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CrisisWatch Database

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574 results found
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Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Jul 2013

Unchanged

Protests began outside state parliament 5 June demanding MPs resolve dispute over adoption of new law on personal numbers which is preventing babies born since Feb 2013 from obtaining ID numbers and personal documents including passports; protests triggered by cases of infants unable to travel abroad for urgent medical treatment. Law blocked due to disagreement over whether numbers should denote entity of birth. Some 3,000 protested 6 June, blocked parliament building overnight, trapping MPs, staff and several hundred foreign visitors. High Representative Inzko agreed to call session of Peace Implementation Council (PIC) to end stalemate; PIC said pushing through law using executive powers not an option. Some 10,000 took part in largest protest in Sarajevo 11 June; smaller gatherings elsewhere in country, including Republika Srpska capital Banja Luka. Protesters also calling for 30% reduction in MP salaries. Some Serb, Croat officials refused to attend govt/parliament sessions in Sarajevo citing security concerns; PM Bevanda suspended govt 12 June. Govt 17 June rejected draft agreement on border with Croatia, day later accepted agreement, needed to allow flow of people, goods into Croatia when it joins EU. First census in 22 years given go-ahead for 1 Oct start.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Jun 2013

Unchanged

High Representative Inzko’s latest report to UNSG Ban cited concern over independence rhetoric from Republika Srpska. Constitutional Court 24 May ruled Federation entity president Živko Budimir, arrested late April for corruption, be released from detention along with 4 co-accused aides. State prosecutor’s office said it would appeal decision. Budimir’s Party of Justice and Trust claim arrest politically motivated. ICTY 29 May convicted 6 leaders of wartime Croatian Defence Council (HVO) of war crimes; also implicated Croatia for backing HVO campaign of ethnic cleansing and seeking to seize Bosnian territory. European parliament voted against proposal to suspend Bosnia from Council of Europe over its failure to enact constitutional reforms.

Kosovo

  |  1 Jun 2013

Unchanged

Kosovo PM Thaçi and Serbian PM Dačić 24 May agreed on implementation plan for EU-brokered 19 April normalisation deal, covering 6 policy areas including legislative change, Association-Community formation, police, courts, elections. Serb leaders in north early month reiterated rejection of 19 April deal, wrote to Russia seeking help against “unilateral action” of U.S., EU and Pristina. Serbian deputy PM Vučić and Kosovo Serb leaders 12 May reached agreement on implementation of April deal, including Serbian support for northern Kosovo. Pristina police 5 May arrested alleged regional organised crime figure Naser Kelmendi. EULEX 23 May arrested 7 former KLA members on war crimes charges from 1998-99.

Macedonia

  |  1 May 2013

Unchanged

Ruling VMRO DPMNE won majority of mayoral seats in 7 April 2nd round of local elections, consolidating first round gains; court ordered re-run in several municipalities due to allegations of irregularities. European Commission progress report 16 April said country had made progress in almost all EU-related areas. UN mediator in name dispute between Greece and Macedonia offered fresh compromise proposal.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 May 2013

Unchanged

Following visit to Bosnia 18 April, EU foreign policy chief Ashton said she was disappointed by lack of progress on political reform, political parties’ focus on party and ethnic interests; echoed concern expressed by EU Enlargement Commissioner Füle over continued failure to implement 2009 European Court of Human Rights Sejdić-Finci ruling. President of Bosniak-Croat Federation Živko Budimir and 18 other officials arrested as part of corruption investigation.

Kosovo

  |  1 May 2013

Improved

Kosovo and Serbia reached breakthrough deal at 10th session of EU-mediated dialogue in Brussels 19 April: agreement recognises authority of Pristina over whole territory of Kosovo and grants local autonomy based on provisions of Ahtisaari Plan. Also creates new post of police commander for northern Kosovo, to be Serb appointed by Pristina on nomination of local authorities, and chamber of Court of Appeal in North Mitrovica with majority of Serb judges. Northern Serbs rejected deal, considering their options. Despite protests against deal in Pristina and Belgrade and northern Mitrovica, Kosovo Parliament 21 April voted 89-5 in favour of deal, Serbia’s govt approved it 22 April, Serbian parliament 26 April. Followed 8th and 9th round of dialogue earlier in month at which Belgrade rejected terms which it claimed did not provide basic rights, security for Serbs.

