Latest On Kosovo

Update NOTE - Since current events have made Kosovo a hot topic again, this post is gaining a lot of attention. So here is my disclaimer.

I was stationed in Kosovo in 2005 at Camp Bondsteel in South Eastern Kosovo. I dealt with the Serbian and Albanian populations of Kosovo while I was stationed there, and we were not allowed to ask them about their opinions on the events of Kosovo. I never wanted to take sides, and the US Forces there were to treat the matter with neutrality and not take sides.

This is merely my opinion on a matter from my observances back in 2005. I am not a journalist, you are reading a blog that is filled with my opinions. I personally see that both sides have a stake in Kosovo, and there was never a peaceful resolution unless the Serbians and Albanians could come to some sort of agreement. Unfortunately, Milosavich's ethnic genocide of Albanians during the 1990's is what brought Americans into the matter and Kosovo to it's present state.

Again, these are just my opinions. I personally am neither for the Albanians nor the Serbians, I think both sides have an argument to be made, which is why the situation in Kosovo is as volatile as it is.

If you have a problem with my opinions, please feel free to post your thoughts in my comments, I will not delete them and I will eventually read them.

~Risawn, February 2008

"Down here at the bottom of the world they don't tell us anything. Got any news on this?"
- Murray

Apparently CNN has some news on Kosovo. . .

PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) — At least three blasts rocked the center of Kosovo’s capital on Saturday, and one targeted the U.N. mission headquarters.

An Associated Press reporter saw at least three U.N. vehicles set ablaze in the parking lot of the U.N. mission headquarters in Pristina.

There were no immediate reports of any injuries after at least three near-simultaneous blasts, said Hua Jiang, chief U.N. spokeswoman.

The second blast happened near the building of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the OSCE, which is some 100 meters (100 yards) down the road from the U.N. compound.

The third blast went off near the Kosovo government building which also houses the province’s parliament and damaged it slightly, said Jiang. She did not say what caused the blasts.

Police sealed off the areas after the explosions.

You wanna know something that's funny? In a strange sort of unfunny way?

This was the first time I heard about it.

The basics of Kosovo, it's split up into four sections, MultiNational Brigade (MNB) Northeast is run by the French, Center was in control of the British but recently transferred to the Finnish, West was controlled by the Italians but merged with Southwest and is controlled by the Germans. East is controlled by the Americans.

Pristina, which is where the UN Headquarters are located, is located in KFOR MNB-Center. We go up there from time to time, because KFOR Main is located there.

This isn't the first time the UN Headquarters have been bombed. The UN is dawdling with what they want to do with Kosovo, as whether or not Kosovo gets transferred back to Serbia (which will cause the Ethnic Albanians to riot and go to war against Serbia), given Independence (which will cause Serbia to get upset as they don't want to lose Kosovo which is a huge part of their culture and history) or just left a protectorate of the UN for a few more years until everyone decides to get along (which will cause both groups to get impatient, and probably cause the Albanians to Riot).

I predict, and this is just my opinion and has nothing to do which side I'm for or against, as America has tried to portray themselves as a Neutral Force between the Serbians and the Albanians of Kosovo (Serbia itself has recently been declared neither an Ally nor an Enemy, but rather a 'competitor') where our task is to keep the peace until the fate of this land is decided. But I predict that Kosovo will eventually get its independence. Ethnic Albanians are 90% of the population of Kosovo. And Serbia wants to join the EU so they need to play Nice.

And the Albanians here love Americans. I think it is the one predominantly Muslim region in the world that really loves the Americans. They have a freakin' shrine to Bill Clinton, I kid you not. He is their hero. . .

It was predicted that there would be some tension about this time here in Kosovo due to people getting impatient with the UN. KFOR has a mission slightly different then the UN's, our job is to keep the peace, pure and simple, while the UN decides what to do.

The people of this country are bombing the UN headquarters (which is thankfully fairly far away from the US Base Camp) because they are growing impatient with the UN. We haven't had very many problems with the people of Kosovo, other then they drive like maniacs. That's where most of the danger in this region is, on the road.

I went more into detail in those whole issue with my milblog, Foxholes and Dogtags, on the tension between the two groups. Fortunately, besides perhaps the Organized Crime problem, we haven't felt much conflict with the people here. They are just getting impatient and want their independence, and mostly they want the UN to make up their mind. They were supposed to have talks in June, those got delayed until October. The whole thing is a mess.

Whatever the case, this isn't going to be an easy fight, one way or the other. It just takes a lot of patience from both sides, and a freakin' lot of understanding and coming to terms between two groups of people who have for centuries hated each other and hold 600 year old grudges.

But otherwise, the Americans have just been chilling. . . guess I won't count on that trip to Pristina this week though.

Hat Tip - Murray and Little Green Footballs

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