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  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Oil-rich Azerbaijan, which borders Iran, Turkey and Russia and is still scarred from its defeat by Armenia ten years ago, gives cause for both hope and concern. The October 2003 election of Ilham Aliyev to the presidency that his late-father, Heydar, had held almost from independence, highlighted the stark choices which now face the country. Its government is a carefully designed autocratic system, which the father and former Soviet-era politburo member began to construct in the late 1960 s, with heavy reliance on family and clan members, oil revenues and patronage.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Turkey, Eastern Europe, Armenia, Azerbaijan
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Making another attempt to unite the divided city of Mostar has become, unexpectedly but appropriately, a very high international priority in Bosnia " Herzegovina (BiH) in 2003. By late summer, it had come to be ranked by High Representative Paddy Ashdown among his four major projects for structural reform. In each case, the High Representative appointed a foreign chairman to lead commissions composed of domestic representatives and charged with finding statebuilding solutions in the symbolically or substantively important realms of defence, intelligence, indirect taxation - and Mostar. All aim to unify divided and dysfunctional institutions. The first three commissions, which have already reported and whose draft legislation is proceeding through the various parliaments, have also sought to empower the state over the entities and their respective national establishments.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Recent events require that policymakers revise substantially the conventional assessment that Macedonia is the foremost political “success story” of the Balkans. In fact, it is an underperforming post-conflict country still very much at risk, unable to tackle – operationally or politically -- its security challenges without upsetting an uncertain ethnic balance. Clear-eyed analysis of the dynamics driving unrest, from criminality and weak policing to an equally weak economy and corruption, is needed if a country that narrowly avoided war in 2001 is to secure long-term stability. Specifically, Macedonia cannot yet safely do without the presence of an international security force.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Balkans, Macedonia
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: A new Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG), former Finnish Prime Minister Harri Holkeri, has taken up his post at the helm of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). While UNMIK is in its fourth year, the current period is one of the most sensitive since the war. The province's elected Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG) are gradually gaining more responsibility, and final status discussions are approaching. However, recent security incidents, including the killings of a UN police officer and two Kosovo Serb teenagers in August 2003, are a stark reminder that stability is not yet deep-rooted. Frustration is growing with the poor state of the economy and the delay of the international community in addressing status. In the midst of these challenges, the crucial relationship between UNMIK and the PISG has become dangerously strained. Holkeri will need to come quickly to terms with the legacy of confrontation and tension left by his predecessor, Michael Steiner, and instil in his team a new attitude of respect for PISG and a reflex for consultation rather than unilateral action.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The conflict in the Transdniestrian region of the Republic of Moldova is not as charged with ethnic hatred and ancient grievances as others in the area of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and it is more conducive to a sustainable settlement. However, a "quick fix" in 2003, as envisaged by the Dutch Chairmanship of the OSCE, is also unlikely. To reach the sustainable agreement that is required if the forthcoming European Union (EU) enlargement is not to be compromised by a nearly open border with international crime and serious poverty, a comprehensive approach is needed that takes into account the root causes of the original conflict and the factors that have blocked the settlement process since 1992.
  • Topic: Politics, Regional Cooperation, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Europe, Moldova, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The reformist zeal displayed by the Serbian government following the 12 March 2003 assassination of Premier Zoran Djindjic appears to have dissipated. A number of important and positive steps were taken while the shock of that political murder was still fresh. Increasingly, however, their impact is being counterbalanced by actions that bring into question the government's ability to press decisive political and economic reforms home so as to achieve the goal of integration with wider European institutions.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The return of the nationalist parties to power after the October 2002 general elections in Bosnia Herzegovina (BiH) was widely assessed as a calamity. Some observers went so far as to claim that it signified the failure of the international peace-building mission over the previous seven years. But the new High Representative, Paddy Ashdown, refused to be downcast. Not only was the nationalists' victory narrow, but he was confident he could work with them if they proved faithful to their pre-election pledges to embrace the reform agenda he had been charting since taking office in May 2002. This agenda seeks to make up for lost time: implementing the economic, legal and governance reforms required both to make BiH a prosperous, lawful and peaceable state and to set the country on track for European integration. Lord Ashdown aims to put himself out of a job by putting BiH on the road to the EU.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: It is time to consider the future of Brcko District. In particular, it is time to chart an exit strategy for the supervisory regime that will serve both to preserve and extend its and the people of Brcko's accomplishments.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Bosnia, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since the fall of the regime of Slobodan Milosevic in October 2000, the steady normalisation of Serbia's relations with the international community has significantly enhanced the prospects for longterm peace and stability. The European Union (EU) rose to the challenge, providing resources for reconstruction and reforms in Serbia itself, as well as in Montenegro and Kosovo. As part of this assistance effort, it included the three entities in the Stabilisation and Association process (SAp) that it established to build security in the Western Balkans and open perspectives for eventual membership.
