Balkan
Witness
Home

 

BALKAN WITNESS

Articles on the Kosovo Conflict
Post-War Kosovo

 

Search
Balkan
Witness

 


Historical Background   Documents  Commentary   Non-violent Solutions

Reports from the Area of Conflict   Kosovo Albanians in Serbian Prisons

Post-War Kosovo   Post-War Serbia    Post-War Bosnia

Kosovo Independence

Bosnia   Croatia   Macedonia  

Special compilation: the Racak Massacre

The Milosevic War-Crimes Trial

War-crimes Deniers
 

For regular updates on events and issues in the former Yugoslavia, see also
Balkan Insight by Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN)

See also Kosova Women's Network


Persons unaccounted for in connection with the conflict on the territory of Kosovo

There are currently about two thousand, the great majority Albanian, of whom 351 are known to have died. The International Committee of the Red Cross keeps track of cases closed, often through DNA matching of remains with living relatives. Click on the link above for a searchable list of the missing.

Note: Each article shown below represents the opinion of the author, and not necessarily of anyone else.

Countries that have recognized Kosova as an independent state

Kosovo 2.0 Politics, commentary, culture from present-day Kosovo
NEW The year the West lost its strategic direction By Bodo Weber, Koha Ditore, January 5, 2016
Set the Trojan Horse on Fire By Valerie Hopkins, Foreign Policy, February 4, 2015
The EULEX Legacy in the Kosovo Courts By James Hargreaves, November 4, 2014

Europe's bravest mayor? The man trying to clean up Kosovo's capital
By Julian Borger, The Guardian, May 21, 2014
Activist suggests addressing issue of missing persons in Kosovo-Serbia talks Koha Ditore, reported by BBC, January 10, 2014
Kosovo - an Update By Peter Lippman, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December 2013

VETËVENDOSJE position on
the Serbia/Kosovo agreement. By Albin Kurti, April 21, 2013
What Serbs get from the Serbia/Kosovo agreement. By Daniel Serwer, April 21, 2013
Why Coal-Rich Kosovo Can Lead on Clean Energy By Daniel Kammen, March 14, 2012
Kosovar Civil Society Denounces EU for "Politicized" Trial of Nonviolence Leader The Advocacy Project, February 16, 2010
Demonstration against decentralization in Kosovo Vetëvendosje newsletter, October 16, 2009
EULEX campaign against activists Vetëvendosje newsletter, October 2, 2009
EULEX marketing campaign Vetëvendosje newsletter, October 2, 2009
Ten years after Nato's bombing campaign against Serbia, Milosevic's horrors still linger By Ian Williams, The Guardian (UK), March 23, 2009
Serbia/Kosovo: Wounds still open 10 years after start of war over Kosovo Amnesty International (UK), March 19, 2009
UNDP Apologizes to Kosovo Women's Leader
The Advocacy Project, January 21, 2009
Anger in Kosovo as UN "Muzzles" Civil Society Leader The Advocacy Project, December 12, 2008

Kosovo Civil Society Protests Increased Serbian Influence The Advocacy Project, November 24, 2008
KOSOVO INDEPENDENCE
UN Resolution "Permits Kosovo’s Independence"
Gjeraqina Tuhina, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, December 17, 2007
Kosovo Countdown: A Blueprint for Transition International Crisis Group, December 6, 2007
The Countdown William Finnegan, The New Yorker, October 15, 2007
Women from the Balkans Demand a UN Meeting and a Say in Kosovo's Future
The Advocacy Project, April 25, 2007
Time To Decide About Kosovo
Morton Abramowitz, Newsweek International, March 12, 2007
Women In Black Criticizes Serbian Politicians and Rejects a Nationalist Solution To the Kosovo Crisis The Advocacy Project, February 7, 2007
Kosovo’s Status: Difficult Months Ahead International Crisis Group, December 20, 2006
New Regional Women's Peace Lobby Calls for Speedy Vote in Kosovo The Advocacy Project, August 4, 2006
Winking at a Blind Man Miroslav Filipovic, Helsinki Charter (Belgrade), April-July 2006
Kosovo Before and After the War Barbra Bearden, The Advocacy Project, Spring-Summer 2006
Serbian and Kosovar Women Call for an End to "Religious Ownership of Kosovo's Churches and Mosques The Advocacy Project, June 6, 2006
Kosovo: Countdown to Independence? Tim Judah, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, February 16, 2006

