The limits of the West's resolve to enforce a solution to the crisis in the Balkans were freshly exposed last week at a press briefing by U.S. President Bill Clinton.
The donor countries hoped the governments of Bosnia and Herzegovina would use the promised $ 5.1 Billion post-war reconstruction aid to undertake the structural changes necessary to transition from communism to capitalism.
NATO’s strategy in the war with Yugoslavia over Kosovo isn’t working. As the Alliance’s bombing campaign enters its fourth week, it is Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic who is still winning the political game.
The early part of 1999 has been turbulent for Republika Srpska. Political life has been unsettled by three separate and hardly-related crises: the decision of the High Representative to remove from office the RS President Nikola Poplasen; the decision of International Arbitrator Roberts Owen to give the municipality of Brcko neither to RS nor to the Federation but to both as a condominium; and the NATO air-strikes on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY).
The new Macedonian government marked its first hundred days in office in early March.
With just over two years to run before the end of his term as Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic remains entrenched in power in Belgrade.
The Kosovo peace talks, held at Rambouillet (France) under the auspices of the six-nation Contact Group, have been suspended until 15 March 1999 after a provisional agreement was reached on granting substantial autonomy for Kosovo.
While last spring saw conflict erupt in Kosovo's central Drenica region when Serbian security forces attacked and killed residents of the villages of Prekaz and Likoshan, this spring brings the possibility of peace.
Electoral reform is on the agenda this year in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For too long the country has been ruled by leaders who draw support from only one of the three main ethnic groups.
The Arbitral Tribunal on Brcko meets this month, and may or may not this time make its final decision, after postponements in 1997 and 1998.
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