November 21, 2008
Some 5.000 to 10.000 Kosovo Albanians protested on Wednesday in Pristina against the UN plan on the reconfiguration of Unmik. Last week, the United Nations put forward an amended 6-point plan for the deployment of the EU’s EULEX mission. The United Nations’ six-point plan, negotiated between the UN Secretary General, Serbia and the European Union has been rejected by Kosovo leaders who argue it compromises Pristina’s sovereignty. On 18th Nov.2008 Kosovo’s separatist government offered own 4-point plan, saying final “no” on 6-points.
Straight after Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence EU launched its rule and law mission EULEX. The idea was to deploy a new civilian mission in Kosovo to replace the UN administration. However UNSC did not replace resolution 1244 – which was adopted in 1999 when the international administration and peacekeepers enter the province and confirms Serbia’s sovereignty over the province – so new mission’s legal base was in doubt.
To deploy EULEX the Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon of UN proposed on July 2008 technical negotiations between UN and Belgrade and Pristina authorities over six issues – police, customs, judicial system, traffic-infrastructure, borderline and Serbian cultural heritage.
Serbia outlined three conditions under which it would accept deployment – that
- Eulex secure UN security council approval,
- be neutral with respect to Kosovo’s status and
- not implement the Ahtisaari Plan, which also lacks security council authorisation.
Few weeks ago agreement with Belgrade was reached. The amended six-point plan of the UN secretary-general, which Serbia declared it would support, also envisages an autonomous police force for Serb-majority areas, which would receive directives from the UN’s mission in Kosovo (Unmik); with Eulex responsible for policing structures in majority-Albanian areas.
Analysts in Priština have noted, that accepting the 6-point-plan for would mean that the Kosovo officials would formally lose their sovereignty over North Kosovo, though this sovereignty does not exist essentially. This view Kosovo’s separatist government shares.
The rival plan unveiled by President Fatmir Sejdiu is argued by Pristina to be in accordance with Kosovo’s constitution and the UN plan for Kosovo’s independence drafted by ex-UN envoy for Kosovo’s final status, Martti Ahtisaari. “First – We back the very swift deployment of EULEX in Kosovo according to the mandate foreseen in the declaration of independence, Ahtisaari’s Plan and the Constitution of the Kosovo Republic.” “Now Kosovo has its own four point plan which is a blueprint for EULEX’s extension all over the territory of the Republic of Kosovo,” added Kosovo’s head of government. (BalkanInsight 18/11/2008)
The proposed plan includes four points (Source New Kosova Report 18/11/2008):
- the Government of the Republic of Kosovo support the quick deployment of EULEX in Kosovo in based on Independence Declaration, Ahtisaari document and Kosovo Constitution;
- institutions of the Republic of Kosovo reject entirely the Six-Point Plan;
- institutions of the Republic of Kosovo will closely cooperate with EULEX in the entire territory of Kosovo; and
- institutions of the Republic of Kosovo will cooperate as always with the United States of America, the European Union and NATO.
From my point of view word plan is exaggerated in this case, declaration or statement could describe beter the content.
USA decides …what?
Kosovo leaders continued 18th Nov. 2008 talks with the US State Undersecretary for Eurasia Daniel Fried and EU officials on finding a solution for the deployment of EULEX on the whole territory of Kosovo. After talks Kosovo leaders informed that USA is backing their 4-point plan.
However on 20th Nov. 2008 US Ambassador to Serbia Cameron Munter says Kosovo officials have been informed of Washington’s support for the UN six-point plan, and Pristina is also urged to back the plan. The ambassador said Pristina was told that it should take into consideration that an agreement with Belgrade has been reached over the (6-point) plan and that Washington, which has been instrumental in supporting Kosovo’s efforts to gain independence from Serbia, deems the plan acceptable as well. (Source: BalkanInsight 20/11/2008)
Prima facie the 6-point and 4-point seems to be mutually exclusive, but hey are not when understanding 4-point to valid south of Ibar river and 6-point north of that.
To be continued
The session of the UN SC on Kosovo at which the Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is expected to submit his report might be held on coming week. Until then, Belgrade has interrupted all further talks waiting for the Ban Ki-Moon’s report. If conditions set by Belgrade are precisely defined in that report (status neutrality of the EULEX deployed in Kosovo under the UN umbrella and not implementing Martti Ahtisaari’s plan), Serbia shall give the green light for deployment of the EULEX in the whole territory of Kosovo.
Accepting 6-point-plan does not change the actual situation on the ground. Southern part will continue its life under EU supervision implementing Ahtisaari plan, northern part will formally continue to be an UN protectorate de facto integrated to Serbia.