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Homepage > Publication Type > CrisisWatch > CrisisWatch Database

CrisisWatch Database

Region / country

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611 results found
Items 1 - 50 of 611 First   Previous   Next   Last

Macedonia

  |  1 Jun 2016

Unchanged
Political crisis continued with ongoing fallout of President Ivanov’s 12 April pardon of 56 politicians, including anti-govt protests throughout May calling for Ivanov to step down and cancel pardon. EU and U.S. called for pardon to be revoked, and for special prosecutor investigating wire-tapping claims to be able to work unhindered. Ivanov 24 May told German newspaper he would not revoke pardon, blamed special prosecution for crisis by selectively targeting ruling party; 27 May announced he would cancel pardon for 22 “politically exposed people” plus those who wanted their pardon to be revoked. Parliament 30 May formed special commission to investigate whether Ivanov’s pardon violated constitution. EU and U.S. also pushed for elections scheduled for 5 June to be postponed to allow for implementation of necessary reforms for credible polls. As more countries joined election boycott, EU said it would not recognise election if only one main party participates. Constitutional court 18 May ruled April dissolution of parliament unconstitutional due to incorrect procedure and halted election preparations; parliament same day reconvened and voted to delay elections. Vote succeeded despite some opposition MPs walking out of session in protest at cabinet reshuffle in which two opposition ministers were replaced with their ruling party deputies. EU foreign policy chief Mogherini said “way forward must be defined by all main political parties together”. Over 20,000 joined ethnic Albanian opposition protest in Skopje 9 May.

Kosovo

  |  1 Jun 2016

Unchanged
Leaders of five main parties met 17 May for EU-organised joint roundtable, day after opposition MPs also took part in first meeting of EU-Kosovo Stabilization and Association Parliamentary Committee. European Commission 4 May recommended visa-free travel regime for Kosovo nationals, also called for Kosovo to tackle organised crime and corruption and ratify border demarcation agreement with Montenegro; further protests against agreement took place 16 May. Briefing UNSC session on Kosovo 16 May, UN envoy Zahir Tanin called for end to political infighting.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Jun 2016

Unchanged
State statistics agency 18 May said it would publish contentious results of 2013 census to meet 1 July deadline, despite disputes between country’s three statistical agencies over methodology to calculate number of residents; Bosnian Serb leadership condemned decision. High Representative Valentin Inzko 5 May briefed UNSC on his concerns over Bosnian Serb leadership’s threat to hold independence referendum, and criticised opening of dormitory named after war criminal Radovan Karadzic. Ahead of local elections scheduled for Oct, thousands attended rival political rallies in Bosnian Serb capital Banja Luka 14 May.

Macedonia

  |  2 May 2016

Deteriorated
Political crisis worsened, prompting widespread domestic and international criticism and days of protests, as opposition Social Democrats 6 April announced party would boycott 5 June early elections due to failure to implement reforms to media and cleaning up of electoral roll; and after President Ivanov 12 April pardoned all politicians facing criminal investigations, undermining work of Special Prosecution tasked with investigating allegations of illegal wiretapping. Protesters 13 April stormed president’s office. Speaker of parliament 14 April confirmed date of 5 June election, fuelling protests, which also took place in cities outside capital. EU cancelled crisis talks planned for 22 April after opposition conditioned participation on postponing elections and annulling presidential pardon. Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva 14 April said her team’s investigations would continue, launched fresh investigation. Special Prosecution witness found shot dead at home 27 April. U.S. NGO Freedom House annual report described Macedonia’s media as “not free”.

Kosovo

  |  2 May 2016

Unchanged
Former PM Thaci sworn in as president 7 April; opposition boycotted session, protesters threw stones at parliament; activists disrupted inauguration next day with tear gas. Ad hoc international commission approved border demarcation agreement between Kosovo and Montenegro 30 March, prompting further opposition anger. Stabilisation and Association Agreement between Kosovo and EU entered into force 1 April, welcomed as milestone in EU-Kosovo relationship.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  2 May 2016

Unchanged
Chief prosecutor 11 April said Milorad Dodik, president of country’s Serb-controlled Republika Srpska (RS) entity, is being investigated in connection with failed Pavlovic bank. European Parliament 14 April adopted resolution condemning RS plans to hold referendum on authority of Bosnian state court.

