Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Serbian Kosovars Role in a New Kosovo

Moderately pro-Europe Boris Tadić defeated a much more pro-Russian candidate for reelection to the presidency of Serbia. Kosovo will declare independence while Tadic’s Serbia gives nominal protests but swallows its pride in order to eventually gain entry into the European Union.

While Serbia will take Kosovo’s independence lying down do not expect the Serbs in Kosovo to be passive. Serbs have made public declarations that they will form their own local government which will report to Belgrade and not Pristina. They may even push for reentry to Serbia using the same ethnic homeland logic which will grant Kosovo’s independence.

North Kosovo, the area north of the Ibar River, makes the easy place for Serbs to reunite with Serbia. Ethnic enclaves are islands of Serbs in a sea of Albanians. Most these are in the eastern section of Kosovo but will likely either remain holdouts or abandoned. Eventually Kosovo Albans will take these over. A majority Serb district in the south will provide temporary refuge for isolationist Serbs. The region will be an arguing point between Serbia and Kosovo over who has control of it. Look for Strpce to become a less violent but still intense Nagorno-Karabakh.

Identity will play the biggest role in if there is ethnic upheaval in an independent Kosovo. Kosovo’s leaders will have to forge a Kosovar identity which includes Serbs if they wish to keep the country whole. Limiting overt Albanian pride (like having a flag which is not 100% the same as Albania’s) and keeping Serbs protected from foreign Islamist radicals will be key.


Jasper said...

Serbia won't let Kosovo go as easy as stated here. It was a tight call between the two kandidates, both of them were against an independant Kosovo. Now the EU is publicly supporting Kosovo the Serbian govenment is allready in crisis.

The most positive scenario is that the Serbian parts of Kosovo will reunite with Serbia. Sadly in the former Balkan-wars this was a way do downsise the problem in scale, since there is also an Albanian minority in the Serbian parts of Kosovo.

Republic of Kosovo said...

Jasper you are so wrong. The serbian enclaves will just dream to unite with Serbia. Cus if Serbia want those part albanians will start to take their own old parts that serbia has. So no wonder that Nato or anyone else wants to take those parts off, cus it will mean trouble :) Kosovo is indepedent and Serbia has realise that it will just take time to accept it. Its a part of the serbian politic show.