Serbia

  |  1 May 2013

Improved

European Commission 22 April said it would recommend start date for EU accession talks with Serbia following breakthrough deal normalising relations between Belgrade and Pristina (see Kosovo).

Macedonia

  |  1 Apr 2013

Unchanged

Opposition and govt 1 March struck deal ending political crisis: opposition agreed to end boycott of parliament and take part in 24 March local elections, govt agreed to talks on timing of general elections, debate about democratic freedoms; commission of experts to investigate 24 Dec 2012 incident in parliament that triggered crisis. In local elections, ruling VMRO DPMNE won first round vote in 25 out of 80 municipalities, with lead in 32 more ahead of second round scheduled early April. Opposition, which won only 1 seat outright, renewed call for early general elections. OSCE expressed concern over irregularities in polls. Beginning of month saw 2 days of riots in Skopje following appointment of ethnic Albanian ex-guerrilla Talat Xhaferi as defence minister: protest by several hundred ethnic Macedonians reportedly turned violent, prompting counter-protests by ethnic Albanians; around 30 injured.

Kosovo

  |  1 Apr 2013

Unchanged

4 March 6th round of talks between Kosovo and Serbian PMs focusing on future of Serbian-financed parallel institutions in N Kosovo began in Brussels 4 March, no agreement reached. Following 7th round of talks 20 March, EU foreign policy chief Ashton said sides “very close to solution to some specific issues such as northern Kosovo”, hopeful that they will finalise deal at meeting scheduled 2 April. EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle told Kosovo leaders to strengthen fight against corruption, in addition to normalizing relations with Serbia, in order to achieve Stabilisation and Association Agreement by June.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Apr 2013

Unchanged

Bosniak Party of Democratic Action (SDA) MPs 21 March blocked nominations of 3 judges to entity’s constitutional court, which has been incomplete since 2008 and needs quorum of judges to rule on validity of Feb no-confidence vote in govt. Federation PM Nermin Niksic (SDP) walked out of govt session 20 March, accused other parties of staging a putsch after they voted to change procedures to allow deputy PM to call govt sessions. Court sentenced former Serb paramilitary commander Veselin Vlahovic, “Monster of Grbavica”, to 45 years’ jail for war crimes.

Kosovo

  |  1 Mar 2013

Unchanged

Kosovo and Serbian PMs met for 5th round of dialogue in Brussels 19-20 Feb; spoke about institutions in north Kosovo, agreed to meet again 4 March. Presidents of Kosovo and Serbia 6 Feb met for first time since Kosovo declared independence. Series of bombings in N Mitrovica, many targeting homes/property of people linked with Kosovo govt office, but also including 2 Serb children injured 4 Feb; large explosion 25 Feb demolished apartment. Local Serbs renewed roadblocks on Pristina-Belgrade highway. European Commission 12 Feb issued first report on Kosovo’s progress on requirements of visa liberalisation roadmap, citing limited capacity to fight organised crime and calling for several new laws. Serbian monastery Visoki Dečani surrounded by KFOR troops 8 Feb to protect it from demonstrators. Kosovo-Serbia agreement on liaison officers to work in EU delegation premises in Belgrade and Pristina delayed by disagreement over diplomatic immunity.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Mar 2013

Unchanged

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) entity lower chamber 12 Feb voted no confidence in FBiH govt; upper chamber 15 Feb blocked vote, through Bosniak caucus’s invocation of vital national interest. Constitutional court unable to rule on validity of veto as lacks necessary quorum of judges, due to ongoing failure to fill posts falling vacant. Republika Srpska (RS) president Dodik asked RS govt to step down, named former head of EU integration unit Željka Cvijanović new PM. Bosnia parliament voted to delay first nationwide census since 1991 until Oct.

Macedonia

  |  1 Mar 2013

Unchanged

As political crisis continued, govt turned down opposition SDSM demand to postpone 24 March local elections or hold them together with early general elections. SDSM pledged to boycott local elections unless settlement is reached with govt. EU enlargement commissioner Füle wrote to SDSM and ruling VMRO party leaders 21 Feb warning Macedonia risked losing its way to EU and NATO unless they could find a way forward, travelled to Skopje 28 Feb.

