P r e s s I n f o   # 7 1
from The Transnational foundation for Peace and Future Research, Sveden

R E A D   U N   R E S O L U T I O N   1 2 4 4
A N D   W A T C H   N A T O   I N   K O S O V O

June 18, 1999

"Did you read UN Security Council Resolution 1244 about peace in
Kosovo? Well, it is not exactly coherent. If your computer manual was this
much of a mishmash and contradictions and if dozens of pages were missing,
you would probably have operative system failures and bombs - and I think
this is what will happen with NATO in Kosovo. But the resolution IS clear
enough on essentials for us to ask after one week of NATO 'peace'-keeping
in Kosovo what on earth is going on," says TFF director Jan Oberg. Here and
in PressInfo 72 follow some of the already manifest problems.


It condemns all acts of violence by the local parties, but has not even a
mild statement about the uniquely brutal NATO-caused killings and
devastation of a country of 12 million people. It expresses a determination
to resolve the humanitarian crisis - well and good - but does not address
any underlying conflict and makes no mention of the civil war that raged in
Kosovo between February 1998 and March 24 this year.

It does reaffirm the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia but fails to present the procedures and modalities
as to how the endorsed civilian and security presences shall operate to
respect that sovereignty and integrity.

Further to this point, it simultaneously decides (Para 11a)  that the
civilian presence is tasked with 'promoting the establishment, pending a
final settlement, of substantial autonomy and self-government in Kosovo,
taking full account of annex 2 and of the Rambouillet accords.' So, the
US-manipulated Rambouillet dictate - perhaps the most shameful event in
modern diplomatic history - was sneaked into the text in contravention of
what had been agreed with Belgrade. To make things worse, the same Para 11f
mentions 'facilitating a political process designed to determine Kosovo's
future status, taking into account the Rambouillet accords.' This
formulation can - and will - be used to justify a process towards
establishing an independent Kosova; indeed, it is difficult to envision
NATO leave the province by just handing Kosovo back to Belgrade, given the
tremendous investment and given the almost limitless distrust and hate
between Serbs and Albanians after what has happened.

There is a minimum of operationalization, of stipulating who is doing what
when. NATO is the only organization mentioned, not the OSCE, the UN, or
NGOs. During the G8 process, the United States and NATO suddenly decided to
increase the military presence from 28.000 (at the time of Rambouillet) to
48.000, no explanation offered, and the figure is not mentioned in the
resolution. Neither is the civilian presence, its size, level or lead
agencies specified. All this opens up for eternal disputes among various
organizations about roles, authority, 'command' and division of labour -
while the resolution emphasises the importance of a 'rapid early deployment
of effective presences.' As a matter of fact, the whole civilian aspect of
this mission is put at a disadvantage by the very text.


Only one short sentence mentions human rights. There is not one word
pointing in the direction of civil society, peace, tolerance, forgiveness,
co-existence, empowerment, psychological help, no mention of e.g. a truth
commission, of how media must be helped to disseminate tolerance rather
than hate speech. One therefore gets the impression that those who drafted
this text haven't got a clue about human psychology, traumas, peace and
human rights education and the like - that it is, indeed, outside their
worldview that conflict, violence and PEACE, to put it in simple terms, is
about PEOPLE.

So, again - decision-makers in power can do almost anything militarily.
Technology gives them a sense of omnipotence. When it comes to addressing
conflicts as problems to be solved among human beings and peace as a vision
about a better future together, conflict and peace 'illiteracy' abounds.

With all this omitted, ask yourself: Isn't this resolution implicitly
revealing that nobody believes anymore in a future of peaceful co-existence
between Albanians and Serbs? And isn't that what genuine peacekeeping
should facilitate?


According to the US/NATO/G8 dictate, first Yugoslav forces should withdraw,
then bombing should stop and then international forces should enter. Unless
NATO moved in at the heels of Yugoslav troops moving out, this was bound -
predicatably - to create a vacuum that a) permitted KLA to move in and b)
persuaded non-Albanians to begin to leave immediately. This is exactly what
has happened. Are we to believe that this was not foreseen by NATO? Why was
it done this way? Presumably to reduce the risk that NATO troops should be
shot at while entering. Or put crudely: better let tens of thousands of
Kosovo-Serbs leave their homes for good than risk a single NATO life.

