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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
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Over its first 15 months the international mission in Kosovo has a number of accomplishments to its credit. These include negotiating an agreement with the Kosovo Liberation army (KLA) to disband and to publicly commit to hand over its weapons - although few believe the KLA's disarmament has been complete; heading off, in the early months after the war, an incipient conflict between backers of the KLA and the other major political force in Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova's Democratic League of Kosovo(LDK); creating the framework of an administrative structure for Kosovo, and mobilising humanitarian assistance that helped feed and get more than one million Kosovo refugees into homes or temporary shelters before the first post-war winter.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo
  • 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: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Ten Years after independence, Macedonia's two largest ethnic groups continue to lead very separate and distinct lives. The uneasy co-existence between ethnic Macedonians and ethnic Albanians has only just withstood the violent breakup of Yugoslavia and the continuing instability in Kosovo. Valid concerns about Macedonia's security are too often being used to justify postponing hard decisions about internal problems. Political leaders on both sides of the ethnic divide, while negotiating privately for piecemeal improvements, publicly cater to the more extreme nationalists in their respective parties, and positions are hardening. There is a continued reluctance to squarely confront the compromises that would legally safeguard Macedonia's multi-ethnic composition: if that reluctance is not soon overcome, Macedonia and the region face renewed instability.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Albania
  • 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: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Nearly a year after NATO defeated Serbia in the war over Kosovo, the international community appears uncertain about how to remove Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic from power.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Mitrovica has become the linchpin of Kosovo's future united status. The stakes are high. If the international community cannot re-establish Mitrovica as a single city, efforts to preserve a united Kosovo will also fail.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Mitrovica
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: After four and a half year of concerted efforts by the international community, significant numbers of minority refugees are returning spontaneously to areas of Bosnia controlled by heretofore hostile ethnic majorities. This provides an opportunity to reverse wartime ethnic cleansing and make substantial progress toward achieving a core goal of the international community and the Dayton Peace Agreement. The requirement for modestly increased reconstruction and security assistance to facilitate this process, however, poses a challenge for governments and international aid and security organisations, many of which are seeking to wind down their Bosnia commitments. Absent such international community support and increased Bosnian government co-operation, the ceiling for returns may be low, and could jeopardise the success of current and future return efforts.
  • Topic: Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The recent crackdown by the Belgrade regime on Serbia's independent media and political activists suggests that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is more vulnerable than it would appear. Since the Kosovo war ended, Milosevic has proven unable to expand his support base and must struggle with diminishing resources to keep restive constituencies intact. Despite its recognised weakness, the Serbian opposition is capable under certain conditions of removing Milosevic from power and offering better governance. The message of numerous public opinion polls over the past eight moths is that there is an anti-Milosvic majority in Serbia, but that the opposition must work together in coalitions to exploit it.
  • Topic: Democratization, Non-Governmental Organization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Local elections are to be held in Podgorica and Herceg-Novi, two of Montenegro's 21 municipalities, on 11 June 2000. Their significance is wider than the simple question of who governs the two local authorities, for these will be the first elections in Montenegro since the victory of the "For a Better Life" coalition (DZB) under president Milo Djukanovic in general elections in May 1998. For this reason the results will be widely interpreted as a comment on the performance of Djukanovic so far, and a barometer of the political mood in the republic as a whole.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The assertion of the primacy of Serbian rights over all other peoples by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has driven nearly every nationality of the former Yugoslavia toward the Republic's exits. Even Montenegro, once Serbia's closest political and military ally, has not been immune from the turmoil that Slobodan Milosevic has created and has opted to distance itself from Belgrade's controlling influence.
  • Topic: International Relations, Non-Governmental Organization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The international community can draw a degree of comfort from the results of Bosnia's 8 April 2000 municipal elections. Overall, the voting was free of violence and more freeand fair than any previous election held in Bosnia. Nationalism may not be on the run yet—witness the strength of indicted Bosnian Serb war criminal Radovan Karadzic's Serbian Democratic Party (SDS)—but moderate leaders are making inroads and increasing numbers of voters seem to be paying attention to their messages.