  • Topic: Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Afflicted still by the physical, psychological and political wounds of war, and encumbered by the flawed structures imposed by the international community to implement peace, Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereafter: Bosnia) is not yet capable of plotting a strategy or undertaking the measures likely to win it membership in the European Union (EU). Yet the government announced on 10 April 2003 that its major policy goal is to join the EU in 2009, in the blind faith that the processes of European integration will themselves provide Bosnia with remedies for its wartime and post-war enfeeblement. The Thessaloniki summit meeting between the heads of state or government of the EU members and the Western Balkan states to be held on 21 June is likely to throw some cold water on their ambitions.
  • Topic: Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The EU-Western Balkans Summit to be held in Thessaloniki on 21 June runs a real risk of discouraging reformers and increasing alienation in the Balkans, unless European policies towards the region are substantially enriched.
  • Topic: Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: A simple but effective formula exists for peace in diverse societies. It consists of a civic contract: the government recognises and supports special rights for minorities, and minorities acknowledge the authority of the government. No elements of such a contract currently exist in Kosovo. The Albanians remain reluctant to support enhanced rights for the Serb minority, and the Serb community does not recognise the authority of Kosovo's institutions. Moreover, Kosovo is not a state and the future status of the province remains unresolved. After four years of United Nations authority in Kosovo, the foundation of this civic contract and of sustainable peace has not been laid.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Eastern Europe, Kosovo
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: It is time for new policies and new approaches on Montenegro. International engagement with that republic in recent years has brought significant positive results. It bolstered the pro-Western government of Djukanovic when it faced the threat from Milosevic. It has helped promote reforms that have set Montenegro on the way to becoming a modern democracy, with a market economy and an independent, effective criminal justice system. However, efforts to promote regional stability have been hampered by an unnecessary obsession with keeping Montenegro and Serbia in a single state. The international community's overriding interest in the region should be to find stable, long-term solutions. Cobbling together interim solutions that lack legitimacy for those who must implement them and that are unlikely, therefore, to be functional in practice, is not the way to build stability.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Political feuding virtually paralysed the Albanian government in the first half of 2002, until the European Parliament brokered an agreement between the main political parties which led to the election of retired army general Alfred Moisiu as the consensus choice for president. Although the 73-year-old Moisiu leans to the right, he has pledged to represent all Albanians equally. After a long period of confrontation, the country entered a phase of political dialogue. The opposition Democratic Party (DP) ended its boycott of local government institutions and began to work with the ruling Socialist Party (SP). In August 2002 parliament voted in a new Socialist-led government with the SP chairman, Fatos Nano, as Prime Minister for a third time. By early 2003, however, this unusual consensus appeared to have unravelled, returning politics to its more normal fractiousness. Political tensions are expected to rise as October local elections approach.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Albania
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The assassination of Serbian Premier Zoran Djindjic on 12 March 2003 means that Serbia has lost its most skilful and realistic politician. The great question is whether the assassination provides a catalyst that energises the governing coalition to restart the longstalled reform process and thoroughly clean out the interlocking nexus of organised crime, war criminals, and police and army officers hiding behind "nationalist-patriotic" slogans and organisations. There are some initially encouraging signs: the police appear to be energetically pursuing the prime suspects, and sweeping reforms of the military have been promised. Djindjic's successor, Zoran Zivkovic, has yet to acquire his predecessor's authority, however, and he will need encouragement . both carrots and sticks . from the international community to hold the course that should have been pursued from October 2000.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In preparing for and orchestrating the proximity talks that marked the end of the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia Herzegovina (BiH), the authors of the Dayton Peace Accords (DPA) placed a particularly high priority on the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their pre-war homes. Annex 7 of the DPA is devoted entirely to ensuring the right of return. The peacemakers hoped that such return might one day reverse the territorial, political and national partition of the country that the DPA otherwise recognised.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The democratic government elected in Belgrade in 2000 did not end the extensive busting of arms sanctions engaged in for many years by its predecessor, the Milosevic dictatorship. The NATO (SFOR) troops who raided an aircraft factory in Bosnia.s Republika Srpska on 12 October 2002 found documents that have begun to strip the veils of secrecy from this significant scandal. From ICG.s own investigations, as well as from those initial revelations and stories that have appeared subsequently in the Serbian press, it appears that arms deals of considerable monetary value continued with Iraq and Liberia despite the change of administrations.
