Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fighting the Kosovo Krud

Yes, yes, I am still alive (although it feels like barely at times!) After a sudden shift in the temperature last weekend lots of people came down with the flu including yours truly.  Then during the recovery from flu I managed to develop a nasty throat infection from which I am still recovering.  We like to call it the Kosovo Krud...the bi-product of the pollution and other nasty stuff we inhale in Kosovo.

With the campaign for the US elections in full swing, policy towards Kosovo has been in the headlines particularly in reference to where Presidential-hopeful Obama stands in regards to Kosovo's independence.  With statements on both sides of the fence, Obama's camp issued a statement clarifying that he supports Kosovo independence.  Both his running mate, Joe Biden, and personal advisor, Richard Holbrooke, have been long and strong supporters of Kosovo independence so it comes as little surprise to see the clarification come out.

Yesterday there was an explosion in Sunny Hill near a casino as two criminal gangs fought it out on the streets of Pristina in the wee hours of the morning.  The explosion comes in midst of reports of how Kosovo has some of the cheapest narcotics in the region and police arresting arms smuggling gangs as well as the continued news on fuel smuggling in the north of Kosovo.

The number of countries recognizing Kosovo has gone up to 46 with the tiny Pacific country of Samoa officially recognizing.  Serbia has taken the issue of the legality of Kosovo's independence to the UN and a debate is expected on Serbia's request.  The president of Albania has said that Kosovo should become a member state of the UN.  Meanwhile, the US Ambassador in Serbia has stated that Kosovo's status is resolved (which no doubt will make him popular there!)  And a report has been issued by a Kosovo human rights group stating that independence was "good for Serbs" in Kosovo and that ethnic tensions have decreased.

MTCowgirl's Kosovo News
MTCowgirl's Interesting Articles/Commentary

Monday, September 8, 2008

How Time Flies!

The old saying about how "time flies when you are having fun" has to apply to the past few weeks that I haven't had a chance to update the site.  There continues to be speculation about the composition of the reconfigured UNMIK mission and debate on whether or not the EU will be ready to take over at the end of November.
On 28 August there was a "scuffle" in North Mitrovica in which seven people were injured and two UN vehicles were damaged.  There has been lots of talk about the Kosovo government enforcing rule of law in the north of Kosovo.  The Kosovo government has stated that they will not use force in the north...I somehow think that it's a bit surprising that it even was reported but evidently someone suggested it at some point or else it wouldn't have been news!

Recognition of Kosovo's independence may come sometime this month, speculated to be 23 September, however there are questions about whether or not Skopje will request Kosovo's recognition of their constitutional name (Republic of Macedonia) and border demarcation in exchange...and that has upset Kosovo politicians.

MTCowgirl's Kosovo News
MTCowgirl's Interesting Articles/Commentary