European Parliament Says Serbia Cannot Join without Recognizing Kosovo. The European Parliament’s rapporteur for Kosovo, Ulrike Lunacek, said this week that the Republic of Serbia will not be allowed to join the European Union (E.U.) unless it grants diplomatic recognition to the Republic of Kosovo, the de facto independent state which most E.U. member states recognize but which Serbia still regards as part of its territory. She did not express the ultimatum as a punishment for Serbia, saying, “The E.U. will not allow another Cyprus in the E.U. The E.U. will not accept any country without defined borders.” Lunacek, who represents Austria in the E.P. for the Green Party, also ruled out any partition of Kosovo.
Timor-Leste Becomes 94th Nation to Recognize Kosovo. The partially recognized Republic of Kosovo received notice this week from one of the world’s youngest United Nations (U.N.) member states, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, that it will be extending diplomatic recognition to Kosovo. Timor-Leste (also known as East Timor), which became independent in 2002 after a U.N.-sponsored plebiscite end military occupation by Indonesia, is, at my count, the 94th nation, out of about 193 recognized sovereign states, to recognize Kosovo, following Papua New Guinea and the Republic of Burundi in October (as reported last month in this blog, at which point I also discussed some discrepancies over how to count Kosovo’s diplomatic partners).
|Timor-Leste, a.k.a. East Timor, is Kosovo’s newest diplomatic partner.|
E.U. Arrests 3 Former Kosovo Rebels on War-Crimes Charges. Three former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (K.L.A.), two of them currently serving in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Kosovo Security Force (K.S.F.), were arrested this week by European Union (E.U.) police on war-crimes charges. Reports indicate that the murder of two ethnic-Albanian supporters of the moderate politician Ibrahim Rugova in 1999. The arrests were made by the E.U. Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (Eulex).
E.U. Lays Corruption Charges against 7 Kosovars, Including Former Transport Minister. The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (Eulex) announced November 16th it had charged the Republic of Kosovo’s former minister of transport and communications and six other Kosovar Albanians with corruption. The former minister, Fatmir Limaj, is the second-in-command in the Democratic Party (P.D.K.), Kosovo’s ruling party. Charges against the seven include “manipulating tender procedures, giving and receiving bribes, and obstructing evidence.”
Slav Media Run Lurid Tales of Kosovo Prime Minister’s Underground Harem. The organ-harvesting allegations (a hospital in the Netherlands was tapped by Interpol this week to investigate accusations of organ-trafficking by Kosovo rebels in the 1990s) don’t seem to be enough. Several newspapers in the Balkans this week are running reports on interviews with a woman from Ukraine identified only as “N.M.” who describes escaping from what she calls an underground “hell hole” in which the prime minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, operates a “harem” with 52 sex slaves. “None of the girls were from Kosovo,” N.M. said; “there were few from the Balkans, about ten from Russia, one from Cameroon, two Chinese women, etc.” Many of the men who visit the harem for “orgies” “are foreign diplomats,” she said, “including officers from Eulex and KFOR. The girls are not allowed to say, ‘No.’ One of the girls called Dolores from Colombia protested the conditions during our lunch time in the cafeteria. She was shot dead by Thaci’s bodyguards.” N.M. says she escaped with the assistance of a bodyguard from Chechnya, whom she had to bribe with sexual favors. That’s all pretty good, but the lack of any reference to the ceremonial drinking of the blood of Serbian babies represents a disappointing decline in the literary quality of Serbian propaganda.
2 Serbs Ambushed in Kosovo; Grenade Attack on Serb Apartment Building. Two Serbs were ambushed in their car in a village in western Kosovo’s Istok municipality on November 10th by an unknown gunman in a balaclava. One of the two men, Momir Pantić, a former local police chief, was wounded in the arm and face. Pantić owns land on Osojane, a Serb enclave in Istok, which is outside the Serb-governed North Kosovo territory along the republic’s border with the Republic of Serbia. He said he had been followed all that day by unknown persons. The mayor of Kosovoska Mitrovica, North Kosovo’s de facto capital, called Pantić an internally displaced person and said that the ambush was evidence that Serbs are not safe in Kosovo. In the evening of the next day, November 11th, a hand grenade went off in front of a Serb-populated apartment building in Kosovska Mitrovica, which caused damage to the building and nearby vehicles but no injuries.
[Also, for those who are wondering, yes, this blog is tied in with a forthcoming book, a sort of encyclopedic atlas to be published by Auslander and Fox under the title Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements, Independence Struggles, Breakaway Republics, Rebel Provinces, Pseudostates, Puppet States, Tribal Fiefdoms, Micronations, and Do-It-Yourself Countries, from Chiapas to Chechnya and Tibet to Texas. Look for it in spring 2013. I will be keeping readers posted of further publication news.]