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Ari Gold

Status of Kosovo

What is your opinion on the status of Kosovo?  

44 members have voted

  1. 1. What is your opinion on the status of Kosovo?

    • It should remain a part of the Republic of Serbia.
      12
    • It should function independently, as the Republic of Kosovo.
      21
    • Not sure.
      8


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Ari Gold

Kosovo, despite only having a population of approximately two million, is crucial to understand in the context of international relations today. It's a perfectly balanced debate between historical context, political sovereignty and the right of self-determination.

 

For those who don't understand the situation, this is the basic information required to form an opinion.

 

Serbia's position:

 

 

Belgrade's position on the status of Kosovo is that Kosovo should enjoy substantial autonomy, but not be granted independence. Frequently dubbed "more than autonomy, less than independence," Belgrade's vision for Kosovo includes expanding autonomy in which Kosovo is largely free to govern itself, although Kosovo would not be permitted an independent role in international relations or defence and would remain nominally within the state of Serbia. The Serbian side has also proposed the One Country Two Systems formula, i.e. the "Hong Kong model" as a solution,[10][11] but it was rejected by the Albanian politicians.[12][13]

 

Serbia argues that Kosovo's independence would be a violation of Serbia's sovereignty and territorial integrity and therefore contrary to the UN Charter and principles of international law. Belgrade also asserts the UNMIK has allowed widespread discrimination against Kosovo's Serb minority and has not facilitated the return of about 200,000 of internally displaced persons who fled Kosovo during and immediately after the conflict. Serbia insists that UNSCR 1244, which envisioned a UN-facilitated political process to determine status, precludes independence through a preambular reference to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (now Serbia). Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica has said that, '...any imposed solution that would seize part of our territory would be a violation of international law.'[14]

 

The Kosovar Albanians' position:

 

 

Kosovo Albanians generally assert that, because of the Milošević regime's repression in the 1990s, they could not remain within a Serbian state.[15] Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Çeku  claimed that "recognizing Kosovo's independence would close the dark chapters of Balkan history, and create the opportunity for a new and sustainable regional stability." [16]

 

Information on the War in Kosovo (1998-1999)

History of Kosovo

 

My overall position is that Kosovo should always remain a part of Serbian territory, whilst possessing due respect for the Albanian population in the region, who would functio as a minority group within Serbia. Just because a group of people wish to have self-determination on their own right doesn't mean that they should be granted it; Kosovo's never functioned as an independent state, so why does it suddenly have reason to be independent? Besides, the Republic of Serbia possesses a completely different political structure to that of the Milošević era; Milošević's government was never proven to be democratically-elected by the people of Serbia, and his government's actions against the people of Kosovo can't be used as representation of what the people of Serbia think and feel, and can't be used in support of an independent Kosovo's argument.

 

I'd go in further detail, but I'll save that for when people put forward their opinions and I find it necessary to support or re-butt their statement.

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Lazzo

I don't fully understand your reasoning. Since Kosovo was never a country before, then they should not be recognized as one now? I see your point about Milošević but I can still understand why many Kosovars would have an extremely bitter taste in their mouths.

 

I will admit my own ignorance toward issues in the Balkans. I don't have the intimate knowledge of the various ethnic and regional histories (which seem to be extremely important).

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Rown

I generally support the freedom of association/disassociation.

 

- Let Abkhazia and South Ossetia leave Georgia.

- Let the Caucasus in Russia go if they want.

- etc.

 

I say let Kosovo go with the main portion of the territory. Allow the people to vote on rejoining Serbia, if a contiguous area votes to go back they can.

 

A Declaration of Independence DOES make them Independent as long as they act it and can keep it.

 

The nation (people and their idea of their shared heritage) of Serbia has a vested interest in certain sites within Kosovo. So the Kosovan government should consider transferring authority over Serbian national heritage sites back to Serbia.

 

Criminals wanted by one side or the other would have the right to fair trial or tribunal... but wouldn't just be forgiven because a new jurisdiction was created.

 

All the other messy details will be sorted in negotiation or in conflict.

 

Rown rampage_ani.gif

Edited by Rown

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Vercetti27

they deserve independence

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Clem Fandango

Wow Stefche, you're going to look like a real asshole in hindsight if they get independence.

 

But seriously, this should be left up to the people of Kosovo - they should have the freedom of association, and if the people want independence then they should get it. You can't impose a nation on somebody, if they don't see themselves as Serbian you can't force the identity on them. It's like Ireland, the people didn't see themselves as British, so forcing that nationality on them and telling them would have been unethical. Imagine they had never been granted independence and were, to this day, forced to live under a flag they don't feel represents them, and be grouped as a nationality they don't feel connected to. And yes, I'm aware it's not a perfect parallel because Ireland was once independent.

 

 

Serbia argues that Kosovo's independence would be a violation of Serbia's sovereignty and territorial integrity and therefore contrary to the UN Charter and principles of international law.

What a bunch of rubbish. Because one enclave doesn't see themselves as Serbian and wants to ceced, all of Serbia's territory will follow suit? If "Serbian" is a strong national identity, then there's nothing to worry about, and if not, then it has no business being a nation in the first place.

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Emhyr
Wow Stefche, you're going to look like a real asshole in hindsight if they get independence.

 

I thought they already got independence.

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Ari Gold

They have no justification for seceding. One conflict where a few isolated incidents of genocide were committed (on both sides) isn't enough to create a justification for a brand-new state. The current government, which has peacefully ruled under a democratic system for at least a decade has not committed any human rights violations against Albanians in Kosovo. It's different if Albanians didn't already have their own nation-state to reside in, but they do, it's called Albania.

