A website with hands-on information for foreign nationals interested in moving to the European Union, ec.europa.eu/immigration , has been launched.
The site is also directed at migrants who are already living in the EU and would like to move from one EU member state to another.
It provides specific information for each category of migrants about migration procedures in all 27 Member States.
European Home Affairs Commissioner Malmström said: „Many people who want to move to the European Union do not know what possibilities exist, how to apply for a resident permit or the risks related to irregular migration. And migrants who are already in the EU are not always aware of their rights. We need to provide solid, easily accessible information about these sometimes complicated procedures.“
Workers, researchers, students and those looking to join their families already in the EU can find information adapted to their needs, about the member state they are interested in moving to.
The portal also links directly to the websites of national authorities dealing with immigration.
Users can also find straightforward information about their rights and whether they need a visa to come to the EU.
The EU Immigration Portal explains how to enter EU borders legally and describes the risks related to irregular migration, such as trafficking and smuggling.
Migrants and potential migrants will also find a vast contact directory of governmental and non-governmental organisations which can help them.
Migrants‘ support organisations, as well as immigration authorities, employment services and scholars, can also make use of the in-depth information accessible through the website.
The EU Immigration Portal is available in English and French. Arabic and Spanish versions of the site are underway, as are improvements to make it more accessible from different technical platforms.
About 20.1 million people in the EU are citizens of third countries, representing about four per cent of the total EU population.
In 2010, EU member states and the countries participating in the Schengen visa zone issued more than 11 million visas.
2.500 NGO’s in Kosovo, and near all, only Mafia NGO’s! All directors, has false school papers and documents
NGO – UNCEF Gangster Boss: Momčilo Arlov
Centre for Civil Society Development, CCSD
18 NOV 2011 / 18:20 Serbian Police Arrest Two Kosovo Serb EU Staffers
Two employees of the EU who are NGO activists in northern Mitrovica were arrested near Negotin, eastern Serbia, after police found illegal weapons in their vehicles.
Fatmir Aliu / Bojana Barlovac
Belgrade / Pristina
Serbian police have arested two NGO activists from the northern, Serb-run part of Mitrovica in Kosovo, who were traveling to Belgrade with illegal weapons in their vehicle.
Momcilo Arlov and Vuk Mitrovic were arrested near Negotin, eastern Serbia, in the night between November 2 and 3, an official from Serbia’s Interior Ministry told Balkan Insight. The two are now detained in Belgrade.
Police said they found a number of short and long guns, ammunition, and explosives in the car.
Arlov, director of the Centre for Civil Society Development, CCSD, and Vuk Mitrovic, were arrested on their way to the Serbian capital.
The two men are also employees of the European Union in northern Kosovo, which has difficulties in employing people there because most local politicians refuse to have any links to the EU presence.
A source from Serbia’s Department for Fighting Organized Crime, UBPOK, said the police suspected that the illicit weapons were bought in Negotin.
In Pristina sources in the EU rule-of-law mission, EULEX, and the International Civilian Office, ICO, expressed concern about the reports.
But officials in Pristina were reluctant to talk further about the arrests of the NGO activists who are seen as a bridge between the EU and the alienated Serbs of northern Kosovo.
Local media saw Arlov as a favourite of the international officials in the north, which has been troubled by months of unrest.
Arlov and Mitrovic are officially employees of the EU Information and Cultural Center in Kosovo. They both act as EU Information Officers in North Mitrovica.
Momcilo Arlov (Center for Civil Society Development)
Momcilo Arlov was born in Glina, Republic of Croatia. He is a student of Social Work and Social Policy, University of Mitrovica north, and he is enrolled at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences (online.) Since July 1999 he has been a resident of Mitrovica north. He has worked with the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) responsible for administration and distribution of humanitarian aid and he managed communications and assistance to the so-called enclave settlements within Mitrovica. From March 2000 to August 2006, Arlov was a programme officer with the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) Kosovo Office. In September 2006, he became Programme Director within the Center for Civil Society Development (CCSD), where he manages programmes and projects that promote community stabilization and promote interethnic dialogue and reconciliation.
14 JUNE 2011
Northern Ireland Foundation Citizenship Award 2010 Report
Sanja Mrkic (CCSD), Martin McGuinness (Deputy First Minister, OFMDFM), and Vuk Mitrovic (CCSD), Forum for Cities in Transition, 2011 conference, Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Back in May 2010, on behalf of the Northern Ireland Foundation, I presented a Citizenship Award to Vuk Mitrovic and Sanja Mrkic, youth programme workers at the Centre for Civil Society Development (CCSD), in Kosovska Mitrovica.
As part of the award, we sponsored a study visit to Northern Ireland, which happened from 15-27 May 2011.
