Autonomy or Independence - Postponed but not Forgotten
Both the Rambouillet accord and the UN Security Council resolution repeatedly reaffirm the international communitys commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Both charge the international presence in Kosovo with facilitating the creation of institutions of democratic self government with substantial autonomy within the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. And both refer, rather vaguely, to what happens after that.
Chapter 8, Article I, Section 3 of the Rambouillet accord states, "Three years after the entry into force of this Agreement, an international meeting shall be convened to determine a mechanism for a final settlement for Kosovo, on the basis of the will of the people, opinions of relevant authorities, each Partys efforts regarding the implementation of this Agreement, and the Helsinki Final Act "
Section 11, Subsections e and f of the UN Security Council resolution list as responsibilities of the international civil presence in Kosovo, "facilitating a political process designed to determine Kosovos future status, taking into account the Rambouillet accords," and "in a final stage, overseeing the transfer of authority from Kosovos provisional institutions to institutions established under a political settlement."
NATO and Kosovar leaders interpreted the Rambouillet accord to call for a vote on autonomy or independence for Kosovo.
That was not clearly stated in the Rambouillet accord, nor is the eventual status of Kosovo made any clearer by the Security Council resolution except in that it presupposes in writing that there will be a transition from provisional political institutions established to facilitate autonomy within Yugoslavia to some other final political institutions. If anything, therefore, the UN Security Council resolution moves a step closer to allowing for an independent Kosova than Rambouillet, albeit in just as vague terms.
As with the makeup, deployment, and command structures of the international military presence in Kosovo, the eventual status of Kosovo and the means of determining it have been left as a very raw, very controversial loose end. There has been a great deal of assumption regarding both issues from all sides, as is evidenced by todays standoff between NATO and Russia over troop deployments. While the deployment issue must be quickly resolved, we expect the final status issue will be carefully ignored during the coming weeks and even months, as NATO concentrates on the details of implementing a security presence, facilitating the return of refugees, and holding elections.
But Serbs and Kosovar Albanians have not and will not forget either the issue or their assumptions as to its resolution.
Serbs, including the armed forces, foresee a day when the international presence departs and the lip service paid to Yugoslav territorial integrity and sovereignty is enforced by the return of Yugoslav Federal institutions and forces to Kosovo.
Kosovar Albanians look forward to the vote, to be guaranteed and enforced by the international military presence in Kosovo, that grants them independence.
While it can and will be postponed as long as possible by the international community, Kosovo Round II looms on the distant horizon.
Editor: "Pathetic NATO media"
Even though the UNSC resolution makes no mention of NATO command and control over KFOR,
NATO acts like it is KFOR. So Russia's attempts to get its own sector and have a neutral
general in charge of KFOR (eg a Finnish one) are treated with disdain by NATO and the
media. Funny, I thought that legal agreements were binding. NATO
spits on any concept of law once again in its attempts to usurp the UN's authority.