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III.II: International intervention

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Many States were involved in the conflict from a diplomatic, humanitarian and military point of view. Many States wanted to avoid the failure of the United Nations in Bosnia and Croatia, and concluded on the inability of the UN to stabilize the crisis. The diplomatic way preferred to worry about the infringement of the human rights rather than the independency status of Kosovo, but it resolved nothing. The involvement of Powers in Kosovo was only sizeable after the Yugoslav military operations in the region: the Yugoslav operation in the centre of Kosovo (Drenica) from February 1998 against the Army of Liberation that killed 36 persons. The Western Powers reacted against the disproportionate violence to the Albanian people. The UN decided an embargo on the sales of weapons to Yugoslavia (Resolution 1160). Moreover, it demanded a stopping of violence, a negotiation with the Albanian representatives and the withdrawal of the Yugoslav forces. Unfortunately, we observed many conflicts between the UCK and the Yugoslav forces. During July and August 97, the Albanians suffered a defeat due to their poor quality of weapons and the inability of the international community to stop the conflict formed more and more.

The 13th September 97, the Council of Security demanded that Yugoslavia stopped its operations in Kosovo and to begin the negotiations with the Albanian Kosovars (Resolution 1199). A report was presented to Milosevic planning a temporary autonomy for Kosovo (three years) but he refused it. On the one hand, the Albanian Kosovars wanted that the international community allowed a self-determination referendum after the three years but the Western Powers didn’t want to accept more than autonomy.

On the other hand, it was too much competence according to the Serbs. In the same time, the fightings went on. It led to the massacre in Racak by the Serbs in January 98 and to the negotiations of Rambouillet and Paris (February and March)(62). The project planned an economic autonomy but also for the tax system, education, health, justice and the police would be restructured. Furthermore, elections would be supervised by the OSCE. Nevertheless, the question of independency was not present in the project. In Rambouillet, the Albanians did not accept the negotiations. In Paris, the Serbs refused.

As said before, the international community wanted to avoid the same Bosnian failure, using the NATO forces too late. Seeing that the diplomatic operations did not manage, NATO intervened in an internal issue and against a sovereign state, and towards the violation of the principle of sovereignty. Moreover this operation did not receive any UN mandate. However, this intervention was led because of the failure of Yugoslavia to protect its population and its obligations to the minorities (Resolution 1199)(63). There was also an obligation to put an end to the genocide against the Albanian Kosovars.

Since the end of the bombings in January 99, the status of Kosovo has been governed by the Resolution 1244 of the UN Council of Security. That Resolution provided the international rules for the stabilization and the reconstruction of Kosovo. UNO, NATO, OSCE and the EU were given some responsibilities to ensure the administration and the security of Kosovo. The main mission of the international community was to build a political infrastructure. This operation of nation building had to deal with the Albanian majority and the minorities.

The first international institution, present in Kosovo after the bombings, was NATO with the KFOR: It ensured the security of Kosovo and undertook the first constructions before the entry of the other international organisations(64). It built some bridges, roads and houses. The KFOR had to deal with the administration of the prisons and the hospitals(65). It also had to ensure the disarmament of the UCK and to provide the UN with aid for the civil administration of Kosovo. Kosovo was therefore divided in five zones monitored by a NATO’s membership: The North was controlled by France, the South by Germany, the Western zone by Italia, the central territory was controlled by Great Britain and the East by the United States.

The Resolution 1244 gave UNO the responsibility of dealing with the civil administration of Kosovo. The main tasks of the MINUK were(66):

– To ensure the establishment of an autonomy and a self-administration

– To fulfil some administrative functions

– To ensure a political process aiming at determinate the future status of Kosovo

– To rebuild the infrastructures and to help the humanitarian aid

– To keep the law and order

– To promote the human rights

– To help the return of the refugees

62 Reneo Lukic, L’agonie Yougoslave (1986-2003) Les Etats-Unis et l’Europe face aux guerres balkaniques, Les presses de l’université Laval, 2003
63 Reneo Lukic, L’agonie Yougoslave (1986-2003) Les Etats-Unis et l’Europe face aux guerres balkaniques, Les presses de l’université Laval, 2003
64 Reneo Lukic, L’agonie Yougoslave (1986-2003) Les Etats-Unis et l’Europe face aux guerres balkaniques, Les presses de l’université Laval, 2003
65 Independent International Commission on Kosovo, Kosovo report, p. 105
66 Eurlex, Journal officiel n° L 080 19/03/2008, p.0046 – 0070

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