  • Topic: Politics, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Arabia, Yugoslavia, Arab Countries, Liberia
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The right of internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees to return to their homes in Kosovo is indisputable, and has become a top priority of the international community, and the United Nations Interim Administrative Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Put together under the tutelage of representatives of the international community in the aftermath of the November 2000 general elections, the ten-party coalition known as the Democratic Alliance for Change has governed the larger of Bosnia Herzegovina's two entities and led the state-level Council of Ministers since early 2001. Intended by its sponsors and members to sideline the three nationalist parties that had fought the 1992-95 war and ruled their respective pieces of BiH thereafter, the Alliance was also expected to undertake thoroughgoing reforms and to provide proof that implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords might yet produce a viable state.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica's 24 June 2002 sacking of Yugoslav Army (VJ) Chief of the General Staff Nebojsa Pavkovic was necessary, welcome, and long overdue. The EU, U.S., and NATO acclaimed the move as an effort to assert civilian control over the military, and Kostunica indeed deserves credit for removing a significant obstacle to the country's reintegration with Europe. Nonetheless, the action was probably more the result of the ongoing power struggle between Kostunica and Serbian Premier Zoran Djindjic than a genuine effort to bring the military under civilian control or dismantle the extra-constitutional parallel command structures that the post-Milosevic leadership of the country has created within the VJ.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, United Nations, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: On 14 March 2002 the leaders of Serbia, Montenegro and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) signed an agreement in Belgrade to replace FRY with a new “state community”: a “union of states” to be called “Serbia and Montenegro”.
  • Topic: Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Despite more than six years of increasingly intrusive reforms carried out at the behest of the UN Mission in Bosnia Herzegovina (UNMIBH), the local police cannot yet be counted upon to enforce the law. Too often – like their opposite numbers in the judiciary – nationally partial, under-qualified, underpaid, and sometimes corrupt police officers uphold the law selectively, within a dysfunctional system still controlled by politicised and nationalised interior ministries.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In July 2000, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia Herzegovina made an historic ruling requiring the two entities, the Federation of BiH and Republika Srpska (RS), to amend their constitutions to ensure the full equality of the country's three “constituent peoples” throughout its territory.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since Kosovo became an international protectorate under United Nations administration in June 1999, much has been done to stabilise the province and set up a functioning administration. Yet nothing has been done to address the central question that lay at the heart of the conflict in Kosovo, and which remains the issue of overriding importance for the province's inhabitants: the issue of final status.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since Kosovo became an international protectorate under United Nations administration in June 1999, much has been done to stabilise the province and set up a functioning administration. Yet nothing has been done to resolve the question at the heart of the conflict in Kosovo, and which remains the issue of overriding importance for the province's inhabitants: the issue of final status.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Yugoslav Army's arrest on 14 March 2002 of a leading Serbian politician and a U.S. diplomat signals that for the first time the Army has openly entered the political arena and is explicitly attempting to set limits on political debate and policy. Serbian politicians will cross those red lines at their peril. The nationalist, conservative and corrupt military, which as the incident demonstrates is at least substantially beyond civilian control, seems intent on protecting important elements of the Milosevic legacy and is apparently now prepared to intervene more openly to influence negatively a broad range of policies, including the domestic reform agenda, cooperation with the Hague Tribunal, and relations with neighbouring countries. That Serbia is struggling to decide whether its course is toward the European mainstream or the reactionary polity of a Belarus should be of great concern to the international community.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The global focus on Islamist extremist-inspired terrorism resulting from the 11 September atrocities has raised the question of the potential for such terrorist activity in, or emanating from, the Balkans.
