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EU withdraws from Kosovo as Serbia protests
The Telegraph ^ | 2/24/2008

Posted on 02/23/2008 10:09:12 PM PST by bruinbirdman

Hopes for a peaceful conclusion to the declaration of Kosovo's independence were fading as the European Union announced it had withdrawn its staff from the north of the fledgling country in the face of increasingly angry Serb protests.

The civilian staff were meant to be preparing for the EU to take over responsibility for security in Kosovo from the United Nations.

The announcement of the withdrawal came as the United States - which backed Kosovo's drive for independence - began to evacuate its American staff and their families from Serbia, offering US citizens the chance to join a convoy of 40 cars leaving Belgrade for Croatia.

"We are not sufficiently confident that they are safe here," said US ambassador Cameron Munter. On Thursday protesters stormed and burned the US embassy in Belgrade. A week after tens of thousands of people took to the streets of the Kosovan capital Pristina to celebrate the country's unilateral declaration of independence, Kosovo is already effectively partitioned.

The mostly Serb-populated northern region around the divided town of Mitrovica, next to the Serbian border, has made it clear that it wants no part of the newborn country that Serb officials consider "illegal". The bridge on the Ibar River that divides the Albanian and the Serb parts of Mitrovica has been closed to traffic, guarded by UN police and Nato on one side, and Serb strongmen on the other.

At the same time, KFOR, the Nato-led peacekeeping force, sealed the border to Serbia, after angry mobs torched border crossings. "This is a beginning of a secession of the northern part of Kosovo," Oliver Ivanovic, a Kosovo Serb leader from Mitrovica, told The Sunday Telegraph. "I fear it will lead to attacks on the remaining Albanians living in northern Mitrovica to force them to flee across the river.

The Albanians would then retaliate on the Serbian enclaves throughout Kosovo, and the ethnic cleansing will be completed under the eyes of the international community." According to Mr Ivanovic, while the Serb government officially pledges never to accept Kosovo's independence, some individual officials and their political groups are quietly orchestrating the secession. He himself was sidelined as a moderate leader and his influence diminished as the situation escalated and Belgrade-sponsored extremists won the upper hand.

Yesterday Peter Feith, the EU's Kosovo envoy, said security concerns were behind the withdrawal of his staff from northern Kosovo. They had been preparing the ground for a 2,000-strong EU rule of law mission. "I would like to appeal to the Serb community to be generous and to turn the page and look forward to working together with us," he said. "We hope that conditions will soon allow us to resume our activities."

Slobodan Samardzic, the minister for Kosovo in the Serb government, deemed the attacks on the border crossings "legitimate" and said they were in "accordance with the Serbian government's policy." Britain, the US and other Western countries have recognised independent Kosovo as a sovereign state, prompting criticism from countries such as Russia, a staunch Serb ally, but also China and some EU members, notably Spain, who claim the move to be a dangerous precedent that would weaken the rule of international law and encourage separatist movements across the world.

In the Serb part of Mitrovica, anti-independence rallies have been held every day since the independence declaration last Sunday, in an atmosphere of increasing tension and lawlessness instigated by Belgrade-paid agitators. Serbian government officials address the angry crowds as rocks, bottles and fireworks are being hurled at the UN police guarding the bridge, while thugs in track suits and leather jackets cruise the town as self-appointed guardians of security.

Officers of the Kosovo Police Service (KPS), the multi-ethnic police force which serves in northern Mitrovica, said they will no longer take orders from Pristina following the independence declaration and have vowed to swap their uniforms for those of the Serbian police. "I did not join the force to serve an illegal Albanian state. The capital of my state is Belgrade, as stipulated by the United Nations Resolution 1244.

I will soon change this uniform for a Serbian one and continue to serve my people," a KPS officer serving in Mitrovica told the Sunday Telegraph under the condition of anonymity. On the street dotted with Serbian and Russian flags and banners with anti-independence slogans, the police officer was engaged in a cordial conversation with one of the thugs known as 'bridge watchers', whose job is to make sure no Albanian crosses the bridge. He said: "We will not create incidents but we will not tolerate any form of Albanian rule. This is and it will always remain Serbia. We may be small, but we have the full support of Serbia and Russia. And we have weapons, should we be forced to protect ourselves."

