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Kosovo declares independence (update)
Posted by: McQ on Sunday, February 17, 2008

The next potential world flashpoint just got hotter.
Kosovo's parliament has unanimously endorsed a declaration of independence from Serbia, in an historic session.

The declaration, read by Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, said Kosovo would be a democratic country that respected the rights of all ethnic communities.

The US and a number of EU countries are expected to recognise Kosovo on Monday.

Serbia's PM denounced the US for helping create a "false state". Serbia's ally, Russia, called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting.
The EU and US are expected to recognize Kosovo. Serbia and Russia oppose the move, Serbia claiming Kosovo is an integral part of the Serbian state and Russia's concern being the establishment of a precedent for Chechnyan claims of independence.
There are at least two dozen secessionist movements active in Europe alone, and scores of others agitating for sovereignty around the globe. All of them, experts warn, will be emboldened by today's expected proclamation of the Republic of Kosovo.

"We live in a world which is based around states," said Florian Bieber, a professor of politics and international relations at England's University of Kent.
Quite a dilemma for the "self determination" crowd (when the country in question is overseas) who I suspect would turn into the "state sovereignty" crowd if Vermont, for example, were to ever try to secede.

I'm all for self-determination and secession. The problem is the secessionists have to pull it off and then defend it.

In the case of Kosovo, that works fine because the secession has the backing for some powerful friends (US and EU). If it didn't, Serbia would do precisely what Russia did in Chechnya and use force to stop the secession. Neither Serbia or Russia, I don't believe, are willing to go to war over Kosovo - at least not while allied forces remain there under UN auspices.

And, being ethnically a majority of Albainian extraction, I think you can assume rightly that Kosovo will have very close ties with Albania (which borders it on the south) - something I'm sure Serbia isn't particularly happy about either.

So we have another area of the globe to watch now, which, in relative terms has been quiet for almost a decade. Tensions have just been ratcheted up considerably. While the UN dithers and speechifies the event, let's hope nothing happens to spark yet another Balkans war.

UPDATE: Related:
Britain's overstretched Armed Forces are to send as many as 1,000 troops to the Balkans in a move that will see the military's last remaining reserve unit deployed on operations.

The imminent departure of the 1st Bn Welsh Guards to Kosovo has been ordered in response to fears that the newly formed independent state could slide into "ethnic cleansing".
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Previous Comments to this Post 

All this reminds me of why I thought they should have thrown a hand gernade into that "spider hole" Saddam was hiding in.

Procrastination solves nothing.

We all knew that Saddam was going to end up dead.
We also knew that this was coming.

Delaying only gives the likes of Wesley Clark another chance to start World War III over the control of Pristina airport, or something else equally stupid.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
And if Cities within Kosovo want to secede from Kosovo, should their be permitted? Can Russia or Serbia, rescue them or absorb them?
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
I forget, what is the reason I should care more about, and support US intervention in, Kosovo than Darfur, Sri Lanka, Aceh, Congo, ...?
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
what is the reason I should care ...
I seem to remember the only half decent reason was that it was on Europe’s doorstep and that this was the same region that spurred WWI into action.

Other than that, all the reasons were, following the example of Somalia, staying home.

Does any one remember if Christiana Amanpour was out harping, like with Somalia, that ... People are dying and Nobody cares !!.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Does any one remember if Christiana Amanpour was out harping, like with Somalia, that ... People are dying and Nobody cares !!.
If not everyone else was.....

Written By: Joe
URL: http://

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