Macedonia

  |  1 Apr 2016

Unchanged
Senior U.S. official visited Skopje early March to check implementation of June 2015 agreement to end political crisis. EU mediator reported talks on media reform ahead of June elections had halted. Constitutional Court closed session mid-month, approved cancellation of law which would have prohibited president from pardoning individuals accused of vote-rigging in 2013 election despite protests and EU calls to fight impunity in election-related offences. Special Prosecution into crimes by senior officials late March announced investigations into five people suspected of destroying surveillance equipment, and into former secret police chief and several others suspected of acts of torture. Electoral commission report leaked 17 March said half a million names (out of 1.8mn on electoral role) need further verification. Court 25 March sentenced six people for fighting alongside Islamist groups in Syria or recruiting others.

Kosovo

  |  1 Apr 2016

Unchanged
Opposition MPs continued to disrupt parliament sessions with tear gas early month, including 4 March voting in of Hashim Thaçi as president 4 March; protests continued outside parliament. Masked assailants threw Molotov cocktail at president’s office 12 March. Parliament held first undisrupted session of 2016 on 15 March, as opposition boycotted. Opposition repeated calls for early elections. Opposition 25 March announced it would postpone protest planned for next day against election of Thaci as president.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Apr 2016

Unchanged
President of Republika Srpska (RS) entity Milorad Dodik sparked outrage by expressing admiration for former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić, who was found guilty by International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague 24 March of genocide over 1995 Srebrenica massacre and sentenced to 40 years’ jail. ICTY 31 March acquitted former Serbian deputy PM and ultra-nationalist Vojislav Seselj of charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity during Balkans wars in early 1990s.

Macedonia

  |  1 Mar 2016

Unchanged

Parliament 23 Feb voted to postpone elections planned for 24 April until 5 June, following EU and U.S. assessment 21 Feb saying conditions not yet in place for credible elections citing need to clean up electoral roll, agree on media reforms, take measures to separate state and political party activities. Opposition had threatened to withdraw ministers from govt and boycott elections if they were not postponed. Special Prosecution office set up to investigate high-level corruption 12 Feb announced several former ministers and senior officials suspected of organising election fraud in 2013. Constitutional Court 24 Feb voted to discuss annulling provision in law that bars president from granting pardons, seen by opposition as ploy to pardon those announced as suspects by Special Prosecution; decision prompted protests outside court.

Kosovo

  |  1 Mar 2016

Unchanged

Continued efforts to end political crisis unsuccessful, including 8 Feb meeting between ruling coalition and opposition with EU and U.S. envoys; opposition refused to attend apart from Alliance for the Future of Kosovo leader Ramush Haradinaj, who called for snap elections. Tens of thousands of opposition supporters protested peacefully 17 Feb calling for Aug 2015 agreements with Serbia on association of Serb-majority municipalities, and with Montenegro on border demarcation, to be scrapped, and for govt to step down. Opposition again disrupted parliament 19 Feb, with opposition MPs setting off tear gas in chamber, nine arrested; also set off tear gas during sessions 24 and 26 Feb, when FM and former PM Hashim Thaci was elected president. Opposition supporters protesting outside parliament clashed with police 26 Feb.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Mar 2016

Unchanged

Following concerted international pressure, Republika Srpska President Dodik 8 Feb announced controversial planned referendum challenging authority of state judiciary to be postponed. Bosnia submitted formal EU membership application 15 Feb.

Macedonia

  |  1 Feb 2016

Unchanged

PM Gruevski offered resignation 15 Jan, 100 days before planned early elections 24 April, part of deal agreed with opposition to end political crisis. EU Enlargement Commissioner Hahn visited same day to participate in talks on implementation of deal, but sides unable to agree on whether to stick to agreed election date or postpone polls; opposition leader Zoran Zaev said preconditions for fair elections still not in place: electoral roll still needs to be checked for fake voters and media freedom assured. Head of electoral commission (DIK) said credible elections not possible by 24 April, more time needed to prepare; other DIK members voiced disagreement. MPs from ruling party in parliament voted to dissolve parliament 24 Feb, and elected new govt to pave way for 24 April elections, despite boycott by opposition MPs. Clean-up of electoral roll began late month; EU and U.S. ambassadors 29 Jan said urgent work remains to be done before parliament is dissolved 24 Feb.

