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  • Publication Date: 11-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: As winter approaches in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia), conditions for refugee returns to that country become increasingly difficult. In neighbouring Croatia, by contrast, the weather is generally milder so that, given political will, refugees should be able to return to their homes throughout the winter months. Moreover, the Croatian government is organising a reconstruction conference next month, at which it hopes to obtain pledges of international support to help rebuild its war-damaged country. Many refugees from Croatia are Serbs – of whom some 300,000 now reside in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Republika Srpska – who fled previously Serb-held regions of Croatia in the wake of the Croatian Army's 1995 military offensives.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Croatia
  • Publication Date: 11-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Sandzak is an area within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that borders Serbia and Montenegro. It has a multicultural, multiethnic history and a majority population that is Muslim. Since the rise of Serbian strong-man Slobodan Milosevic to political power the majority Muslims have been the targets of coercion. For the time being, the major issue is Milosevic's continuing repression of human and political rights. Stating that, however, is not concluding that the area is entirely immune from the effects of a serious and full-blown military crisis.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 11-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The International Crisis Group has decided to publish the report, prepared by the Public International Law and Policy Group, as a contribution to the debate on the future status of Kosovo. The views expressed in the paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the International Crisis Group.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Macedonians go to the polls on 18 October 1998 in the first of two rounds of voting to elect 120 members of the country's parliament. The forthcoming poll is Macedonia's third general election since the disintegration of one-party communist rule. Moreover, it takes place in the shadow of ethnic violence between Serbs and ethnic Albanians in the neighbouring Serbian province of Kosovo and political instability in neighbouring Albania. Although Macedonia has managed to avoid the violent conflict which has afflicted the rest of the former Yugoslavia, its experience of democracy has so far been mixed. Politics is divided along ethnic lines and the last multi-party elections in 1994 were marred by accusations of fraud with two major parties boycotting the second round of voting.
  • Topic: Demographics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Albania
  • Publication Date: 09-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The stakes in Bosnia's forthcoming elections, the fifth internationally-supervised poll since the end of the war, could not be higher, for Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) and also for the international community. Having invested enormous financial and political capital in the peace process, the international community expects a return on its investment. That is why leading international figures including US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright have entered the Bosnian political fray, urging Bosnians to back parties which "support Dayton" and threatening to withdraw aid if they do not. The elections will bring some changes so the event will be hailed as a triumph. However, they will not lay the ground for a self-sustaining peace process. That can only be achieved by political reform and, in particular, a redesign of the electoral system to guarantee Bosnians ethnic security.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 09-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Despite considerable progress since the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) in November 1995 in consolidating the peace and rebuilding normal life in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia), international efforts do not appear to be achieving the goal of establishing Bosnia as a stable, functioning state, able at some point to run its own affairs without the need for continued international help. Peace, in the narrow sense of an absence of war, has been maintained; progress has been made in establishing freedom of movement throughout the country; joint institutions, including the state presidency, parliamentary assemblies and ministries, as well as a joint command for the armed forces of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Federation), have been established.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, Migration, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 09-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: During the past six months, Serbia's southern, predominantly Albanian province of Kosovo has emerged from international obscurity to become the world's most reported conflict zone. That said, the history of ethnic animosity in this contested land, the complexity of competing Serb and Albanian claims and the speed with which the fighting has escalated make it difficult to keep up with the events, let alone analyse and try to understand them. What had, on 1 January 1998, been a long-standing ethnic Albanian political aspiration, namely an independent Kosovo, had evolved, by 1 March 1998, into the military objective of a popular insurrection and had by, 1 July 1998, become part of the cause of an impending humanitarian catastrophe with hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the fighting.
  • Topic: International Relations, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania
  • Publication Date: 08-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Croat extremists put Drvar into the spotlight in April 1998 with murders and riots against returning Serbs and the international community. It was the most serious outbreak of violence in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) for more than a year. Before the riots, Drvar – whose pre-war population was 97 per cent Serb – offered some cause for optimism: more Serbs had returned there than to any other region of the Federation outside of Sarajevo, and Serbs were looking to Drvar to help them assess the possibilities and risks for further return to the Federation and Croatia.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, Croatia
  • Publication Date: 08-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The reintegration of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) has been consistently obstructed by the main Bosnian Croat party, the Croat Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HDZBiH). The HDZBiH is dominated by hard-liners who emphasise the consolidation of a pure Croat-inhabited territory centred on western Herzegovina, with the eventual aim of seceding and joining Croatia. This policy has received support from hard-line elements in Croatia, including the president, Franjo Tudjman.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, Croatia
  • Publication Date: 08-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: As the one former Yugoslav republic which has managed to keep itself out of the wars of Yugoslav dissolution, Macedonia has often appeared to outsiders as a beacon of hope in the Balkans. However, inter-ethnic relations in the young state -- in particular those between ethnic Albanians, who make up at least 23 percent of the population, and ethnic Macedonians -- are poor. Moreover, as fighting between ethnic Albanian separatists and the Serbian police and military escalates in the neighbouring, southern Serbian province of Kosovo, relations between communities within Macedonia are deteriorating alarmingly. As a result, Macedonia and its entire population, irrespective of their ethnic origins, stand to be among the greatest long-term losers of the Kosovo conflict. Moreover, in the event of fighting and large numbers of refugees spilling over from Kosovo -- an entirely plausible eventuality unless the killing is halted -- Macedonia is poorly prepared and the country's very existence may be imperilled.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, NATO, Education, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Balkans, Macedonia, Albania