UNMIK’s Kosovo Albatross : Tackling Division in Mitrovica
UNMIK’s Kosovo Albatross : Tackling Division in Mitrovica
Table of Contents
  1. Executive Summary
How to Relaunch the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue
How to Relaunch the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue
Report 131 / Europe & Central Asia

UNMIK’s Kosovo Albatross : Tackling Division in Mitrovica

Three years after its establishment, the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) has not established a safe and secure environment, the rule of law or a meaningful civil administration in north Mitrovica.

Executive Summary

Three years after its establishment, the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) has not established a safe and secure environment, the rule of law or a meaningful civil administration in north Mitrovica.  The city’s continuing de facto partition, with parallel structures run by Belgrade operating north of the river Ibar, is a black mark on the international community’s record in Kosovo. It calls into question Serbia and the FRY's commitment to regional stability and undermines UNMIK’s credibility with ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

UNMIK and the NATO-led KFOR troops must act vigorously to establish their jurisdiction in Mitrovica. Otherwise local actors will draw the lessons that the international community will bow to force or the threat of force; that UN Security Council Resolution 1244 can be altered by local defiance; and that the final status of Kosovo, or at least parts of it, can be settled through violent means.

The Serbs of Mitrovica have become pawns in the nationalist game played by Belgrade and hostages to organised crime.  Meanwhile the continuing lack of clarity about the international community’s objectives allows hard-liners among ethnic Albanians to play on fears that the secret aim is partition, both of Mitrovica and of the entire province.

The international community must demonstrate that it has a clear strategy for overcoming Mitrovica’s division, and above all that it has the will to solve the problem.

This report proposes that it adopt a multi-track approach that combines pressure on Belgrade to honour its obligations in Kosovo with vigorous action to ensure the rule of law in Mitrovica and an innovative offer to the city’s Serbs of integration into local government structures.

Pristina/Belgrade/Brussels, 3 June 2002

How to Relaunch the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue

Online Event to discuss Crisis Group's report "Relaunching the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue", in which we discussed what currently stands in the way of a new status quo and what it will take to relaunch the process with the Pristina elections in view.

Thirteen years after Kosovo broke away from Serbia, the two countries remain mired in mutual non-recognition, with deleterious effects on both. The parties need to move past technicalities to tackle the main issues at stake: Pristina’s independence and Belgrade’s influence over Kosovo’s Serbian minority.

In this conversation, we discussed what currently stands in the way of a new status quo and what it will take to relaunch the process with the Pristina elections in view.

How to Relaunch the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue (Online Event, 28th January 2021)

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