Russia has already threatened to use force in Kosovo, and Serbia has sent dozens of busloads of protesters to support the rallies in the north. But following several days of unrest, KFOR decided to seal the border and halt the influx of potential protesters from Serbia. "We have issued orders not to let buses through or any individuals who could pose a potential threat to the security of Kosovo. We are also fully able and ready to prevent any clashes between Serbs and Albanians, "a KFOR spokesperson said.

Indeed, dozens of armoured vehicles and tanks have been deployed at key points in the border region, after Belgrade officials announced that they would march into Kosovo in their thousands — albeit for peaceful rallies. "KFOR troops are trained and well-equipped to answer any challenges coming from inside or outside of Kosovo," a radio advertisement, paid for by KFOR, warns Serbian listeners.

But Mr Ivanovic, is sceptical. "In case of real clashes KFOR will first protect themselves and then come to count the causalities. The Serbs here have access to weapons, and I know that the Albanians living on this side of the river have recently been armed. "I see no reason for optimism."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: albania; islam; kosovo; serbia

1 posted on 02/23/2008 10:09:14 PM PST by bruinbirdman
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To: bruinbirdman

Another war on the way?

Sure looks like it.


2 posted on 02/23/2008 10:11:28 PM PST by DB
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To: bruinbirdman

The Hidden Army Of Radical Islam

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7L05geznoI


3 posted on 02/23/2008 10:13:37 PM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: bruinbirdman

The EU and UN pack their graft and flee. There’s a shocker.


4 posted on 02/23/2008 10:13:59 PM PST by Mad_Tom_Rackham ("The land of the Free...Because of the Brave")
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To: bruinbirdman
It is on.

Where this will end, nobody knows.

5 posted on 02/23/2008 10:15:54 PM PST by forkinsocket
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To: bruinbirdman
"I know that the Albanians living on this side of the river have recently been armed"

Iran?

6 posted on 02/23/2008 10:19:43 PM PST by endthematrix (He was shouting 'Allah!' but I didn't hear that. It just sounded like a lot of crap to me.)
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To: Mad_Tom_Rackham
"The EU and UN pack their graft and flee. There’s a shocker"

I remember this forum during the end of the Milosevic administration. At the time, the poop was Bill Clinton could not pull the trigger the EU wanted. Not until Hillary demanded he start bombing.

Yugoslavia just was never the kind of socialist state the EU/Clinton wanted. It was too independent. Tito stood up to Stalin and his successors.

The modern socialists forgot that Albania was also independent. Those commies loved Mao.

So we now have independent Serbs fighting independent Albanians just like a decade ago.

yitbos

7 posted on 02/23/2008 10:29:02 PM PST by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds. - Ayn Rand")
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To: Mad_Tom_Rackham

For Sale. Even more surplus rifles..never fired and only dropped once.


8 posted on 02/23/2008 10:43:42 PM PST by enduserindy (Living in Indy just got better! Ah Colts! Hi Mom! Vote for America! (I had to do it!))
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To: bruinbirdman

Isn’t this the same ‘war’ that caused WWI? The same animosities? And probably hundreds of years before then. And I read this morning that Kosovo has no commerce, no government, no nothing. They will be a welfare state of — the EU? The US? Condi? All it is is they WANT!


9 posted on 02/23/2008 10:48:13 PM PST by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: bruinbirdman

The Euroweenies are surrendering again?

The sun will rise again tomorrow...


10 posted on 02/23/2008 10:51:11 PM PST by max americana
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To: bruinbirdman

Get our troops out of this civil war and let them settle their own affairs.


11 posted on 02/23/2008 10:55:08 PM PST by fella (Is he al-taquiya or is he murtadd? Only his iman knows for sure.)
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To: bruinbirdman
"MNTF-N is deployed in the northern region of Kosovo, headquartered in Nove Selo and is commanded by Brigadier General Eric Arnaud (French Army). Contributing nations: Belgium, Denmark, France (Lead nation), Greece, Estonia, Luxemburg, Morocco." -from Wikipedia

Looks like France is leading the way once again...

12 posted on 02/23/2008 10:55:29 PM PST by Left2Right ("Democracy isn't perfect, but other governments are so much worse (especially Iran's)")
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To: bruinbirdman

Earth to Bush - STAY OUT OF THIS MESS!


13 posted on 02/23/2008 10:58:08 PM PST by americanophile
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To: bruinbirdman

Of course the EU pulls out.