Kosovo

  |  1 Feb 2016

Unchanged

Opponents of Aug EU-brokered agreement with Serbia returned to streets of Pristina 9 Jan, with estimated 60,000 joining protests; some protesters clashed with police. Opposition announced further protests for 17 Feb, anniversary of declaration of independence. Latest round of Pristina-Belgrade dialogue in Brussels 27 Jan saw parties discuss implementation of former agreements. Prominent Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanović, considered a moderate, sentenced to nine years’ jail for war crimes by EULEX judges. European parliament 21 Jan ratified Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo. Dutch govt announced it would host new court to try Kosovo Liberation Army fighters for war crimes.

Macedonia

  |  4 Jan 2016

Unchanged

Implementation of July agreement to end political crisis continued. Electoral commission appointed after PM Gruevski and opposition leader Zoran Zaev 15 Dec agreed on names of independent experts. Parliamentary commission investigating mass illegal wiretapping scandal began calling witnesses. Ruling party 2 Dec walked out of EU-backed talks with opposition on media reform, after opposition leader said mainstream media biased. Gruevski mid-Dec said govt willing to “open dialogue” with Greece to find solution to name dispute; FMs met 18 Dec.

Kosovo

  |  4 Jan 2016

Unchanged

Opposition parties continued to disrupt parliament in protest over Aug EU-brokered agreement to set up Association of Serbian Municipalities. Opposition MPs set off further tear gas attacks in parliament 14 Dec, disrupting two sessions; opposition supporters clashed with police outside parliament. Police arrested more opposition MPs over attacks. Several govt-owned cars set on fire 12 Dec. U.S. Sec State Kerry 2 Dec said U.S. backs Aug agreement, urged opposition to use democratic methods to express its opposition. Constitutional Court 23 Dec endorsed Aug agreement, but said some parts of deal violate constitution. Two Serb homes and memorial in Gorazdevac village damaged by gunshots 7 Dec. EU decided against awarding Kosovo citizens visa-free travel status in 2016; govt called decision “insult”.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  4 Jan 2016

Unchanged

Crisis over Bosnian Serb leaders’ demands for reform of Constitutional Court (CC) to remove foreign judges continued; Republika Srpska (RS) leader Milorad Dodik 1 Dec threatened to withdraw entity’s representatives from state institutions if reforms not adopted in 120 days. RS 10 Dec announced it was suspending cooperation with state-level police and court in response to arrest of five Serbs for war crimes; signed agreement renewing cooperation 16 Dec following intense international criticism.

Macedonia

  |  1 Dec 2015

Unchanged

Govt and opposition leaders 6 Nov reached deal on implementation of July agreement to end political crisis, agreeing on appointment of interim ministers from opposition Social Democrats until April elections, including interior minister, labour minister and several others. Leaders also agreed on electoral reforms, laws on protection of whistleblowers and privacy. Deal came day after appointment of twelve special prosecutors to support chief special prosecutor investigating illegal wiretapping scandal. EU progress report highlighted need for key reforms including on corruption, rule of law, consolidation of democratic institutions.

Kosovo

  |  1 Dec 2015

Deteriorated

Mounting political tensions as opposition parties continued to block work of parliament in protest against Aug EU-backed agreement with Serbia on Serb-majority municipalities: 17 Nov again threw tear gas in main chamber during discussion of 2016 budget. One opposition MP arrested next day on suspicion of letting off tear gas in parliament, police tried to arrest another, prompting protests outside govt building in which protesters clashed with police; some twenty arrested. Over 80 reportedly arrested during large-scale protest 28 Nov, including opposition Self-Determination party leader Albin Kurti, remanded in custody for 30 days. Opposition disrupted parliament again 30 Nov. Constitutional Court (CC) suspended implementation of agreement pending review of its compliance with constitution, with decision expected Jan 2016; Serbia expressed anger over suspension of deal. Police found grenade outside CC 18 Nov.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Dec 2015

Unchanged

Leaders of Republika Srpska (RS) entity 29 Nov said they would challenge state-level constitutional court’s decision to abolish RS’s annual Republic Day holiday. Gunman killed two soldiers and injured a third in suburbs of Sarajevo 18 Nov, before killing himself during confrontation with police. Bomb thrown at police station in Zavidovici 24 Nov; no injuries. Serbian PM Vucic handed over €2mn in development aid to mayor of Srebrenica during early Nov visit to town.