  • Topic: Politics, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: After six years and billions of dollars spent, peace implementation in Bosnia and Herzegovina remains far from complete. Reshaping (ërecalibratingí, in local jargon) the international community (IC) presence is vital if the peace process is to have a successful outcome.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: On 8 October 2001, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) confirmed an indictment charging Slobodan Milosevic, the former president of Serbia and of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), with crimes committed in Croatia. This indictment had been keenly awaited for years in Croatia, where a widespread perception of international indifference to Serb crimes perpetrated against Croats between 1991 and 1995 has been ably encouraged and manipulated by the right wing.
  • Topic: Development, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Croatia
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: By recognising Republika Srpska (RS) as a legitimate polity and constituent entity of the new Bosnia, the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement embraced a contradiction. For the RS was founded as a stepping stone to a ëGreater Serbiaí and forged in atrocities against ñ and mass expulsions of ñ non-Serbs.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The 3 August 2001 murder of former State Security (DB) official Momir Gavrilovic acted as a catalyst for the emergence of a long-hidden feud within Serbia's ruling DOS (Democratic Opposition of Serbia) coalition. Inflamed by Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica's closest advisers, the 'Gavrilovic Affair' has driven a wedge into DOS that could spell the end of the coalition in its present form. In so doing, Kostunica's Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) has been exposed more clearly than before as a conservative nationalist party intent on preserving certain elements of the Milosevic regime.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Socialist Party's decision on 21 August to nominate Ilir Meta for another term as Prime Minister closed out the longest election in Albania's turbulent post-communist history. Voting for the parliament was held, extraordinarily, in four rounds on 24 June 2001, and 8, 22 and 29 July due to accusations of electoral fraud in various forms. It was, nevertheless, peaceful and produced a decisive victory for the ruling Socialist Party (SP). The Socialists, who have held power since 1997, won 73 seats in the 140-member legislature, against 46 for the Union for Victory (UfV) coalition, led by the Democratic Party (DP). The remaining 21 seats were allocated among five small parties, each of which gained the necessary 2.5 per cent of votes, and two independent candidates who won direct mandates. The results gave the Socialists a sufficient majority to form a new government and, crucially, with the aid of likely allies, to elect a new president in 2002 when the term of the incumbent, Rexhep Meidani, expires. Formation of that government, however, was delayed further weeks until the SP's General Steering Committee gave Meta an overwhelming victory in his bitter personal battle with the party chairman, Fatos Nano, who backed his own man for the prime minister's chair.