  • Topic: Government, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Reunification of Mostar is key to the reintegration of separatist Herzegovinian Bosnian Croats into Bosnia. After years of fruitless post-Dayton efforts to wean the Bosnian Croats from Zagreb and reorient them toward a constructive role in Bosnia, the international community at long last has the capability to achieve this goal. The success of the democratic forces in Croatia in the January-February elections there has brought reliable partners to power with whom the international community can work in Bosnia. Policy initiatives in Herzegovina will not require new resources and, if achieved, can lead to a reduction in the international profile in Bosnia. Failure to act on these opportunities will cripple the Bosnian peace effort and weaken the new government in Croatia. These issues present serious policy challenges.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, Croatia
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Montenegro has been a crisis-in-waiting for two years now, with Belgrade opposing efforts by a reform-minded government under President Milo Djukanovic to distance itself ever further from its federal partner Serbia. Federal President Slobodan Milosevic has steadily escalated the pressure against Djukanovic, probing the extent of NATO support for Montenegro and pushing the Montenegrins toward a misstep that might undermine their international backing. Each of the three possible policy-paths facing the Montenegro government, however, is unappealing in its own way:Going ahead with a referendum on independence for Montenegro would risk radicalising a population still peacefully divided over the issue, and would offer maximum provocation to Belgrade, which retains a powerful military presence in Montenegro. Maintaining the status quo may offer a better chance of avoiding open confrontation with Belgrade, but it leaves Montenegro in a limbo. Its friends are not offering all the help they could, on the grounds that it is not a sovereign state; but prospects for selfgenerated income through inward investment or revival of the tourist industry are still hostage to international risk perceptions. Achieving rapprochement with the Serbian government would be possible if Milosevic went. But Montenegro cannot afford to leave its future in the unsure hands of the present Serbian opposition. And as the atmosphere in Serbia steadily worsens, political and public opinion in Montenegro appears to grow ever less willing to compromise.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, NATO, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Serbia, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The end of the war over Kosovo brought the transformation of the guerrilla army that started it. The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA - or UÇK in the Albanian acronym) has been formally demilitarised, but in various manifestations it remains a powerful and active element in almost every area of Kosovo life. Some welcome its continued influence; others fear it; many are concerned about it.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Albania
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: During the spring of 1999, more than 450,000 Kosovo Albanian refugees flooded into Albania, many of them forcibly deported by Serb forces in Kosovo. Despite Albania's acute poverty, many Albanians opened their homes to provide shelter to the incoming refugees and the government spared no effort, organising humanitarian relief and putting the entire country at the disposal of NATO. As a result, in the eyes of its people, Albania has secured its position as the spiritual motherland of all ethnic Albanians, and as such expects to play a prominent role in future pan-Albanian aspirations.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, 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: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The situation in Iraq is more precarious than at any time since the April 2003 ouster of the Baathist regime, largely reflecting the Coalition's inability to establish a legitimate and representative political transition process. The broad plan sketched out by UN Special Adviser Lakhdar Brahimi, the apparent willingness of the U.S. to delegate at least some political responsibility to the UN and the decision to loosen the de-Baathification decree are all steps in the right direction. But critical questions remain both unanswered and, in some cases, unasked.