Comment: Getting Real on Kosovo Nicholas Whyte, IWPR, January 21, 2005 (Republished August 2, 2005)
A Poisoned Chalice Veton Surroi, Koha Ditore, June 24, 2004
Kosovars Must Confront Their Demons
Natasa Kandic, IWPR, July 31, 2003 (Republished September 6, 2005)
Open Letter from the Women of Kosova to the Women of Iraq Igo Rogova,
Kosova Women's Network, April 2003
Kosovo’s Serb, Albanian Communities Continue to Stagnate Peter Lippman, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, January/February 2003 (Select item 38.)
Return to uncertainty: Kosovo's internally displaced and the return process International Crisis Group, December 13, 2002
Two Case Studies of the Bombings of Industrial Facilities at Pancevo and Kragujevac During Operation Allied Force, Yugoslavia 1999 Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, November 2002
UNMIK’s Kosovo Albatross : Tackling Division in Mitrovica International Crisis Group, June 3, 2002
Kosovo Work in Progress: Closing the Cycle of Violence Howard Clark, War Resisters International, January 2002
Kosovo's 'Forseeable' Future Decided By Tim Judah, IWPR, May 18, 2001
In a Farewell to Kosovo, U.N. Aide Urges Election By Steven Erlanger, The New York Times, January 14, 2001 (Registration required.) 
Kosovo Journal By Peter Lippman, October-November, 2000
Albanians Spurn K-For By Petrit Krasniqi, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, July 18, 2000
UN Failing Kosovars By Llazar Semini, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, June 9, 2000
Torn Mitrovica Reflects West's Trials in Kosovo By Steven Erlanger, The New York Times, February 25, 2000
Balkan Crisis Reports Institute for War and Peace Reporting, Feb. 1999 to present.
 

Summaries of articles listed above

Kosovo 2.0 Politics, commentary, culture from present-day Kosovo

NEW The year the West lost its strategic direction The dialogue approach to helping Kosovo gain full sovereignty through full integration of the Serb minority and removal of Serbian state institutions from its soil has been burdened by a multitude of challenges that need to be addressed. By Bodo Weber, Koha Ditore, January 5, 2016

Set the Trojan Horse on Fire As Serbian influence creeps back into Kosovo, protests have rocked the young nation - and may bring its government to a grinding halt. By Valerie Hopkins, Foreign Policy, February 4, 2015

The EULEX Legacy in the Kosovo Courts Changing laws in a country is often relatively easy; changing the culture in regard to the application of those laws is never easy. To date, EULEX has done nothing to attempt to address this fundamental problem and now it is too late according to the author, a US judge who spent the last year in the mission. By James Hargreaves, November 4, 2014

Europe's bravest mayor? The man trying to clean up Kosovo's capital Shpend Ahmeti has been in office less than five months and has spent most of that time fighting fires - mostly figurative but occasionally literal. He is attempting to bring rational, clean governance to one of the most corrupt cities in Europe. By Julian Borger, The Guardian, May 21, 2014

Activist suggests addressing issue of missing persons in Kosovo-Serbia talks Natasa Kandic, head of the Humanitarian Law Fund in Belgrade, said that the talks between Kosovo and Serbia could yield results in enlightening the fate of over 1,700 missing persons. She said that this issue, which was discussed only once in Brussels, should be taken seriously by both governments, because, according to her, the sides have agreed in silence not to have the process of talks be followed by heightened tensions. Nevertheless, Kandic is convinced that Serbia used the moment to benefit politically, showing "humane" towards the issue of the missing persons at the time when it expected to receive the green light for the launch of EU membership negotiations. Only one week prior to this decision of the EU, the Serbian state authorities voiced their readiness to "uncover" a mass grave in Raska, whose existence they knew four years ago. Koha Ditore, reported by BBC, January 10, 2014

