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  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Georgia is a multinational state, building democratic institutions and forging a civic identity. However, it has made little progress towards integrating Armenian and Azeri minorities, who constitute over 12 per cent of the population. Tensions are evident in the regions of Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo-Kartli, where the two predominantly live and which have seen demonstrations, alleged police brutality and killings during the past two years. While there is no risk of these situations becoming Ossetian or Abkhaz-like threats to the state's territorial integrity, Tbilisi needs to pay more attention to minority rights, including use of second languages, if it is to avoid further conflict.
  • Topic: Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Armenia, Georgia
  • 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: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: An independent, effective, and transparent justice system will be the cornerstone of a stable and democratic society in Kosovo. Ensuring that such a system is developed in a sustainable manner must be one of the top priorities of the United Nations Interim Administrative Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the Provisional Institutions of Self- Government (PISG). In this report, ICG argues that although progress has been made, serious obstacles and challenges remain.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Seven years after the end of the war, the issue of refugee return continues to be contentious for Croatia. The government that came to power following parliamentary and presidential elections in January and February 2000 inherited an unsatisfactory legacy of discriminatory laws and practices from its predecessor, to the detriment in particular of ethnic Serb displaced persons and refugees. It found that once the universal international relief that greeted its victory over the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) had worn off, international pressure to remove obstacles to refugee return and reintegration had not ended.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Croatia
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Corruption in Macedonia, especially at high levels of government, is endemic. It has evolved from passive exploitation to active coercion and acquired the capacity not only to retard economic progress but also to feed organised crime and, in turn, political and communal instability. In effect, the state has come to function in important respects as a “racket”, while the racketeers thrive in a culture of impunity.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Macedonia
  • 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: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The law does not yet rule in Bosnia Herzegovina. What prevail instead are nationally defined politics, inconsistency in the application of law, corrupt and incompetent courts, a fragmented judicial space, half-baked or half-implemented reforms, and sheer negligence. Bosnia is, in short, a land where respect for and confidence in the law and its defenders is weak.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, 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: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The war option has, for the moment, been checked, but Macedonia is very far from being at peace. Neither the agreement signed on 13 August 2001 2 by the four Macedonian governing parties – two ethnic Macedonian, two ethnic Albanian – nor the subsequent limited NATO deployment, nor the first-stage approval of necessary constitutional amendments by the Macedonian parliament on 6 September have yet given anyone confidence that peace is sustainable. The parliamentary vote, for example, came only after an acrimonious debate in which markers were laid down that ultimate approval of the legislative package could not be taken for granted.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Human Rights
  • 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: 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: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Local elections in Albania on 1 October 2000 will mark the first test of popular support for the ruling Socialist-led coalition since it came to power following the violent uprising in 1997. The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), whose Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) will be leading the monitoring effort, deems these elections to be of critical importance. Albania's electoral process has traditionally been bedevilled by the same handicaps encountered in most other institutional areas: namely, inadequate legislation, capacity deficiencies, politicisation of the process, and lack of all round political support. It is vitally important for Albania's democracy and international reputation that this year's elections do not repeat the mistakes of the recent past.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Albania
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The regime in Serbia has recovered its footing after the 1999 war with NATO and remains as hard-line as ever. Learning and gaining experience over the years has enabled the regime to “improve” its performance and become more efficient. Most analysts in Serbia agree that Milosevic will be able to stay in power indefinitely.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Government, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In the fall of 2000, for the first time of their history, the people of Kosovo are being promised the opportunity to participate in democratic, internationally supervised local elections. The elections offer the people of Kosovo the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to democracy. They also present the international mission in Kosovo with a test of its resolve to overcome the political and practical problems associated with holding elections in a territory still suffering from the physical and the political scars of war.
