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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