Kosovo - an Update Kosovo's route toward independence has been a difficult one, but a recent internationally brokered agreement with Serbia constitutes an important milestone. By Peter Lippman, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December 2013

VETËVENDOSJE position on the Serbia/Kosovo agreement. “Friday’s agreement has produced two types of normalization of relations between Kosova and Serbia. In the first type, between Thaçi-Dacic, Serbia takes and Kosova gives. In the second, between Serbia and the European Union, Serbia progresses toward Brussels and the EU pretends it is unaware that war criminals are in charge of that state. Yesterday’s agreement did not normalize Kosova -Serbia relations, but definitively abnormalized the state of Kosova." By Albin Kurti, April 21, 2013

What Serbs get from the Serbia/Kosovo agreement. This is a moment of strong leverage for Pristina, as the EU is insisting on a settlement of the north as a condition for a starting date for Serbia's EU accession negotiations. By Daniel Serwer, April 21, 2013

Why Coal-Rich Kosovo Can Lead on Clean Energy Kosovo suffers hours of power cuts every day, and it sits on vast reserves of lignite coal. Lignite is a soft, brown fuel  that is considered the lowest rank of coal in terms of energy content. The full costs of this high-carbon energy option are too high for the people of Kosovo, and the international community has the resources and opportunity to assist in charting a different path. Investing in energy efficiency and upgrading the transmission and distribution system, exploiting wind and biomass resources, and engaging in regional partnerships with Albania on excellent hydropower resources provide more power than the proposed new lignite coal power plant.  These options also produce more jobs and avoid the health and environmental damages of decades more coal-fired energy. By Daniel Kammen, March 14, 2012

Kosovar Civil Society Denounces EU for "Politicized" Trial of Nonviolence Leader Civil society leaders in Kosovo have angrily denounced the European Union's mission in Kosovo for moving forward with a "politically motivated" trial against one of Albin Kurti, Kosovo's best-known activists, and called on the international community to stop the trial immediately. The Advocacy Project, February 16, 2010

Demonstration against decentralization in Kosovo Instead of creating the conditions in which all the people of Kosova can live and work together, regardless of ethnicity, decentralization is being drawn, based precisely upon the notion that we are unable to live together and thus need to be separated by new ethnic walls.  The process will simply transfer any remaining vestiges of Prishtina’s control and pass it to Belgrade. This is the centralization of Belgrade’s power in Kosova.  Vetëvendosje newsletter, October 16, 2009

EULEX campaign against activists  EULEX (European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo) is continuing its campaign of trying to eliminate our movement by arresting and imprisoning large numbers of activists. Currently 21 activists are being held in detention in prison on remand for a total of 90 days each prior to trial, since the 25th August. Vetëvendosje newsletter, October 2, 2009

EULEX marketing campaign  EULEX has begun a massive marketing campaign in order to divert attention from the three protocols it is negotiating and signing with Serbia, regarding Kosova. Vetëvendosje newsletter, October 2, 2009

Ten years after Nato's bombing campaign against Serbia, Milosevic's horrors still linger Clinton pre-emptively discounted any prospect of a ground invasion of Kosovo, which was the only thing Milosevic worried about. The day that Clinton finally succumbed to European pressure to authorise a ground attack, Milosevic did what he would have done months earlier if Clinton had not excluded the ground option. He ran up the white flag and evacuated his troops from Kosovo. By Ian Williams, The Guardian (UK), March 23, 2009

Serbia/Kosovo: Wounds still open 10 years after start of war over Kosovo More than 3,000 ethnic Albanians were 'disappeared' by Serbian police, paramilitary and military forces; other ethnic Albanians were abducted by members of ethnic Albanian armed opposition groups. An estimated 800 Serbs, Roma, and members of other minority groups were also abducted, reportedly by members of the Kosovo Liberation Army.  Amnesty International (UK), March 19, 2009