14 posted on 02/23/2008 11:24:19 PM PST by wastedyears (This is my BOOMSTICK)
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To: Left2Right

“MNTF-N is deployed in the northern region of Kosovo, headquartered in Nove Selo and is commanded by Brigadier General Eric Arnaud (French Army). Contributing nations: Belgium, Denmark, France (Lead nation), Greece, Estonia, Luxemburg, Morocco.” -from Wikipedia
Looks like France is leading the way once again...

12 posted on 02/24/2008 1:55:29 AM EST by Left2Right

Leading the way with all their tails in between each others legs?...Pun intended.


15 posted on 02/23/2008 11:30:26 PM PST by kajingawd (Humans share 50.6% of their DNA with bananas...most my friends are bananas)
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To: bruinbirdman

Get our troops out of this abomination. What were the President and Rice thinking? Uphold UN resolution 1244.


16 posted on 02/23/2008 11:42:13 PM PST by afnamvet (Support The Troops. Your life may depend on it.)
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To: bruinbirdman

This was the war that Hillary started to get Bill off the newspaper headlines about his screwing Monica Lewinsky.


17 posted on 02/24/2008 12:33:04 AM PST by Chewbacca (Vote Ron Paul for President in 2008!!!!!! The best man for the job!)
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To: Chewbacca
Du hast recht.

yitbos

18 posted on 02/24/2008 12:57:32 AM PST by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds. - Ayn Rand")
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To: bruinbirdman

This turned out well. Kosovo will become another failed Muslim state ripe for the pickings by al-Qaeda. The only way to prop it up will be with huge amounts of US money. The Kosovars may be waving American flags now, but I predict they will soon be burning them.


19 posted on 02/24/2008 1:26:11 AM PST by chessplayer
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To: endthematrix

Iran has a security pact with Serbia.


20 posted on 02/24/2008 2:35:30 AM PST by End Times Crusader (John McCain - Leadership in the face of a resurgent Russia)
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To: afnamvet

Wrong. We can not back down now and lose face to Russia. Shall we pull out of Iraq and let al Qaeda win there too.


21 posted on 02/24/2008 2:47:46 AM PST by End Times Crusader (John McCain - Leadership in the face of a resurgent Russia)
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To: wastedyears

It looks like the USA will have to come to the rescue again. Europeans are seemingly worthless for fighting wars.


22 posted on 02/24/2008 2:49:57 AM PST by End Times Crusader (John McCain - Leadership in the face of a resurgent Russia)
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To: americanophile

President Bush is smart enough to realize that we can not back down from our confrontation with Russia. The Soviet Empire must not be allowed to rise again.


23 posted on 02/24/2008 2:51:25 AM PST by End Times Crusader (John McCain - Leadership in the face of a resurgent Russia)
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To: fella

This goes way beyond Kosovo and Serbia. It is our best chance to isolate Russia and keep Adolph Putin from revitalizing the Soviet Reich.


24 posted on 02/24/2008 2:55:10 AM PST by End Times Crusader (John McCain - Leadership in the face of a resurgent Russia)
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To: bruinbirdman

Spineless EU, and guess who gets to clean up the mess?


25 posted on 02/24/2008 2:56:35 AM PST by toddlintown (Michelle Obama; Teresa Heinz, minus the gin-soaked raisins.)
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To: DB

As predicted in Revelations.


26 posted on 02/24/2008 2:57:33 AM PST by End Times Crusader (John McCain - Leadership in the face of a resurgent Russia)
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To: End Times Crusader

The US needs Croatia over an agreement between Iran and Serbia
http://www.nacional.hr/en/articles/view/29168/


27 posted on 02/24/2008 3:11:15 AM PST by endthematrix (He was shouting 'Allah!' but I didn't hear that. It just sounded like a lot of crap to me.)
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To: Mad_Tom_Rackham

The EU and UN pack their graft and flee. There’s a shocker.


Didn’t take much, did it? Just some harsh language and broken windows. Before long, they’ll be on the phone to America begging for a division or two to enforce their wreckless mandates. That’s us all right—the world’s pooper scooper.


28 posted on 02/24/2008 5:27:14 AM PST by rbg81 (DRAIN THE SWAMP!!)
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To: rbg81

Those are mainly civilian staff. The same as the U.S withdrew staff from Serbia. The multi-national military forces still remain stationed along the border. Serbia has no military power to take on what is stationed in Kosovo at the moment.


29 posted on 02/24/2008 6:49:36 AM PST by Tommyjo
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To: bruinbirdman; kronos77

A little confusion from the article: So EU forces have withdrawn from nothern Kosovo and Serbian irregulars are in charge, but KFOR is still at the actual border between Kosovo and Serbia and not letting Serbs through th checkpoints. Is that correct?