  • Topic: Democratization, Human Rights, International Cooperation, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: This report is the product of seven months of field research conducted by teams of local and international personnel in Kosovo and Albania in 1999, as part of the International Crisis Group's Humanitarian Law Documentation Project. The Project was conceived in the spring of 1999, as violence and destruction in Kosovo forced hundreds of thousands of men, women and children from their homes, many seeking shelter in neighbouring Albania and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (hereafter referred to as Macedonia).The purpose of the Project was to support the efforts of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (“the Tribunal”or “the ICTY”) to investigate serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in Kosovo and bring to justice persons responsible for such crimes.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Albania
  • Publication Date: 02-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Thousands of people try to find their way daily through an immensely complicated labyrinth established by the three separate and very often conflicting legal systems in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Evidence presented in this report, the third in the ICG legal project series, proves that unexplained time delays, dubious application of law and blatant ethnic discrimination contribute greatly to the ad hoc nature of Bosnian justice.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: With the immense challenges facing the international community in its effort to secure and rebuild Kosovo, one critical outstanding matter that has received very little attention is the ongoing detention in Serbian prisons of several thousand Kosovar Albanians. Arrested by Serbian forces in the course of the Kosovo conflict, these prisoners were hastily transferred to Serbian jails and penitentiaries in the wake of the Kumanovo military-technical agreement, which ended the NATO air campaign and established a timetable for the withdrawal from Kosovo of all Serb forces.
  • Topic: International Relations, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The 1999 action plan of the Reconstruction and Return Task Force (RRTF) represents the most determined effort yet to implement a policy of mass minority return in Bosnia and Herzegovina. But the signs at mid-season are that the results for 1999 will once again be disappointing.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: ICG, with the support of the European Commission, has established a project to promote justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina. With the assistance of 8 partner organisations based all over BiH, ICG will monitor individual cases and general trends to highlight and promote the development of a judicial system in BiH up to the standards of a modern, European judiciary. This first, introductory report examines the factors preventing the development of an independent judiciary, and outlines steps necessary to promote judicial independence.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: On 28 June 1989, Slobodan Milosevic stood on the site of the ancient Serb battleground of Kosovo Polje and delivered the speech that was to propel him to prominence and the leadership of. Ten years on, Milosevic remains firmly entrenched in power. He has survived three Balkan wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, economic sanctions, 78 days of NATO air strikes, and an indictment on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Balkans, Croatia
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The limits of the West's resolve to enforce a solution to the crisis in the Balkans were freshly exposed last week at a press briefing by U.S. President Bill Clinton. Speaking to reporters on 6 May 1999, Clinton admitted that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic might well survive the current crisis and remain in power in Belgrade as long as he accepted the West's terms for a settlement in Kosovo and permitted refugees to return home. He also made clear that a NATO invasion of Yugoslavia from the north, the one option open to the West that would facilitate the forcible removal of the Milosevic regime and with it the greatest single source of instability in the Balkans, was something "our (NATO's) goals never entailed".
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO, Diplomacy, Human Rights, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: With just over two years to run before the end of his term as Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic remains entrenched in power in Belgrade. The Yugoslav constitution currently prevents the President from running for re-election in 2001, but while Milosevic may leave the presidency he shows no sign of forfeiting control and is in the process of purging both the army and secret police of all opposition. He also retains some residual influence over such cultural institutions as the Orthodox Church. Individuals who oppose his views and who are potential political opponents are invariably intimidated, often through brute force. Political party rivals are both attacked in the state and pro-regime press and also courted with the prospect of sharing power. The latest to succumb to that temptation has been Vuk Draskovic's Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict, Government, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia
  • 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: 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: 05-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: International organisations working to help displaced Bosnians return to their pre-war homes -- arguably the most important element of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) -- have declared 1998 the “year of minority returns”. Four months into the year, however, there is the distinct possibility that 1998 may instead prove to be the “year of mass relocation”. This need not be the case. The political climate in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) has shifted in recent months and, despite major setbacks, including in Drvar, minority return success stories are already beginning to emerge. In order to turn the current trickle of minority returns into a steady flow, the lessons of past failures and successes have to be learned.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Migration, Treaties and Agreements, War
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe