Skip to comments.Kosovo PM Indicted for War Crimes; to Resign
Posted on 03/08/2005 6:43:08 AM PST by Jane_N
PRISTINA, Serbia and Montenegro (Reuters) - Kosovo's ethnic Albanian prime minister has been charged with war crimes by the United Nations tribunal and will resign his post Tuesday to answer accusations in The Hague, a senior government source said.
Rumours that Ramush Haradinaj was about to be charged by Hague chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte had circulated since before he became prime minister last December, raising fears of violence if NATO peacekeepers were forced to arrest him.
"Yes, the Prime Minister has been informed he has an indictment," a senior official in the Kosovo government told Reuters. "We have to face it.
"He has informed the President (Ibrahim Rugova). He will resign today...and will fly to the Hague tomorrow."
A year ago, mobs of ethnic Albanians attacked Serb enclaves in the United Nations-run province in two days of rioting which left 19 people dead and hundreds of homes in ashes.
Haradinaj had made clear he would not defy the tribunal.
But peacekeepers were taking no chances. Germany flew in extra soldiers to bolster its peacekeeping contingent in the NATO-led KFOR mission, and Britain deployed an extra 500 troops Monday after an urgent request from NATO, a KFOR spokesman said.
The force currently numbers nearly 20,000.
The United Nations mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, Monday raised its security threat assessment to "black" in western Kosovo, ordering non-essential staff to stay off the streets.
HARD MAN TURNED POLITICIAN
Details of the indictment against Haradinaj have not been made public. The U.N. court has investigated him over his role in the 1998-99 guerrilla war against Serb forces and the alleged murder of Kosovo Serb civilians and Albanian "collaborators."
Haradinaj, 36, spent much of the 1990s as an economic migrant in France, Switzerland, Sweden and Finland, drifting between jobs as a construction worker and nightclub bouncer.
He returned to Kosovo in early 1998 to command the western wing of the Kosovo Liberation Army, helping to mount what was to become a full-scale insurgency against Serb oppression and earning a reputation for ruthlessness.
Two of Haradinaj's brothers were killed fighting Serb security forces and a third was found guilty of war crimes against Serbs in 2002.
Haradinaj's political party, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) was the smaller of two parties to emerge from the ranks of the KLA.
He entered Kosovo's first interim government in February 2002 in a coalition with former guerrilla commander Hashim Thaci and veteran pacifist president Rugova, who leads Kosovo's largest political party.
In October 2004 elections, his AAK won nine seats in Kosovo's 120-seat parliament. Haradinaj later announced an surprise coalition deal with President Rugova, becoming prime minister in December 2004 and confining Thaci to the opposition.
I don't understand how this can be. If he's an Ethnic Albanian he's a good guy not a bad guy. It's the Serbs that are bad guys. This is what forced us to take sides against them in their civil war!
The folks at the Hague will have him home in short order.
That was my first thought as well.
Let's hear it for the Clinton Legacy!
/ sarcasm off / is missing :-)
Didn't really think it was necessary, but you never know :)
Forget the sarcasm tag? LOL
I think you're right.
Ha ha ha!!! Don't forget we put these people in power there. Bring back Slobo.
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
March 8, 2005
Indictment of Ramush Haradinaj
The United States welcomes Ramush Haradinajs decision to resign from his Prime Minister post, and his expressed plan to go voluntarily to The Hague. His actions demonstrate his deep concern for the future of Kosovo and its people.
The United States and the international community remain committed to supporting the development of Kosovos institutions in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and to the continued implementation of the "Standards for Kosovo." Ensuring that the rule of law extends to all citizens is an essential component of the Standards.
2005 is an important year for the aspirations of the people of Kosovo. In order to receive a positive assessment from the Comprehensive Review later this year and to begin a process to determine its future status, Kosovo must preserve peace and continue to work to implement the Standards. The people of Kosovo will enjoy the full support of the United States in those efforts. Violence will not be tolerated and will have negative consequences for the outcome of the review and for Kosovos future. We will continue to work with Kosovos provisional government on these issues.
The United States remains committed to supporting the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. We call upon all parties in Kosovo and throughout the Balkans to cooperate with the Tribunal, including apprehending and transferring all indictees to The Hague, as a prerequisite for full integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. We urge all individuals indicted by the Tribunal to act with dignity and in accordance with their obligations in reporting to the Tribunal without further delay.