  • Topic: Demographics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Eastern Europe, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: To date, little attention has been paid to the role public administration plays in enforcing or violating the human rights and civil liberties of Bosnia and Herzegovina's citizens. Instead, much effort is concentrated on reforming the court system. Yet, the justice system in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) comprises far more than the court system. It also consists of "administrative justice," where small-scale rulings by seemingly minor municipal and cantonal officials in a variety of public administrative organs, exercise a huge influence on the lives and legal rights of ordinary citizens. Many of these rulings prevent citizens from exercising their legal rights and gaining access to due process of law.</p
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The enterprise known as Trepca is a sprawling conglomerate of some 40 mines and factories, located mostly in Kosovo but also in other locations in Serbia and Montenegro. Its activities include chemical processing and production of goods as varied as batteries and paint. But the heart of its operations, and the source of most of its raw material, is the vast mining complex to the east of Mitrovicë/a in the north of Kosovo, famous since Roman times. This report examines the current position of the mines, together with the associated smelting complex at nearby Zvecan.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: After an unprecedented, multilateral military intervention in Kosovo succeeded in expelling Serb forces and enabling the return home of more than a million displaced persons, the international community embarked on the ambitious, long-term project of securing, rebuilding, and establishing the rule of law in Kosovo, while setting the territory on the path to self-governance. Visionary promises were made to the people of Kosovo, and careful planning was undertaken at NATO and United Nations headquarters and in many European capitals. But six months into the mission, the international community has so far not been able to deliver on its promises. No Kosovars of any ethnicity feel secure, tens of thousands of people remain without adequate shelter as winter sets in, civil registration has yet to get underway, there is as yet no agreed-upon, functional system of justice, and criminals – including suspected war criminals – continue to operate with effective impunity.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In anticipation of the fourth anniversary on 21 November 1999 of the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords, this report presents a detailed analysis of the agreement and the future of the Bosnian peace process. The report assesses efforts to implement the agreement annex by annex, identifying obstacles to continued progress and setting out key choices facing international policymakers.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: More than four months have passed since the start of the deployment of the United Nations in Kosovo. While first efforts were concentrated on the creation of a secure environment and the distribution of humanitarian aid, Civil Administration, the pillar of UNMIK which plays the role of a government, has been slow in reaching the local level.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: On 31 October and 14 November 1999, Macedonian citizens will go to the polls to elect a successor to 82-year-old President Kiro Gligorov, who is stepping down after two terms in office.
  • Topic: Government, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Macedonia
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The NATO intervention in Serbia and the indictment of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia have created openings within Serbian society and exposed cleavages within the regime that should be rapidly exploited to hasten Milosevic's departure and bring about genuine political change. The loss of Kosovo, the destruction resulting from the bombing, and the refusal of the international community to rebuild Serbia until Milosevic is out of power have occasioned widespread despair among Serbs who have come to view their country's future under its present leadership as a dead end.
  • Topic: NATO, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: This paper offers a brief guide to the leading indigenous political organisations and personalities in Kosovo/Kosova. The authority of the international civil and military presence in Kosovo rests on UN Security Council Resolution 1244 of 10 June 1999. Under international law no other authority enjoys any legitimacy until the UN administration grants it.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Just under a year ago a nervous Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic warned the world that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was preparing to trigger a new Balkan war by launching a campaign of violence against the tiny republic of Montenegro. Djukanovic was right about Milosevic's intent, but wrong about the target. In March of this year, the dictator struck against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and unleashed the barbarous Operation Horseshoe.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Government, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Balkans, Albania, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Repercussions from Kosovo continue to shake Republika Srpska (RS), and may prove a catalyst for further transformation and reform. The war's collateral damage included severance of trade ties with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY); a dramatic rise in unemployment; a sharp drop in production and state revenues; and a tide of Serbian refugees from FRY into RS.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia
  • 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: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The ICG Balkans Report N°66, "Kosovo: Let's Learn from Bosnia", of 17 May 1999 looked at how experience in Bosnia could be useful in Kosovo, and also at the extent to which the Rambouillet agreement of 23 February 1999 resembled the Dayton agreement of 21 November 1995.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Kosovo
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia began on 24 March 1999, Macedonia has been in an extremely vulnerable frontline position, facing an unmanageable influx of refugees from Kosovo, the prospect of economic collapse and volatile domestic interethnic relations.
  • Topic: Security, Migration, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Macedonia
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: After almost three and a half years working in Bosnia to implement the Dayton Peace Agreement, the international community will soon face the prospect of establishing a presence in Kosovo. The model proposed at Rambouillet was very similar to that set up at Dayton, but the situation now is very different. This report examines the international effort in Bosnia to see whether lessons can be drawn for Kosovo and other possible future international administrations.