Serbia

  |  1 Feb 2013

Unchanged

Parliament 13 Jan passed resolution on high-level dialogue with Pristina, based on govt platform adopted earlier in month, which calls for territorial and political autonomy for Serb municipalities in Kosovo, accepts step-by-step approach in place of demand that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”, drops call to demilitarise Kosovo. Authorities 20 Jan removed controversial memorial to ethnic Albanian fighters in Preševo in south, prompting upheaval in Preševo, calls for secession.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Feb 2013

Unchanged

Political crisis in Mostar continued to worsen; city lacking lawful govt after it failed to hold local elections in Oct 2012, now has no budget for 2013. Bosnian Army war memorial in front of city hall destroyed by explosion 14 Jan. Local leaders rejected new attempt by Office of the High Representative 23 Jan to negotiate a solution. EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle warned EU will not recognise next elections if Bosnia fails to implement European Court of Human Rights Sejdić-Finci ruling. In Federation entity, coalition led by Social Democratic Party continued efforts to pass no-confidence vote in entity govt. Govt criticised after clearing way for formation of 4th, Croat-language public broadcaster.

Macedonia

  |  1 Feb 2013

Unchanged

Political crisis that began 24 Dec with ejection of opposition MPs from parliament ahead of budget vote ongoing, as opposition continued to boycott parliament, staged protests and road blocks during month. Opposition demanding resignations of ministers for police, justice and finance, early general elections in March, reform of electoral register. PM Gruevski accused opposition of attempting coup, rejected early general elections. Meeting between Gruevski and opposition leader Crvenkovski 22 Jan failed to resolve crisis. Several thousand participated in opposition march 27 Jan. Visiting EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle 23 Jan urged sides to resolve crisis, focus on EU accession agenda. UN mediator in name dispute between Macedonia and Greece Matthew Nimetz held talks in both countries’ capitals 9-11 Jan, and with negotiators in New York late month; Füle also proposed new initiative on name.

Kosovo

  |  1 Feb 2013

Unchanged

Kosovo and Serbia PMs met in 4th round of EU-mediated talks in Brussels 17 Jan, agreed on compromise solution for customs duties, VAT for Serb-run north of Kosovo. PM Thaçi late month announced special fund to be set up in state budget for Serb-run north, to be financed from customs/taxes collected at border with Serbia; Serbia condemned proposal. Dozens of Serb graves attacked in Klokot and Prizren 20-21 Jan, in apparent retaliation for Belgrade’s removal of monument to Albanian fighters in Preševo (see Serbia). 3 official vehicles found burnt out in Pristina 18 Jan; 2 blasts reported in north 17 Jan.

Macedonia

  |  30 Dec 2012

Unchanged

EU Council 11 Dec declined to open accession talks with Macedonia, after Greece again blocked start date for talks on grounds of bilateral name dispute, supported by Bulgaria. As thousands of pro- and anti-govt protestors clashed violently outside parliament over govt’s 2013 proposed budget and opposition attempts to block it, opposition ejected from parliament 24 Dec, began parliamentary boycott 25 Dec.

Serbia

  |  30 Dec 2012

Unchanged

EU Council 11 Dec declined to open accession talks with Serbia; said talks might begin early 2013, if Belgrade makes progress in normalising relations with Kosovo.

For more information please visit our CrisisWatch database. To learn more about our work in Serbia please visit the specific country page.

  • “Confounding expectations”, Economist, 15 Dec. 2012.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

      |  30 Dec 2012

    Unchanged

    Continued uncertainty over Mostar city govt and budget after Bosniak Party of Democratic Action (SDA) 28 Nov walked out of OHR-led negotiations among political parties. Republika Srpska VP Vlajki 12 Dec said entity “should declare independence”. Gunman who shot at U.S. embassy Oct 2011 jailed for 18 years.