In contrast, Haradinaj immediately resigns as Prime Minister and turns himself in to the Hague. As long as the Kosovar Albanians refrain from violence, when decisions about negotiations on final status are made this summer it'll be the Kosovar Albanians postured as reasonable negotiating partners and the Serbs starting from a position of apparent non-cooperation.
Then, as a backdrop to the process, add in 40% or more of the Serb population cheering on the ongoing Milosevic shenanigans at the ICTY and international negotiators will be even more skeptical of Serb reliability.
I agree with you for once.
I was evacuated yesterday, as a precautionary. I should be online today, and will keep you posted on situation on the ground. If you don't hear from me, am most probably evacuated again.
What a crazy day yesterday was.
All prayers go to you.
It's 10:47 am here, and everything is calm.
Last night there were peaceful student protests in Prisitna, and today protests are expected Kosovo wide. There's heavy military presence and Kosovo Police is on the streets.
I'll get back to you later with new update.
Albanian Liberation Army issues statement on Haradinajs indictment
Epoka e Re carries the third communiqué issued by the Albanian Liberation Army, which says that the indictment against Haradinaj has been dictated by Serbia and represents the peak of injustices against Kosovo.
The communiqué issued from Prekaz further reads that the ALA claims responsibility for all explosions throughout Kosovo towns last week and says that they were not targeting human factor, they were just as a warning.
They call all the members of the three former armies (KLA, UCPMB and ANA) for a general mobilization until the mission is complete.
Holbrook calls for Kosovo independence | 15:42 -> 22:29 March 08 | B92
WASHINGTON -- Tuesday The former US ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrook, said today that Kosovo must become independent.
Speaking at a conference on international diplomacy and ethnic conflicts, Holbrook said that separation from the mother state is sometimes successful when small ethnic groups in a large community are neglected in employment and economic development, but that separation is not always the best solution.
Not every ethnic group can become an independent state. In such cases a way must be found for ethnic minorities to leave in peace, without losing their culture and rights, said Holbrook, adding that there would be an endless number of wars around the world if every ethnic community wanted its own country.
Yugoslavia, which was united under communist rule, with the fall of communism was divided into five countries and soon will be divided into seven countries. Kosovo must be independent from Serbia-Montenegro because Albanians are predominant in Kosovo and Serbia-Montenegro, I am convinced, will fall apart in twelve or eighteen months, said Holbrook.
We must find a way in which minorities can live in states in which they are not ethnically predominant, in a way in which all religious, cultural, political and other rights are protected. The US cant always through diplomacy encourage separatism, but must help endangered ethnic groups when it is necessary, he added.
Deçani will not stay calm (Express)
Express carries some vox-populi conducted in Deçan/Decani. They all express
the shock they felt when hearing about the Haradinaj's indictment of by the
ICTY. "You could see it in the faces of the people in town", says the
A youngster who wanted to remain anonymous said 'There will be no calm in
Deçan, forget about it. They are treading on all of us who fought, on
martyrs of the nation. He defended Deçani last year when all Kosovo was in
flames. If he is taken, all of us are treaded on and so is Kosovo'. He went
on to say they are waiting to see what to do. 'We are waiting. Nothing is
known as yet. No comment. Demonstrations do not make any sense now. Whom to
demonstrate against? One thing is clear, there will be no longer calm in
Deçan, and in Kosovo', he said.
Upon hearing the news, the KLA War Veterans from Peja region gathered: the
head of the association, Avdyl Mushkolaj did not say clearly what the
Association is going to do, but he asked all the institutions of Kosovo to
suspend all political activities and to follow the example of the minister
'A black cloud has covered Deçani. It remains a question mark what us, the
war veterans will do. This indictment is an insult to the liberation war,
and to Kosovo. We will stay close to Haradinaj's family as we did before.
When this family is touched, the heart of Kosovo is touched. We cannot say
at the moment what we are going to do over the next coming days', said
I think KFOR and the UNMIK police are much better prepared now than last March. I know the German military in particular was highly embarassed by their failures then and, if something happens again, may very much surprise any opposition with the forcefulness of their response.
However, most of the Kosovar Albanian leadership undertands the stakes involved so I doubt there will be any widespread problems. Hopefully none at all--as long as they keep the hot-heads in Decani under control!
Good luck Nennsy and thanks for the updates.
Thank you Mark for your kind words. I feel the same way.
I hope that everything goes in peace. It's for the benefit of all.
Right now, there are peaceful protests in Decani. If it stays like this, then I don't anticipate problems anywhere.
When it comes to me, I was taken out of town to a secure location. Organization I work for, evacuated "staff at risk" and I am one of those staffers. That's all I can tell you at the moment.
Haradinaj left today at 11am my time. Several hundreds of people gathered to send him off. Everything went quiet. It is not clear if SRSG Soren Jensen Petersen got on a military plane with him, as mentioned in the media, since most of the press was not allowed to enter the airport's runway.
Where in Kosovo are you getting online?
Am not sure I understand your question. What's the point in it?
And below is a statement by our man in Kosovo:
(Audible retching sound.)
-good times, G.J.P. (Jr.)
But the US will not support an international tribunal when it comes to the possibility of indicting US personnel for the fear of it being used as a political tool.
As long as American's are not indicted, then we support it. I suppose we only break rules, not follow them.
The first target in Decani will be the 14th century monastry, I guess....
Are still Italian KFOR's protecting it...???
The ICTY that is trying Milosevic and Haradinaj has a very narrow and limited jurisdiction--geographically to the boundaries of the former Yugoslavia, in time to the beginning of the recent Balkan Wars 15 years ago, in type of crime to crimes against humanity and further, the ICTY has oversight from the UN Security Council.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has jurisdiction everywhere over everybody for a long laundry list of crimes, many of which (e.g. "Aggression") are so generally defined as to enable anyone with an ax to grind to grind it there. The ICC is self-regulating--they hear their own appeals, interpret their own law, they have no oversight by any other body, to include the UN.
I suppose we only break rules, not follow them
What rules did we break? Joining the ICC involves signing and ratifying a treaty. We have not done so. Your suggestion that we "break rules" by not following treaties we have not agreed to is without merit.
I remember this guy from when I was served in Kosovo in 2000. When he was wounded they brought him to our med unit at Bondsteel. He received "star" treatment....my fellow intel soldiers took photos of him all bandaged up. He definitely was "a person of interest".
1. ICC statute was writen by using ICTY statute as a starting point. ICTY wrote it's own statute, as you would say " self-regulating--they hear their own appeals, interpret their own law, they have no oversight by any other body, to include the UN."
Both ICTY and ICC would be outright illegal in U.S. Double jeopardy. secret indictments, secret witnesses, changing of court procedures during the process, use of court clerks as witnesses, deals with terriorists to commit pewrjury on behalf of prosecution, frivolous persecution, relying on fabricated documents and hearsay, and so on until you vomit.
>>>>The ICTY that is trying Milosevic and Haradinaj has a very narrow and limited jurisdiction--geographically to the boundaries of the former Yugoslavia, in time to the beginning of the recent Balkan Wars 15 years ago, in type of crime to crimes against humanity <<<<<< and further,
ICTY does not prosecute all violations of law and crimes against humanity. Namely, U.S. involvement in Operation Storm 1995 that culminated in the largest ethnic cleansing of 1990s civil wars, NATO bombing of civilian targets with DU, and war crimes during NATO aggression on Yugoslavia. All these crimes have occured 'geographically to the boundaries of the former Yugoslavia' since January 1990.
the ICTY has oversight from the UN Security Council.
UN Security Council is not Judical Arm of UN and therefore does not have the power to create judicary auxiliary organ (i.e to delegate non-existing power to auxiliary organ)
It was an oversight when ICTY was hastilly created for POLITICAL, NOT JUDICAL PURPOSE. (see UNSEC resolution on creation of ICTY - to stop alleged 'Serbian aggression' not to prosecute crimes.
>>>>The International Criminal Court (ICC) has jurisdiction everywhere over everybody for a long laundry list of crimes, many of which (e.g. "Aggression") are so generally defined as to enable anyone with an ax to grind to grind it there. The ICC is self-regulating--they hear their own appeals, interpret their own law, they have no oversight by any other body, to include the UN.<<<<
It does not. Five nuclear countries are out - US, Russia, China, Pakistan, India.
ICTY shows why W was right to pull out of ICC, because ICTY/ICC is not jurisprudence, it is travesty of Justice, like Hitler's People courts or Stalin's Moscow trials.
Not only this, Haradinaj was airlifted to U.S. military hospital in Germany on U.S. taxpayer's dime.
