Balkans: Grievance and Greed

The sound of gunfire in the Balkans is once again worrying the international community. Is all the good work to be undone by a campaign for a greater Kosovo or greater Albania? And how far is pure profit the motive? People in Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia need to feel they have a stake in the peace, that armed force is not necessary to get results.

The World Today
6 minute READ

Professor Alex J. Bellamy

Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, The University of Queensland

In February, a bomb destroyed a bus carrying Serbs to the site of a reputed mass grave. They were hoping to find the final resting place of relatives kidnapped by the Kosovan Liberation Army (KLA) in the struggle for Kosovo between 1998 and 1999. The bomb, which killed ten people, had been placed on the road shortly before the convoy passed. Two armoured personnel carriers belonging to the Danish KFOR contingent had driven over it prior to detonation. Two Albanian men found near the scene were arrested but they are not thought to have been involved.

In the month prior to the bomb attack, more than a dozen Serb policemen in the Presevo valley region, on the Serbian side of Kosovo’s eastern border, were killed by the so-called Liberation Army of Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac (UCPMB). Arms have also been finding their way into the hands of the restive Albanian community in Macedonia.

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