UNDP Apologizes to Kosovo Women's Leader The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has apologized to the Kosova Women's Network, after UNDP officials censored the speech of the group's leader at a conference in December. The Advocacy Project, January 21, 2009

Anger in Kosovo as UN "Muzzles" Civil Society Leader The largest women's network in Kosovo has suspended cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), after the agency prevented the group's leader from publicly criticizing a controversial UN plan to grant Serbia control of Serb enclaves in Kosovo. The Advocacy Project, December 12, 2008

Kosovo Civil Society Protests Increased Serbian Influence Thousands of Kosovar citizens took to the streets of Prishtina last week to protest a United Nations proposal to increase Serbia's influence in Kosovo. The proposal, put forth by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in consultation with the Serbian government, would give Serbia broad administrative powers over Serb majority areas within the Republic of Kosovo. Civil society groups fear that the proposal would essentially partition Kosovo by putting a third of the country's territory under Serbian control, and pave the way for the equivalent of the Bosnian Serb enclave (Republika Srpska) within Kosovo's borders. The Advocacy Project, November 24, 2008

KOSOVO INDEPENDENCE Coverage of Kosovo independence, declared February 17, 2008.

UN Resolution "Permits Kosovo’s Independence" Legal experts from some EU member states say Security Council Resolution 1244 not only permits an EU mission in Kosovo, but it opens the path to independence of the disputed territory. Gjeraqina Tuhina, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, December 17, 2007

Kosovo Countdown: A Blueprint for Transition Diplomatic efforts to broker a deal between Belgrade and Pristina on Kosovo’s final status will be fully exhausted with the conclusion of the Troika process on 10 December, and the international community must now coordinate a political process to bring about Kosovo’s conditional, or supervised, independence. The longer status uncertainty lasts, the mor`e agitated the region around Kosovo will become and the more a sense of developing security crisis will grow. To avoid instability filling the vacuum, Western capitals need to set out an orderly path for transition as soon as possible. International Crisis Group, December 6, 2007

The Countdown Eight years after NATO drove out the Serbian forces, Kosovo remains in a quasi-colonial limbo. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, October 15, 2007

Women from the Balkans Demand a UN Meeting and a Say in Kosovo's Future 17 leading members of women’s civil society from six Balkan countries and Kosovo have asked for an urgent meeting with the UN Security Council, and repeated their demand that women must participate directly in talks on the future of Kosovo. The Advocacy Project, April 25, 2007

Time To Decide About Kosovo Abramowitz is from the left end of the leftover Cold War liberal establishment. He's on the board of the International Crisis Group, which criticizes US policy in the Balkans from the left, but from the inside. In this article he promotes goals in harmony with keeping stability in the region, which keeps stability in the expanding EU - the same reasons the West intervened in 1999. The goals also happen to be in the interest of the people of Kosovo. Morton Abramowitz, Newsweek International, March 12, 2007

Women In Black Criticizes Serbian Politicians and Rejects a Nationalist Solution To the Kosovo Crisis The Serbian women’s group has accused Serbian politicians of condemning Serbia to further international isolation and perpetuating the policies of the late Slobodan Milošević by rejecting a UN plan for the independence of Kosovo. The Advocacy Project, February 7, 2007

Kosovo’s Status: Difficult Months Ahead A botched status process that fails to consolidate the prospect of a Kosovo state within its present borders and limits the support the EU and other multilateral bodies can provide would seed new destructive processes. Some officials fear the international community may not be able to focus sufficient energy or will to resolve Kosovo status without a crisis on the ground. International Crisis Group, December 20, 2006

New Regional Women's Peace Lobby Calls for Speedy Vote in Kosovo Thirteen women leaders from six European countries and Kosovo have called on the international community to hold elections in Kosovo and respect the result. The Advocacy Project, August 4, 2006

