ICG: Kosovo’s final status must not be allowed to affect neighbouring Presevo Valley

An October International Crisis Group report “lays out steps that Albanians, Serbs and the international community should take to prevent destabilisation.”:

There has been much progress in the Presevo Valley, the ICG report says…Albanian politicians, the Serbian government and the international community must act now to ensure the Kosovo status process does not destabilise the neighbouring Presevo Valley, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said in a report released October 16th.

Translation: Even though the last time we did battle with you on behalf of the Albanians, it triggered a civil war between Albanians and Macedonia, for some reason we think such craziness can be avoided this time around. What’s more, now that the West has entirely destabilized your region, you Serbs need to work with the people on whose behalf we did this to ensure that the whole thing doesn’t go further to hell.

“Serbia: Maintaining Peace in the Presevo Valley”, the latest report from the Brussels-based think tank, examines the steps that need to be taken so Kosovo’s potential independence does not undo a mostly successful conflict resolution case across the border in southern Serbia.

In May 2001, in part due to strong NATO mediation, the Presevo Valley was brought back under Serbian government control, ending a low-grade ethnic Albanian insurgency that had lasted approximately 17 months in the three municipalities east of the Kosovo boundary line.

Translation: In 2000, the Albanians moved on immediately after the NATO intervention to not only Macedonia, but Presevo Valley, Serbia, as well. ICG to Serbia: We weren’t ready to have the lid blown off the ass-backwards nature of our machinations in your region, so we couldn’t, and still can’t, give Albanians all of what they want, nor let the public know that this isn’t exactly about Kosovo independence based on past “oppression”. At least not yet.

“Kosovo’s uncertainty and Belgrade’s lack of a clear policy hamper the needed changes,” says Sabine Freizer, ICG Europe programme director. “All parties need to work to develop the Presevo economy and ensure Kosovo events do not disrupt progress.”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Go ahead and ensure that. There’s about as much chance of the Presevo Valley staying “stable” as there is of the lives of the 100,000 remaining Serbs in Kosovo staying “stable” in an independent Kosovo. Transitions Online, a Czech publication, has more and also mentions the ICG report:

Presevo: Valley of Uncertainty

The valley borders eastern Kosovo, whose ethnic-Albanian majority hopes to gain full independence from Serbia. It hugs northern Macedonia, with its large ethnic-Albanian minority. Ethnic-Albanian politicians see the region as “a chess piece in the larger game,” says a newly published report by the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG).

Ideally, they would like to see it united with an independent Kosovo. But most accept that this is not realistic and instead think that the valley could be brought into play should a partition of Kosovo be on the agenda….it is reasonable to suspect that the 2000 insurgency was organized with a view to putting this piece of land on the map for any future endgame over Kosovo.

The most likely scenario remains the one in which the Kosovo government unilaterally proclaims independence, with Serbia maintaining its control of northern Kosovo and re-integrating the territory more openly. This would very likely trigger a new insurgency in the Presevo Valley, spiraling into a refugee crisis and more regional unrest.

Just to give readers some sense of the ICG, it’s one of those interchangeable and incestuous think tank/NGO things that’s been operating (helping destabilize) the Balkans and some Caucus states because it’s financed by some crazy guy named George Soros. What it’s interchangeable with are the likes of the IWPR (Institute for War and Peace Reporting) which puts out the “Balkan Insight” publication I recently cited from, something that Nebojsa Malic calls “a propaganda outfit funded by the State Department, Foreign Office and Soros (to name just a few). It trains journalists from Balkans countries to use all the reporting techniques of Western mainstream media, so they sound authoritative and ‘objective’ where in fact they are pure agitprop.”