 

Besides, the Kosovo Liberation Army's war against the state of Yugoslavia (whose government was largely opposed by the Serbian people since 1996 and was never fairly and democratically-elected) had little legitimacy in itself, since there's no evidence to suggest that genocide and racism was being perpetrated against the Albanian people in Kosovo prior to the late '90s.

 

Allowing Kosovo to be independent is like creating a Jewish state in the middle of Germany at least a decade after the end of World War 2, and after ten years of a new, proper democratic system in that country, without any human rights abuses.

 

 

I thought they already got independence.

 

They've declared it, but it hasn't been recognised by every single state and has not been accepted into the United Nations yet. Kosovo actually declared its independence for the first time in 1990, but only Albania recognised that declaration.

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Vercetti Gangsta
They have no justification for seceding. One conflict where a few isolated incidents of genocide were committed (on both sides) isn't enough to create a justification for a brand-new state. The current government, which has peacefully ruled under a democratic system for at least a decade has not committed any human rights violations against Albanians in Kosovo. It's different if Albanians didn't already have their own nation-state to reside in, but they do, it's called Albania.

What about Montenegrins? Don't they already have Serbia?

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Ari Gold

Montenegro has functioned independently before, and has a history of being a separate state, despite its population and culture being identical to that of Serbia's. However, a lot of Montenegrins identify their ethnicity as Montenegrin and as being separate to that of Serbs, and although I can't envisage that (half of my ancestry is from Montenegro actually, but I wouldn't call myself Montenegrin, although I'd support them in football if Serbia isn't doing too well tounge.gif), their idea of a national identity has been around for centuries and despite the two cultures being overwhelmingly the same, there are slight differences. But that's a fair point, since I don't distinguish them as being different from Serbs.

 

Kosovo's different, since the Albanians in the province don't have a separate culture and identity from Albanians in Albania. Most of the Albanians in Kosovo have only been living in Kosovo for the past hundred-or-so years (as recently as 1871, the population of Kosovo, as surveyed by an Austrian general, was approximately 60% Serbian and 30% Albanian, with Turks comprising the remaining 10%; it's also estimated that 300,000 to 400,000 Serbs left Kosovo during the first forty years of independence, especially during the time of the Greco-Ottoman conflict in 1897) and have strongly hold on to their native culture, which has no separation at all from that of Albania's. Can you ever think of Kosovar Albanians listing their ethnicity as 'Kosovar' instead of Albanian?

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Clem Fandango
They have no justification for seceding. One conflict where a few isolated incidents of genocide were committed (on both sides) isn't enough to create a justification for a brand-new state. The current government, which has peacefully ruled under a democratic system for at least a decade has not committed any human rights violations against Albanians in Kosovo. It's different if Albanians didn't already have their own nation-state to reside in, but they do, it's called Albania.

 

Besides, the Kosovo Liberation Army's war against the state of Yugoslavia (whose government was largely opposed by the Serbian people since 1996 and was never fairly and democratically-elected) had little legitimacy in itself, since there's no evidence to suggest that genocide and racism was being perpetrated against the Albanian people in Kosovo prior to the late '90s.

 

Allowing Kosovo to be independent is like creating a Jewish state in the middle of Germany at least a decade after the end of World War 2, and after ten years of a new, proper democratic system in that country, without any human rights abuses.

This is what we call a strawman. You're making up an argument and arguing against it as if it were mine. I didn't say they should be made independent because they were an oppressed minority like Jews in Germany, infact, I gave a completely different parallel--Ireland--which you ignored and replaced with something completely different to Kosovo; the Jews were a scattered ethnic minority, but Kosovo is a terrritory. If Jews had their own chunk of Germany that was their's prior to the Holocaust they would have likely seceded from Germany rather than moving to Israel.

 

But all that is moot since my argument was that if the people of Kosovo don't feel Serbian you cannot force the nationality on them. And as far as the genocide against them goes, I think that's a valid reason not to want to be called Serbian (as if they need a reason).

 

It's difficult to call yourself Serbian when the Serbian government has tried to wipe them off the face of the earth, even if it was a different regime - unless the entire military and government were totally replaced they'd be being protected and represented by soldiers and officials who, at a point in very recent history, didn't see them as having any legitimate right to life itself because they're Albanian. The government of modern Germany is officially different to that of Nazi Germany, but it's still the same country. Just after the Holocaust I'm sure there were a great number of officials and military officers who held the Jews in contempt, regardless of what how the population at large feels.

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nlitement

Why won't Republika Srpska join Serbia? Man, I was really confused when I read about it. I thought that was the official name for Serbia, but turns out it's just a region inside Bosnia. sad.gif

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gizmo

I think it all boils down to money, the almighty dollar (or what they call their money there). Serbia wants the contribution of their tax and Kosovo (which comes up as incorrect on spell check) wants to be free to collect it's own taxes. I think nothing more than that, although the people living there must have more reasons, it is just the people behind the curtain that want it to sway one way or the other.

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Emhyr
Why won't Republika Srpska join Serbia? Man, I was really confused when I read about it. I thought that was the official name for Serbia, but turns out it's just a region inside Bosnia. sad.gif

Because Republika Srpska is just an entity of Bosnia,and it will stay that way.

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Rown

Nothing lasts forever. Especially these constructs we call 'states'.

 

"Serbian" and "Albanian" are artificial identities created to support the continuance of lingual and cultural norms. At their base they are still humans, deserving of their rights being respected. People are and should be free to choose their associations.

 

Rown rampage_ani.gif

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