With the upcoming elections, Kosovo's politicians have been declaring their net worth. Almost all of the candidates are worth more than a million Euros each while one has topped the 400 million Euro range. So far, the public has not been able to receive a disclosure from the politicians as to where the wealth has come from and there have been many allegations of corruption at the highest levels of politics with one source stating that following the "liberation" of Kosovo, "all the leading KLA commanders immediately 'liberated' the most attractive business premises and cafes".
An ex-KLA fighter has been arrested on suspicion of murdering 14 Serb farmers back in 1999. Mazllum Bytyqi was arrested in 2002 for the same charges but was later released due to a lack of evidence. KPS now says that new evidence has emerged in the killings of the farmers who were allegedly tending their fields when they were gunned down with an automatic weapon in Staro Gacko.
A new advertising campaign by Telecom Slovenia has stirred some ire when they referred to Kosovo as a state. In response to criticism, the company released a press statement explaining that the usage of the term "state of Kosovo" was in reference to the market and the company was not interested in the politics but rather their users. An interesting note at the end of the article is that in new atlases in Austria, Kosovo is already shown as an independent country.
The Albanian National Army (ANA) is stepping up their political rhetoric by issuing a statement that said if by 1 November KFOR, UNMIK, and KPS fail to take control of areas in northern Kosovo controlled by Serbs, they will step in and take control. North of the Ibar still has many parallel institutions and there has been criticism that the area is still under heavy influence of Belgrade.
A student union of the Pristina University called Student Initiative for Independence Kosovo has announced plans for a peaceful demonstration on 10 December. The students plan on demanding the Kosovo parliament to declare immediate independence and the demonstration will supposedly last until the parliament does so. Additional student groups have announced that they will hold similar protests on the same day as they do not belong to the Initiative group.
Other Kosovo News...
- International Crisis Group makes recommendations on how to maintain peace in Presevo Valley
- Belgrade reports that the EU is changing policy away from US-based plans regarding Kosovo
- Serbia offers near complete autonomy to Kosovo, but no independence
- Russia says talks must continue past 10 December
- Messy endgame delays US plans for withdrawal from Kosovo
- Serbia warns of "frozen conflict" if Kosovo declares independence
- A Serbian writer talks about the calamitous relationships between ethnic groups in ex-Yugoslavia in an article titled "Our negroes, our enemies"...this is probably one of the more interesting articles I've read for quite some time!