How Kosovo accepted a ‘humiliating court’

23 July 2014 by Stephanie van den Berg, Pristina (Kosovo)

Officially Kosovo is volunteering to establish of a special court to deal with alleged war crimes by Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) members. But behind closed doors Pristina officials are fuming that they have been strong-armed by the international community.

Before the vote agreeing to the court in April, prime minister Hashim Thaci sourly called it “a humiliation and an injustice”. Still, he stressed, not accepting a court would have “huge consequences” internationally. 

Since its 2008 declaration of independence, almost ten years on from the end of its war with Serbia, Kosovo has been on a diplomatic charm offensive. Currently over a hundred states have recognised Kosovo’s independence including the United States and 23 European Union (EU) members. After the 1999 NATO intervention drove out Serbian troops fighting the ethnic Albanian KLA, the territory became a UN protectorate.

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