February 18, 2008

Kosovo Declares Independence

In an expected but contested move, Kosovo has finally declared sovereignty from Serbia, with whom they fought a bloody war for independence in the 90's as Yugoslavia dissolved. Following below is a wealth of media news stories from many different sources. In short, Kosovo's Albanians are elated, Serbia and Russia are not (Russia is worried about the status of numerous other breakaway republics), and the International community is warily encouraging of peace and non-violence.

Before that, I'm happy to point out that we at CEERES are welcoming an expert scholar of the region tomorrow for a Public Lecture. Steven Burg, Adlai Stevenson Professor of International Politics at Brandeis University, will present a talk entitled "Is Spain the next Yugoslavia? Ethnoregionalism, Devolution, and Democratization" [5pm, Tuesday, Feb 19, 2008, The University of Chicago, Weiboldt Hall 408 1050 E 59th St, Chicago] No doubt, questions about Kosovo's declaration are inevitable.

Now for news coverage of Kosovo:

Kosovo vow as independence looms
Kosovo's prime minister vows to protect minority rights as Serbia's province prepares to declare independence.

Kosovo Status on BalkanInsight.com
[This is from BIRN, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, of which the founder and regional director Gordana Igric will be on hand at UC on March 6 for a very special and distinguished World Beyond the Headlines panel on the closing of the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia]

Kosovo Grows as an EU Problem (David Cronin)

EuroNews video of angry protests in Belgrade Serbia:

The Economist: Kosovo: Independence Day
BBC: Kosovo MPs Declare Independence
RIA Novosti: Georgia has no plans to recognize Kosovo
Itar-Tass [ru]: http://www.itar-tass.com/level2.html?NewsID=12382868
AP: Serb police deserting Kosovo force
Reuters: Kosovo awaits recognition, and Serb challenge

And interesting story from Itar-Tass that I didn't see much in the English language media yet. It didn't make headlines, but if you search Kosovo and protest it does come up on English media as well
[ru] http://www.itar-tass.com/level2.html?NewsID=12382855&PageNum=0
[eng] http://www.reuters.com/article/europeCrisis/idUSL1788584

[Thank you Shayna Plaut and Sasha Belyi for rounding up so much of this coverage]

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