ICG presents peace plan for the Balkans

International Crisis Group plan for peace in the Balkans disputes international efforts to preserve the unity of Yugoslavia

The report, entitled “After Milosevic – A Practical Agenda for Lasting Balkans Peace “, recommends “conditional independence” of Kosovo from Serbia, keeping Bosnia-Herzegovina together as one state, and allowing Montenegro to break away from Yugoslavia. It warns that the war risks in the Balkans are still high, and calls for a long-term commitment from the USA and EU to prevent another conflict.

The report, published just days after Montenegro’s general elections, disregards the fact that Montenegrin voters were evenly split on the issue of independence, making this divisive proposition a risky business for the stability of the Balkans region.

 

The International Crisis Group (ICG), a Brussels-based think-tank, released a new report on the former Yugoslavia on 26 April, proposing a plan for lasting peace in the Balkans. The ICG's recommendations counter the efforts of the international community to preserve the unity of Yugoslavia.

 

The 350-page report is based on five years of research in the western Balkans. It focuses on Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia. It goes against the efforts of international leaders to preserve the Yugoslav federation, consisting of Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. On the other hand, it defends the unity of Bosnia-Herzegovina and warns against the secession of Republika Srpska and the Croat area.

 

The EU is attempting to stabilise the ethnically mixed region by concluding Stabilisation and Association agreement, giving them the prospect of EU membership. The EU has already concluded such an agreement with Macedonia, while negotiations with Croatia are underway. Brussels is currently preparing ground for negotiations with Yugoslavia. Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania are also eligible for such agreements.

 

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