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PRISTINA – Protesters say the deal signed with Serbia will render the government in Pristina dysfunctional. Serbia doesn’t recognise Kosovo’s independence.
ICC, Hague – Croatia claimed the Serbs had committed genocide against the town of Vukovar in 1991. Serbs claimed the same when Croatian forces attacked Kranija four years later.
Judge Peter Tomka said both sides had commited violent acts but ‘neither side had showed the specific intent required for acts of genocide’.
Some 20,000 people were killed during the Yugoslav wars of 1991-95.
As UN inspectors were investigating claims that Sarin gas was used against civilians in Damascus, Lakhdar Brahimi, joint UN-Arab League envoy to Syria said, in a briefing to journalists: “It does seem clear that some kind of substance was used… that killed a lot of people” on 21 August.
But he also emphasised that any military action would need Security Council authorisation.
A UN diplomat confirmed that the permanent members of the UN Security Council will reconvene in New York today at 14:30 local time (17:30 GMT).
Here are examples of interventions that did pass through the Security Council:
Iraq 1991: US-led global military coalition, anchored in international law; explicit mandate from UN Security Council to evict Iraqi forces from Kuwait
Balkans 1990s: US arms supplied to anti-Serb resistance in Croatia and Bosnia in defiance of UN-mandated embargo; later US-led air campaign against Serb paramilitaries. In 1999, US jets provided bulk of 38,000 Nato sorties against Serbia to prevent massacres in Kosovo – legally controversial with UN Security Council resolutions linked to “enforcement measures”
Somalia 1992-93: UN Security Council authorised creation of international force with aim of facilitating humanitarian supplies as Somali state failed. Gradual US military involvement without clear objective culminated in Black Hawk Down disaster in 1993. US troops pulled out
Libya 2011: France and UK sought UN Security Council authorisation for humanitarian operation in Benghazi in 2011. Russia and China abstained but did not veto resolution. Air offensive continued until fall of Gaddafi.
For several weeks now, RussiaToday have covered tensions on the border between the Serbs of Kosovo and Nato troops, the Kfor, who are there to ensure that there is not a repeat of previous horrors.
The Serbs want to join the European Union, whilst Kosovo’s declaration of independence has been met with predictable hostility from Belgrade and a lukewarm response from the Islamic world.
That the minority Serbs are treated appalingly in this tiny nation of ethnic Albanians is without a shadow of doubt.
The trouble is those very Serbs still don’t think they have done anything wrong.
When I was in Pristina some fives years after Nato’s intervention in 1999 to prevent ethnic cleansing of Albanian Kosovars, the scars of that time were everywhere.
At the top of the main hill running into the capital, a Serb Orthodox Church had been erected to symbolise the triumph of the Cross over the Crescent. It is still shiny and new even though the grass around it visuably demonstrated that it would not be in use any time soon.
Young Albanians – they are very young and very beautiful – went about their daily lives, even though many carried horrific stories.
One student at the American University told me that the Serbs had come to his village and taken his father away during the conflict.
He still didn’t know what had happened to him.
And it was commonplace to hear the story of Srebrenica, for the Albanians had taken to the hills fearing that fate awaited them as the European nations pondered about what they would do about Kosovo, just as they had done during the Yugoslav wars.
There is a statue in centre of Pristina of a warrior who had given his life for his people and killed many Serbs, as one Albanian told me.
No one seemed to care about this man much, in fact most Albanians give the impression that they just want to get on with life free of any conflicts.
Perhaps it’s time the Serbs started to do the same, they could begin by forgetting about that Battle on the Field of Blackbirds in 1389.