  • Topic: Democratization, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Albania
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Macedonian and Albanian political leaders signed a political agreement – hailed by its Western midwives as a peace agreement – on 13 August 2001. NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson and the European Union's High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, flew to Skopje to attend the signing ceremony. But the strange context of the signing showed just how implausible it is that, without further extraordinary efforts, the agreement will actually provide a workable way to keep multiethnic Macedonia out of civil war. Details of the agreement had been hammered out by 8 August in Ohrid, a resort town chosen for the negotiations because it was some distance away from the latest fighting. Signature was delayed five days, however, while Macedonian government troops and ethnic Albanian rebels engaged in the deadliest series yet of tit-for-tat retaliations. Terms of the agreement were withheld from the public lest they provoke violent responses from hardliners on both sides. The ceremony, when it finally occurred, was carried out almost furtively, in a small room of the President's residence, without live television.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Macedonia, Albania
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The past decade in the Western Balkans has seen very few peacefully negotiated transfers of territorial control. The most recent example ñ albeit one not involving any change of sovereignty - was also the only one achieved by NATOís direct mediation. In May 2001, the Presevo Valley was brought back under Serbian government control, ending an ethnic Albanian insurgency that had lasted some seventeen months.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Ten months after the fall of Slobodan Miloöević , considerable progress has been made in establishing democratic governance in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and reintegrating the country into the international community. Yet the future of the federation itself remains in doubt. The FRY is a hollow edifice whose institutions hardly function except as an address for the international community. Montenegroís authorities no longer recognise the legitimacy of the federal government. All sides agree that the status quo is unsustainable and that Montenegro and Serbia must find a new basis for their relationship.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Despite the ceasefire announced on 26 July 2001, and the promised resumption of political talks in Tetovo on 27 July, Macedonia is still locked in crisis and threatened by war. Neither ethnic Macedonian nor ethnic Albanian leaders have been converted to belief in a 'civic' settlement that would strengthen democracy by improving minority conditions, without weakening the integrity of the state. Ethnic Macedonians fear that civic reforms will transform the country exclusively to its, and their, detriment, while ethnic Albanians are sceptical that any reforms can really be made to work in their favour. Nor have separatists from both sides, within the country and in the diaspora, given up their conviction that security for their communities can only be achieved by demarcating – and hence competing for – ethnically “pure” territory.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Macedonia, Albania
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: On 28 June 2001, St Vitus's Day – an anniversary with enormous resonance in Yugoslavia – Serbian government transferred former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic to The Hague. By this bold political move, the government demonstrated in the clearest way its will to break with the past. With the timing driven by the international donors conference scheduled for 29 June, the transfer also confirmed the effectiveness of conditioning economic assistance to Yugoslavia on concrete political progress.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In the past three months, since mid March 2001, Macedonia has stared into the abyss of inter-ethnic conflict, pulled away from the precipice, squandered opportunities for a political settlement, then returned as if sleepwalking to the brink of civil war. The downward spiral was interrupted on 11 June, when the Macedonian government and the ethnic Albanian rebels agreed to a ceasefire. The following day the government abruptly endorsed a peace plan proposed by President Boris Trajkovski. For their part, the NLA guerrillas expressed a readiness to halt their insurgency but want to see concrete steps towards improving Albanian rights.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Macedonia, Albania
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The donors' conference for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), planned for 29 June 2001 in Brussels, will set the pattern of international economic assistance to Belgrade for the next year or more. In return for substantial donor support, the international community should require the FRY to undertake a number of specific steps that are essential for increasing regional stability.
  • Topic: Debt, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Brussels
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: This report describes the current situation in Albania, paying particular attention to relations with the country's Balkan neighbours, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia and Greece. The recent upsurge in fighting in the Presevo Valley of southern Serbia and in Macedonia has damaged the reputation of all Albanians in the region and has once more raised the spectre of a Greater Albania. Consequently, the Albanian government has been at pains to stress that it does not support the ethnic Albanian insurgents and wishes to see the territorial integrity of Macedonia upheld. To this end, Tirana has requested NATO's assistance to secure the Albania-Macedonia border, and has called for a solution to the crisis through dialogue.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Greece, Kosovo, Serbia, Balkans, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Tirana