By all accounts, Vuk and Sanja enjoyed their visit and remarked how much they benefitted from their learning experiences here.
You can read below a report written by Vuk:
The Kosovo Anti-Trafficking Project project is designed to:
assist governmental and nongovernmental structures in their support and empowerment of victims of trafficking
strengthen shelters capacities for sustained provision of victims assistance
help prevent trafficking of persons
Outreach and inclusion of Kosovo Serb and other minority NGOs
This activity provides support to strengthen Kosovo Serb and other minority NGOs to effectively represent and advocate for their constituents and interact more actively with their NGO colleagues from other ethnic groups. Outreach to Kosovo Serb NGOs is led by the Center for Civil Society Development (CCSD), based in Mitrovica.
The Center for Civil Society Development (CCSD) works primarily in the Serbian Kosovar areas of northern Kosovo to encourage young people’s full participation in the cultural, political, social and economic development of their communities. The center has researched young people’s attitudes toward their present conditions in the predominantly Serbian Kosovar areas, developed environmental projects, and established a youth center in northern Kosovo. CCSD has partnered with CRS since 2002 in creating and training student councils in north Mitrovica. In their work, they have also established similar expertise in Participatory Learning in Action, networking, and conflict transformation.
The Kosovo Population Foundation
TheKosovo Population Foundation(KOPF), under the CRS Partnership Against Trafficking in Human Beings project, contributes its social research expertise. It uses the findings to design anti-trafficking public service announcements and reach out to thousands of young people. Previously, it focused its efforts on HIV and AIDS awareness through public service announcements and peer-to-peer outreach to youth throughout Kosovo.
Momcilo Arlov et lAmbassadeur de France au CRYM Building
EU – Partner
EU Info Point in Mitrovica North:
Mr. Momcilo Arlov EU Info Point Officer (email@example.com) – is responsible to design and implement successfully all activities related to EU Info Point. EU info officers jointly with other staff will service the visitors of the EU Info Point and will answer peoples queries about the EU integration process of Kosovo. It is responsible to give answers to the European Union and the European Integration Process in Kosovo to all interested parties and to receive guests/visitors and inform them about EUIP. In addition, it contributes to the newsletter and publications.
Mr. Vuk Mitrovic – EU Info Point Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org) – is responsible to design and implement successfully all activities related to EU Info Point. EU info officers jointly with other staff will service the visitors of the EU Info Point and will answer peoples queries about the EU integration process of Kosovo. It is responsible to give answers to the European Union and the European Integration Process in Kosovo to all interested parties and to receive guests/visitors and inform them about EUIP. In addition, it contributes to the newsletter and publications.
Panel discussion with Momčilo Arlov, Isak Vorgučić, Shpresa Agushi, Osman Osmani, Ilir Dugolli, Shukrije Gashi, Ardita Metaj, Albin Kurti
Mafia Justiz in Kosovo!
28.05.08 Time 11:15
Transitional justice – the way towards a common future for all communities in Kosovo
On Tuesday 27 May the Kosovo Institute of Journalism & Communication in close cooperation with OSCE organized the follow-up glocal seminar on Transitional justice followed by panel and audience discussions. The keynote addresses were delivered by Mr. Hashim Thaçi, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, and Ambassador Knut Vollebæk, High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE, The Hague).
Kosovo premiere of the documentary RULE OF LAW- Justice in Kosovo was also screened followed by a panel discussion with Susanne Brandstaetter, director, Momčilo Arlov Programme Coordinator / Centre for Civil Society and Albin Kurti, Self-deter mination movement.
In Rule of Law, Susanne Brandstätter accompanies Claudia Fenz, an international UN judge appointed to Kosovo, into a local courtroom, where she has to get to the bottom of what happened in a brutal case: six Kosovo-Albanian men are accused of stoning a Serb man and his elderly mother to death. To read more about the documentary please click here. Video from the conference:
Just one year ago no Balkan country extradited their own nationals, allowing criminals with multiple passports to hide out in neighbouring countries. But as states are now signing extradition treaties, lawbreakers will find they have fewer safe havens.
Skopje, Belgrade, Brussels and London
Facing charges of abuse of office and misappropriating millions of euros from Macedonian state funds, former customs chief Dragan Daravelski decided it was time to move to another country.
He was able to do so because, like millions of people in the Balkans, he has dual nationality. His second, Serbian passport allowed him to slip out of Macedonia and set up a new life in Belgrade.
For the past decade, Daravelski has enjoyed a comfortable life in the Serbian capital, safe in the knowledge that he will not be sent back to Skopje because the two former Yugoslav states have not signed an extradition treaty.
