Archive for the month of March 2009

Italy keeps troops in Kosovo

Italian deputy defense minister Giuseppe Cosiga said that Italian troops will remain in Kosovo as part of KFOR. Italy has currently 2,019 troops in Kosovo [1]. He did not mention whether the total number of troops will eventually be reduced.

[1] NATO, January 14, 2009

Montenegro's elections were fair

Montenegro's parliamentary elections "met almost all OSCE and Council of Europe commitments — although the process again underscored the need for further democratic development," the International Election Observation Mission in Montenegro said in a statement.

Prime minister Milo Djukanovic's coalition was on its way to win 49 of the 81 seats in parliament.

Polling stations in Montenegro opened

Polling stations opened in Montenegro for general elections. Prime minister Milo Djukanovic's pro-EU party is expected to win. Some 1,200 international and local observers are monitoring the polls. Montenegro intends to join the EU and NATO.

Slovenia ratified Croatia's bid to join NATO

Slovenia formally ratified Croatia's bid to join NATO. Earlier, Slovenia's nationalist party had called for a referendum on the matter but ultimately failed to gather the required 40,000 signatures.

Croatia and Albania will be admitted to the alliance at a summit next month.

Kenya suspect is not Mladic

Kenyan police released a man detained March 26 saying it was a case of mistaken identity. A spokesman said that investigations with Interpol established that the man was identified as Igor Majeski and not Ratko Mladic. He is a Croatian national holding a valid passport and work permit.

New UPS for Home Server

This morning my new APC Smart-UPS 1500 arrived. I ordered this from Dell for Can$299.99. Dell dubbed this unit the DLA1500 but it is the equivalent of the APC model number SUA1500. The "D" undoubtedly stands for Dell.

UN chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz visits Serbia

The UN chief war crimes prosecutor Serge Brammertz visited Serbia, evaluating the country's efforts to arrest war crimes suspects Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic.

Serbia's minister overseeing cooperation with ICTY, Rasim Ljajic, said: "It's a fact that Mladic isn't in The Hague, but it is also the fact that there is no distrust in the relations between Belgrade and the tribunal."

Serbia's full cooperation with ICTY is a key condition before the country can join the EU.

Valentin Inzko took office in Bosnia

The new UN High Representative to Bosnia, Valentin Inzko, took office with an indefinite mandate. The EU is divided as to when OHR's supervisory role in Bosnia could end. Inzko also acts as the EU representative in Bosnia.

It is not a surprise that Russia has said that the extension of the Office of the High Representative would not help Bosnia's peace process but hamper it. EU diplomats have said that instability in Bosnia could complicate the entire region's EU aspirations.

Diplomats are set to meet again in June to consider if they should end Bosnia's protectorate status.

Lithuania reduces KFOR contribution

Lithuania announced it intends to reduce its KFOR contribution. It has currently 30 troops in Kosovo and it intends to keep 5 to serve on a training team.

The country's defense department cited a decrease of the national budget as well as an improvement in the security situation in Kosovo as the reasons.

Bosnia convicts Krsto Savic and Milko Mucibabic

In Bosnia, two former policemen were convicted.

Krsto Savic was sentenced to 20 years for killing, detention, forcible transfer and torture of Muslims and Croats in 1992. Savic is the former chief of the Safety Services Center in Trebinje and was responsible for the Public Safety Stations in Gacko, Bileca, Nevesinje and Kalinovik.

Milko Mucibabic was convicted to 5 years for aiding the persecution of non-Serbs in the Nevesinje area, as well as of illegal manufacturing and trade of weapons and explosive substances. Mucibabic was a member of the Police Safety Station in Nevesinje.