Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The colony Kosovo

The Polish/Swedish journalist Maciej Zaremba has written a critical series of articles about the situation in Kosovo (links to the English versions are at the top of the page). It is mostly a critical account of how the UN rule works and how it generates corruption. Zaremba sees the structure of the mission as the main problem.

Part 1: report from UNMIKistan, land of the future contains an interview with Albin Kurti and a story about corruption at the airport.

Part 2: The UN state and the seven robbers starts with the case of Jo Trutschler, a German swindler who managed to become senior manager at the electricity company KEK (his fraudulent CV was never checked), tells how many UN employees - specially "consultants" - become employed through "connections". It follows with another airport story and the mobile phone contract.

Part 3: Complain in Azerbaijan is about the "legal immunity" of the mission with several examples.

Part 4: Prowess, courage and plastic socks starts with the story how Swedish soldiers in march 2004 in a day long battle saved Gracanica from being burnt. It continues describing how some other militairy missions did much worse and it ends with the international police.

In two final articles present UN governor Joachim Rücker gives his reaction to the articles ("article is very unbalanced") and Zaremba's reaction.

It makes you wonder whether it wouldn't have been better when the UN had followed resolution 1244 to the letter. It stipulated that after a short UN reign there should come an interim government (that respected Yugoslavia's territorial integrity - so it would probably look something like before 1989 with the Albanians in charge and the peacekeepers as a kind of mediator). After that negotiations should be started for a definitive status. Obviously international government is not the success that we hoped.


Niki said...

The articles say the opposite of what you have been saying about Kosovo and its Albanian majority. You have constantly been blaming the Albanians for not doing anything to improve the rights of minorities. These articles show that they have don't even have power to improve their rights. But I still think that UNMIK is heaven compared to the Milosevic and Serbia regime.

The writer of the article has according to what I have read supported loudly the intervention in 1999.

Did you read this: http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=2502&a=664692

In your blog posts I see that you no matter what, without exception, support Serbia and Serbs and harshly criticize the Bosnjaks, Albanians and Croats. I would like to know what is the reason.

I really hope I am not disturbing you. If you don't want me to write please tell me that. Wish you a happy summer.

Wim Roffel said...

Hi Niki,

I can't see any indication that Zaremba was involved with Kosovo in 1998/1999. So I don't consider his view of why the war started particularly authorative.

Kosovo's Albanians have their own responsibility. Their people attacked in march 2004. And their politicians make extreme demands in the negotiations nowadays.

I am not particularly pro-Serb. I am simply a contrarian, who brings the other side of the news when it is onesided. I believe that sensible solutions are balanced.


Niki said...

You said: "And their politicians make extreme demands in the negotiations nowadays."

First there are no negotiations now. Second they are not demanding anything more than what Ahtisaari have proposed to give them and both you and I know that Ahtisaari is not Albanian and he is the most respectable negotiator in the world. I would rather characterize your sentence extreme and many of your views are indeed deviant.

Some days ago you wrote about generalizations. What are you doing when you say "Kosovo's Albanians have their own responsibility." ? During this riots 19 people were killed, 12 of them Albanians.

Should I interpret lack of answer about comments as “No don’t write in my blog anymore.”? Anyway wish you a nice summer.

Wim Roffel said...

Niki, I found your last reaction (with words like "deviant") insulting.

The reason I am not immediately reacting to all your reactions is : 1) sometimes I have nothing to add; 2) sometimes I don't have inspiration (yet); 3) sometimes I don't have time.

A mediator is not supposed to impose his own ideas. Instead he should an impartial person that listens to both sides and tries to find a compromise that is for both sides acceptable. From that perspective Ahtisaari is a very bad negotiator.

"During this riots 19 people were killed, 12 of them Albanians."
I don't get your point. If I remember well 2 of the 12 died because fellow Albanians set the Serb house in Lipljan that they were pilfering on fire - not knowing that they were inside. The other 10 were shot by KFOR to prevent them from murdering or doing other harm.

YLLI said...

I have enjoyed Maciej’s pieces on the UN, particularly UN’s mission in Kosovo. The articles are a fantastic summation of thousands of stories, events that are worth telling and I thank the author for such a detailed and insightful analysis of development in Kosovo. I agree with Wim, that the author doesn’t state a particular stand on events leading to UN’s mission in Kosovo, however I believe the author makes one comprehensive point with this article, that being that UNMIK has prohibited the growth of democracy, genuine freedom and justice in Kosovo.
I agree in part with Niki’s assertion that “under” UNMIK is nothing compared to being under Serbia, however being under UNMIK has fully transformed Kosovo’s society, into a place when intellectuals are neglected by the ruling mafia, where the police (UNMIK and local) close their eyes in front of “institutionalized corruption” and often become part of it. Because UNMIK has refrained from curbing local corruption for the past years, and often being part of it (Pristina Airport scandal, PTK scandal etc.) this has made ordinary Kosovars powerless against today’s big bosses of government financed by their cousins in tobacco and the gas business.

Bg anon said...

'I am simply a contrarian, who brings the other side of the news when it is onesided.'

Which is generally good, but from one contrarian to another be careful not to be too contrary.

On the topic I agree with you Wim and the general comment that the UNMIK administration is better for Albanians than the Milosevic administration. However, conversely its much harder these days if you are a Serb or a gypsy. Even from an Albanian perspective one should not lose sight of that.

Perhaps you remember a recent secret report on Kosovo's UNMIK administration commissioned by the German government?

I have spoken to somebody that has access to the report and it confirms your suspicions Wim.

Let me put an open question. How sensible is it to place an alleged 'safe' house for witnesses who will testify against KLA commanders within eyeshot of a prison where former KLA members are held? Its no wonder Del Ponte went mad at Haradinaj in the Hague quite recently.

'A mediator is not supposed to impose his own ideas.'

Theoretically no but as we both know that was his job in this case, rather they werent really his own ideas but ones he thought would be acceptible to the US and its allies.