Friday, February 11, 2005

More Evidence of UN “Success” in Kosovo

(Note: For background to this post, see my earlier post "Kosovo Rising?".)

The following on current conditions in Kosovo from an informative and troubling article in Tuesday's (February 8) Neue Züricher Zeitung [NZZ]:
...After an initial construction boom, in the five years since the withdrawal of the Serbian administration, the economic situation has gotten continually worse. Currently, the unemployment rate is well over 50%. 12% of the population lives in utter poverty, with revenues of less than two francs [roughly $2] per day.
The article, titled "The Calm Before the Storm in Kosovo?", is troubling because it surveys several reasons, among which the desperate economic situation, to fear a renewal of violence in Kosovo in the weeks ahead. If there is renewed violence, as during the rioting last March the remaining Serb enclaves can be expected to bear the brunt of it. The NZZ article also contains the following depiction of the attitude of large sections of the Kosovo-Albanian population who are dissatisfied with the UN administration and eager to fulfill the long-deferred promise of an independent Kosovo:
...for many of those who are dissatisfied, the conclusion seems evident that the Serbs must go such that the UNMIK [the UN administration] loses its justification and also withdraws. Only then will nothing more stand in the way of an independent Kosovar state.