Peace accords thwarted by violence
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By 2004, Kosovo was in its fourth year of UN administration. Secured by 18,000 NATO peacekeepers and 3,500 UN police officers, it had experienced the whole panoply of peacebuilding measures that often follow peace accords. Under international supervision, elections had been organised, war crimes proceedings had resulted in the indictment of senior Serbian military and political figures, and complex programmes of security sector reform and combatant demobilisation and disarmament were underway. It was by no means a perfect peace, but it represented the combined efforts of the most capable organs of the international community: NATO, the World Bank, the European Union and United Nations.1 Moreover, Kosovo was able to benefit from the ‘lessons learned’ by international organisations and NGOs in the ‘proving grounds’ of complex political emergencies earlier in the 1990s. In March 2004, reactions to a single incident illustrated the fragility of peace in Kosovo. Three Albanian children drowned in the River Ibar near the divided town of Mitrovica. The story quickly spread that the children had drowned after being chased by Serbs. The rumours prompted attacks by ethnic Albanians on the minority Serbian population. Over the course of two days, 33 major riot incidents were reported, involving an estimated 51,000 participants.
KeywordsSolomon Island Armed Group Violent Conflict Peace Accord Peace Process
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