Thursday, March 17, 2011

EULEX Makes War Crimes Arrests

Yesterday, EULEX made a series of arrests for alleged war crimes committed by members of the Kosovo Liberation Army.  Former Transport Minister Fatmir Limaj is again in the headlines facing new charges of war crimes (he was acquitted by the Hague in 2005 of separate charges due to a lack of evidence).  Along with Limaj, the Kosovo Police commander in Prizren was also arrested.  Reportedly when EULEX police went to the police station to execute the arrest warrant, members of Kosovo Police prevented them from carrying out the arrest and some members of the EULEX team were "held hostage".  Krasniqi later surrendered to EULEX police after consultations with his lawyer.  As usual, the arrests have been deemed a "demonization" of the KLA and an attempt to blacken the name of Kosovo.

In other news, Kosovo President Pacolli has been busy during his first weeks in office.  He has asked NATO to assist training the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) which is expected someday to become the army of Kosovo.  He also is planning on trying to change Kosovo election law to allow the President to be elected by the population rather than the parliament.  Pacolli also has made a visit to the northern Kosovo border with the KFOR commander to show support for those working at the border areas. 

For some reason, the Kosovo media has been overwhelmingly negative about Pacolli's election and presidency but while talking with people on the ground there is wide support and lots of hope for his presidency.  Most seem impressed that he is donating his salary to poor families and using his own funds to pay his staff and make renovations in the President's house.  Plus not many people in Kosovo can claim credit to bringing 25 recognitions for Kosovo's independence as Pacolli can.  Giving a breath of fresh air to all the negative media, here is a look at the positives that Pacolli's presidency may bring Kosovo.