Kosovarian Independence: Viennese Celebration / Demonstration

February 17, 2008 at 4:33 pm | Posted in International, Politics | 3 Comments
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Kosova declared its independence from Serbia and today, Sunday 17 February 2008. The event was accompanied by public gatherings of Kosovarians in all neighbouring states. Here are some pictures taken at Vienna’s Heldenplatz earlier today, also showing the new Kosovarian flag – to me this contrast of black and crimson has a rather worrisome, belligerent appeal…
UPDATE: How embarrassing I didn’t know. The flag in the picture is the Albanian, not the Kosovarian flag. The ethnic majority in Kosovo is Albanian…

Kosovo Independence

Kosovo Independence

Is independence going to bring peace? An excerpt from a Deutsche Welle news report:

Kosovar politicians declared independence from Serbia on Sunday, Feb. 17. Ten years after Belgrade crushed a rebellion in Kosovo, parliamentarians proclaimed the Republic of Kosovo and sovereign state.

The parliament in Kosovo voted in favor of independence from Serbia, bringing the curtain down on a long chapter in the violent break-up of Yugoslavia.

“From today onwards, Kosovo is proud, independent and free,” said Prime Minister Hashim Thaci. “We never lost faith in the dream that one day we would stand among the free nations of the world, and today we do.”

The parliament also approved a new flag for the landlocked state of about 2 million people.

While the United States and several European Union members are quickly expected to recognize the new state, Serbia is infuriated by the move and has been given strong support by Russia.

Serbia’s President Boris Tadic said his country would never recognize the independence of Kosovo.

“Serbia has reacted and will react with all peaceful, diplomatic and legal means to annul this act committed by Kosovo’s institutions,” Tadic said in a statement.

Kosovo police had to stop several hundred former Serbian army reservists — veterans of the 1998-99 Kosovo war — from crossing into the territory ahead of the independence declaration.

Kosova Map

Image: un.org

3 Comments »

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  1. we were up at the ICA today (for a group exhibition called ‘Double Agent’, http://tinyurl.com/2szsuh, Christoph Schlingensief of all people with a video installation.

    On the way back there was a gathering on Trafalgar Square, and cars driving round with the Kosovo flags out, beeping their horns etc.

    All great!

  2. It’s such a tiny country, but first Socialism and then the war has spread hem all over the world!

  3. This is a good example how a minority turned into a majority.
    At some point when things get really tense and both sides applied brute force it all went wrong.
    I have to say that when I visited the Kosovo five years ago I felt closer to the serbian minority, their spirit, traditions and hospitality. The muslim albabian minority where families had a minimum of five kids alienated me with their constant talk about spreading albanian interests.

    I don’t want to justify any military operations conducted in a David vs Goliath fashion, thats always wrong. I merely point out that this conflict had very deep (and also historical) roots and is far from easy to judge.

    As a “westerner” you sometimes have to open up and accept that not everything associated with the formed soviet bloc is bad.


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