    Kosovo

      |  30 Dec 2012

    Unchanged

    PM Thaçi and Serbian PM Dačić met for 3rd time in Brussels 4 Dec, agreed to implement controversial Integrated Border Management agreement, under which border and trade officials from both sides to work in coordination. Implementation started 10 Dec at 2 crossing points. Belgrade rejected Pristina’s claims that it would shortly be appointing diplomats, reiterated officials would be “liaison officers”. Pristina-Belgrade dialogue scheduled to continue 17 Jan. Serbian govt officials 17 Dec circulated long-awaited govt platform for negotiations, treating Kosovo as autonomous province, calling for Autonomous Community of Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo; Thaçi dismissed plans. EU Council 12 Dec declined to give mandate for start of negotiations for Stabilisation and Association Agreement for Kosovo, called for progress on rule of law, public administration, minority protection, cooperation with EULEX and other areas. Public anger, protests after Supreme Court panel of majority EULEX judges late Nov ruled retrial of Klecka case involving PDK party VP Fatmir Limaj and several other former KLA fighters, ordered detention of Limaj.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

      |  1 Dec 2012

    Unchanged

    SDP and largely Serb League of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) 31 Oct came out with joint political platform, paving way for creation of new state-level coalition comprising SDP, SNSD, League for a Better Future (SBB), Serb Democratic Party, HDZ, HDZ 1990. New coalition promised to move swiftly on constitutional reform and other key priorities, 2 new ministers appointed 22 Nov. SDA promised to block implementation of new platform. Mostar City Council 3 Nov illegally extended its own mandate after failure to hold local election in city in Oct; High Representative Inzko rejected action, warned Council not to act. In 21 Nov statement RS President Dodik called for formation of 3rd, Croat entity within Bosnia. In Federation entity, govt session called off due to lack of quorum, 2013 budget discussion postponed.

    Kosovo

      |  1 Dec 2012

    Unchanged

    EU 7 Nov hosted 2nd high-level meeting between Kosovo PM Thaçi and Serbia PM Dačić, following visits to Pristina and Belgrade by U.S. Sec State Clinton and EU foreign policy chief Ashton pushing dialogue. Working groups met, implementation of key “integrated management of crossing points” agreement expected to begin early Dec. Shootings and explosions marred attempts to begin construction of new houses in mixed Mitrovica neighbourhood; UNMIK officials warned construction unauthorised; Serbs attacked Albanian construction workers, at least 8 Serb members of Kosovo Police (KP) refused orders to protect them. Serbian special police 31 Oct arrested Slavoljub Jović aka “Pagi” in Mitrovica, took him across border into Serbia to face trial on charges of firing at KFOR troops in June. Former PM Haradinaj and 2 other ex-KLA commanders acquitted during their retrial at ICTY in The Hague; ruling condemned by Serbs, received with euphoria in Pristina. Tapes of EULEX interceptions of phone conversations by PM Thaçi and other senior officials leaked 29 Nov, condemned as fakes by govt but said to be part of ongoing investigation by EULEX.

    Kosovo

      |  1 Nov 2012

    Unchanged

    PM Thaci and Serbian PM Dačić met in Brussels 19 Oct: discussed continuation of EU-mediated dialogue on normalisation of relations. Dačić told Serbian media no change on Serbia’s position of never recognising independence, but said “time for a historic agreement”, Serbia “ready for final status talks”. Followed 10 Oct resumption of technical dialogue, including implementation of Dec 2011 border management agreement; working groups negotiated implementation action plan 12 Oct. Self-Determination movement protesters opposed to talks clashed with police 22 Oct. EC adopted Feasibility Study for Kosovo, confirmed country largely ready to open negotiations on Stabilisation and Association Agreement. Sporadic violence continued in north; 4 arrested following 7 Oct attack on border checkpoint by terrorist “Movement for Freedom”.

    Serbia

      |  1 Nov 2012

    Unchanged

    EC progress report concluded Serbia continues to fulfil political criteria and conditions of Stabilisation and Association process, but called for “visible and sustainable improvement in relations” with Kosovo. PM Dačić said “upset” that report included request for Serbia to respect Kosovo’s territorial integrity.

