February 18, 2009

Kosovo: A Brittle Peace?

One year since Kosovo’s secession from Serbia, the fledgling country is at peace but struggling with severe poverty and unemployment.

Economic challenges, corruption and lawlessness persist, especially in the mostly Serbian north.

While interactions between Serbs and majority Albanians have remained non-violent, Deutsche Welle reports that “ethnic tensions and conflicts are still bubbling below the surface.”

On February 10, thousands of Serbs gathered in Mitrovica to protest Kosovo’s mostly Albanian security forces.

Pieter Feith, the EU’s representative to Pristina, said the protest “highlights the continued fragility of the situation on the ground.”

World Politics Review said conditions since independence have not changed much for Albanian-dominated areas of Kosovo.

The infrastructure needs repair, the health care situation is “catastrophic,” and close to half the population is unemployed.

The United Nations has been in charge of Kosovo since its independence, but control will formally transfer to EULEX, a law and order mission from the European Union.

–Julia Hengst/Newsdesk.org

Sources:

“A Year After Independence, Kosovo at Peace But Problems Remain”
Deutsche Welle, February 16, 2009

“A Year After Independence, Kosovo Enjoys Calm”
World Politics Review, February 12, 2009

Comments are closed.