  • Topic: Security, Migration, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Kosovo
  • 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: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The donor countries hoped the governments of Bosnia and Herzegovina would use the promised $ 5.1 Billion post-war reconstruction aid to undertake the structural changes necessary to transition from communism to capitalism. As donor-aid diminished, private investment would replace it, stimulated by structural reforms. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Indeed, interviews with Bosnian and foreign businessmen show a common reluctance to invest in BiH.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: NATO's strategy in the war with Yugoslavia over Kosovo isn't working. As the Alliance's bombing campaign enters its fourth week, it is Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic who is still winning the political game.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The early part of 1999 has been turbulent for Republika Srpska. Political life has been unsettled by three separate and hardly-related crises: the decision of the High Representative to remove from office the RS President Nikola Poplasen; the decision of International Arbitrator Roberts Owen to give the municipality of Brcko neither to RS nor to the Federation but to both as a condominium; and the NATO air-strikes on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY).
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, NATO, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The new Macedonian government marked its first hundred days in office in early March. Formed by the Macedonian Internal Revolutionary Organisation-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE), the Democratic Alternative (DA), and the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA) after the last parliamentary elections in October and November 1998, the government is headed by VMRO- DPMNE Chairman Ljubco Georgievski and has a comfortable majority of 73 out of 120 seats in the current parliament.
  • Topic: Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Kosovo peace talks, held at Rambouillet (France) under the auspices of the sixnation Contact Group, have been suspended until 15 March 1999 after a provisional agreement was reached on granting substantial autonomy for Kosovo. However, neither the Kosovo Albanians nor Serbian delegates have yet signed the draft peace accord, which calls for a NATO peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, and in which the "final status" issue has been deliberately fudged. The immense complexities of the Kosovo question were dramatically illustrated at Rambouillet by the last-minute refusal of the Albanian delegation to sign the accord, due to pressure from a hardline faction of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) which refused to attend the talks.
  • Topic: International Relations, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Treaties and Agreements, War
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: While last spring saw conflict erupt in Kosovo's central Drenica region when Serbian security forces attacked and killed residents of the villages of Prekaz and Likoshan, this spring brings the possibility of peace. The proposed deployment of a 28,000-strong international force for Kosovo will dramatically and immediately halt the sporadic low-intensity battles between Serbian security forces and ethnic Albanian rebels that have displaced 300,000 people. This peace will allow refugees to return to their homes, and provide the day-to-day sense of security on the ground that will enable Kosovo's transition to self-government.
  • Topic: International Relations, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Treaties and Agreements, War
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Serbia
  • 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: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Electoral reform is on the agenda this year in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For too long the country has been ruled by leaders who draw support from only one of the three main ethnic groups. These leaders have been unable to co-operate on even the simplest matters, inhibiting the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) and forcing the international community to micromanage the country. Electoral reform offers one promising way to allow Bosnians to choose less confrontational leaders, and so start to accept responsibility for their own future.
  • Topic: Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Arbitral Tribunal on Brcko meets this month, and may or may not this time make its final decision, after postponements in 1997 and 1998. An award to either the Federation or Republika Srpska would provoke an extreme reaction: ICG advocates that a final decision should be made now, and that Brcko municipality should be reunited and made an autonomous district under the constitutional jurisdiction of the central government of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The recent parliamentary elections and the change of government in Macedonia in many respects are a landmark in the country's development. The smooth transition of power from one political camp to another and the fact that the "radicals" from both major ethnic groups rather than the more moderate parties form the new government are significant in themselves. If the new government manages to solve Macedonia's problems, it might also have repercussions throughout the region. This report, prepared by ICG's field analyst in Skopje, looks back and draws lessons from the elections and the formation of the new government, looks ahead at the key policy changes facing the new administration, and assesses the capacity of the ruling coalition to meet those challenges.