    Macedonia

      |  1 Nov 2012

    Unchanged

    Govt 3 Oct survived no-confidence vote. EC progress report for 4th year recommended start of accession negotiations, pending solution to ongoing name dispute with Greece. 5 ethnic Albanians formally charged with April killing of 5 ethnic Macedonians. Tens of thousands marched in Skopje 28 Oct calling for early elections.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

      |  1 Nov 2012

    Unchanged

    In local elections 7 Oct Bosniak Party of Democratic Action (SDA) won 37 municipalities; nationalist Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) and its minor coalition partners won 26, up from 13; Republika Srpska president Dodik’s SNSD won only 19, down from 41. Croat HDZ won 13, and HDZ 1990 3. Voter turnout at 56.3%, higher than 2008 polls. Central Election Commission received reports of widespread fraud. Dispute over voting system meant no elections in Mostar. Following elections, predominantly Bosniak SDP expelled rival SDA from state govt, formed new coalition. Annual EC progress report criticised lack of progress on political criteria, institutional reform. U.S. Sec State Clinton urged reforms during late Oct visit.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

      |  1 Oct 2012

    Unchanged

    EU 3 Sept expressed disappointment at Bosnia’s failure to meet 31 Aug deadline for addressing European Court of Human Rights Sejdić-Finci ruling, first deadline in June EU Road Map. Meeting in Sarajevo 12 Sept, PM Bevanda and Serbian PM Dačić pledged to build new relationship between countries. Husein ef. Kavazović elected Grand Mufti of Bosnia’s Islamic Community.

    Macedonia

      |  1 Oct 2012

    Unchanged

    Greek, Macedonian FMs 27 Sept discussed name dispute on sidelines of UNGA. Tensions continued within ruling coalition between ethnic-Macedonian VMRO DPMNE and ethnic-Albanian Democratic Union for Integration (DUI) over draft armed forces bill, with DUI blocking its passage through parliament. Visiting EU Enlargement Commissioner Füle 17 Sept said tensions negatively affecting EU accession reforms.

    Serbia

      |  1 Oct 2012

    Unchanged

    Ahead of European Commission progress report to be published 10 Oct, govt adopted reforms including pledging to implement agreements made earlier in technical talks with Kosovo. European Council president Van Rompuy 4 Sept and EU Enlargement Commissioner Füle 5 Sept urged PM Dačić to step up reform on path to EU membership, open up greater dialogue with Kosovo. Dačić said govt ready to return to talks with Kosovo on substantive political issues. President Nikolić 25 Sept told UNGA Serbia would never recognise independence of Kosovo but committed to “lasting peace between Serbs and Albanians”, called for direct negotiations with Pristina at highest level.

    Kosovo

      |  1 Oct 2012

    Unchanged

    International Steering Group 10 Sept ended international supervision of Kosovo independence, ending mandate of International Civilian Representative (ICR) Peter Feith and closing his office; EU rule of law (EULEX) mission extended to June 2014. Some incidents in Serb enclaves; masked gunmen 7 Sept opened fire on EULEX-Kosovo police convoy in Zubin Potok municipality, injuring 1 police officer. Kosovo law enforcement and EULEX made several high profile arrests for extortion and corruption including Pristina Municipal Council chair 12 Sept. PM Thaci 24 Sept confirmed readiness to engage in high level dialogue with Serbia to EU foreign policy chief Ashton.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

      |  1 Sep 2012

    Unchanged

    Republika Srpska President Dodik 7 Aug refused to participate in govt until FM Lagumdžija resigns for encouraging BiH’s UN representative to support UNSC resolution on Syria without consulting all members of presidency, violating constitution. Govt failed to meet 31 Aug deadline to address 2009 European Court of Human Rights Sejdić-Finci ruling.

    Kosovo

      |  1 Sep 2012

    Unchanged

    Opposition Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) 29 Aug announced it would no longer participate in parliamentary commission on electoral, constitutional reform due to failure of Democratic Party to respect 30 April elections agreement. Kosovo Deputy PM Tahiri 12 Aug demanded Serbia implement principles agreed at March 2011 commencement of dialogue, called on EU to break deadlock. Head of UNMIK Zarif 21 Aug requested UNSC support for renewed Serbia, Kosovo talks. Govt 1 Aug announced EULEX mission to end June 2014, transitional period to commence Sept; parliament 31 Aug passed constitutional amendments regarding transition. In N Kosovo, Serbs 23 Aug prevented EULEX from passing barricade at Zupče; EULEX temporarily sealed all roads to Zubin Potok during barricade dismantlement, talks with local officials. UNSG Ban 22 Aug criticised Kosovo police for failing to react to 28 June attack on Serb buses in Priština that injured 16 children. EULEX prosecutors 31 July indicted 8 judges for embezzlement. Govt 18 Aug announced plans to commence Montenegro, Serbia border demarcation process.

