Kosovo declares Independence

The BBC is there!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Kosovo has declared independence from Serbia in what the BBC is calling a “historic” vote.

This is pretty big news, because it really may cause some turmoil in the international community. Serbia, and Big Daddy Russia are extremely displeased with this move, and Russia is even calling for an emergency UN Security Council meeting. Not much is likely to come of that, seeing as how quite a few of the veto powers are on board on the Kosovar side.

The US and a few EU countries are expected to formally recognize Kosovo as an independent nation. This would make Kosovo the world’s newest country.

It will be interesting to see how much formal recognition Kosovo receives. It’s doubtful that any of the countries in the Russian sphere of influence will seriously consider accepting it, but is difficult to be sure. More importantly, I’d be a little miffed if I was Taiwan. The US/EU is willing to risk angering Russia over this independent nation, but isn’t willing to challenge China to accept it as a country.

For those of you who may not remember what Kosovo is all about, basically it was a very small NATO war that was designed to protect the ethnic Albanian minority from Serbian repression under Slobodan Milosevic.  It’s a complicated situation, with an armed Albanian resistance committing some serious crimes themselves.  Milsoveic had begun a campaign of “ethnic cleansing” against the ethinic Albanians, and this is part of what spurred the NATO allies into action in 1999.  Military peacekeepers were introduced soon after.   This was another war that was not officially supported by the UN Security Council, but appears to have enjoyed greater public support than any of the others.

Now, it appears that Kosovo is being designed to remain entirely independent and according to the BBC

Kosovo, or part of it, cannot join any other country. It will be supervised by an international presence. Its armed forces will be limited and it will make strong provisions for Serb minority protection.

Kosovo’s backers are worried about a campaign of vengeance against the Serbian minority, and I’ve got to say that I think that protecting minority groups in many situations is pretty warranted.  No matter how terrible a situation was in the past, nothing can be solved by violent retribution.

Now we just have to wait and see if anything is going to come of this, or if Kosovo will one day be absorbed back into one of the bigger nations surrounding it.

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