Wednesday, December 9, 2009

EULEX Celebrates One Year Anniversary

Today EULEX celebrated its one year anniversary of its official deployment in Kosovo.  Head of Mission, Yves de Kermabon (affectionally known by staff as YDK) said that the mission has done well but challenges remain.  Serbia took the opportunity to make statements that say they will continue supporting EULEX as long as it stays “status neutral” as the mission was deployed under UN Security Council Resolution 1244.  EULEX has announced that it will open a temporary office in northern Kosovo while a permanent office will open later in the spring.

I didn’t have a chance last week to discuss something that’s been all over the Kosovo news.  About a week and half ago, a Kosovo politician stood up in parliament and announced that he had proof of corruption and organized crime in the Kosovo government, namely Thaci’s PDK party.  After that, a DVD was revealed with a man named Nazim Bllaca admitting to committing murders of Albanian and Serb citizens while working for the former Kosovo Intelligence Service (SHIK) under the direct order of Thaci.  Shortly after the statement in parliament, Bllaca alleged that an assasination attempt was made against him and after that EULEX arrested him for the crimes he had committed or was present.  Later, in order to preserve the judicial process from political interference, EULEX excluded the Kosovo police and local prosecutors from the case and forbid Bllaca from speaking with the media.

The hearing on the legality of Kosovo’s independence is underway in the International Court of Justice.  An advisory from the panel of 15 judges who have been hearing arguments for and against Kosovo’s independence from various countries is expected within a few months of the two weeks of arguments which are to wrap up at the end of this week.

Finally, one last notice about the Dj Vegas Toy & Clothing Drive.  It will wrap up tomorrow evening with drop-off points at UNMIK and Amelie Espresso Bar who kindly let us put a collection box in the restaurant.  Odyssea Bakery is also very generously baking cakes for the 30 families (10 from each ethnic group) who have been selected by the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare.  Next week I will have stories and pictures from the distribution that will be on Saturday.