Annex 2 point 4 of SC Res. 1244 states that the 'security presence' shall
'establish a safe environment  for all people in Kosovo. But at least
30.000 civilian Serbs have already left under NATO's peacekeeping and
protection and the mission HAS therefore already failed in achieving its
main task.

In addition, when the G8 agreement and the UN resolution stipulate that ALL
police and military must withdraw it is obviously forgotten that
Serb/Yugoslav police in the region, to a large extent, is made up of people
born and raised with their families there. So, demanding that ALL leave
means forcing out at least 50.000 legitimate citizens of that province.

IMAGINE instead that the sequence had been: first agreement to a plan
according to which the bombing would stop first, then a stepwise entering
of international forces seeing the Yugoslav troops off, village by village
from the south to the north of the province. NATO would then have filled
every vacuum and prevented KLA from taking over. When the UN entered zones
in Croatia and the UNTAES mission in Eastern Slavonia had been set up,
troops either moved out immediately or were disarmed. Why not something
like that in Kosovo? It looks now like light-armed UN peacekeepers have
traditionally been much more courageous than heavy-armed NATO soldiers.


The leading NATO countries just moved in the troops which they had amassed
month before in the neighbouring countries. Resolution 1244, however,
"authorises Member States and relevant international organizations to
establish the international security presence." This of course was another
humiliation the UN had to suffer: that it does not gather - or is consulted
about - the so-called peacekeepers which operate on the basis of a UN
resolution. But this does not mean that the US/NATO group should monopolise
the process. In principle, all member states can contribute.

Which brings us to the major diplomatic crisis the US has created vis-a-vis
Russia. It is not the least due to Russian mediation that an agreement
could at all be concluded with Belgrade. However, the US consistently
refuses to accept a Russian zone while NATO partitioned and occupied the
whole province without asking them or anybody else. The official argument
is that if there is a Russian zone, Serbs would run to that and Albanians
would not feel safe. (Indeed, KLA is stating that it will not disarm unless
the Russians leave).

The is utterly cynic: the very same countries that use this argument have,
systematically during 78 days, devastated the Serbian/Yugoslav society, the
Serb home country and Kosovo which Serbs consider their cradle. They take
for granted that Serbs ought to feel safe under them in their role as
bombers-cum-peacekeepers. As in Croatia and Bosnia we see how the US and
the international 'community' apply different principles from case to case
and preferential treatment to non-Serb civilians and citizens.

Zoning and command is the third problem: Annex 2.4 states "the
international security presence with substantial North Atlantic Treaty
Organization participation must be deployed under unified command and
control." It does not say "NATO command." Indeed, if all interested states
had been consulted democratically, a neutral command could have been set up
consisting of generals from NATO as well as non-NATO countries, in short a
cooperative effort paying respect to all contributing countries. Again, the
US/NATO omnipotently decided to take it all for themselves. Behind the
podium in the newly established Pristina press briefing room, there is only
"NATO" and its emblem - not a word indicating that other countries such as
Sweden may be involved or about this being formally a mission 'under the
auspices of the UN.'

Unbiased media would ask questions about such flawed arguments and
all-dominating policies at NATO and State Department briefings, so would
anybody who does not take NATO propaganda for truth or suffer from
self-censorship. Commentators, editors, experts and politicians would
discuss this openly in a democratic democracy. But not in an increasingly
authoritarian democracy.

IMAGINE instead that these three problems had been solved through
consultation and not by fait accompli and marginalization of major non-NATO
countries. Imagine that they had found a solution before the Russians moved
in from the north and NATO from the south. In short, imagine that NATO was
a democratic organization in its inner and outer relations.

"Wouldn't it be in line with what those self-proclaimed leaders say - that
they speak on behalf of the world, of the whole international community? If
they did," says Jan Oberg, "they would consult with others instead of
chopping up countries and occupy territories in the name of that very world
community. Truth is, of course, that if they they did speak on behalf of
the international community  - and if there was unity around the world as
to how to handle this crisis - we would have a UN decision, a UN mission, a
UN presence and a UN approach to conflict-resolution. That is exactly what
these leaders - of about 10 per cent of the world's population - want so
intensely to avoid."

© TFF 1999

You are welcome to reprint, copy, archive, quote or re-post this item, but
please retain the source.

Dr. Jan Oberg
Director, head of the TFF Conflict-Mitigation team
to the Balkans and Georgia


Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research
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