One chair for each person who died during the conflict

The BBC’s Jeremy Bowen sent this Tweet today, with a photo from the ceremony in Sarajevo marking 20 years since the siege on the Bosnian: “Like a red scar through the heart of #Sarajevo. A chair each for the dead. Utterly and unbearably moving” Bowen [@jfjbowen] also Tweeted this: Concert soon to 11541 empty red […]

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Nick Burns on Kosovo's Independence

It’s probably fair to say that fewer states have recognized Kosovo today, a day after its Declaration of Independence, than had been expected or hoped.  Many are probably holding off until the results of an open UN Security Council meeting that is to start today. Today, Nick Burns took questions from journalists in various parts […]

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China angry with Taiwan's recognition of Kosovo

In a long and tantalizingly-titled article (“Superpower Divide over Kosovo Widens“), the Associated Press is reporting that China is angry with Taiwan’s announcment that it recognizes Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence. Did Taiwan receive one of the 192 letters that the Kosovar leadership sent out yesterday asking for reco...

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U.S. now appears to openly back Kosovo's independence

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice told journalists at a pre-holiday press conference in Washington on Friday 21 December that “the fact is that Kosovo and Serbia are never going to be a part of the same state again. I think that’s quite clear.” What could be clearer? After months and years of following a […]

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December 10 deadline has come and gone — what will Kosovo do?

Speculation is rife. Kosovans will wait until elections in Serbia, so as not to help elect extreme Serbian nationalists. Kosovo’s aspirations for independence will aggravate Russia’s relations with the Europeans. And on and on… Here is one comment from Belgrade, sent to an email list today: “Kosovo Albanians … support ...

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Carla del Ponte to stay as Prosecutor for Former Yugoslavia until end of year

The UN Spokesperson told journalists at UNHQ/NY on Friday that “The Security Council extended the terms of the current prosecutors for the two international tribunals in back-to-back formal meetings today. By a unanimous vote, the Council extended Hassan Jallow’s term as Prosecutor for the Rwanda Tribunal by four years. Carla Del Ponte, the...

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Kosovo independence resolution tabled in UN Security Council

The Washington Post’s Colum Lynch reports from UNHQ/NY that “The resolution, which stops short of explicitly endorsing Ahtisaari’s call, transfers authority for Kosovo from the United Nations to the European Union, protected by NATO forces, as part of a phased transition to autonomy. U.S. and European officials say that continued ...

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Prosecuting genocide

Why is genocide so difficult to prosecute? Or, why is it so seldom prosecuted — despite intense media coverage of how various conflicts have descended into what many people clearly perceive as genocide? The Christian Science Monitor carried an interesting piece yesterday written by Robert Marquand on the difficulties — and the reluctanc...

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USA to preside over UN Security Council in May

The presidency of the UN Security Council rotates by alphabetical order monthly. The USA’s new Ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, will preside over the UN SC in May. The UK served as SC President in April — and took the 15 Council members on a trip to Kosovo that ended on Sunday. Belgium’s Ambassador […]

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