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Kosovo in the International Arena

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  1. The nature of the state contested involves disputes between the two main ethnic groups.
  2. From the lens of the stakeholders.
  3. The security and safety of the Kosovo Serbs - also a major concern.
  4. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) began air strikes in March 1999 without UN approval.
  5. The role of UNMIK:
  6. Why is Kosovo relevant to international politics?
  7. Any legal change in Kosovo's final status would require a UNSC resolution.
  8. Kosovar Serbs and Albanians must be realistic in their demands.

Kosovo is located in the southern province of the Republic of Serbia in Western Balkans (see Appendix One). The administrative capital is Pristina and the province is separated into thirty municipalities. Kosovo's last official census in 1991 registered its approximately two million population to be composed of eighty-two percent ethnic Albanians, ten percent Serbs and eight percent Montenegrins, Croats, Turks, Gypsies, Muslims, and others. The nature of the state contested involves disputes between the two main ethnic groups: Serbs and Albanians. These two groups share a long history as residents in the same territory and are commonly referred to as Kosovars, although they differ in their ethnic roots, languages, religious affinities, customs, and culture. Religion was never the centerpiece of the conflict between the two groups, yet over the years, has been manipulated by politicians for ideological purposes.

Keywords: Balkans, UNMIK, NATO

[...] Kosovo will not survive without assistance from the international community and strengthened trade relations with its neighbors. Any legal change in Kosovo's final status would require a UNSC resolution and the Permanent Five members have shown implicit interests in Kosovo. The US is strongly advocating for the independence of Kosovo while Serbia is dependent on Russian patronage. Both Russia and the US have the power to veto any resolution of the UNSC and forestall negotiations. Alternatively, they could offer incentives to Belgrade and Pristina to come to a negotiated agreement as soon as possible. [...]


[...] ?Conflict History: Kosovo.? International Crisis Group. Updated March September 2007. ?Kosovo State of the Environment Report.? UNMIK. Updated June September 2007. [xii] ?Conflict History: Kosovo.? International Crisis Group. Updated March September 2007. [xiii] ?Conflict Background? North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Updated 25 June October 2007. < http://www.nato.int/kfor/docu/about/background.html > [xiv] Judah, Tim. Kosovo War and Revenge. 2nd Ed. New Haven & London: [...]


[...] NATO demanded a ceasefire between the Serbian army and KLA, a reduction of Serbian security forces in Kosovo, and allowed OSCE observers to monitor the situation on the ground.[xii] Milosevic's tactic was to retaliate with mass expulsion of Kosovo Albanians to Albania and Macedonia, hoping that the refugees and displacement issues would cause an international backlash and overwhelm NATO to withdraw from Yugoslavia. However, the plan backfired and Milosevic was toppled by June 1999 and NATO's Kosovo Force (KFOR) was deployed into the province. [...]

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