  • Topic: Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Premier Pandeli Majko's new coalition government is slowly consolidating its hold over the administration, though the overall power of the government remains weak after the country was rocked in September by the worst political violence since the uprising of March 1997. Within the cabinet the deputy premier Ilir Meta has emerged as the key power in most decision-making and policy implementation. The new government consists of representatives of the Socialist Party (PS), the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Union of Human Rights Party (PBDNj - this party represents the ethnic Greek minority), Democratic Alliance (AD), and the small Agrarian Party (AP). The largest opposition grouping the Democratic Party (DP), led by former president Sali Berisha, does not recognise the legitimacy of the Socialist-led government, is continuing its boycott of parliament and staging street rallies to push for early elections.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Albania
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Sarajevo's Bosniac authorities were given the opportunity to demonstrate their much-vaunted commitment to multi-ethnicity when, on 3 February 1998, representatives of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia), the Federation of Bosnia Herzegovina (Federation), Sarajevo Canton and the international community adopted the Sarajevo Declaration. The Declaration stressed the importance of the Bosnian capital “as a model of coexistence and tolerance for the rest of the country” and made it clear that: “The international community will condition continuation of assistance for Sarajevo on fulfilment of the benchmarks set out in this Declaration and on adequate progress toward meeting the 1998 goal of at least 20,000 minority returns.”
  • Topic: Demographics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 12-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In the past few weeks the Belgrade authorities have sacked a number of key public officials. The two most prominent were security chief Stanisic and head of the army general staff Perisic. The firings triggered much speculation in the international media about the stability of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's regime. According to one interpretation, the sackings signal a fundamental weakness in government ranks, with Milosevic moving pre-emptively to oust potential rivals to his authority. Alternatively, the sackings may represent an attempt by the Yugoslav President to further consolidate his power base and to effectively rule with the backing of Yugoslavia's military and security establishments. Both Stanisic and Perisic were seen as Milosevic's opponents on several key policies, notably Belgrade's handling of relations with the Kosovo Albanians. Both Perisic and Stanisic, reportedly moderates not favouring the use of severe force against the Kosovars, have been replaced by Milosevic "yes-men" regarded as proponents of a violent resolution of the Kosovo question. If this is even in part the case, Stanisic's and Perisic's sackings do not necessary reflect a weakness in Milosevic's rule. Instead, the sackings may only signal Milosevic's resolve to return to force as a means of regional problem solving.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia
  • Publication Date: 12-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Three years after the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) ended the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia), the country has many of the trappings usually associated with statehood such as a common flag, currency, vehicle licence plate and passport. However, these and other breakthroughs have generally required disproportionate amounts of time and effort on the part of the international community and have all too often been rammed through in spite of Bosnia's domestic institutions. Despite visible progress towards many of the goals contained within the DPA, therefore, Bosnia's peace still gives the impression that it is built on shifting sands. Moreover, although critical to the peace process, the scale of the international presence, which increasingly resembles a protectorate, is in some ways counter-productive to Bosnia's long-term future. On the one hand, domestic institutions and politicians have to a large extent given up responsibility for governing their own country. On the other, the massive international stake has led key international players to declare the peace process a success, irrespective of how it is actually evolving. The international presence is also extremely expensive, costing some $9 billion a year.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 12-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) has dominated Croatian political life since multi-party elections in April 1990 brought an end to communist rule. The HDZ has been a broad movement rather than a modern political party, representing a wide range of political views and interests, united behind its leader, President Franjo Tudjman, in the aim of achieving Croatian sovereignty and independence. In 1990-91, large areas of the country were taken over by rebellious Croatian Serbs, with support from Belgrade. Thus for most of the period of HDZ rule in Croatia, large chunks of the country remained outside Zagreb's control, and the overriding priority was to restore Croatia's territorial integrity, a goal which was finally achieved in January 1998. Croatia also became enmeshed in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) as, supported by Croatia, the Bosnian Croats fought their erstwhile Bosniac allies in 1993-94. The obsession of Tudjman and the hard-line Herzegovina lobby in the HDZ with the dream of eventually detaching chunks of Bosnian territory and joining them with Croatia has been a persistent cause of international pressure on Croatia, as well as of division within Croatian politics.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, Croatia