Kosovo. According to
CountryAAH, UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari presented his plan for
K's future status in February. According to the plan, K.
would gain "supervised independence" with continued
international presence and strong protection for the Serbian
and Roma minorities. The K Albanian majority welcomed the
plan and the parliament in Priština approved it by an
overwhelming margin. But the Serbs were strongly critical
and the Serbian parliament in Belgrade voted against the
plan. The province was still formally part of Serbia, but in
reality a UN protectorate.
Ahtisaari formally handed over the issue of K's future
status to the UN Security Council at the end of March. The
United States and Britain expressed support for Ahtisaari's
plan, while Russia was sharply critical. Serbian President
Boris Tadić said that independence for K. was unthinkable.
Negotiations continued under the auspices of the UN, from
the summer through a mediator troop of diplomats from the
EU, the US and Russia. A final date was set for December 10,
but it was already clear in advance that the conditions for
a settlement were lacking. The Albanians adhered to the
demand for independence and said in the autumn that they
intended to proclaim their own state shortly. The Serbs,
willing to approve far-reaching self-government, warned that
unilaterally proclaimed independence would cause instability
throughout the Balkans.
In November, parliamentary and municipal elections were
held in K. The Serbian minority boycotted the elections in
order not to give legitimacy to a government that was
expected to proclaim independence. The biggest was the
Kosovo Democratic Party (PDK) with former guerrilla
commander Hashim Thaši as leader. The formerly dominant
Kosovo Democratic Alliance (LDK) came in second place.
The trial of K's former prime minister Ramush Haradinaj
began in March at the UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague.
Haradinaj, who was the commander of the then Kosovo Albanian
guerrilla UCK in the late 1990s, and two others were
indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Haradinaj had resigned two years earlier and voluntarily
surrendered to the court.