Macedonia

  |  2 Nov 2015

Deteriorated

Increasing concern over fate of July EU-brokered agreement between opposition and govt, after talks on electoral reforms failed to produce agreement. Opposition suspended its participation in talks 14 Oct after National Prosecutors Council approved only half of fourteen-strong team of deputy special prosecutors proposed by newly-appointed special prosecutor in charge of probing claims that govt engaged in illegal surveillance of citizens. Despite continued talks and pressure from EU, sides remained unable to agree, endangering timetable for early elections in April 2016. Govt 7 Oct withdrew draft law it proposed previous day to ban publishing of materials related to wiretap claims, following protests outside parliament.

Kosovo

  |  2 Nov 2015

Unchanged

Opposition lawmakers disrupted parliament in protest against 25 Aug EU-backed agreement between Kosovo and Serbia on establishment of association of Serb-majority municipalities; MPs reportedly from Self-Determination (Vetevendosje) party set off tear gas canisters in parliament 8, 15 and 23 Oct. Vetevendosje activists clashed with police 13 Oct after party leader was arrested for setting off tear gas in parliament; protests outside parliament clashed with police again 23 Oct. EU and Kosovo 27 Oct signed Stabilisation and Association Agreement.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  2 Nov 2015

Unchanged

EU foreign Affairs Council 12 Oct expressed “serious concern” over Republika Srpska plans for referendum on authority of national courts in entity. State- and entity-level justice ministers agreed reforms of state-level court to be finished by year-end.

Macedonia

  |  1 Oct 2015

Improved

Month saw progress in implementation of July EU-brokered agreement between opposition and govt: opposition 1 Sept returned to parliament, ending fifteen-month boycott; political parties 15 Sept agreed on appointment of Katica Janeva as special prosecutor to investigate claims that PM Gruevski’s govt was illegally wiretapping citizens, meeting deadline set in July deal. EU-brokered talks on media reform began late month, opposition said reform essential before elections scheduled for April. Skopje court 2 Sept said tapes possessed by opposition which allegedly prove illegal wiretapping not admissible as evidence in court since they were “illegally obtained”; Gruevski maintains tapes not authentic. Opposition called the ruling provocative, but said will not abandon talks on implementation of July agreement.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Oct 2015

Unchanged

Constitutional Court 9 Sept ruled July decision by Republika Srpska (RS) legislative assembly to hold referendum on authority of national courts and Office of High Representative (OHR) in RS legal, despite veto from Bosniak delegates. State and RS ministers 10 Sept attended “structured dialogue” mediated by EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn, agreed on package of justice reforms. RS ruling Bosnian Serb party SNSD 13 Sept said it will go ahead with planned referendum despite 10 Sept agreement.

Macedonia

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

Govt and opposition met at EU-mediated talks 26 Aug to discuss appointment of new special prosecutor to investigate illegal surveillance claims, in accordance with June EU-brokered agreement; no consensus reached. Opposition leader Zoran Zaev 29 Aug said if special prosecutor not appointed by 15 Sept deadline he will release more tapes allegedly showing that govt was illegally wiretapping citizens. Govt 20 August declared state of emergency on borders with Serbia and Greece due to influx of refugees and migrants, deployed troops to border with Greece.

Kosovo

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

Following another round of EU-brokered talks, Kosovo and Serbia PMs 25 Aug signed landmark agreements including on energy, establishment of Association of Serbian Municipalities and freedom of movement/Mitrovica bridge. Parliament 3 Aug adopted necessary constitutional changes to establish War Crimes Court to try former Kosovo Liberation Army fighters, in move welcomed by EU and U.S.. Opposition said new court unconstitutional, 11 Aug asked constitutional court to annul law. Some 1,000 Kosovo Serbs protested in Mitrovica 14 Aug demanding release of hunger-striking politician Oliver Ivanovic, arrested in Jan 2014 for war crimes and awaiting his verdict, after EULEX judges 6 Aug extended his detention.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

At EU Balkan summit in Vienna 27 Aug EU representatives underlined commitment to region, called for further reforms. Republika Srpska (RS) entity opposition leader 27 Aug said he has tapes proving vote-buying in Oct 2014 local elections by RS PM Željka Cvijanović; ruling SNSD party denied accusations.