This all might come to an end soon, however, as the Macedonian government is exploring ways to seize his assets in both Serbia and Macedonia, BIRN has learned.
As long as we have a chance to find some properties in his name, we will continue to look. Time is not on our side and he is aware of that and is doing everything possible to hide them… We will also ask for his properties in Serbia, says an official from Macedonias agency for seized assets, speaking on condition of anonymity.
On top of losing properties in both Serbia and Macedonia, Daravelski will also be anxiously awaiting the outcome of negotiations that could see Belgrade and Skopje finally sign an extradition deal by the end of the year.
Hundreds of others, including suspected war criminals, who avoided lengthy prison terms by taking advantage of the absence of extradition agreements in ex-Yugoslav republics, will also be nervously watching regional developments.
Pressure from the European Union a club these states aspire to join has seen Balkan countries begin to ratify bilateral extradition deals 20 years after the break-up of the former Yugoslavia.
On top of signing individual agreements, Serbia is leading attempts to establish a Balkans-wide extradition treaty modelled on the EUs European Arrest Warrant (EAW) that has sped up extraditions within member states to an average of 48 days.
Re-Analyzing Dick Martys Report Opposing New NATO Strategic Concept Analysis Written by: Armando Aliu
November 12, 2011
The Western Balkan Countries shaped their own destinies after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The 1990s passed with wars among countries, genocides and internal conflicts. In 1995, the Serbian Army was behind the massacre in Srebrenica in Bosnia, and this is still fresh in our minds.
In 1997, the crisis of the pyramid system which also happened in other Soviet bloc countries, occurred in Albania and the country descended into civil war conflict. Internal rebellion which began first in Albania spread to Kosovo as a domino effect. The killing of more than 2000 Albanians in Kosovo in 1999 attracted attention of the international press. After this genocide, the USA interfered in this war. NATO air forces bombed Belgrade in order to save Albanian people in Kosovo and to provide them a new democratic order for living in safety. This movement of NATO was using Hard Power, which means using military forces immediately. During the 1990s using Hard Power brought high expenses to NATO, particularly for Kosovo Force (KFOR) operations.
In the Lisbon Summit (2010), NATO decided to use Soft Power (the term which belongs to Joseph Samuel Nye Harvard University Professor) for stabilisation of the Western Balkan Countries in the new millenium because it is not only cheaper and effective, but also this strategy brings long-range stability to the region and provides prosperity and more democratic rights to these nations.
Albania After using Hard Power, many people emigrated to various countries in Europe and to the USA. Migration became a problematic factor in the 1990s because a lot of people emigrated illegally and claimed asylum rights. NATO and the European Union have the same objective aim to stabilize the Balkan Peninsula. In addition, the convergence among NATO and EU is increasing at different dimensions and stages. In this context, the European Union published the Stabilisation Association Agreement to encourage regional co-operation as a part of the EU enlargement process. Furthermore, NATO supports the European Union efforts and activities for stabilisation and integration of the region, and as a result of these collaborations Balkanian refugees number in Europe can be decreased in the future.
The new strategic concept of NATO is a common strategy that overlaps with the European Union Enlargement Policy. With using diplomacy power, European Union and NATO want to prevent human trafficking and illegal migration.
The diplomatic visits of EU foreign policy chief Catherine M. Ashton and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton to Western Balkan Countries brought important contributions for stability of the region.
Everything was going well until the publishing of the report prepared by Dick Marty, a Swiss senator. The report claims that Hashim Thaci, Kosovos Prime Minister organised an organ trafficking network during 1999 when he was the leader of Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) without presenting any evidence or verification.
The report supports Serbian arguments and in particular the activities of Serbian lobby group. Despite the fact that this report is not impartial, many articles and books (e.g. The Hunt: Me and the War Criminals which was written by Carla Del Ponte) assist the assertions and accusations against Mr.Thaci in the context of Martys report. Nevertheless, all of these materials neither illustrate definite facts nor verify Serbian arguments. Therefore, the parts Kosovo and Serbia should continue negotiations for both technical and political issues without losing more time. EU Commissioner tefan Füle stated precisely that Serbias EU membership application depends on at which level Serbia respects Kosovo. The reality is that Kosovo achieved its sovereignty and independent state status with ICJ Advisory Decision and recognition by 85 States.
In the light of these considerations, The New Strategic Concept of NATO specified the objectives which mainly are to facilitate the Euro-Atlantic integration of the Western Balkans, with the aim to ensure lasting peace and stability based on democratic values, regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations. In this context, both Serbia and Kosovo should respect this objective of NATO and work with EU institutions for achieving these objectives.
