Kosovo. According to countryaah, Pristina is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Kosovo. Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj resigned in March when the UN Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia prosecuted him for suspected abuses during the Kosovo 1998-99 conflict. Haradinaj stated that he intended to cooperate with the court in The Hague and went there to declare himself innocent of the charges. He urged his supporters to refrain from violent protests, and it remained calm in Kosovo Former student activist Bajram Kosumi was appointed new Prime Minister.
- Also see abbreviationfinder.org for how the acronym KS stands for the country of Kosovo and other meanings of this two-letter abbreviation.
Haradinaj was detained in The Hague but released in June and was able to travel home awaiting trial. He and two others were indicted on a wide range of crimes against humanity and violations of the laws of war. They must have been guilty of persecution, murder and rape as well as displacement of ethnic Serbs. During the conflict, Haradinaj was an officer in the UCK guerrilla, who fought for independence for the Albanian-dominated province.
In November, the UN General Court issued judgments against three other former UCK members who have been detained since 2003. One of them received 13 years in prison for crimes against humanity, while the other two were acquitted. The trial was the first of the UN tribunal with Kosovo Albanians being prosecuted.
Several warnings were heard during the year that the situation in Kosovo was unsustainable as the issue of the province’s final status was still unsolved. In May, Søren Jessen-Petersen, head of the UN administration in Kosovo, reported that progress has been made in strengthening security and democratic institutions. It paved the way for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Security Council in October to state that talks could be launched on the future of Kosovo, formally a province in Serbia but in reality a UN protectorate. Finnish former President Martti Ahtisaari was appointed mediator with the difficult task of trying to find a viable route and prevent new unrest. That the task was difficult was clear when Kosovo’s Albanian-dominated parliament, prior to the negotiations, adopted a resolution stating that anything but independence was excluded. Serbia’s Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica rejected that claim, saying that Kosovo would be offered far-reaching self-government, but no more. Koštunica, in a speech to the Serbian Parliament, accused the Kosovo Albanians of “ethnic cleansing” of the province’s about 100,000 Serbs. Of the province’s 2 million residents, 90% are ethnic Albanians.
History. – The political history of Kosovo – formerly an autonomous province under Yugoslavia and an international protectorate of the United Nations – experienced a decisive stage on February 17, 2008, when the country declared itself independent. The first proposal on the status of the Kosovo was formulated in February 2007 by the UN special envoy, the former president of Finland Martti Ahtisaari: it was based on a model of independence ‘supervised’ by the international community and the end of the administration United Nations interim administration through the UNMIK mission (United Nations interim administration Mission In Kosovo), established with Security Council resolution 1244 after the 1999 conflict. The proposal – known to public opinion as the ‘Ahtisaari Plan’ – provided for the sharing of political power through multi-ethnic institutions, the protection of different ethnic communities, decentralization government at the local level, the creation of an armed force, the deployment of a political mission of the European Union – the International Civil Office and the EU Special Representative – together with a crisis management mission to strengthen security and Rule of law. Following Russia’s threats to use its veto power in the Security Council,
With the support of the United States and the European Union, under the government of Hashim Thaçi – a figure who emerged from the ranks of the paramilitary forces of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UÇK) and among the founders of one of the main local parties, the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) – the Assembly of Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed the 17 February 2008 the ‘independence. In the following years, the country received various diplomatic awards as an independent state (111 in July 2015 as indicated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kosovo), including those of 23 of the 28 countries of the European Union. At the proposal of Serbia, in October 2008 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution requesting the release of an opinion of the International Court of Justice on the compliance with international law of the declaration of independence of the Kosovo; the Court ruled in favor of the new state and found no violation (July 2010). In 2008, the international presidency in Kosovo was redefined: UNMIK, the International Civil Representative and EULEX (European Union rule of law mission in Kosovo, European Union mission on the rule of law in Kosovo) – the EU mission with executive powers in the field of justice, public order and border protection – continued to be operational in the country, but with mandates different.
The young state inherited problems such as widespread corruption and the politicization of the public administration which, together with the presence of the international community, were criticized by civil society movements such as Vetëvendosje! (Self-determination !, VV), which became an important political subject of the post-independence opposition and came third in the parliamentary elections of December 2010, behind the Democratic Party of Kosovo and the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK). In September 2012, the mandate of the International Civil Representative ended and the responsibilities of sovereignty were fully transferred to the Kosovar institutions. The EU defined the technical dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo as a necessary precondition for both countries in the perspective of eventual accession to the Union. The dialogue – which included agreements on the status of Serbian municipalities in Kosovo, municipal elections, law enforcement and a unified judicial system – began in March 2011 under the auspices of the then High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and security policy Catherine Ashton, to materialize with the signing of the first agreement in April 2013. In June 2014, the elections for the renewal of the Kosovo Assembly saw the confirmation of the PDK as the first party (37 seats), followed by LDK (30 seats) and VV (16 seats). After months of stalemate, in December the country’s two major political forces reached an agreement for the formation of the new government: LDK leader Isa Mustafa assumed the post of prime minister and Thaçi became deputy premier and foreign minister.