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Kosovo's Post-Independence Inter-Clan Conflict
Unformatted Document Text:  11 Traditionally, LDK, PDK and AAK are related to the leadership of the late President Ibrahim Rugova, Hashim Thaci, and Ramush Haradinaj. Each political party has a clearly defined regional support base. AAK, for example, is supported by the clans close to Haradinaj in the Dukagjini region. Drenica region is the home base of PDK since both Jakup Krasniqi and former KLA leader and spokesman Hashim Thaci who come from Drenica. 51 At local level, the positions of mayors and municipal council advisors are distributed in a similar fashion. The schism in the political arena today is between LDK and PDK, with a fragile coalition between LDK and AAK. 52 While this coalition initially reduced the tensions in the Dukagjini region, the blood feud murder of Sadik Musaj and Enver Haradinaj and the anticipation of possible retaliatory attacks risk escalating the tensions between the two parties. As the International Crisis Group reports, PDK and media allegations that LDK members from western Kosovo will testify against Haradinaj at the Hague are further fueling the fire. 53 In the absence of a unifying leader at a national level such as President Rugova was until 2006, Kosovo politics will be fiercely contested after independence. One would think that the final status resolution would unite conflicting political parties so that they could jointly work for the common good of sovereign Kosovo. However, the schisms between the parties are deep and differences will be overcome with difficulty in a post-independence setting. The intricate interplay of inter-clan relations based on political affiliations, former KLA or FARK affiliations, and clan balancing in the illegal trade and trafficking will define each party’s struggle for greater power and status. With feuding clans and revenge killings in the background, the competition between LDK, PDK and AAK will be profoundly feverish. From today’s perspective, one could only speculate about the end result of this competition. In conclusion, the Code of Dukagjini is enshrined deeply in the culture and lifestyle of the Kosovo Albanian. Even after independence, where the security dilemma particularly vis-à-vis Serbia is likely to decrease, Kosovo will still remain unstable because of the heated inter-clan relations. Clan-based kinship ties are likely to be the basis for the mobilization of manipulative elites who will struggle to gain wealth, power and status. The formation of a stable central government will be impeded by the interests of powerful clans who permeate not only the political life but also reign in the “underground” world of the Albanian mafia. 51 International Crisis Group, Kosovo After Haradinaj, at p. 18. 52 International Crisis Group, Kosovo After Haradinaj, at p. 19. 53 International Crisis Group, Kosovo After Haradinaj, at p. 21.

Authors: Kaltcheva, Tzvetomira.
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11
Traditionally, LDK, PDK and AAK are related to the leadership of the late President
Ibrahim Rugova, Hashim Thaci, and Ramush Haradinaj. Each political party has a clearly
defined regional support base. AAK, for example, is supported by the clans close to
Haradinaj in the Dukagjini region. Drenica region is the home base of PDK since both
Jakup Krasniqi and former KLA leader and spokesman Hashim Thaci who come from
Drenica.
51
At local level, the positions of mayors and municipal council advisors are
distributed in a similar fashion.
The schism in the political arena today is between LDK and PDK, with a fragile
coalition between LDK and AAK.
52
While this coalition initially reduced the tensions in
the Dukagjini region, the blood feud murder of Sadik Musaj and Enver Haradinaj and the
anticipation of possible retaliatory attacks risk escalating the tensions between the two
parties. As the International Crisis Group reports, PDK and media allegations that LDK
members from western Kosovo will testify against Haradinaj at the Hague are further
fueling the fire.
53
In the absence of a unifying leader at a national level such as President Rugova
was until 2006, Kosovo politics will be fiercely contested after independence. One would
think that the final status resolution would unite conflicting political parties so that they
could jointly work for the common good of sovereign Kosovo. However, the schisms
between the parties are deep and differences will be overcome with difficulty in a post-
independence setting. The intricate interplay of inter-clan relations based on political
affiliations, former KLA or FARK affiliations, and clan balancing in the illegal trade and
trafficking will define each party’s struggle for greater power and status. With feuding
clans and revenge killings in the background, the competition between LDK, PDK and
AAK will be profoundly feverish. From today’s perspective, one could only speculate
about the end result of this competition.
In conclusion, the Code of Dukagjini is enshrined deeply in the culture and
lifestyle of the Kosovo Albanian. Even after independence, where the security dilemma
particularly vis-à-vis Serbia is likely to decrease, Kosovo will still remain unstable
because of the heated inter-clan relations. Clan-based kinship ties are likely to be the
basis for the mobilization of manipulative elites who will struggle to gain wealth, power
and status. The formation of a stable central government will be impeded by the interests
of powerful clans who permeate not only the political life but also reign in the
“underground” world of the Albanian mafia.
51
International Crisis Group, Kosovo After Haradinaj, at p. 18.
52
International Crisis Group, Kosovo After Haradinaj, at p. 19.
53
International Crisis Group, Kosovo After Haradinaj, at p. 21.


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