As concluding remarks I would like to make a comparison. On the one hand, Mr. Ismail Kadare, famous Albanian author, expressed that the time is working for Albanians. On the other hand, Mr. Boris Tadic proposed for being given an international special status to the North of Kosovo. There is a contradiction among these persons. Both of them did not understand the real power of Albanians because this power is not visible. However, the Power of Albanians will be visible after acceptance of Albania and Kosovo as member states of the EU. These not only reshape multilateral relations and contribute to the new world order but also will find out and highlight the hidden reality the Albanian Civilisation.
About the author: Armando Aliu
Armando Aliu is a strategy expert, columnist and DAAD Scholar at Heidelberg University Institute for Political Sciences. His research interests are International Affairs, Strategy Research, Grand Strategy and Scenario Analyses, International Security and International Law, Migration Issues and International Migration. Contact Details: Heidelberg University – Institute for Political Sciences, Campus Bergheim, Bergheimer Straße, 5869115, Heidelberg, e-mail: Aliu@stud.uni-heidelberg.de
BELGRADE — The opposition Serb Radicals (SRS) have asked the state prosecution to initiate criminal proceedings against President Boris Tadić and PM Mirko Cvetković.
Minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanović and Belgrade negotiator Borislav Stefanović were also named – all four for their activities related to Kosovo.
According to the party, these officials are „in the process of recognizing“ the province as independent.
SRS MP Boris Aleksić told reporters in Belgrade on Monday that they violated the Criminal Code and that agreements they reached with the Kosovo Albanian authorities „endangered Serbia’s territorial integrity“:
„It is unclear to us why the prosecution failed to react, since it is obvious that the Tadić regime entered a de facto recognition of Kosovo’s independence,“ said Aleksić.
He said that the agreement on the custom seal, mentioned in the government report, was „disgraceful“, while it was „scandalous“ that the Serbian authorities „falsified UNSC Resolutions 1244 with their lies that the document allows for establishment of customs crossings“ on the administrative checkpoints in northern Kosovo.
The Radicals also believe that Tadić’s statement to the effect that a declaration on Kosovo was „not necessary“ was irresponsible because lawmakers and the public waited two weeks for it to reach the parliament.
Deputy SRS whip Aleksandar Martinović said that the statement was a drastic trampling of the dignity of MPs and of the interests of the Serbian people, especially in the north of Kosovo and Metohija.
He added that it is obvious that the government has no policy on Kosovo and that this issue is a burden which they would prefer to get rid of just before December 9, when Serbia should become candidate for membership in the EU.
B92 News, November 11, 2011
„1,000 Serbs killed in Kosovo since end of war“
This is according to Assistant Minister for Kosovo Kruna Kaličanin, who spoke in Belgrade on Thursday.
She also noted that „almost nobody“ was charged and put on trial for those crimes.
The international community, in the meanwhile, showed a tendency to „minimize“ the importance of Serb victims, Kaličanin added.
These statements came a day after a Serb man was shot and killed, while two others were wounded in Kosovska Mitrovica.
Kaličanin also accused the Kosovo Albanian authorities of covering up some of the most grave crimes, such as the murders in Staro Gracko, Goradevac, Cernica, Obilić, and near Podujevo.
Immediately after NATO deployed its forces in the province in June 1999, 14 Serb harvesters were killed in their fields in Staro Gracko. Their killers were never found, while ethnic Albanian Milazim Bitiqi was arrested, and set free six months later for alleged lack of evidence.
In May 2000, 4-year-old Miki Petrović, 60-year-old Vojin Vasić and 45-year-old Tihomir Simijonović were killed, while Petko Vasić and Zoran Stolić were seriously wounded in Cernica. Several others were also injured when their neighbor, an ethnic Albanian, attacked them with an automatic rifle as they were sitting in front of a local store. No one was held responsible for that crime.
In 2010, the EU mission in Kosovo, EULEX, dropped its investigation into the 2003 murder of two Serb teenagers in the enclave of Goradevac. Four other children were also wounded when unknown perpetrators opened fire on them.
In the second-degree procedure against Florim Ejupi, EULEX decided to set the defendant free for lack of evidence.
Ejupi was previously found guilty and sentenced to 40 years in prison by the UN mission in Kosovo, UNMIK.
The ethnic Albanian was the only suspect held and put on trial in the case.
He was accused of planting a bomb on a road near the town of Podujevo in 2001, to activate it as a Ni Express bus was driving by.
The attack resulted in the deaths of 12 Serb passengers.
The Independent Less healthcare, but Greece is still buying guns Greeks furious at ‚intact‘ arms spending as eurozone leaders insist on cuts to their public services Roxane McMeeken Athens
Sunday 06 November 2011
As Greece is forced by European leaders to abandon a referendum to allow the people the chance to vote on its latest bailout conditions, the country is preparing for yet another dose of austerity.
