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The Intervention by the International Community and the Rehabilitation of Kosovo


by Juan Pekmez


A year after surrounding the city, the UN is still wondering how to manage refuse collection in Pristina. Hundreds of UN volunteers have been called on to help. Meanwhile, the people of Kosovo stand idly by. Surely there are enough of them with sufficient skill to do the task themselves? What are we to make of this unwarrantable interference? What if these people were made to deal with their own problems? The countless actors, officials and charitable organisations treading on each other's toes would be well advised to do just that and to review their handiwork in the Balkans.

This paper's finalized in May 2000, does not aim at responding to such questions, however perplexing or down-to-earth. It is to analyse the faltering efforts of the peace mission to Kosovo, an area grappling with a particularly difficult set of circumstances and, also at times, with its own demons. The paper concludes that the handling of the aftermath of ethnic conflict in Kosovo is the weakpoint of the United Nations peace mission, that this is something that must be confronted and that lessons must be learned without complacency if affairs are to be put back on track before it is too late.

In conclusion, a few suggestions are made which address the following issues:

1. Monitoring the handling of the situation.

2. Return of displaced persons.

3. The detained and missing.

4. Unpunished crimes.

5. The protection of patrimony.

6. Condemnation of violence.

7. Drugs and prostitution.

8. Participation by society.

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