How to Relaunch the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue
How to Relaunch the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue
Report 155 / Europe & Central Asia

Kolaps na Kosovu

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REZIME

Nestabilne osnove na kojima je četiri i po godine postepeno postizan napredak urušile su se 17. marta 2004. godine. U roku od nekoliko sati pokrajina je obuhvaćena demonstracijama protiv Srba i Ujedinjenih nacija i sunovratila se na nivo nasilja koji nije vidjen još od 1999. godine. Do 18. marta to nasilje je preraslo u etničko čišćenje manjinskih sela i gradskih kvartova. Rulje albanskih mladića, ekstremista i kriminalaca su pokazale kolike su slabosti misije Ujedinjenih nacija na Kosovu (UNMIK) i mirovnih snaga koje predvodi NATO (KFOR). Rulja je od privremenih institucija vlasti Kosova, medija i civilnog društva dobila odobrenje da uništava. Medjunarodnoj zajednici je pod hitno potrebna nova politika -- o konačnom statuo potrebna nova politika - o li rulji dozvolu za uni{tenje. Medjunarodna zajednica mladi}a, ekstremista i kriminalsu i o društveno ekonomskom razvoju -- ili bi nestabilnost Kosova mogla da inficira ceo region.

Iza nemira je ostalo devetnaest mrtvih i skoro 900 povredjenih, više od 700 srpskih, aškalijskih ili romskih domova je uništeno ili oštećeno zajedno sa desetak javnih zgrada i 30 srpskih crkava i dva manastira, a oko 4.500 ljudi je raseljeno. Nemiri su bili više spontani nego organizovani a ekstremisti i kriminalne grupe su iskoristile takvu situaciju, pogotovo drugog dana. Frustracija i strah izazvani namerama medjunarodne zajednice u vezi Kosova, nesposobnost UNMIK-a da pokrene privredu sa mrtve tačke i suspenzija privatizacije, kao i uspeh Beograda u poslednjih nekoliko meseci da unese nemir medju kosovske Albance doveli su do jačanja napetosti koja je eksplodirala kada su izbili incidenti 16. marta.

Posledice po regionalnu bezbednost su ozbiljne i dalekosežne. KFOR i NATO su izgubili oreol nepovredivosti i nepobedivosti. Ekstremisti na Kosovu i u drugim delovima Balkana, uključujući nacionaliste koji se ponovo uzdižu u Beogradu, uvideli su slabosti i nedostatak volje medjunarodne zajednice. Ako se ne reše uzroci nasilja odmah i direktno -- kroz političke, razvojne i bezbednosne mere, podjednako -- postoji rizik da Kosovo postane Zapadna obala Evrope.

Eksplozija nasilja je pokazala da je društvo kosovskih Albanaca prožeto duboko usadjenim pometnjama, da mu nedostaju institucije, vodjstvo i kultura koja bi bila u stanju da ublaži šokove i da potisne nasilnu i kriminalnu manjinu. U stanju u kakvom je sada, ovo društvo će nastaviti da isteruje manjine i na kraju će progutati svoj tanani sloj liberalnih intelektualaca. Mlada generacija predstavlja pretnju krhkim institucijama koje su uspostavile starije generacije. Od 1999. došljaci iz nerazvijenih seoskih područja su preplavili glavni grad i potisnuli osavremenjene segmente društva. UNMIK nije u stanju da reši pitanje nerazvijenosti Kosova, a pogotovo ne može da poboljša situaciju u obrazovanju i opštoj pismenosti.

Struktura i mandat UNMIK-a su se sada pokazali kao neadekvatni u pripremanju Kosova za tranziciju od rata ka miru, od socijalizma do tržišne privrede i od medjunarodno-političke pat pozicije do konačnog statusa. Medjunarodna zajednica se uljuljkala u verovanju da su poluobećanja iz novembra 2003., da će početi razmatranje konačnog status Kosova do sredine 2005. godine, predstavljala celovitu politiku. Ona nije u stanju da se dogovori o tome šta treba da bude konačni status i oslanjala se na naivnu pretpostavku da će odlaganje odluke omogućiti smirivanje strasti. Medjunarodna zajednica takodje nije ozbiljno shvatala bezbednosne probleme, niti se upustila u rešavanje pitanja paralelnih struktura i kriminalnih grupa. Zbog nedostatka volje medjunarodne zajednice, albanska većina i srpske manjinske zajednice su zarobljene u situaciji u kojoj je konfrontacija potisnuta, ali ne i rešena.

Razvoj Kosova je zaustavljen pod sadašnjom vladavinom Ujedinjenih nacija zbog statusne nesigurnosti koja odvraća investitore i zato što Kosovo nije član ni jedne od mnoštva organizacija koje su otvorene samo za države. Bruto nacionalni proizvod Kosova -- koji zavisi od sve manjih donacija jer donatori pre vremena prekidaju svoja davanja i sa samo četiri odsto pokrivenošću uvoza izvozom -- nije održiv čak i na sadašnjem niskom nivou. S velikim brojem porodica koje zavise od novca koji im stiže od dece iz inostranstva, Kosovo je zahvaćeno ponižavajućim demografskim ratom sa Zapadnom Evropom. I dok kosovski Albanci prelaze granice država Zapadne Evrope i ulaze na njihovo tržište radne snage, te zemlje ulažu napore da ih vrate nazad. Za nešto više od 50 odsto radno sposobnog stanovništva Kosova koje je nezaposleno, računajući tu i onih 30.000 do 40.000 novih ljudi svake godine, sadašnje privremeno stanje na Kosovu ne pruža dovoljno mogućnosti.