The conditions of the next 130bn rescue package will be severe, yet there is an elephant in the room: the extent to which the German but also the French military industries rely on Greece.
The small, crisis-hit nation, whose prime minister, George Papandreou, narrowly survived a vote of confidence on Friday, buys more German weapons than any other country. Some Greeks want to know why it is that France and Germany are demanding cuts in pensions, salaries and public services, but the buying of arms is allowed to continue unabated.
Yanis Varoufakis, professor of economics at Athens University, says: „When Greek hospitals are running out of bandages, the only bit of the budget not being attacked by the EU and IMF is military expenditure.“
Greece is the highest military spender, in terms of percentage of GDP, in the EU. Professor Varoufakis adds: „Greece is a disproportionately crucial customer for the arma-ments industry. In comparison to Greece’s size, it’s preposterous.“
Despite its dire financial straits, the country’s military expenditure has risen during the global financial crisis. It spent 7.1bn in 2010, compared with 6.24bn in 2007.
Some 58 per cent of Greece’s military expenditure in 2010 went to Germany, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri).
The US is the major beneficiary of Greek military expenditure, with the Americans supplying 42 per cent of its arms. In second and third place are Germany, with 22.7 per cent, and then France, with 12.5 per cent.
Professor Varoufakis believes: „The EU and IMF keep giving loans to Greece to stop it going bankrupt, but countries such as Germany need to justify this to voters, hence the demand for spending cuts. But with Greece being such a crucial arms customer, it only takes a phone call to the German government from an armaments manufacturer to ensure that Greece’s military budget stays intact.“
Greece’s defence budget is historically high due to the perceived threat from neighbouring Turkey. Arms companies have benefited by playing the two sides off against each other. Professor Varoufakis says: „Typically, one side buys, say, a frigate, and then the other buys the same frigate with the only difference being the colour of the paint.“
However, critics in Greece argue that, as an EU member, Greece should be guaranteed protection from Turkey by its more powerful allies. Although the EU is not a military alliance, common sense suggests that Greece could reasonably expect support if it was attacked by Turkey.
Kostas Panagopoulos, co-head of the Greek polling agency Alco, says: „We have had a huge military spend for the 40 years since the junta, due to our issues with Turkey. But people are saying we must change our priorities. I believe Germany and France are pressuring Greece to keep spending. It is not clear if it is part of the bailout deal it is a hidden issue.“
Greece’s importance for the military exports of both countries is clear from a closer look at data from Sipri. During the five years up to the end of 2010, Greece purchased more of Germany’s arms exports than any other country, buying 15 per cent of its weapons. Over the same period, Greece was the third-largest customer for France’s military exports, and its top buyer in Europe, with 12 per cent. In that time, only 1 per cent of UK arms sales went to Greece, all of which were in 2010.
As their government kept snapping up guns and ammo, ordinary Greeks suffered through the cuts. Yiorgos Droggitis, 30, has not been paid for almost two months. An administrator for one of Greece’s debt-laden local authorities, Haidari, in north-east Athens, Droggitis says his finances are increasingly stretched: „One day, over the summer, I did not even have 80 cents to buy bread.“
To top it all, Droggitis is only now able to open the windows of his apartment after several weeks during which the street where he lives was strewn with stinking rubbish due to refuse collectors being on strike.
He is among those angry that the EU is demanding cuts in Greece at that same time as selling the country billions of euros-worth of weapons. He says: „Germany and France are telling us to take these cuts to our health and education systems, but we keep buying their weapons.“
Pavlos Spanakis, 67, a retired civil engineer in Athens, has seen his state pension cut a second time, bringing it to 80 per cent of what it was two years ago. He sighs: „The austerity measures have gone too far and we cannot afford more cuts. We must improve in other ways and one would be for the EU to protect us from Turkey so our defence budget can be smaller.“
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, March 01, 2013
Radical Islamists See an Opening in Bosnia
TUZLA, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Nearly 20 years after the guns fell silent in Bosnia-Herzegovnia, a growing number of the country’s Muslims have become frustrated with the democratic path their country has taken.
And that frustration is being exploited by Islamists.
Unlike ethnic Croats and Serbs in Bosnia, Muslim Bosniaks receive no economic, political, or moral support from neighboring countries.
Many Bosniaks feel alone in their effort to forge and maintain their own identity and political institutions. And increasingly, the argument that Shari’a law — and not democracy — is the answer for Bosnia is getting a broader hearing.
