Thursday, January 22, 2009

Kosovo Army Begins Operations

The Kosovo Security Force became operational today bringing an end to the Kosovo Protection Corps (TMK/KPC). The KSF will be lightly armed and will be comprised of 2500 members of the various ethnic groups of Kosovo. It is expected that the new army will be under the supervision of NATO. Serbia has vowed to fight against the formation of KSF diplomatically and is expected to take the verbal battle to the United Nations.  NATO is additionally ready to consider suspending the security zone between Serbia and Kosovo should it be requested.

Two damning reports on Kosovo have emerged this week.  The Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee has condemned the Kosovo Police Service for police brutality and Human Rights Watch stated that there have been no improvements in human rights since independence.

Meanwhile, it has been decided that only local elections will be held this year in Kosovo but general elections will not take place for two years.  The Ahtisaari plan for Kosovo’s independence called for elections within nine months but the constitution which came into effect in July 2008 states that elections cannot be held for two years.  Disagreements between the Kosovo political parties forced the decision into the hands of the European Union’s International Civilian Office which supports holding local elections and the decision that parliamentary elections could be held off until 2011.  However the two largest opposition parties in Kosovo have joined forces in rejecting the postponement of elections calling the decision totalitarian.

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