G8 KOSOVO principles – Another Peace Plan Fraud


Jan Slakov

Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 09:44:50 +0200
To: TFF PressInfo # 67 <•••@••.•••>
From: Transnational Foundation TFF <•••@••.•••>
Subject: G8 Kosovo Principles - Another Peace Plan Fraud

P r e s s I n f o  # 6 7

G 8   K O S O V O   P R I N C I P L E S   -

A N O T H E R   P E A C E   P L A N   F R A U D

May 7, 1999

"The G8 foreign ministers' declaration of principles to resolve the Kosovo
"crisis" is a mishmash of face-saving elements for the West and addresses
none of the root causes of the conflict or the failure of the West as a
mediator," says TFF director Jan Oberg. "This declaration may be used to
justify continued bombing and, if implemented, promises a very sad future
for the Balkans. But 'conflict illiteracy' abounds, so leading media call
it a peace plan - repeating their treatment of Rambouillet."  Here follows
the full G8 text of principles as published by BBC on May 6. [and commentary
by Jan Oberg]

- - - - -

"The following general principles must be adopted and implemented to
resolve the Kosovo crisis:

* Immediate and verifiable end of violence and repression in Kosovo.

* Withdrawal from Kosovo of military, police and paramilitary forces.

* Deployment in Kosovo of effective international civil and security
presences, endorsed and adopted by the United Nations, capable of
guaranteeing the achievement of the common objectives.

* The establishment of an interim administration for Kosovo, to be decided
by the Security Council of the United Nations to ensure conditions for a
peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants for Kosovo.

* The safe and free return of all refugees and displaced persons and
unimpeded access to Kosovo by humanitarian aid organisations.

* A political process towards the establishment of an interim political
framework. An agreement providing for substantial self-government for
Kosovo, taking full account of the Rambouillet accords and the principles
and sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia and other countries of the region and the demilitarisation of
the UCK.

* Comprehensive approach to the economic development and stabilisation of
the crisis region."

- - - - -

"Here are 10 reasons why this declaration can be seen as another peace plan

1. The ministers call this a "crisis" and not a "conflict" or a "war." That
indicates that their purpose is to create a face-saving formula for the
crisis created by NATO's Balkan bombing blunder. People in
Yugoslavia (FRY), the Kosovars in particular and the surrounding countries
see it as a conflict that exploded in war and aggression. The principles
grasp none of the deep roots of the conflict itself and focus on none of
the needs of the peoples living in the region.

2. They avoid reference to NATO's bombing and under what conditions it
would stop.

3. The ministers begin with withdrawal of FRY forces (which, all or some,
from where to where?) and ends with a general reference to (later)
demilitarisation of the UCK under the point "political process." This
continues the lack of balance - introduced last year by ambassador
Holbrooke - in dealing with two fighting parties/forces in a civil war.

4. It does not state whether all or some FRY forces shall be withdrawn. It
mentions 'demilitarization' of UCK, but can there be an Army without
weapons? If so, is this an endorsement of the KLA-dominated 'government'
recently formed outside the constitution and political framework of Kosova?

5. The ministers avoid defining the international "presences;" but the
wording  'international civil and security' does represent an important
move away from "NATO alone" over "NATO lead" and "international security
force with a NATO core." Good that the UN is, finally, to play a role, but
will it be as leader or as a hostage holding the rubber stamp?

6. Reference to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of FRY is not
enough. The declaration does not mention that FRY shall be consulted about
its own future. The UN Security Council shall decide about an interim
administration and the interim political framework shall take full account
of the Rambouillet accords. But they violated the integrity and sovereignty
of FRY and were no 'accords.'

7. The ministers seem to believe that it is an 'interim administration for
Kosovo' rather than a socio-psychological, people-based peace-building
process which will bring peace to the region. This continues the disastrous
top-down 'engineering' or 'managerial' approach to conflict where a shift
to consultation, trust-building, and regeneration of civil society is much

8. The declaration is most interesting for what it does not say a word
about, namely: a) local and regional trust- and confidence-building, b)
consulting with FRY and KLA/UCK and Dr. Rugova, c) negotiations between the
conflict's core parties, and d) a Balkan regional approach and process.

9. The ministers avoid mentioning any regret or apology to the peoples of
Yugoslavia for the civilian deaths and damage caused - and thus fails
pitifully to open the door to reconciliation between NATO countries and the
10 million citizens of FRY. Lacking both in self-criticism and empathy, the
G8 believes that NATO countries can get away with first failing in
violence-prevention, then in impartial mediation and now in aggression and
then become a trusted, legitimate peacemaker!

10. With so many crucial issues left out and so much vagueness, FRY is
likely to ask for clarifications or say no - and then NATO can legitimate
continued bombing of those who say no to 'peace principles.'
This document fails to open a single door to genuine conflict-solution. It
addresses neither the original roots causes of the Albanian-Serb conflict,
nor the much worse regional and world crisis created by NATO's disastrous

The obscurities, the omissions, the shortness, the contradictions and the
absence of any expression of empathy with human suffering indicate the deep
divisions among the drafters. Russia is 'on board' this - if they are -
only because the West is more important to it than Kosovo. I would be
surprised if Yugoslavia perceives it as anything but window-dressing. It is
tragic that the most powerful leaders have learnt no lessons about
conflict-resolution. To paraphrase Einstein, with NATO's bombings since
March 24, everything has changed except the most powerful leaders' way of
thinking about conflict and 'peace' and thus we drift towards more
catastrophes," predicts Jan Oberg.

© TFF 1999

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Dr. Jan Oberg
Director, head of the TFF Conflict-Mitigation team
to the Balkans and Georgia


Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research
Vegagatan 25, S - 224 57 Lund, Sweden
Phone +46-46-145909 (0900-1100)
Fax +46-46-144512