Saturday, January 3, 2009

Trouble Brews in North Kosovo

It’s unfortunate that instead of writing about the coming of a new year for Kosovo, I find myself writing instead that ethnic tensions in North Mitrovica are high after the stabbing of a Serbian teenager by two Albanians and then the subsequent property destruction of Albanian owned shops. And it doesn’t end there either. Two explosions rocked the north with both vehicles being damaged and six people injured. It seems that Kosovo is getting off to a rocky start in 2009.

At the beginning of the week, ten former members of the KLA were arrested by Serbian police in Presevo Valley in southeastern Serbia. The Albanians from Kosovo are accused of war crimes of murder, rape, and torture of Serb civilians in the Gnjilane region following the end of the fighting. The ten were transferred to Belgrade and have been given 30-day detention due to the seriousness of the accusations and flight risk. Kosovo parliamentary speaker Jakup Isufi has lashed out at Serbia and demanded that the international community act and the suspects be released.

So will the cowgirl be packing up her bags and leaving Kosovo in 2009? Only time will tell! There still is no real good indication of how long UNMIK will remain in Kosovo and how things will work out with EULEX being deployed under the umbrella of the UN Resolution 1244. There has been rumor and speculation that slowly over time all the UN people will disappear and no one will notice but on the flipside a lot of people have told me that I might as well apply for my Kosovo citizenship (eight years is a good residency period don’t you think?!) and the UN won’t be leaving anytime in the near future. So basically the best thing to say is “Who Knows?!” and until the day comes when I’m told to pack up, you can bet that I’ll continue bringing you stories of living in Kosovo and sharing the news articles I come across :)

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