Balkanblog: current issues in the Balkans
22 May 2010 - NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that the number of KFOR troops will be reduced to 5,000 in January 2011. He mentioned the improved overall security situation in Kosovo.
"I must stress that when KFOR finishes its transition to the appropriate level of presence, we will still have 2,000 soldiers on the ground and many more in the reserves if needed." He did not mention any time line.
21 May 2010 - ICTY chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz said that the tribunal's mandate will most likely end in 2014. Mechanisms will be developed in order to deal with unresolved issues, including trials of fugitives that will be arrested after the mandate ends. Most trials are expected to end by 2012 and appeals by the end of 2014.
21 May 2010 - NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Admiral James Stavridis said that he intends to reduce the number of KFOR troops to as few as 5,000, "probably later this year". "The situation in the Balkans is not perfect but it is improving," Stavridis told a press conference.
18 May 2010 - Serbian War Crimes Prosecution has called for an investigative judge to investigate the mass grave near Rudnica in order to confirm whether there is indeed a mass grave and if so, to exhume the remains and perform autopsies. Several organizations will be involved, including EULEX.
16 May 2010 - Sindh Today claims that during his trial in The Hague Radovan Karadzic testified that humanitarian convoys were used to smuggle weapons to Muslims in the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. "Everything was smuggled through these convoys – weapons, military equipment, cameras, food," Karadzic is quoted as saying. He is also quoted as saying that Bosnian Serb forces stopped only a few convoys, and that Muslim sold the humanitarian food on the black market.
15 May 2010 - KFOR has sent reinforcement to the border crossing with Macedonia after two ethic Albanians from Kosovo and two from Macedonia were killed by Macedonian police as the four were smuggling weapons. KFOR said the troops will remain there for as long as needed.
15 May 2010 - Serbian president Boris Tadic met with ICTY chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz. In a statement, Tadic said Serbia will do everything to locate, arrest and transfer the two remaining fugitives, Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic. The lack of results can still be a show stopper for Serbia's EU aspirations.
14 May 2010 - Dragan Vasiljkovic was arrested in Australia, May 12. He is accused by Croatian authorities of ordering abuse and interrogation of Croatian prisoners in the 1992-1995 Balkans war. Australian authorities are considering his extradition to Croatia.
Vasiljkovic was previously arrested in Australia in 2006. He spent nearly four years in custody before Australia's federal court turned down an extradition request and set him free in September 2009. That decision was overturned on appeal in March, but by then Vasiljkovic had already disappeared.
11 May 2010 - A mass grave in Serbia has been discovered in the village of Rudnica, in norhern Kosovo. It is believed to contain remains of 250 Kosovo Albanian victims from the 1998-99 conflict in Kosovo. The grave is currently beneath a building and a car park.
09 May 2010 - Serbian foreign minister Vuk Jeremic said that despite some media reports that the US would like to see UN Security Council Resolution 1233 cancelled in return for a speedier accession to the EU Serbia insists on conducting any talks regarding Kosovo only within the framework of the resolution.
Serbian state secretary Kosovo Oliver Ivanovic said that it was unrealistic to expect any political negotiations to start with interim Kosovo authorities before the International Court of Justice issues its ruling on the legality of Kosovo's declaration of independence.
The UN Security Council will discuss Kosovo in New York on May 17.
06 May 2010 - NATO does not think Kosovo is sufficiently safe for NATO to reduce its forces there.
At NATO's head quarters in Brussels, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola — chair of the Military Committee of NATO — said that "at this stage, it didn't feel that the conditions were there for SACEUR to make a recommendation to move forward (on the reduction). This time will come in the not very distant future."
NATO currently has some 10,000 troops in Kosovo.
06 May 2010 - Speaking about his country's European and Atlantic perspectives two years after independence, Kosovo's president Fatimir Sejdiu petitioned for his country to become a European Union member.
Sejdiu also called upon UNMIK to withdraw from Kosovo, since it has successfully reached its goal of enabling the country to found democratic institutions.
28 Apr 2010 - Republica Srpska PM Milorad Dodik said he objects to Serbia’s resolution condemning the crimes in Srebrenica, because it suggests genocide was committed.
Dodik said that the truth is different and that he would prove it.
25 Apr 2010 - ICTY chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina in preparation of his report on cooperation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, and Croatia with the tribunal. His report will be presented to the Un Security Council in June.
23 Apr 2010 - Serbia's director of the European Integration Office, Milica Delevic, said that Serbia will be ready for the EC questionnaire in May. The EU Council of Ministers is expected to ratify the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) in June, after the report on cooperation with ICTY that will be submitted by chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz.