Saturday, July 29, 2006

Kosovo Must Have Own Army: International Crisis Group

Pristina/Belgrade/Brussels, 28 July 2006: Independent Kosovo should be permitted its own army, despite Serb reservations, but it should be small, concentrated on performing international peacekeeping and developed and managed under NATO supervision.

An Army for Kosovo?,* the latest International Crisis Group report, explains the security and political reasons why the sovereign Kosovo expected to result from final status negotiations by early 2007 should be allowed such a force, to channel the old insurgent tradition of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and existing informal armed structures into official channels where they will not endanger either the new state or its neighbours.

Existing security structures must be placed under the control of the new institutions of democratic government, and an army – built in part upon the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC), presently a civil emergency force but which incorporates much of the KLA legacy and is seen by Kosovo Albanians as an army-in-waiting – is an essential component. Paramilitary forces and those with links to organised crime must be closed down.

“If well managed, an army can help a new state develop a stable, multi-ethnic – or at least ethnically neutral – identity”, says Alex Anderson, Crisis Group’s Kosovo Project Director. “Every effort must be made to show Kosovo Serbs the new force is no threat to them and, over time to persuade them to join it in proportion to their numbers in society”.

Since NATO evicted Belgrade from the province in 1999, Kosovo has been run as a UN protectorate. When final status decisions are made in the next months, security needs, including the army question, are too sensitive to be excluded. NATO will provide fundamental protection for the new state for many years, but the accords should also specify its role in the army’s governance and a range of limitations on army numbers and capabilities – no more than 3,000 personnel, no tanks, heavy artillery, ground-to-ground missiles or attack aircraft.

The key members of the Contact Group guiding diplomacy, including the U.S., the UN Security Council and the UN’s Special Envoy, former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari should introduce a legally or politically binding undertaking into the Kosovo final status determination on development of a small Kosovo defence force. The aim should be to graduate Kosovo into NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, together with Serbia, at which time that undertaking should be superseded by new treaty arrangements.

NATO peacekeepers should develop a closer partnership with the KPC, deepening and standardising the training relationship, and Kosovo’s government should build up its security policy capacity and budget for the creation of a defence ministry through 2007-2008.

“If the security pillar is downplayed in Kosovo, the state will be weakened”, says Nicholas Whyte, Director of Crisis Group’s Europe Program. “Kosovo has enough institutional weaknesses militating against its success already. It doesn’t need another”.

14 comments:

Fatos said...

It's a great idea. Although Kosova won't need an army to defend itself (they'll let NATO do the job), the army could be used to help make the world a better place. For example, if the fundamentalists continue to exist in Serbia, we're soon going to see a civil war develop there, so peacekeeping could be one thing Kosova army can do.

Wim Roffel said...

If Kosovo becomes independent it should have the full rights of an independent country, including that of having an army.

A prohibition would become a focus of resentment. It can be circumvented with a "professional police". And when no one enforces it it can be exploited by opportunistic politicians (the "occupation of the Rhineland" was Hitlers biggest PR coup ever). If there are restrictions they sould be temporary.

But I strongly disagree with the ICG that Kosovo MUST have an army. The idea that it needs an army to battle organized crime is ridiculous. And you can send police to many peace missions too.

bogartwhite said...

Sovereignty by definition contains the right and necessity of monopolizing the legitimate forms of violence both external and internal. This is a non-issue. What's more Kosova's leadership should not be negotiating what type of force it is "allowed." If Kosova is to be a demilitarized space then so should its saber rattling neighbor Serbia who has historically agressed upon all its neighbors (with the exception of Romania) and its own citizens. Kosova's military legacy is one of populist based resistance movements to oppression, occupation and usurpation. As such its army can build upon this "defensive" characteristic but should in no way be restrained or castrated. This will only lead to marginalized extra-governmental armed groups.

raindrop said...

It would be better for Kosova not to have an army like Costa Rica which disbanded theirs and spent the money they would have used for the military for education and health services for her people. Further NATO is in place to protect Kosova. But I imagine that no one can expect KFOR to be there forever and as long as there is a threat from Serbia (especially is the hardliners get in) I suppose a gendarmerie, at least, will have to be there. But again I wish people would think more about creating a more secure economic environment (lowering the unemployment rate,creating a stronger educational and health system) as opposed to worrying about the military but it is what it is.

Serbs In Kosovo are in Danger said...

A kosovo army-with its commander in chief being Agim Ceku-would lead to great instability in the balkans and probably put an end to any Serbian existence in Kosovo forever. A radical Albanian leader could also invade Macedonia to "protect" the Alabnians there from the racist party that just took power.

DimTuc said...