    Macedonia

      |  1 Sep 2012

    Unchanged

    Ruling coalition member Democratic Union for Integration (DUI) 22 Aug threatened to leave govt if parliament adopts law granting benefits to Macedonian armed forces and not to Albanian National Liberation Army (NLA) forces from 2001 conflict. President Ivanov 16 Aug called for investigation of Defence Minister Besimi, other ethnic Albanian ministers for controversially paying respect to NLA fighters 13 Aug; Besimi 22 Aug apologised for causing offence.

    Serbia

      |  1 Sep 2012

    Unchanged

    Parliament 4 Aug passed legislation restricting independence of central bank, 6 Aug confirmed political ally of President Nikolić, Jorgovanka Tabaković, as bank’s head; appointment condemned by EU, U.S. ambassador said process “a failure of the rule of law”.

    Serbia

      |  1 Aug 2012

    Unchanged

    Progressive Party, Socialists, United Regions of Serbia 10 July signed coalition agreement; EU accession named priority. Progressive Party 22 July announced 19-member multi-party govt, pledged “zero-tolerance” on corruption, crime. President Nikolić 19 July claimed secret agreements reached by predecessor’s negotiating team on Kosovo helped to “seal Kosovo’s independence”, 23 July sought UN involvement in Kosovo talks, but asked for respect for Serbia’s sovereignty over Kosovo. During regional visit, U.S. Asst Sec of State Gordon 6 July told Serbia it must accept Kosovo’s independence, called on Serbia to stop supporting illegal security structures in N Kosovo; senior Kosovo govt official 17 July claimed Serbia maintaining police network of hundreds in N Kosovo. Constitutional court 10 July ruled some aspects of law on autonomous northern province Vojvodina unconstitutional. Serbia 10 July indicted 12 people for attack on U.S. embassy during 2008 riots over Kosovo’s independence.

    “EU accession is priority of new Serbian government”, SE Times, 12 July 2012.

    Macedonia

      |  1 Aug 2012

    Unchanged

    UNSG Ban 25 July promised personal engagement in resolving name dispute with Greece; Macedonia 7 July proposed greater cooperation through joint committee, no Greek response. Law suits initiated early-month against President Ivanov, MPs of ruling parties for reinstating provision in new 20 June lustration law; previous version annulled by Constitutional Court in March.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

      |  1 Aug 2012

    Unchanged

    Party for Democratic Action (SDA) 19 July blocked PM Bevanda’s attempt to remove 3 SDA members from govt following June SDA decision to oppose budget and consequent coalition dissolution; SDA leader Sulejman Tihić 16 July said PM should step down as no longer has support of MPs who put him in power. Social Democratic Party (SDP) VP Komšić 23 July resigned over SDP support for implementation of European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) Sejdić-Finci ruling on ethnic minorities. 13 July inter-party constitutional reform discussions failed to reach agreement. ICTY prosecution 3 July lodged appeal against June dismissal of genocide charge against Radovan Karadžić; District Court 17 July sentenced former Croatian Defence Council member to over 5 years in prison for war crimes in Derventa; Banja Luka district court early-month sentenced former Bosnian Serb policeman to 8 years in prison for 1992 war crimes in Gradiška.

    Kosovo

      |  1 Aug 2012

    Unchanged

    International Steering Group 2 July announced Kosovo achieved preconditions for independence, granted full sovereignty from Sept with closing of International Civilian Office; Serbian President Nikolić 10 July said Kosovo should not expect to control northern Serb-dominated region; Minister of Interior Bajram Rexhepi 23 July promised no new police intervention in the north, but sought integration of region. PM Thaçi 8 July held symbolic meeting with Serbian opposition leader Boris Tadić at Dubrovnik regional summit; Serbian govt boycotted meeting due to Kosovo presence. EU High Representative Ashton 25 July called for resumption of Kosovo-Serbia talks in meeting with PM Thaçi. Deputy PM Kuçi 10 July returned to post after parliament amended disputed legislation causing June resignation. Deputy PM Bukoshi, Deputy Finance Minister Haraqija 9 July resigned amid ongoing corruption investigations. In Mitrovica, municipal building stoned 4 July; opening of govt office 9 July met with protests by locals. 3 armed attacks 18 July targeted Kosovo police officer’s home, radio station, private bank in Serb-controlled Zubin Potok.