30 posted on 02/24/2008 7:03:53 AM PST by Truth29
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To: End Times Crusader

BS


31 posted on 02/24/2008 7:08:59 AM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Never say never (there'll be a VP you'll like))
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To: max americana
The Euroweenies are not surrending. They are getting their civilians out of the way for the coming military operations. Just as the U.S. has gotten it's civilians in Belgrade out of the way for the coming bombing of the Serbian captial.

The only thing that will stop this scenario is the Serbs completely backing down. They will not to that, they feel they are right and that their nation is being unfairly broken up. They are even given more gravitas in that Putin has publicly come out in support of the Serbian position.

what bothers me is the lack of reporting on this issue in the major media outlets - it bothers me, but it does not surprise me.

32 posted on 02/24/2008 9:40:58 AM PST by 7mmMag@LeftCoast (The DNC and Rino's: they put the CON into congress everyday.)
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To: End Times Crusader
Iran has a security pact with Serbia.

Please provide links, documentation or any verifiable evidence.

I find it highly unusual (and unlikely) that a fundamentalist Islamic government would engage in a security agreement with an Orthodox Christian nation that has a long history as being an enemy of Islam and is currently in a dispute with one Muslim 'state' (Kosovo) and was recently at war with another(Bosnia).

33 posted on 02/24/2008 9:48:00 AM PST by 7mmMag@LeftCoast (The DNC and Rino's: they put the CON into congress everyday.)
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To: 7mmMag@LeftCoast
"The Euroweenies are not surrending. They are getting their civilians out of the way for the coming military operations. Just as the U.S. has gotten it's civilians in Belgrade out of the way for the coming bombing of the Serbian captial.

The only thing that will stop this scenario is the Serbs completely backing down. They will not to that, they feel they are right and that their nation is being unfairly broken up. They are even given more gravitas in that Putin has publicly come out in support of the Serbian position.

what bothers me is the lack of reporting on this issue in the major media outlets - it bothers me, but it does not surprise me."

The wild card in all of this is the Russians. If they make it clear that they would turn off the gas to Europe and let it freeze this winter, NATO's response might be delayed. If the Russians are more demonstrative and start causing trouble in the Baltics, for instance, NATO and the EU might be deterred, etc. If it is the Serbs alone, then Serbia hasn't got a chance.

34 posted on 02/24/2008 10:04:46 AM PST by Truth29
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To: americanophile
>>>Earth to Bush - STAY OUT OF THIS MESS!<<<

Too late. Condi and the ClintonHoldoverStateDepartment have already got us involved.

20/20 hindsight is that Bush shoud have fired the holdovers and withdrawn from KFOR on day one.

35 posted on 02/24/2008 11:08:27 AM PST by HardStarboard (Take No Prisoners - We're Out Of Qurans)
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To: bruinbirdman

“But Mr Ivanovic, is sceptical. “In case of real clashes KFOR will first protect themselves and then come to count the causalities.”

Talk about handwriting on the wall. There is no way the Serbs are going to turn over at the very least northern Kosovo with what 120,000 Serbs in that region. They’ve been through the 78 day NATO bombing campaign so they know exactly the worst they might POSSIBLY expect. But there are major differences between 99 and today. Right now we’re engaged on two other fronts and there is constant sceaming to bring the troops home and I don’t think our NATO allies are all that excited about Kosovo once real bullets start flying. Also, in 99 Russia was in absolute tatters owing the IMF something on the order of $200 billion with an economy on life support spiraling downward and no help in sight. Several years ago Russia paid off those external debts and now is running a huge trade surplus with $1 bln per day coming in from crude sales alone. Russia is slowly isolating Europe from an energy viewpoint so that’s another reason the Euro’s will think long and hard before any serious engagement.

There’s no doubt this is going to boil over, the only question is at this point how important is an independent Kosovo to the US?


36 posted on 02/24/2008 11:33:13 AM PST by bereanway (Hunter in '08)
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To: End Times Crusader

While I hardly think Serbia constitutes the restablishment of the Soviet Empire...in any event, if Russia decides to go all in with Serbia, do you think Bush isn’t going to back down? Of course he is.


37 posted on 02/24/2008 12:58:35 PM PST by americanophile
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To: End Times Crusader

how is it predicted in revelations...

t


38 posted on 02/24/2008 2:20:37 PM PST by teeman8r
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