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New Left Review I/235, May-June 1999


David Chandler

The Bosnian Protectorate and the Implications for Kosovo

The international Contact Group proposals for the future of Kosovo, put forward at the Paris/Rambouillet talks, in February 1999—advocating an international Implementations Mission in Kosovo—were based on the provisions of the Dayton Peace Agreement of November 1995, which ended the Bosnian conflict. If nato gets its way, these plans are likely to be re-proposed. Dayton instituted the division of powers between military implementation of the peace agreement, under nato authority, and civilian implementation, under an international High Representative, including election and media control under the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (osce). Where Dayton specified a one-year transitional remit for the civilian powers of the High Representative and the osce, the plans for Kosovo, ostensibly for three years, were open-ended. The shift at Rambouillet from limited powers of transitional administration to an international protectorate reflected the powerful dynamic extending international involvement in the Balkans. While international armies of monitors, peacekeepers and administrators appear to be ever more necessary for Balkan stability, there is less and less of a role for the people of the region in deciding their own futures.

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