„Unlike secularism and democracy, we say there is only one truth — law of Allah and Shari’a,“ Nusret Imamovic, the leader of Bosnia’s radical Wahhabi community, told a standing-room-only crowd of some 500 people — almost all of them young Muslim men — at a posh hotel in the city of Tuzla earlier this week. „And it wants the people to accept that truth and surrender to that truth. Does Allah have right to request that? Well, He is the holder and the owner of everything.“
Not About Religion
The event — „The Advantage Shari’a And The Failure Of Democracy“ — was billed as a „summit.“ Although no resolutions or statements were adopted, the well-attended and highly visible meeting was a troubling sign for some in Tuzla, which has generally been known for its moderation and tolerance. Residents are proud that the city’s Serbian Orthodox church was unscathed during the war.
But surprisingly, only about 30 people gathered outside the hotel to protest the meeting.
„My point of view is that democracy died in Germany [in the 1930s] when they allowed the extremists to rule. And this is pure extremism,“ one young protester told RFE/RL’s Balkan Service. „This has nothing to do with Islam or religion.“
Bosnia is one of the poorest countries in Europe. It is still contending with deep ethnic and religious divisions left over from the disastrous war of the 1990s. It inherited a fragile, often unworkable government structure from the war-ending 1995 Dayton accords.
„This country has for 20 years been in a state of institutionalized temporariness and temporary solutions,“ Vlado Azinovic, a Sarajevo-based security expert and former RFE/RL journalist who has written a book on whether Al-Qaeda has a presence in Bosnia, says. „And as long as it stays like that, as long as we are facing a deep political and moral crisis of all values in society, it will remain a fertile ground for the spread of various radical ideologies, among which [radical Islam] has stood out recently.“
At the event in Tuzla, Imamovic was joined on the podium by Bilal Bosnic, an equally uncompromising Islamist and critic of democracy.
„In a democracy, one only has the right to say, ‚Yes, I agree‘ — the right to approve of whatever is served up to you,“ said Bosnic. „But, you know, a human being should not bow his head before anybody but the creator — our Allah.“
Both Imamovic and Bosnic were educated in the Middle East.
Gaining A Foothold?
Mevlid Jasarevic, who is serving an 18-year prison term for firing shots at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo in October 2011, spent the months before the attack in Imamovic’s Islamist community of Gornja Maoca in northeastern Bosnia.
Just a few years ago, their kind of radicalism was truly a fringe phenomenon with little traction among Bosnia’s Muslims. The official Islamic Community was headed by respected moderate Mustafa Ceric until he stepped down in the summer of 2012.
While the loss of Ceric’s prestige has weakened the Islamic Community’s authority, some analysts argue that his advocacy of Bosniak nationalism and his criticism of the post-Dayton system in Bosnia also created a potential foothold for more extremist views.
This week the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) issued a long report calling Islamism and nationalism in Bosnia a „dangerous tango.“ While the ICG report stresses that Wahhabist movements in Bosnia are small and fragmented, it adds that the environment in the country is conducive to their growth.
The ICG report notes, for example, that the mandate and the budget of the municipal government in Mostar have expired. But the city, which is divided between Muslim Bosniaks and Roman Catholic Croats, was unable to hold elections as expected in 2012. If the stalemate is not broken soon, public services may grind to a halt, providing a vivid demonstration of the kind of „failure“ of democracy that the Tuzla Wahhabists were exploiting.
For now, however, experts are divided on the urgency of the threat posed by Bosnian Islamists. Bosnian sociologist Srdjan Vukadinovic says Wahhabism is a „retrograde movement“ that has no historical record of achieving anything „good or progressive.“ He argues Bosniaks have already rejected this path.
Vehid Sehic, of the NGO Forum of Tuzla, is not so sanguine, saying that the country has been dragged down by the siren song of intolerance in the past.
„In the 1990s, when ideas emerged urging intolerant behavior toward others, we said, ‚They are fools; it’s nothing,'“ Sehic says. „However, they quickly moved from graffiti and pens to a situation in which hundreds of thousands became victims. So I am not among those who look at these current messages in an uncritical way, because in the present vulnerable Bosnian society they are very dangerous.“ http://balkanpeace.org/index.php?index=article&articleid=16662
After describing violations of Bosnia’s Dayton Peace Agreement to UN members, the top international envoy to Bosnia is set to meet US officials to gain support for further action.
Bosnia’s high representative has postponed a decision to annul a Serb referendum that challenges the state court and prosecutor, Balkan Insight has learned.
11.05.2011 | 10:35
„Bosnia in worst crisis since war“
NEW YORK — High representative Valentin Inzko has said in Washington that Bosnia is undergoing the worst crisis since the end of the war in 1995.
