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Kosovo's Post-Independence Inter-Clan Conflict
Unformatted Document Text:  9 Disregarding the final status any further will only cause instability in Kosovo and throughout the Balkans. 40 Granting immediate full independence or reincorporating Kosovo back into Serbia proper are equally impossible options because of possible eruption of violence. The only viable final status option is a conditional independence. 41 This formula grants a de facto independence of the province while the international community will remain in charge of minority affairs and supervision of Kosovo’s external borders. How will the determination of Kosovo’s final status, expected by the end of 2007, influence the inter-clan relations among Albanian families? Will clan-based divisions in Kosovo’s society serve as a basis for political mobilization of elites engaged in conflict for wealth, power and status? Establishing rule of law will be paramount in a newly independent Kosovo. As KFOR scales down and UNMIK police assumes responsibility limited only to minority protection and policing in minority areas, KPS will secure more power and authority. There will be a simultaneous increase in the role and status of the Kosovo Protection Force (KPC), which the international community assembled from remnant KLA and FARK rebel forces and which currently exists only nominally but has no power. The partial or total pull-out of international police and military forces will create a power vacuum in the law enforcement sector. It is likely that this power vacuum will result in a struggle between powerful clans both at local and national levels. As powerful clans have an interest in gaining as much power and status as possible, each clan will try to secure as much access to and domination of law enforcement as possible. Clan politics, particularly the practice of nepotism, is one way that clans could secure presence and authority in law enforcement. Once clan balancing in the law enforcement sector occurs—i.e. once police and army positions are distributed among the clans—problems will continue to mar Kosovo’s transition to sustainable democracy. First, the prevalence of the Code in guiding Kosovo’s socio-economic life will supersede law enforcement. In some cases, because of clan interests the law enforcement authorities in a given region working to solve a given blood feud-related murder will have no interest in finding the culprits and resolving the case. At times, the Institute on War and Peace Reporting reports (IWPR), “old political allegiances play a role in how policemen act.” 42 The so-depicted hypothetical situation regarding Kosovo’s post-independence rule of law will closely resemble the current situation in Kosovo. The IWPR writes: “As the families of murder victims grow increasingly resentful of the [KPS] inactions, many come to believe that justice will only be done if they take matters into their own hands.” 43 Citizens’ urge to KPS to investigate and bring those responsible for violent attacks to trial 40 International Crisis Group, A Kosovo Roadmap (I): Addressing Final Status, Balkans Report # 124, 1 March 2002, at p. ii. 41 This option, if correctly implemented, may prevent the eruption of mass-scale ethnic violence, and at the same time provide guarantees for Serbia and Serbian minority in Kosovo. See UNDP Kosovo, Early Warning System, Kosovo report #6, April 2004, at p. 17. 42 Jeta Xharra, Muhamet Hajrullahu, and Arben Salihu, “Kosovo’s Wild West.” 43 Jeta Xharra, Muhamet Hajrullahu, and Arben Salihu, “Kosovo’s Wild West.”

Authors: Kaltcheva, Tzvetomira.
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9
Disregarding the final status any further will only cause instability in Kosovo and
throughout the Balkans.
40
Granting immediate full independence or reincorporating
Kosovo back into Serbia proper are equally impossible options because of possible
eruption of violence. The only viable final status option is a conditional independence.
41
This formula grants a de facto independence of the province while the international
community will remain in charge of minority affairs and supervision of Kosovo’s
external borders. How will the determination of Kosovo’s final status, expected by the
end of 2007, influence the inter-clan relations among Albanian families? Will clan-based
divisions in Kosovo’s society serve as a basis for political mobilization of elites engaged
in conflict for wealth, power and status?
Establishing rule of law will be paramount in a newly independent Kosovo. As
KFOR scales down and UNMIK police assumes responsibility limited only to minority
protection and policing in minority areas, KPS will secure more power and authority.
There will be a simultaneous increase in the role and status of the Kosovo Protection
Force (KPC), which the international community assembled from remnant KLA and
FARK rebel forces and which currently exists only nominally but has no power. The
partial or total pull-out of international police and military forces will create a power
vacuum in the law enforcement sector. It is likely that this power vacuum will result in a
struggle between powerful clans both at local and national levels. As powerful clans have
an interest in gaining as much power and status as possible, each clan will try to secure as
much access to and domination of law enforcement as possible. Clan politics, particularly
the practice of nepotism, is one way that clans could secure presence and authority in law
enforcement.
Once clan balancing in the law enforcement sector occurs—i.e. once police and
army positions are distributed among the clans—problems will continue to mar Kosovo’s
transition to sustainable democracy. First, the prevalence of the Code in guiding
Kosovo’s socio-economic life will supersede law enforcement. In some cases, because of
clan interests the law enforcement authorities in a given region working to solve a given
blood feud-related murder will have no interest in finding the culprits and resolving the
case. At times, the Institute on War and Peace Reporting reports (IWPR), “old political
allegiances play a role in how policemen act.”
42
The so-depicted hypothetical situation
regarding Kosovo’s post-independence rule of law will closely resemble the current
situation in Kosovo. The IWPR writes:
“As the families of murder victims grow increasingly resentful of the
[KPS] inactions, many come to believe that justice will only be done if
they take matters into their own hands.”
43
Citizens’ urge to KPS to investigate and bring those responsible for violent attacks to trial
40
International Crisis Group, A Kosovo Roadmap (I): Addressing Final Status, Balkans
Report # 124, 1 March 2002, at p. ii.
41
This option, if correctly implemented, may prevent the eruption of mass-scale ethnic
violence, and at the same time provide guarantees for Serbia and Serbian minority in
Kosovo. See UNDP Kosovo, Early Warning System, Kosovo report #6, April 2004, at p.
17.
42
Jeta Xharra, Muhamet Hajrullahu, and Arben Salihu, “Kosovo’s Wild West.”
43
Jeta Xharra, Muhamet Hajrullahu, and Arben Salihu, “Kosovo’s Wild West.”


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