Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

In Flames – Kosovo’s final status lies at the root of renewed violence.

And so, what of the solutions to the problem? For some, partition may end up being the least worst option in Kosovo. Whilst altering the frontiers of Kosovo would set a bad example for neighbouring Bosnia and Macedonia, it is also consistent with Dayton and the 1999 settlement. Partition is one of only two options, which would leave Serbs in their communities in Kosovo. The other is reintroducing Serbian security forces. This would be completely unacceptable to the Albanians. Whilst it is clear that the speedy dispatch of extra troops has calmed Kosovo for the present, there is no disguising the difficulties facing all parties in seeking out compromise. The issue of refugees and their right of return is also of paramount importance. Whilst the memory of conflict is still alive it will be difficult. But Bosnia proves that communities can be stitched back together, that local enmities can be managed effectively through municipal government.

Finally, Kosovo's deep-seated economic problems lie at the core of the problem. There will be no stability in the territory unless there is sustained investment and the provision of jobs and prospects. Misha Glenny has recently argued that the complete absence of ideas on economic reform constitutes the biggest failure of the UNMIK administration in Kosovo. Much will depend on how change is effected.

Slavenka Drakulić, a liberal Croatian intellectual, has recently published an extraordinary study of the detainees being held by the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). There, at the Scheveningen detention unit in the Hague, Serb, Croat and Muslim indictees mix freely, share a common language, work out at the gym together and swap news and gossip from home. Dragulić, in an ironic reference to Tito-era Yugoslavia, describes the atmosphere as one of &ldquobrotherhood and unity”, where ethnic differences are put aside and all parties have reached a compromise that enables them to live together – something that people back home in the remnants of the former Yugoslavia can only dream about. None more so than in Kosovo.

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