Winking at a Blind Man Thoughts on the prospective independence of Kosovo. Miroslav Filipovic, Helsinki Charter (Belgrade), April-July 2006

Kosovo Before and After the War The writer, a masters student at American University, is working with the Kosova Women's Network in Pristina. Barbra Bearden, The Advocacy Project, Spring-Summer 2006

Serbian and Kosovar Women Call for an End to "Religious Ownership of Kosovo's Churches and Mosques Kosovo's religious sites are not the property of any one religion or ethnic group and should be managed by independent professionals - otherwise they risk provoking ethnic confrontation and violence, says the Women's Peace Coalition, a new partnership between Serbian and Kosovar women peace activists. The Advocacy Project, June 6, 2006

Kosovo: Countdown to Independence? Signs are that talks on the future of Kosovo will almost certainly lead to some form of independence. Tim Judah, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, February 16, 2006

Comment: Getting Real on Kosovo It's time for the international community to get off the fence on Kosovo. Over the past five years, the final status issue has been delayed and ignored while Kosovo's two million inhabitants continue to exist in an international limbo. Nicholas Whyte, IWPR, January 21, 2005

A Poisoned Chalice When Kofi Annan offered the post of Special Representative in Kosovo, the job description might just as well have read, "Doomed to failure". You'll have God-like status in Kosovo, but no real power: no army, central bank, prosecutor, no constitution and no friends. You will wake up feeling you must take us towards democracy and final status and go to sleep feeling you accomplished nothing. Veton Surroi, Koha Ditore, June 24, 2004

Kosovars Must Confront Their Demons Facing up to the past cannot be confined to demanding justice for crimes committed by others. Natasa Kandic, IWPR, July 31, 2003

Open Letter from the Women of Kosova to the Women of Iraq -- We know there are strong, organized, intellectual women in Iraq as there were in Kosova or in any other country in the world. We, Kosovar women, don't support a US military administration in postwar Iraq. But if the UN takes on civic administration in Iraq, it's time they change the principle of their work and concentrate the work in cooperating with local experts, giving space and recognition also to the women's local NGOs. Igo Rogova, Kosova Women's Network, April 2003

Kosovo’s Serb, Albanian Communities Continue to Stagnate Three and a half years after NATO drove Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic’s regime out of the province, Kosovo’s problems seem as intractable as ever. While the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMiK) has managed, for the most part, to subdue the postwar bedlam that reigned when the U.N. established its de facto protectorate, Kosovo’s Serbs and Albanians remain at loggerheads, with both populations suffering from political and economic stagnation. -- Peter Lippman, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, January/February 2003 (Select item 38.)

Return to uncertainty: Kosovo's internally displaced and the return process The right of internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees to return to their homes in Kosovo is indisputable, and has become a top priority of the international community, and the United Nations Interim Administrative Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). -- International Crisis Group, December 13, 2002

Two Case Studies of the Bombings of Industrial Facilities at Pancevo and Kragujevac During Operation Allied Force, Yugoslavia 1999 This study was triggered by concerns over the health and environmental impacts of modern war. Its main goal was to examine whether precision targeting is synonymous with precision damage. Is damage limited to the announced objective of the bombing? And if not, what are the environmental and legal implications from the indiscriminate destruction resulting from successful precision bombing strikes? -- Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, November 2002

UNMIK’s Kosovo Albatross: Tackling Division in Mitrovica Three years after its establishment, the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) has not established a safe and secure environment, the rule of law or a meaningful civil administration in north Mitrovica. The city's continuing de facto partition, with parallel structures run by Belgrade operating north of the river Ibar, is a black mark on the international community's record in Kosovo. It calls into question Serbia and the FRY's commitment to regional stability and undermines UNMIK's credibility with ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. The Serbs of Mitrovica have become pawns in the nationalist game played by Belgrade and hostages to organised crime. Meanwhile the continuing lack of clarity about the international community's objectives allows hard-liners among ethnic Albanians to play on fears that the secret aim is partition, both of Mitrovica and of the entire province. -- International Crisis Group, June 3, 2002