Valentin Inzko (file)
The referendum on the Bosnia Court and Prosecutor’s Office called by the Serb entity in the post-war Bosnia, the Serb Republic (RS), was „a part“ of that crisis, according to the Austrian diplomat.
„It has been 7 months since the elections and the country still has no government, while the RS has called a unilateral referendum against the decisions of the courts and the high representative,“ Inzko said during a lecture at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
According to him, the RS referendum must not be allowed to happen and destroy the achievements of the last 15 years. He warned that he would make his decision on the issue at the right moment.
Inzko stressed that he was not against the referendum as a notion, but that it had to fit a certain legal framework, meaning that the issues important for the whole country could not be decided in just one part of it.
This is the greatest challenge to the Dayton peace agreement since its signing and it is time the international community dealt with the situation, Inzko underlined.
The international community is united more than ever right now, he noted, adding that he had received support from all members of the UN Security Council when it comes to the referendum.
Without sanctions for RS, Dodik ready to ease tension
Tamara Spaić | 10. 05. 2011. – 00:02h |
BELGRADE – There is no chance that the UN Security Council enforces sanctions against the Republic of Srpska and its President Milorad Dodik. Firstly, Russia would not allow it and China probably as well, Fedja Starcevic, Serbia Ambassador to the UN told Blic shortly ahead of the beginning of the UN SC session which dealt with the crisis in Bosnia/Herzegovina because of the announced referendum. Almost all agree that this crisis is the biggest since constituting of the Dayton Bosnia/Herzegovina.
High Representative for BaH Valentin Incko and RS president Milorad Dodik
Milorad Dodik yesterday got the strongest support from Russia which blocked support to the High Representative in BiH Valentin Inckos report for introduction of sanctions. During consultations before the session, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin openly supported Dodik.
The Chinese Ambassador even mentioned the right to self-determination by nations constituting Bosnia/Herzegovina. On the other hand the USA, the GB and Germany supported Inzko.
In line with Serbias sensitive role as one of the guarantors of the Dayton Agreement our country moderately defended Dodiks stance before the SC. Ambassador Starcevic pointed out Serbias support to Bosnia/Herzegovina integrity as well as the fact that all decisions are made with consent by two entities and three constitutive nations. He also said that the idea by the High Representative in BiH to suspend the referendum is dangerous.
We are of the opinion that the announced referendum of the citizens of the Republic of Srpska over BiH Court and Prosecution has nothing to do with the territorial integrity of the country and is not contrary to the Dayton Agreement, our Ambassador said at the UN SC………..
Bosnia’s Izetbegovic Dead, But US Diplomat, Ashdown in B-H Push Islamist Line to Support Holbrooke
Analysis. By Gregory R. Copley, Editor, GIS, with input from GIS Station Sarajevo. The Islamist political leader who usurped control of Bosnia-Herzegovina during the civil war in that country from 1992 to 1995, Alija Izetbegovic, 78, reportedly died in hospital on October 20, 2003, after becoming ill following a fall at his home in September 2003. Sources in his own political party, the SDA, had leaked news that Izetbegovic had died in hospital on about September 19, 2003, in order to minimize controversy about him during the unveiling of the so-called Srebrenica monument on September 20, 2003. The official version of events on October 19, 2003, was that his condition became critical on October 17, 2003, when doctors could not stop bleeding in his left lung.
September 22, 2003: Izetbegovic Now Believed Dead.
September 24, 2003: In Bosnia-Herzegovina: Who Leads the Radical Islamists After Izetbegovic?
With his death, Izetbegovic — like former Croatian Pres. Franjo Tudjman — escaped prosecution for war crimes, including genocide, during the war. The former Islamist leader, who had worked closely with al-Qaida terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, among others, was close to former US Pres. William Clinton, who visited Izetbegovic in hospital on September 19, 2003. Izetbegovic’s SDA paid Clinton $250,000 at the time, ostensibly for speaking at the unveiling of the Srebrenica monument.
I visited Bihar for the first time in 1998, when its reputation for lawlessness was well-deserved. Traveling by train from Delhi, you knew exactly when you crossed the border into Bihar. That’s when groups of aggressive, ticket-less riders suddenly jumped onto the train, comfortable in the knowledge that, in Bihar, no one would challenge them. A while later, the train stopped for several hours, during which time an explanation eventually made its way to the passengers. There was a body on the tracks, and we would have to wait for someone to claim it.
That makes Bihar’s turnaround all the more dramatic. After Nitish Kumar took office as chief minister in 2005, the state has enjoyed double-digit economic growth, and he is credited with reducing crime, improving school enrollment and improving Bihar’s woeful roads. The state is doing so well that it is even drawing migrant labor from neighboring Nepal; the flow of people used to go the other way. Kumar was recently re-elected with an even stronger mandate, and I wanted to see the so-called Nitish Effect for myself.