    “Steering group grants Kosovo full sovereignty”, RFE/RL, 24 July 2012.

    Macedonia

      |  1 Jul 2012

    Unchanged

    Ethnic Albanian opposition party Democratic Union for Integration leader Ali Ahmeti 13 June called for solution to name dispute after elections in Greece, Macedonia, U.S.. Opposition Democratic Party of Albanians 22 June claimed coalition deal with ethnic Macedonian opposition parties SDSM and VMRO-NP close. Govt 13 June revoked license of critical A2 TV channel.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

      |  1 Jul 2012

    Unchanged

    FBiH govt in limbo as 6 party-coalition collapsed 6 June over Bosniak Party for Democratic Action (SDA), Social Democratic Party (SPD) disagreement on budget; SDA refused to withdraw cabinet ministers at state level; SDP seeking to form govt with Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), HDZ 1990 splinter party, Alliance for a Better Future (SBB). EU FMs 25 June expressed concern over impact of political instability on accession process. ICTY 28 June cleared ex-Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic of 1 of 2 genocide charges, citing insufficient evidence. Bosnian court 15 June sentenced 4 Bosnian Serb ex-soldiers to record prison sentences for part in Srebrenica massacre; police 21 June detained 2 ex-military commanders in connection with 1995 massacres.

    Serbia

      |  1 Jul 2012

    Unchanged

    Socialist leader Dačić 28 June received mandate to form govt, coalition expected with Progressives and United Regions of Serbia. Senior EU diplomat 20 June said de facto Kosovo embassy in Belgrade precondition for EU membership. President Nikolić 2 June denied Srebrenica massacre constituted genocide prompting boycott of presidential inauguration by leaders of other Balkan nations. President Nikolić 15 June asserted he would not oppose normalisation of relations with Kosovo, but would never recognise it as country; Serbia 20 June announced upgrade of next round of dialogue with Priština, with President or PM negotiating directly. Prosecution Office 22 June announced criminal proceedings against 13 prominent figures suspected of helping ICTY war crimes suspects Ratko Mladić, Stojan Župljann evade capture. War crimes court 27 June sentenced 14 ex-soldiers to 4-20 years prison for killing Croatian villagers in 1991.    

    Kosovo

      |  1 Jul 2012

    Unchanged

    Clashes 28 June after Kosovo Albanians attacked Serbs visiting Gazimestan historical site. 2 NATO soldiers, 4 Kosovo Serb protesters injured 1 June in firefight over removal of barricades in N Kosovo. 2 grenades thrown 19 June at KFOR Brjnak crossing barracks in N Kosovo. KFOR 22 June bolstered security in preparation for opening of Kosovo govt office in Serb neighbourhood of Mitrovica. Kosovo nationalist activists 21 June pelted convoy of EU envoy Robert Cooper during protest against “paternalistic” approach of EU. Same day parliament amended legislation to pave way for closure of International Civilian Office. Deputy PM Kuçi 22 June resigned in protest against passage of penal code EU says undermines press freedom. EU 5 June announced extension of EULEX mandate until 2014 at reduced manpower.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

      |  1 Jun 2012

    Unchanged

    Coalition govt to split following defection of coalition member Bosniak Party of Democratic Action (SDA) in 30 April vote finalising 2012 budget; Social Democratic Party 31 May called for SDA to leave coalition. Party leaders made substantial progress towards implementation of agreements on state and defence property, governance of autonomous Brčko district; U.S., UK, Turkey signalled Office of High Representative closure subject to assessment of political situation. Republika Srpska (RS) Serb parliamentary parties 17 May said BiH NATO accession would require referendum in RS. ICTY trial of Ratko Mladić began 16 May on charges of genocide. BiH 22 May announced plans for local elections despite EU refusal to recognise polls due to discrimination against ethnic minorities.

