Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Kosovo Redux

More evidence that rumors of a new blood-bath in the Balkans, following Kosovo’s recent pledge to declare independence have been greatly exaggerated:

Al Jazeera reported today: “The Serbian government has threatened to go to the International Court of Justice to prevent Kosovo from being recognised as a state.”
This move, an appeal to an international body that has less power than the Pet Court, underscores Serbia’s unwillingness to prevent Kosovar secession by force.

Negotiators could not have openly agreed to independence, but nor will the central government revisit 1998-1999 through a military effort to prevent it. Too much is at stake with efforts to join the EU. The Kosovoar Albanians know this and had no incentive to compromise, which is why talks failed.

What we are likely to see here is a peaceful transition overseen by the international community. Nations that opposed the JNA’s suppression of the Kosovar Albanians’ uprising in the 1990s will recognize an independent Kosovo. Those that fear setting a precedent vis a vis their own secessionist movements will hem and haw in the General Assembly and fail to recognize Kosovo. And life will go on.

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