Hey relax a little 'Serbs in Danger'. You ought to read the while ICG report. For one thing, not only are minorities some 16 percent of the Kosova Police Service, but many of the Serbs in it are actually from the old Serbian state MUP!! I would have thought Albanians would have something to worry about that, but obviously they are well screened, just like the ex-KLA recruits are. Also lots of good info on the Kosova Protection Corps (KPC), which, even though it contains lots of ex-KLA and almost no Serbs, and Serbs don't like it because of its past associations, it turns out it is doing more than almost anyone in outreach to Serbs, including reconstruction work in Serb villages attacked in 2004, and preparation of sites for serb returnees. The times they are a changing man

heku said...

Vetëm a kemi mundesi me marr shembull te gjifutet. Ushtria duhët të ekzistoj dhe t'a përfshinë tërë popullatën, ushtri e milicianëve. Vetëm në atë mënyrë do t'a zhvillojmë ndjenjen tonë nacionale. Ushtria e mbanë bazën e popullit dhe e krijon faktikisht atë ndjenje nacionale. Jo vetëm ushtri por edhe prodhimin vendor (klandestin) e armatimit me zhvillu...

bogartwhite said...

"Serbs in Danger"- of unemployement as are all the citizens of Kosova. The security situation is excellent especially when one considers the inefficiency of the current police force, lack of infrastructure, poor economy and traumatic history. Find me one region in the developed world that has a 50% unemployement rate and such a low crime rate as Kosova. It is actaully astounding that crime, whether ethnic or not, is as low as it is in Kosova. Per capita there are more "ethnically motivated" crimes in Serbia then Kosova. Especially, against the roma community by Serbian neo-nazi groups. The danger is that the very same ultra-nationalist racist ideology that abounds in serbia will be re-imported by non-democratically selected elites that are running and representing the serbs in Kosova. Luckily the United States recognizes Serbia's retrograde 20th century nation-state expansionist policies and is sufficiently containing them. The real job at this point is to make Kosova economically viable. The army will simply be a firebreak against nationalist Serbian agression but as such should not be diluted.

ANYC said...

Police filmed beatings of Roma youths
1 August 2006 | 13:32 | Source: B92, Beta
NOVI SAD -- Four young men from Veliki Rit said that they were abused and mistreated in the Klisa police station.


Nedžad Maroli, Sava Osman, Škeljzen Bajrami and Ervin Salihi claim that five police officers beat them with no reason.

The four young men of Roma nationality said that they were cursed and were subjected to racial slurs and were made to wipe their blood off the floors using their own shirts.

"We were constantly saying we were not guilty for anything and that we did not know what we were being accused of, but it did not help. Five policemen from the Klisa police station, where we were asked to come for an interrogation, did not want to listen to us, rather they started abusing us right away. That lasted for seven hours,“ Maroli (21), Osman (21), Bajrami (22) and Salihi (20), four Romas from Veliki Rit, said at a press conference, claiming that they were brutally beaten on July 27 in the Klisa police station.

The four young men said that police officers had come to their settlement some time after 1 pm and had asked them to report for the interrogation at the police station. They did not say why they had come, nor did they searched the houses. Osman drove them to the police station.

According to the young men’s claims, as soon as they entered the building, the police started to beat them and curse at them. Maroli asked them not to hit him because he was recently released from the hospital due to leg thrombosis, but not even the medical papers he showed them helped, he says.

"They were beating me and strangling me with an aluminium bar. My nose started to bleed and they made me wipe the blood off the floor with my shirt. While the three of them were beating me, the fourth one was filming what they were doing with his cell phone,“ says Osman....




Ah yes, let the good old times roll. Just like they did to Albanians in Kosova altough there was no filming in those days, you know for the memories, to show to their children. Poor romas they were probably mistaken for Albanians.

Fatos said...

I think it is about time for the UN to consider imposing sanctions against Serbia for violation of basic human rights of their minorities. What is happening in Darfur has been happening (quietly) in Serbia for decades now.

NYoutlawyer said...

If albaniacs in kosovo get independence, I'm sure they will quickly have their own army. Their are plenty of nutso muhajadeens in wacko mideast nations waiting to enlist. God help Europe, and us all.

heku said...

who the hell islamized more than the half of its people to protect europe from islam? You maybe? You who create a myth from a defeat? You who could sell your mother for someone who misuses you (Russia)? Come down to earth, we will have our own military industry and will do like Israel. No one can be an obstacle to the creation of our State and no one will be able to destruct it. Your muddy boots will never walk again in our green meadows. Rrnoft Dardania e lirë dhe e panvarur!!!

NYoutlawyer said...

Heku, Serbs will always shit on fields where albaniacs live in kosovo. It is Serbian land afterall.

You can kiss my ass shiptar fool. al-qaeda and hezbollah is just waiting for their opportunity to take oner kosovo, if it goes independent? I suppose you toothless idiots will be able to reject them. Get real!

mitrovica pika pika said...

al-qaeda and hezbollah is just waiting for their opportunity to take oner kosovo."

oooooooooook. Now go fuck your mother or shoot yourself. Both just as good.