In the capital, the main difference is the number of people, particularly women, walking around freely after dark. Patna is bustling, but unlike in the rest of India, cities are not the engines of growth in Bihar; villages are. There, the link between law-and-order, infrastructure and growth becomes very clear. Beekepers in the village of Patiyasa told me that they could now transport their boxes of bees around the state, without fearing that the bad roads would wreck their cargo or that local gangs would rob them along the way. Those two changes have immediately improved their profits, putting more money into their pockets, which some of them have spent on the shiny new motorbikes parked outside their houses. Small vegetable growers in Yusufpur and Khirodharpur say that the safer, smoother roads have made their whole families more productive. Women can now safely travel by themselves to bring vegetables to market or sell milk from their buffaloes to the local dairy cooperative, leaving the men more time to work in their fields.
They were all praise for Kumar, but five years of success have also raised expectations. Biharis, like so many other Indians, are demanding that Kumar now do something to curb corruption. Everywhere there is corruption, says Rajendra Prasad Singh a farmer in Khirodharpur. This should be removed.
Kumar has already made some bold moves against corruption. Top state officials, including himself, must now disclose their assets online. With his strong majority in the state legislature, Kumar is now pushing for a right to services act that guarantees citizens the delivery of documents like company registrations, driver’s licenses or death certificates within a fixed period or the offending bureaucrat must pay a penalty out of his own salary. If Bihar can curb corruption, it might finally attract private investment, sustaining the growth that so far has come mainly from public spending. Even Nitish realizes that the Nitish Effect alone can only do so much.
The Quint’s efforts to force a resolution of the north Kosovo crisis – caused by Pristina’s unilateral actions and the Quint’s own efforts to support them – have reached a stalemate. The barricades remain and it seems that only the northern Serbs themselves could bring them down. The Serbs have offered a formula for providing status-neutral freedom of movement (FOM) for KFOR and EULEX but these Quint agents refuse to accept the requirement to act only within their UN mandate.
So what do people do when they need to be seen doing something and really can’t? They blabber. The chief Quint representatives were apparently blabbering quite a bit at a conference this week, with the American ambassador causing the biggest stir by suggesting that Kosovo seems to lurch from crisis to crisis and „this has become the governing style. ICR Pieter Feith mentioned there were times when Prime Minister Thaci did not listen to him while EULEX deputy chief Sparkes talked about failures of the EU mission to live up to „expectations.“ US Ambassador Dell laid the blame for this sad state of affairs on the UN mission in Kosovo for holding onto power too long and not giving the Kosovo Albanians the opportunity to learn by doing. This triggered „irresponsibility on the part of Kosovo’s political class“ which „contributed to appearance of irresponsible media and a political class which is not capable of adopting its own decisions without external assistance.“ This apparently leaves it to poor Dell and Feith to tell them what to do.
Dell’s casting blame on the UN is cynical and ill-informed. Cynical because the UN is actually in the hands of the UNSC which includes the US, UK and France. The US had the number two spot in UNMIK for most of the last 12 years while West European countries had the number one spot. I.e., UNMIK is what the European and US members made of it. Ill-informed because as anyone familiar with the actual history of UNMIK can tell him, the Kosovo Albanians captured the mission early on and ran Kosovo through it even before „self-rule.“
Meanwhile, Interior Minister was also doing his share of blabbering. He suggested that KFOR can dismantle all the barricades in just a few days but wants to do it gradually, by winter. Minister Rexhepi repeated the standard line that the barricades serve criminal and radical political interests while adding the new KFOR/EULEX bit about freedom of movement as an international standard that should be provided to KFOR, EULEX, Kosovo institutions and all citizens. But he did also reportedly say there will be no further unilateral actions in the north. Hopefully that is not just blabbering.
Joining in the blab-a-thon is the British Foreign Ministry still pushing the Brussels line that Serbia is so close to EU membership and all it has to do is agree to arrangements for the north. Seems to overlook that if Tadic could, he would. But he gets no help from the EU.
Now, I remain of the opinion that KFOR Commander General Drews really is trying to find a way to return NATO to its peacekeeping role in Kosovo. Many in northern Kosovo would disagree with that given KFOR’s recent actions and the refusal to accept compromise over FOM. But I won’t accuse him of blabbing, just perhaps some conceptual confusion. The General reportedly said that he favors a peaceful resolution of the problems in the north but if not KFOR would find another solution. Perhaps it is worth pointing out that the alternative to peaceful would seem to be non-peaceful. Using non-peaceful means to impose political objectives – the freedom to act outside the UNSCR 1244 mandate – would not be peacekeeping.