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February 18, 2008 | by  | in Online Only |
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Kosovo to Declare indepedence by Monday

Kosovo is to declare its independence on Sunday afternoon (their time). For those who remember the religious, nationalist and political divides that engulfed the region during the 1990’s and continue to this day – this declaration from the Kosovo national assembly is enormously significant.

Kosovo has been almost ninety percent ethnically Albanian for the last century. Unfortunately its territory also holds some of the most holy churches, shrines and monasteries in the Serbian Orthodox Church. There is real a tangible opposition to the Kosovo declaration – although Serbia has pledged to meet Kosovo’s independence with diplomatic pressure, I fear a resurgence in ethnic and religious violence that for years defined the region. The war with Serbia only ended in 1999, so it’s not surprising that the EU has sent troops to the fledgling nation to bolster the UN peace keepers who are already present.

It’s no surprise that there are greater powers behind the players involved with the Kosovo decision. Russia, still smarting from the recent escalations with its own separatist territory Chechnya, has staunchly supported Serbia in its opposition to Kosovo’s independence. The Russian parallels are especially apt: both have suffered terrorist action due to their continued refusal to accept independence, and both have militarily engaged with what their populaces see as “rebels”. America however has tried to play the peace broker, with George Bush stating “Its status must be resolved in order for the Balkans to be stable” What the US can do, and what GWB’s statement really means, is anyones guess.

Im holding my breath. Hopefully Monday – and the following days, pass without incident. However, if we are to take history as a guide, the world should be prepared for conflict. Our hope lies with the EU and UN forces to contain this conflict to the best of its ability. Albanian flags are already being proudly displayed in the small region. The Balkans will not survive another disastrous violent upheaval.

NATO’s presence in the area, a remnant from the 1999 war – named KFOR, is talking tough;

“I just want to state very strongly that KFOR will react and will oppose any kind of provocation that might happen during these days, wherever they come from — either from the Albanian or the Serbian side. And we will react very strongly to any kind of those provocations,”

The true test of its fortitude is rapidly approaching, and the whole world is watching.

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About the Author ()

Conrad is a very grumpy boy. When he was little he had a curl in the middle of his forehead. When he was good, he was moderately good, but when he was mean he was HORRID. He likes guns, bombs and shooting doves. He can often be found reading books about Mussolini and tank warfare. His greatest dream is to invent an eighteen foot high mechanical spider, which has an antimatter lazer attached to its back.

Comments (2)

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  1. not_peterencc says:

    somebody needs to whack you upside the head with the editing stick.

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