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Slobodan Milosevic has gone, but he has left behind him in the Balkans a bitter legacy of death, destruction and distrust. His democratic overthrow was a watershed, but the potential for renewed conflict in the region remains dangerously high, and it is vital that there be forward - looking and comprehensive action by the international community to address the continuing sources of underlying tension.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: International relief at the fall of the regime of Slobodan Miloević has been marred by dismay at the prospect of a breakaway from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) by Montenegro. As long as Milo.ević was in power, the international community supported Montenegro.s moves to distance itself from Belgrade. With Milo.ević gone, it was widely expected that Belgrade and Podgorica could patched up their relationship, and find a satisfactory accommodation within the framework of the FRY. Montenegrin President Milo Djukanović.s decision to opt instead for independence has caused international consternation.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Despite five years and five billion US dollars of international community investment in Bosnia, the 11 November Bosnian elections demonstrated once again that international engagement has failed to provide a sustainable basis for a functioning state, capable of surviving an international withdrawal.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, Bosnia, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The removal of Slobodan Milošević's regime, with its poisonous influence on the entire Balkan region, raises hopes that a host of inter-connected problems may now stand a significantly better chance of being resolved, including the future status of Kosovo and of Montenegro, both notionally still a part of the Yugoslav federation.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Balkans, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Five years after the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords, which brought an end to almost four years of bloody war in Bosnia, many of those believed to have carried out some of the war's worst atrocities remain at large. The continued presence in the municipalities of Republika Srpska (RS) of individuals suspected of war crimes—some indicated either publicly or secretly by the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)—represents a significant obstacle to the return of ethnic minority refugees. It also undermines seriously Bosnia's chances for building central institutions, generating self-sustainable economic growth, and achieving the political transformation necessary to begin the process of integration with the rest of Europe. Moreover, the continued commitment of most war crimes suspects to the goal of a Greater Serbia, and their willingness to use violence to achieve it, could—in the long term—provoke renewed conflict in Bosnia and continued instability in the Balkans.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: While the world watched in fascination as mass demonstrations in Belgrade toppled Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic from power, Kosovo—where Milosevic had committed some of his worst crimes—had an almost eerie air of normalcy. On the night Milosevic fell, cafés were full and the usual crowd of young people strolled along Pristina's central artery, Mother Theresa Street. But Pristina's surface in difference masked serious unease about events in Serbia and especially about the swelling international welcome for newly elected President Vojislav Kostunica. Kosovo Albania's political circles, opinion leaders, and public, which for long had a head-in-the-sand approach toward the rise of the democratic opposition in Belgrade, are only beginning to come to grips with the changed political landscape in the Balkans caused by Milosevic's fall.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Balkans, Albania
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: As governments embark on the process of lifting sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), following the victory of opposition candidate Vojislav Kostunica in Presidential elections held on 24 September 2000, this briefing paper sets forth a comprehensive list of sanctions currently in place against the FRY and the current status of FRY participation and/or membership in international organisations.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since the International Crisis Group's (ICG's) last paper addressing the Serbian political scene, the situation on the ground inside Serbia has changed dramatically. Once Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic announced, on 27 July 2000, the 24 September date for simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and municipal elections in Serbia, the previously fractious opposition rapidly and unexpectedly united behind the nomination of Vojislav Kostunica, a constitutional lawyer and self-styled democratic nationalist with no ties to the regime or the West.
  • Topic: Government, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The deteriorating relationship between Montenegro and Belgrade has raised the question of whether the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, with its two constituent republics of Serbia and Montenegro, in fact continues to exist. The answer to this question has immediate relevance to the forthcoming federal elections scheduled for 24 September 2000, and in particular the issues of: whether the government of Montenegro can legitimately boycott those elections, in the sense of refusing to co-operate in their physical conduct and encouraging Montenegrins not to vote; and whether the federal government is entitled to take any, and if so what, action in response to the Montenegrin government so deciding. This legal briefing paper seeks, in this context, to address the following questions: What precedents were set by the decisions of the European Community (EC) Arbitration Commission concerning the status of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) and its Republics that might be relevant to an assessment of the current legal status of the FRY? What actions have been taken by the FRY federal government, the Republic of Montenegro, the Republic of Serbia, or the international community that may affect the status of the FRY and the legitimacy of its government and federal institutions? What is the current status of the FRY, its government and federal institutions, and how does this affect Montenegro's obligation to participate in the 24 September 2000 federal elections?
  • Topic: Government, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Macedonian electorate will drag itself wearily to the polls on 10 September 2000. This year's local elections follow the 1999 presidential election, 1998 parliamentary elections, and 1996 local elections. The chronic campaign cycle, seemingly endless political sloganeering, and constant criticism from international observers have created fatigue among the electorate. As in 1996, the local elections will have hardly anything to do with running municipal governments, and everything to do with validating the current national government. Early polls indicate most voters will use the opportunity to voice their frustration against the ruling coalition.
  • Topic: Government, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Macedonia