A number of myths about the north of Kosovo – including that there is a military/police solution to its refusal to accept rule by Pristina and that EULEX is acting legally in seeking to impose Kosovo customs in the north – continue to jeopardize peace and security.
TransConflict is pleased to present a research paper, entitled ‘Returning disputed war monuments – can heritage be reinterpreted for new political agendas?’, which explores how the much-disputed Isted Lion – which Denmark recently returned to Flensburg, Germany – no longer recalls a famous Danish military victory, but is instead presented as a symbolic expression of trust between the two countries.
By appealing to the notion of inter-ethnic rotation of senior government positions, Milorad Dodik has exploited and widened divisions between the Bosniaks and Croats, thereby further stymieing the formation of a state-level government.
A speech by Lord Hylton, opening a debate on Kosovo in the House of Lords on September 15th 2011, in which he calls on the British government to support a peace building process centered around the monasteries of Pec and Decani.
With KFOR clearly acting in violation of its UN Security Council mandate in supporting Pristina’s ban on Serbian imports, Kosovo Serbs are within their rights to expect EULEX to follow status neutral procedures should it insist on doing customs in the north.
Many Bosniak political and media opinion makers are discovering that their best option involves using a traditional and, in the context of current borders, transnational ethnic movement to improve their leverage with their neighbours and the EU.
A European solution to the Kosovo issues requires that boundaries be broken down through negotiation and compromise, rather than reinforced through unilateralism and the use of violence.
Though Serbia and Kosovo have reached a compromise agreement on customs seals, Pristina’s efforts to impose its customs officers and fee collection at the northern boundary will likely became a further source of violence.
Despite Western policy-makers insisting that they will not meddle in Libya’s internal affairs in the aftermath of the war, it is hard to believe that the Libyans will be in the driving seat when it comes to choosing their country’s future governance and economic systems.
KFOR’s imposition of Pristina’s trade blockade and General Buhler’s role in ‘negotiating’ political agreements both exceed NATO’s UN mandate; a mandate that the Quint countries – led by the US and Germany – have chosen to disregard.