Kosovo Work in Progress: Closing the Cycle of Violence This report is about a situation in which there is much to be forgiven, but little forgiveness, and where reconciliation is only a distant possibility. Forgiveness is rarely easy, and in Kosovo few Serbs acknowledge their own implication in the crimes against Kosovo Albanians or how they benefited from the anti-Albanian discrimination of the 1990s. However, the paper takes UNMIK (the international administration) to task for doing too little to counter the imputation of collective guilt to Serbs. Peaceful coexistence with respect for the human rights of all will be sufficiently difficult to achieve, and will take civil courage from those Kosovo Albanians who believe in human rights for all, and a more concerted and coordinated effort from international bodies to build confidence between the communities in Kosovo. -- Howard Clark, War Resisters International, January 2002.

Kosovo's 'Forseeable' Future Decided Something incredible just happened in Kosovo and nobody noticed. Well, Kosovars did, but the promulgation of the Constitutional Framework for the Provisional Self-Government of Kosovo and the fixing of an election day, appears to have gone almost unnoticed by the rest of the world. In essence, it means that two years of speculation, pontification and prescription are over. We now know what is going to happen in Kosovo, at least for the foreseeable future. -- Tim Judah, IWPR, May 18, 2001

In a Farewell to Kosovo, U.N. Aide Urges Election The departing U.N. official in charge discusses accomplishments and difficulties in Kosovo. -- Steven Erlanger, The New York Times, January 14, 2001 (Registration required.)

Kosovo Journal Kosovo's first post-war elections. -- Peter Lippman, October-November, 2000

Albanians Spurn K-For When NATO troops entered Kosovo one year ago they were greeted by cheering crowds who hailed them as liberators. A year on, relations have deteriorated to such an extent that a K-For Civil Military Cooperation report recently said the alliance was concerned its forces "had lost substantial credibility" in the eyes of both the international and local communities. -- Petrit Krasniqi, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), July 18, 2000

UN Failing Kosovars Twelve months after NATO bombing put an end to Belgrade's ethnic cleansing campaign in Kosovo, local Albanians believe the UN's efforts to promote stability in the province are running out of steam. UNMIK has clearly had some successes. Averting a humanitarian disaster last winter and the creation of an administrative structure in the province are arguably its biggest achievements. But there have been many failings too. Ethnic cleansing continues to be a problem and little progress has been made in establishing a multi-ethnic Kosovo. Extremist Serbs and Albanians are the only beneficiaries of UNMIK's shortcomings. -- Llazar Semini, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), June 9, 2000

Torn Mitrovica Reflects West's Trials in Kosovo Mitrovica has encapsulated many of the West's problems, fully eight months after peacekeepers entered Kosovo. There are not nearly enough international police officers to patrol even this part of Kosovo adequately, while interethnic violence and intimidation continue undiminished all over the province; there is not a functioning judicial system to try those who are arrested, so many killers walk free; NATO soldiers are forced to do more policing, something for which they have not been equipped or trained. -- Steven Erlanger, The New York Times, February 25, 2000

Balkan Crisis Reports IWPR's network of correspondents provides inside analysis of the events and issues driving the crisis in Kosovo and the region. Searchable archive of reports back to February 1, 1999


Historical Background   Documents  Commentary   Non-violent Solutions

Reports from the Area of Conflict   Kosovo Albanians in Serbian Prisons

Post-War Kosovo   Post-War Serbia    Post-War Bosnia

Kosovo Independence

Bosnia   Croatia   Macedonia

Special compilation: the Racak Massacre

The Milosevic War-Crimes Trial

War-crimes Deniers
 


Return to Balkan Witness Home Page


LETTERS from KOSOVO and BOSNIA, by PETER LIPPMAN

RELATED INFORMATIONAL SITES

VIDEO      BOOKS      MAPS

SEARCH BALKAN WITNESS

Contact Balkan Witness

Report broken links