Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How many more UDIs?

The recent unilateral declaration of independence in Kosovo fills me with dread. The Balkans have had a tragic enough history and the prospect of reprisals, or of the Republika Srpska declaring independent or even seeking to join Serbia, does not feel encouraging.

I see that David Miliband has declared that the Kosovo situation is "unique". (BBC News: Kosovo case unique, says Miliband) in an attempt to limit the effects when there are many other separatist movements. But every separatist movement has unique factors. This UDI cannot but encourage others.

And it's already started. There are reports that senior Palestinians are considering declaring their own state if negotiations fail (BBC News: Palestinians 'may declare state'), claiming that they are no less deserving than Kosovo.

UDIs are amongst the worst forms of state creation. They leave many questions unsettled at the point of declaration and often find the only means of settlement is war, they encourage other movements to strive for the same and they prove divisive in the international community. Endorsing a UDI is just as dangerous. I fear that the genie is now well and truly out of the bottle.

3 comments:

neil craig said...

It isn't really unilateral because the whole thing was done through NATO/EU channels & timed according to their timetable.

It isn't really independence either because this is the ongoing gameplan.

When, in response to this the locals of Mitrovica tore down the border posts with Serbia NATO sent in French troops. Nobody believes that, apart from drugs & kidnaping girls to sell abroad, Kosovo actually has a real economy. It was financially dependent on Belgrade previously & it will still be dependent on us for our lifetimes.

a very public sociologist said...

But the other issue is the matter of self-determination. If a particular people aspire to independent statehood, then who are we to deny them that right?

Manfarang said...

soiologist
Independent statehood or greater Albania?

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