    Macedonia

      |  1 Jun 2012

    Unchanged

    Macedonian police 1 May arrested 20 ethnic Albanian “radical Islamists” in connection with April murders of 5 ethnic Macedonians; ethnic Albanians 4, 11 May protested arrests in Skopje. PM Gruevski condemned NATO’s “selective respect of international law” after NATO failed to consider Macedonian accession during Chicago summit due to name dispute; U.S. ambassador Wohlers 31 May stated expectation Macedonia will become NATO member before next summit. Opposition leader Branko Crvenkovski 28 May presented “classified” 2005 UN mediator proposal for name change to “Republika Makedonija”, criticized President Gruevski’s rejection of it; Gruevski 31 May cited proposal’s imprecision on nationality, language.

    Serbia

      |  1 Jun 2012

    Unchanged

    Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) leader Tomislov Nikolić 20 May defeated incumbent President Tadić in presidential elections. New President same day declared Serbia “will not stray from its European path” in effort to assuage fears over previous links to Milosević and cultivation of ties with Moscow; EU, U.S. encouraged continued dialogue with Kosovo. In first official visit to Moscow President Nikolić 28 May said Serbia would not recognize Kosovo even as requirement for EU membership.

    Kosovo

      |  1 Jun 2012

    Unchanged

    Serbian elections 6, 20 May conducted peacefully; OSCE Chairperson 21 May commended “responsible behaviour on all sides”; 2 N Kosovo municipalities conducted local Serbian elections despite opposition from international community; Priština 8 May condemned local elections as illegal. Kosovo 23 May announced opening of administrative office in North Mitrovica to disburse govt funds; Serbia said move “flagrant provocation”. Serbian presidential elections 20 May passed without violence in N Kosovo; new Serbian President Nikolić 28 May stated Serbia would not recognise Kosovo in return for EU membership. EULEX forces 21 May raided home of N Kosovo Serb businessman Zvonko Veselinović, suspected of links to organised crime, organising riots against EULEX forces; 6 suspected accomplices arrested 30 May. 2 Kosovo Serb houses 23 May set on fire in N Kosovo, police investigating links to Albanian National Army paramilitary group.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

      |  1 May 2012

    Unchanged

    Council of Ministers 18 April approved 2012 budget; EU delegation in Sarajevo welcomed move as “setting up new institutions required for EU-related commitments”. FM Lagumdzija 16 April expressed hopes for NATO accession by 2014; Republika Srpska spokesman said Lagumdžija advocating own views in contravention of Dayton Peace Agreement; NATO 10 April said BiH on track for Membership Action Plan. 

    Serbia

      |  1 May 2012

    Unchanged

    Minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanović 15 April stated in U-turn that Serbia would not hold 6 May local elections in N Kosovo but appoint local officials instead (see Kosovo). Bogdanović 20 April claimed ethnic Albanian militias in N Kosovo a result of “Priština’s aspirations, through violence and unilateral action” to control N Kosovo (see Kosovo). Serbian authorities 23 April released Kosovo trade union leader Hasan Abazi, detained last month in series of tit-for-tat arrests on both sides of Kosovo-Serbia border.  

    Kosovo

      |  1 May 2012

    Unchanged

    After weeks of wrangling, political hostilities, Kosovo, Serbia and EU 30 April agreed OSCE to organise Serbian parliamentary, presidential elections in N Kosovo for eligible voters; Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dačić same day claimed to have intelligence Priština planning to attack, sabotage polling stations. EU High Representative Ashton 14 April called on Serbs and Kosovo Albanians to refrain from “selective use of the law” to justify inflammatory arrests following 31 March arrest of 2 Kosovo Police officers on Serbia-Kosovo border by Serbian paramilitary police; arrest allegedly took place inside Kosovo; Kosovo police 23 April arrested 2 Kosovo Serbs, including Serbia’s district chief for Kosovo, for alleged intimidation of Kosovo Serbs regarding 6 May election. Ethnic Albanian 8 April killed in bomb blast outside Mitrovica home. Kosovo police 20 April probed allegations of armed ethnic Albanian militias on patrol in N Kosovo.  

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    CrisisWatch N°141

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