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  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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