It is also interesting how Kennedy School at Harvard was eager to host Haradinaj on several occasions and treat him with respect.
That would make great advertisement for Harvard University - "We make Prime Ministers out of common criminals and terrorists".
Good point, DTA. The Tribunal's stated purpose is to "contribute to the restoration and maintenance of peace." The concept is that restoration of peace and security requires that justice be done. Without a mechanism for holding perpetrators accountable before a court of law, the cycle of personal vengeance among groups and individuals is very likely to continue. Similar to the reason for courts anywhere--if you don't have a legal system, people take justice into their own hands.
And it was obvious then--and still is now--that the local courts weren't willing or able to try their own people. That's why the Bush administration continues to support the ICTY, why we've cut aid to Serbia for not cooperating with the ICTY, and why in the US message commending Haradinaj for turning himself in to the ICTY, the last paragraph reads:
"The United States remains committed to supporting the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. We call upon all parties in Kosovo and throughout the Balkans to cooperate with the Tribunal, including apprehending and transferring all indictees to The Hague..."
It's not over....
Last 24 Hours Major Activities/Incidents Kosovo wide
PEJA/PEC: Stage Black (Restricted movement, possible relocation of
· Peaceful Demonstration: On 09th March 2005 at Decani, a peaceful
demonstration took place. Approximately 5.000 persons attended the event.
The protesters were walking from Decani center to Gjakova road and coming
back to the center. The demonstration was over at 13:50 hrs and no
incidents were reported.
· Hand Grenade: On 10th March 2005 at 06:30 hrs, a hand grenade was
found by KFOR without the fuse, it was planted 3-5 meters in front of the
vehicle in a way that could be visible. The UN vehicle white in
colour is assigned to a CIVPOL officer. The vehicle was parked in front of
his accommodation, which is located 500 meters from the police
station. The UN vehicle has no damages and there were no injuries or
PRISTINA: Stage Grey (Precautionary)
· Burglary Case: On March 09th 2005 UNMIK staff member's accommodation
was burglarized by unknown individuals near the vicinity of Pristina
Minor Court (Ulpiana). No UN property is missing. Investigation is ongoing.
· Vandalism against UN Vehicles: On 09th March 2005 approximately
2145Hrs. a flammable substance was thrown by unknown persons under
three UN vehicles parked in the YU Buildings area in Ulpijana/Pristina. No
fire took place do the presence of snow/water on the ground. There is no
visible damage to the vehicles. Investigation is ongoing.
· Accidental Fire: On 09th March 2005, app. 11:05 hrs a local Kosovar
Albanian reported to Podujevo Police that his house located in Ali Ajeti
Street was on fire. Fire brigade attended the scene and the cause of
the fire is still unknown. An investigation is ongoing. No UN Staff member
was leaving in that House.
GNJILANE: Stage Grey (Precautionary)
NO INCIDENTS REPORTED
PRIZREN: Stage Grey (Precautionary
NO INCIDENTS REPORTED
MITROVICA: Stage Grey/Black (Precautionary/Restricted Movement)
NO INCIDENTS REPORTED
Sounds quiet, Nennsy. What is your assessment of the situation--is it the calm before the storm or are the Kosovar Albanians going to behave themselves?
Mark, as I told you before I hope for the best.
It's quiet right now, and I want it to stay this way.
The albs are under close watch and told to remain civil. This is a stern message given from the top-down. If the Albs act up, they lose their bid for an independance "referendum". They will also get a serious smackdown from KFOR and they will turn a blind eye to individual acts of Serbian defensive measures. Roger?
If you take heed, the Serbian authorities are creeping back in slowly via the Leposavic region, so we are going to see split of kosovo into two.
Each side will be 'rewarded" for "ethnic cooperation" with the split. Tracking? or, will it be Game On?
I wholeheartedly stand by the US Govt decision to distance itself and vote against the ICC. Would you want to put your hands in the court system of the UN? I sure as hell do not. Why risk having to hesitate to think, "will my battle and I have to face court if we shoot this Iraqi that just dropped his 47 and now wants to surrender after hitting us and dropping a few of my guys?" F-no.
Nennsy, I heard, on Monday there will be a big demonstration in Kosovo....
Can you confirm this...???
Wow, Serbia is dictating? What, we became a hyper-power overnight? Did I miss something?
I heard nothing.