Bitno je da svi brzo suoče sa implikacijama 17-18. marta. Institucijama medjunarodne zajednice na Kosovu potrebni su novi načini rada, a u slučaju UNMIK-a, potrebna je nova struktura i mandat. Ako se odbaci ideja podele -- ICG smatra da treba da bude odbačena osim ako se, što je malo verovatno, obe zainteresovane strane slobodnom voljom odluče za podelu (u kom slučaju je to u skladu sa helsinškim principima) -- to ne sme da bude uradjeno olako ili samo na osnovu obećanja. Nova politika medjunarodne zajednice i nova iskrenost medju kosovskim Albancima o izgledu njihovog društva, proizvešće promene na terenu koje će od Kosova napraviti mnogo bolje mesto za sve.

Da bi se to desilo, mora se brzo sprovesti stvarni politički, društveni, privredni i institucionalni razvojni proces da bi apsorbovao energiju stanovništva Kosova. Sadašnja politika “standarda pre statusa” je polovična politika. Regionalne posledice nastavka trenda koji vodi u destabilizaciju Kosova su nesagledive. Medjunarodna zajednica ima samo malo vremena da izvuče pouku iz svojih grešaka i povrati kontrolu nad dogadjajima. U suprotnom, Kosovo bi moglo da postane nesavladivo i da utone u žestoki ciklus nasilja koji bi inficirao ceo Zapadni Balkan.

Priština/Beograd/Brisel, 22. aprila 2004.

Executive Summary

On 17 March 2004, the unstable foundations of four and a half years of gradual progress in Kosovo buckled and gave way. Within hours the province was immersed in anti-Serb and anti-UN rioting and had regressed to levels of violence not seen since 1999. By 18 March the violence mutated into the ethnic cleansing of entire minority villages and neighbourhoods. The mobs of Albanian youths, extremists and criminals exposed the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the NATO-led peacekeeping force (KFOR) as very weak. Kosovo's provisional institutions of self-government (PISG), media and civil society afforded the rioters licence for mayhem. The international community urgently needs new policies -- on final status and socio-economic development alike -- or Kosovo instability may infect the entire region.

The rampage left nineteen dead, nearly 900 injured, over 700 Serb, Ashkali and Roma homes, up to ten public buildings and 30 Serbian churches and two monasteries damaged or destroyed, and roughly 4,500 people displaced. The riots were more spontaneous than organised, with extremist and criminal gangs taking advantage, particularly on day two. Frustration and fear over the international community's intentions for Kosovo, UNMIK's inability to kick-start the economy and its suspension of privatisation, and Belgrade's success over recent months in shredding Kosovo Albanian nerves all built the tension that was released with explosive force by the inciting incidents of 16 March.

Regional security implications are serious and widespread. KFOR and NATO have lost their aura of invulnerability and invincibility. The perception of international weakness and lack of resolve will not be lost on extremists in Kosovo and elsewhere in the Balkans, including newly resurgent nationalists in Belgrade. If the underlying causes of the violence are not dealt with immediately and directly -- through political, developmental and security measures alike -- Kosovo risks becoming Europe's West Bank.

The violent explosion revealed Kosovo Albanian society to be deeply troubled, lacking institutions, leadership and the culture to absorb shocks and contain its violent, criminal minority. In its current state, this society will continue to push out minorities and ultimately consume its own wafer-thin layer of liberal intelligentsia. Its large number of young people threaten to sweep aside the fragile institutions of the older generation. Since 1999 a migration from the undeveloped countryside has swamped the capital and the modernised elements of society. UNMIK has not come near to making good Kosovo's development deficits, particularly the decay in education and literacy.

UNMIK's structure and mandate are now exposed as inappropriate to prepare Kosovo for the transition from war to peace, from socialism to the market economy, and from international political limbo to final status. The international community had beguiled itself into believing that the patchy half-promises of its November 2003 undertaking to begin reviewing Kosovo's final status by mid-2005 represented a complete policy. Unable to agree on what that final status should be, it relied on the naïve assumption that delaying the decision would allow passions to cool. It also failed to take security concerns seriously and deal with parallel structures and criminal groups. This lack of resolve left the majority Albanian and minority Serb communities locked in a confrontation that was suppressed, never resolved.

With status uncertainty deterring investors, and without the myriad club memberships open only to nation states, Kosovo's development is stunted under the current UN rule. Its GDP -- dependent on the waning contributions of prematurely disengaging donors and with only 4 per cent of imports covered by exports -- is unsustainable at even the current low level. With many families dependent on remittances from their migrant children, Kosovo is engaged in a humiliating demographic war of attrition with Western Europe. As Kosovo Albanians furtively cross their borders and enter their labour markets, these nations seek to throw them back. For the more than 50 per cent of Kosovo's labour force that is unemployed, including the 30,000 to 40,000 who join it every year, the present interim dispensation for Kosovo is not enough.

It is crucial that all concerned face up quickly to the implications of 17-18 March. The international community's institutions in Kosovo need new ways of operating and, in the case of UNMIK, a new structure and mandate. If the notion of partition is to be rejected -- as ICG believes it still should be except in the unlikely event that both interested sides freely choose it (in which case it would be consistent with the Helsinki principles) -- this can no longer be out of hand or on faith but only because new international policies and new honesty among Kosovo Albanians about their society produce changes on the ground that make Kosovo a much more viable place for all its communities.

If this is to happen, a real political, social, economic and institutional development process must be put in place rapidly to absorb the energies of Kosovo's population. The present policy of "standards before status" is only half a policy. The regional consequences of continued drift leading to a destabilised Kosovo are incalculable. The international community has a very brief window in which to learn from its mistakes and regain control of the agenda. Otherwise Kosovo may become ungovernable and dissolve into a vicious cycle of violence that infects all of the Western Balkans.

Pristina/Belgrade/Brussels, 22 April 2004

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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