Macedonia

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Agreement between four main political parties reached 15 July, in step to end political crisis around alleged widespread illegal surveillance by govt. EU-mediated deal stipulates resignation of PM Gruevski by Jan 2016, interim govt to be sworn in, parliamentary elections in April 2016. Opposition 21 July said govt cancelled follow-up meeting on implementing reforms, accused it of stalling. Skopje court 1 July ruled trial of opposition leader Zoran Zaev for attempting to blackmail Gruevski should proceed. Member of ethnic Albanian party Democratic Union for Integration shot dead in Kumanovo 24 July; local party head surrendered to police, claimed self-defence.

Kosovo

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Ethnic Serb MPs 20 July blocked law on creation of Kosovo army. Violent incidents in Serb village Goraždevac 8-9 July: two cars shot at, Molotov cocktail thrown at monument to Serb victims of war. Parliament 23 July passed resolution requesting probe into alleged corruption in EULEX mission. Authorities 11 July cut water supply in Pristina citing “security issues” following arrest of five suspects reportedly linked to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL), accused of planning to poison reservoir. Police 7 July arrested man suspected of taking part in May shootout in Kumanovo, Macedonia.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Republika Srpska (RS) legislative assembly 15 July voted to hold referendum on authority of national courts and Office of High Representative (OHR) over ethnic Serbs; OHR, U.S. criticised decision, Bosniak delegates to RS assembly 23 July vetoed referendum. Govt 27 July adopted reform plan required for progress on EU integration; thousands protested 30 July against labour law passed as part of reforms. During 11 July commemoration of 1995 killing of over 7,000 Bosniak men and boys by Serbs in Srebrenica, some mourners attacked Serbian PM Vučić; Bosnian and Serbian leaders meeting 22 July pledged cooperation despite attack. Russia 8 July vetoed UNSC resolution calling 1995 Srebrenica killings “genocide”.

Macedonia

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Amid ongoing political crisis centred on apparent mass illegal surveillance by govt, EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn helped broker 2 June agreement between govt and opposition to advance elections by two years, to April 2016, preceded by transitional period to prepare for polls. Negotiations subsequently deadlocked over details, including whether/when PM Gruevski would resign. Opposition insists he must go and transitional government have six-nine months to level electoral playing field and threatened to “radicalise” protests if no agreement reached by end of month. EU 19 June issued expert report on crisis, urging rule-of-law reforms, backed by EU Council 23 June. Opposition continued to release selective recordings, including some suggesting involvement in corruption of govt’s ethnic-Albanian partner party, as pressure grows on that party to leave coalition if no agreement by end of June. Greek FM visited Skopje 24 June, part of attempt to rekindle relations despite name dispute which has blocked Macedonia’s EU accession progress.

Kosovo

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Parliamentary vote on proposal to establish court to try alleged Kosovo Liberation Army war crimes failed to pass 26 June; U.S., EU expressed disappointment. Latest round of Pristina-Belgrade dialogue late month failed to produce agreement.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Ruling coalition of Federation entity broke up 4 June as Democratic Front quit over change in rules on appointments of new managers for public companies. Federation 9 June adopted reform plan, part of reform agenda required for progress on EU integration and external financing, however Republika Srpska leaders refused to sign plan.

Macedonia

  |  1 Jun 2015

Deteriorated

Against backdrop of deepening political crisis, shootout between police and gunmen prompted increasing concern over stability. Eight police and ten gunmen killed and almost 40 injured 9-10 May in Kumanovo, ethnically mixed town 40km north of Skopje, in region that saw heavy fighting during 2001 insurgency. Authorities said operation responded to information on “armed group” that “infiltrated” from neighbouring state planning “terrorist acts”; said some gunmen were involved in April seizing of police station. Slain included one ethnic Albanian, nine Kosovars. 30 people charged with terrorism-related offences, including eighteen Kosovo, eleven Macedonian, one Albanian nationals. UN, NATO and EU urged calm. Opposition accused govt of using operation to create diversion from wire-tapping scandal and opposition’s ongoing release of recordings allegedly made by govt and revealing its interference in press, judiciary and elections, as well as massive corruption. Opposition (social democratic party) leader Zoran Zaev indicted 1 May for wiretapping and “violence against representatives of the highest state bodies” but not yet arrested. Western ambassadors 11 May criticised govt failure to investigate alleged abuses, questioned its commitment to democratic principles. Interior and transport ministers and intelligence chief resigned 12 May, but tens of thousands joined protests in Skopje 17 May demanding govt resign; PM Gruevski organised pro-govt rally 18 May. Opposition and pro-govt supporters maintaining camps in front of govt and parliament respectively; small numbers of civil society members staging independent anti-govt protests around Skopje daily. EU seeks to mediate compromise in negotiations between four main political parties, as tension rises.

