Archive for the month of April 2009

Netherlands extends Bosnia mission

The Dutch department of defense announced it will continue its military contribution to EUFOR until June 2010.

In 2007, EUFOR was reduced from 6,000 to 2,500 troops. Further reductions could follow, if the security situation permits.

Albania to apply for EU membership April 28, 2009

Sali Berisha, Albania's prime minister, said his country will submit its EU membership application on April 28, well before the national elections this summer. The European Union is debating its future expansion after Bulgaria and Romania were allowed to join without having carried out sufficient reforms.

Renewed clashes in Kosovo

In new clashes in Mitrovica, some 150 Serbs protested the building of homes for Albanians. They tossed two hand grenades and fired on EULEX police. EULEX responded with tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the crowd.

KFOR armored vehicles provided support after protesters broke through police lines and fired shots. The bridge over the Ibar was blocked. Only minor injuries were reported.

EULEX and KFOR deployed to Mitrovica

EULEX police and KFOR troops were dispatched to Mitrovica to prevent a clash between Serbs and ethic Albanians. Tear gas was used. The Albanians attempted to repair homes damaged in the 1998-1998 conflict; Serbs tried to prevent that.

Denmark to reduce Kosovo troops

Denmark confirmed plans to reduce its military presence in Kosovo from 440 troops to about 200 by 2010. The overall NATO presence would be reduced to about 10,000.

Former police officers jailed in Serbia for 1999 crimes

In Serbia, four former police officers were found guilty of killing 50 Kosovo Albanian civilians in Suva Reka on March 26, 1999. Most were from a single family. Radojko Repanovic and Sladjan Cukaric were sentenced to 20 years in prison. Miroslav Petkovic and Milorad Nisavic were sentenced to 15 and 13 years. Three others were acquitted, including the most senior officer.

Canada to close embassy in Bosnia

The Canadian government said that after a review of its diplomatic representation abroad, it had decided to close its embassies in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cambodia. The embassy in Sarajevo is due to close in August.

ICJ: 25 countries filed statements in Kosovo case

The International Court of Justice said that 35 UN members have filed written statements in the Serbia-Kosovo case. Countries that filed statements are: the Czech Republic, France, Cyprus, China, Switzerland, Romania, Albania, Austria, Egypt, Germany, Slovakia, Russia, Finland, Poland, Luxemburg, Libya, United Kingdom, United States, Serbia, Spain, Iran, Estonia, Norway, Netherlands, Slovenia, Latvia, Japan, Brazil, Ireland, Denmark, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Maldives, Sierra Leone and Bolivia.

Kosovo calls on UN to end its UNMIK mission

Kosovo president Fatmir Sejdiu asked the UN to end its UNMIK mission. "We think now it is time to close this mission successfully," he was quoted as saying. The UN already scaled down the mission and by the end of July it will likely only have a 500-strong force in Kosovo.