driving Serbian-plated vehicles in northern Mitrovica causing concern in the Kosovo parliament.  Several MPs accussed Serbia of being instrumental in the destruction of the Avni Hajradinaj memorial and calling it a bid to destabilize Kosovo.

Vetevendosje is back to defacing property again.  Over the weekend, activists defaced the blast barrier outside UN MHQ stating "UNMIK is manipulating children" evidently in reference to the painting of the blast barrier on UN Ambassador's Day by local children.  Yet other than that, the group has been suspiciously quiet over the past few months since they toss the "Go to Hell" box over the gate of the UN.

And as usual, there has been the typical political banter over the status.  Kosovo PM Ceku has been in the press again stating that Kosovo will be independent by the end of 2007 even if it means a unilateral declaration.  Serbia has suggested that the EU warn Kosovo against a unilateral declaration and also demanded explanations from the US on its policy of supporting a unilateral declaration.  Meanwhile, Kosovo will be presenting a peace treaty during negotiations in London to Serbia that calls for good relations.  Then PM Ceku is in the news again as he has asked for clarification from EU's envoy Wolfgang Ischinger on his statements to Britain's The Independent that Kosovo was no longer being offered supervised-independence.  And of course, we can't forget the Russians who are warning that a unilateral declaration would start a chain reaction!  It's nearly enough to make one's head not only spin but perhaps pop off due to the high velocity that could be attained by trying to keep up with the never-ending onslaught of he-said-she-said...but faithful readers fear not as I will continue to be your personal bobble-head in search of the latest news on Kosovo :)

Finally, what blog post is complete without my MTCowgirl's Interesting News Articles...especially when I've missed nearly two weeks!