Kosovo

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

President and PM 11 May expressed concern over reported involvement of nine Kosovo citizens in clashes with police in Macedonian town Kumanovo 9-10 May (see Macedonia); said violence intended to destabilise Kosovo. Macedonian authorities arrested 23 Kosovars in connection with incident fighting; Kosovo condemned any involvement by Kosovars; police mid-month raided several houses, including families of those accused of taking part. Relatives of those killed/arrested in Kumanovo incident 20 May rallied in Pristina demanding information. Prosecutor 7 May charged 32 with terrorism and ties with Islamic State and al-Nusra. European Commission 30 April approved Stabilisation and Association Agreement.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

Following 27 April attack by suspected radical Islamist on police station in Zvornik in Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, RS police 6 May arrested 30 Bosniaks suspected of involvement in Islamist radical activity; also reportedly seized arms and other military equipment. Arrests carried out without coordination with state agencies, raising concerns among Bosniaks and contributing to increased ethnic tensions. State House of Representatives 28 May adopted conclusion condemning Zvornik attack as terrorist act.

Macedonia

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged
Escalating political crisis as opposition Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev produced further tapes that opposition alleges show PM Gruevski’s govt was illegally wire-tapping thousands of citizens, interfering with judiciary, media, elections. Zaev charged with revealing state secrets; previously charged with corruption, attempted blackmail. EU Council 21 April expressed “grave concern regarding the deteriorating situation”, particularly in rule of law, fundamental rights and freedom of media; called for political dialogue, investigation of all allegations. Members of European Parliament facilitating talks between govt and opposition. Group of 40 armed men 21 April attacked and briefly took over police station in Goshince village on border with Kosovo, reportedly claiming to be members of Albanian National Liberation Army.

Kosovo

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Stabbing of ethnic Serb in Mitrovica 9 April sparked series of minor attacks between ethnic Serbs and Albanians. EU hosted another round of Kosovo-Serbia talks 22 April; Pristina agreed to stop privatisation of companies in north without local Serbs’ consent. Kosovo Serb politicians ended two-month boycott of parliament. Kosovar Centre for Security Studies 14 April released report saying over 200 Kosovans fighting alongside Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Bosnian Serb SNSD adopted resolution during its party congress 25 April calling for referendum in 2018 on secession of Republika Srpska (RS) unless RS is given more autonomy. SNSD 7 April also said it will boycott newly-established Council of Ministers. Tensions increased further following 27 April attack on police station in Zvornik in RS by man suspected of being radical Islamist: gunman killed one policeman and wounded two before being shot dead. Govt increased security across country. RS President Dodik 28 April said federal security forces incompetent, RS will develop its own intelligence service. Prosecutor’s Office 14 April charged four men with financing terrorist activities, recruiting fighters for Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL).

Kosovo

  |  1 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Minister for Dialogue Edita Tahiri issued report 23 March blaming Belgrade for delay in implementing April 2013 Brussels Agreement on normalisation of Kosovo-Serbia relations, by maintaining parallel structures. Kosovo, Serbia and EU late month reached agreement to dissolve parallel Civil Protection force in Serb-majority north, incorporate members into police (in line with Brussels Agreement).

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Three main parties of Bosnia’s Federation entity, Party of Democratic Action (SDA), Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and Democratic Front 12 March agreed on formation of new govt, following Oct 2014 elections; SDA to hold PM post. State parliament 31 March approved nine-member Council of Ministers. EU FMs 16 March activated Bosnia’s Stabilisation and Association Agreement following Feb declaration by Bosnian parliament in support of EU integration. Main Bosnian Serb party SNSD and Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik same day announced boycott of parliament over disagreement on distribution of positions in committees.

