OPINION

A dilemma for Kosovo

The deadly violence in Kosovo was not a bolt from the blue. It had long been clear that a spark was enough to ignite disaster. Ethnic Albanians used NATO to win their de facto secession from Serbia and are now pressuring to have the fait accompli recognized by the world. They believe that gaining independence is but a matter of time; this is why they even reject proposals for enhanced autonomy. Ethnic Albanians have carried out a policy of ethnic cleansing. With armed attacks, daily disturbances, and suffocating pressure they have succeeded in driving many Serbs from their homes. Those who stayed behind now reside in the more secure enclaves in the north of the province. It is not the first time that the ethnically divided town of Mitrovica has been swept by violence. The northern part of the city is a Serb enclave and a front against the ongoing «Albanization» of Kosovo. There is little hope of peaceful coexistence in the future. The US vision of multiethnic states is a pipe dream. The imposed equilibrium is volatile and prone to conflict. Kosovo has been relegated to the status of a very costly Western protectorate with no prospect of a permanent solution in sight. That is, unless Washington insists on the inviolability of internal borders which will produce easily manipulated statelets. As things stand now, an uneven partition based on negotiations is the only realistic solution – meaning that a northern section joins Serbia while the rest of Kosovo becomes a second Albanian state. However, this scenario is still rejected officially for fear that it will fuel the separatist aspirations of other minorities. Such concerns are grounded, but in the case of Kosovo a de facto partition is already in place. Otherwise, Kosovo will be subjected to full Albanization.