Ethnic cleansing sort of prevented
After fifteen years of war, a formerly unitary nation ends with a breakup and indefinite foreign overlordship over its orphaned bits. We're talking about Iraq aren't we? No, we're talking about the former Yugoslavia. The International Herald Tribune follows the negotiations over the fate of Kosovo. It's due to become independent in a sort of, kind of, way.
Kosovo has remained under UN control since the province was prized away in June 1999 from Yugoslav security forces accused of committing atrocities against the majority Albanian population. Its sovereignty remains in limbo: While Kosovo is formally part of Serbia, the six nations overseeing the negotiations on its future say it cannot return to Belgrade's rule.
At this point, the parameters of an imposed settlement are clear, according to officials responsible for planning the succession to the UN mission.
With Russia openly opposed to Kosovo's independence - Moscow says that would set a precedent for other breakaway states - officials say it is unlikely that a UN resolution will grant the province full statehood. Instead a resolution may allow other countries to recognize Kosovo as they wish.
"The Security Council would issue a mandate for a mission led by the European Union, and invite individual countries to recognize Kosovo," Welch said. Kosovo would not have a seat in the UN General Assembly, a key Serbian wish.
The European Union says it is eager not to duplicate the overarching powers and cumbersome bureaucracy the UN had in Kosovo, which at one stage totaled 11,000 people and included international police officers - a presence that has been a source of tension with the majority Albanian population.