Kosovo

  |  2 Mar 2015

Unchanged

Following Jan mass protests, PM Mustafa 3 Feb said Serb Minister for Communities and Returns Aleksandar Jablanovic no longer part of cabinet; Jablanovic’s removal prompted other Serb ministers in govt to threaten to resign. Kosovo and Serbian PMs met in Brussels 9 Feb for resumed dialogue on normalising relations, first such meeting since March 2014; next day signed agreement on integrating courts in Serb-run north into Kosovo judicial system. EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn during visit 18 Feb said Kosovo to sign Stabilization and Association Agreement with EU in 2015. Largest numbers of people reportedly leaving Kosovo since 1990s conflict; police reported 25,000 have crossed illegally from Kosovo into Hungary since Sept 2014, other estimates run to 100,000. On day of seventh anniversary of independence 17 Feb, PM Mustafa urged citizens not to leave.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  2 Mar 2015

Unchanged

Parliament 23 Feb adopted declaration pledging support for EU integration, paving way for EU to active country’s Stabilisation and Association Agreement. Ruling coalition parties agreed on new govt 22 Feb, day before visit of EU foreign policy chief Mogherini. House of Peoples 16 Feb elected new speaker Barisa Colak from Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and Serb and Bosniak deputy speakers. Talks continued on formation of Federation entity govt, with party leaders 25 Feb again failing to agree on distribution of ministerial positions.

Kosovo

  |  2 Feb 2015

Unchanged

Dozens injured, over 100 arrested as police clashed with thousands of anti-govt protesters in Pristina late Jan calling for removal of Minister for Communities and Returns Aleksandar Jablanovic, accused of insulting ethnic Albanians early Jan, and for adoption of bill nationalising Trepca mine. Police used tear gas and water canon to disperse protests, largest since 2008 independence.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  2 Feb 2015

Unchanged

Tripartite state presidency 29 Jan signed revised joint declaration confirming commitment to reforms, part of new initiative to revive Bosnia’s EU accession bid. Initial declaration of 31 Dec revised after president of Republika Srpska entity Milorad Dodik refused to back it, calling it attempt to further centralise country; said new statement, which refers to constitution, 1995 peace accord and entities, acceptable.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Lower house of new parliament 9 Dec elected as speaker Sefik Dzaferovic from mainly Bosniak Party of Democratic Action (SDA), and deputy speakers from Croatian Democratic Union and Serbian Democratic Party. SDA 18 Dec named Denis Zvizdic president of Council of Ministers (in effect PM). EU foreign policy chief Mogherini and enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn visiting early month urged progress on reform agenda. EU Foreign Affairs Council 15 Dec backed UK-German initiative to revive Bosnia’s EU accession bid. Republika Srpska formed new govt. UNSC extended deployment of EUFOR troops for another year.

Kosovo

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) and Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) 8 Dec signed power-sharing agreement, allowing formation of new govt. Parliament 9 Dec appointed former Pristina mayor and LDK leader Isa Mustafa new PM; former PM and PDK leader Hashim Thaci appointed deputy PM and FM. EU foreign policy chief Mogherini said looking forward to resumption of high-level Pristina-Belgrade dialogue. Pristina police seized explosives in car belonging to Serbian national in suspected bombing attempt. Transparency International Global Corruption index ranked Kosovo and Albania most corrupt countries in region.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Following Oct elections, Party of Democratic Action (SDA), Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and Democratic Front (DF) 19 Nov signed agreement to govern federation entity; seeking deal with party from Republika Srpska entity to form state-level govt. Lower house of state parliament expected to be inaugurated 4 Dec. New tri-partite presidency took office 17 Nov. Germany and UK FMs 5 Nov sent open letter to people of Bosnia outlining initiative to push for progress on EU membership if govt signs up to reforms. EU foreign policy chief Mogherini 17 Nov reported new EU effort to promote reforms.

Kosovo

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

President Jahjaga 19 Nov reported two biggest parties, PM Thaci’s Democratic Party (PDK) and opposition Democratic League (LDK), agreed in principle to form coalition govt, bringing end to five-month deadlock since June elections. Deal came after opposition agreed to relinquish claim to post of parliament speaker. Jahjaga announced parliament session to install new govt scheduled 8 Dec. EU foreign policy chief Mogherini appointed independent expert to investigate allegations of corruption in EULEX mission. Joint report by Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Kosovo and Belgrade-based Center for Transparency, Research and Accountability highlighted failure to fully implement most accords reached in Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, called for action to revive momentum; Mogherini also called for action, resumption of dialogue.

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