Kosovo – from Dayton to Rambouillet

Dr.Sc. Ramë Buja


A mature, wise, successful and concluding diplomatic action would be recorded if the international community would not have ignored the Yugoslav crisis in its beginning, and if it would conference less for the same matter without finding a solution, but it would hold a single international conference for the serious crisis in Yugoslavia, with serious partners and allies, lead by the USA.

Why did this not happen, at least in Dayton, when such a crisis had already passed four years since its inception? The answer is rather flagellant for the international community, because unfortunately, in relevant circles of political and diplomatic force, the determination and courage for a consolidated and decisive action for a solution was not created yet.

In this conference, a third one in the series (after the ones in the Hague and London) addressing the crisis in former Yugoslavia, determination, courage and bravehood was only on the side of one single international factor, the USA. It had all that, after all failing efforts of the EU in resolving this piece of the crisis, which was now being dealt with by the USA and the Dayton Conference, without having the potential or the pretence to put a halt to the wholesome crisis which had already metastasized throughout the former SFRY area.

The Dayton Conference had delegated the Kosovo problem to the Contact Group, together with other matters disputable with the political order in the former Yugoslavia, until a final settlement of peace. For a long time, it was said that the Kosovo issue would have to be tackled by a future diplomatic cycle.

The Dayton Peace was considered to be the concluding act of the former Yugoslav dissolution and reconstruction crisis. Disputable matters, left to the competency of the Contact Group, were more related to crisis management, preservation of provisional balances, ensuring mediation and presence of international institutions for the purpose of monitoring. The Contact Group had no power to reach decisions on political and geo-political matters. It would only operate within the framework of the Dayton Peace.[1]

The Dayton Conference ruined all hopes of Albanians that something could be done to solve the Kosovo issue, with the same way Kosovo continued to trace, peaceful, subordinating and humiliating. It was ultimately recognized that other paths should be pursued to achieve the everlasting goal of freedom and independence.

If what happened, or better said, if what was necessarily to happen for the future of Kosovo, the Liberation War, lead and commanded by the Kosovo Liberation Army, did not happen, Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro, the whole region, would still be living in the suffocating stink of blood and gunpowder, in the nightmare of war and genocide, which was rising to an unprecedented tragedy. The Liberation War of Kosovo, with its extent, sobered and cleared, provoked and appealed to the international community to act, as it acted, breaking the taboos established by rules of a past time, and by setting a more solid and serious cornerstone of consolidation of a new political and diplomatic system, which would be more active and more fruitful. With a view of creating a different world, a world of emancipation, hope, courage and progress, this war (KLA war, author note) ultimately detached the international community from the illusion that it had been saved from the Balkan with the Dayton Agreement. The Contact Group – was the most concrete body which could be imagined under a shadow “international community” – was in favour of a compromise, a type of a conflict regulation, which was rightfully unfavoured in the Balkan. (the Contact Group, a group of “great powers” – United States, Russia, Germany, Great Britain and France – was created in 1994, with a view of revitalizing the former International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia ( ICFY ).[2]

The EU was rather complex and deeply divided in terms of the Yugoslav crisis. The three most powerful countries, Germany, France and Great Britain, had very different political approaches to the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. By such approaches, each of the states persisted to use the crisis in ensuring their individual positions inside the EU, starting from political influences and up to the future concepts of European security.[3]

Setting from these discrepancies and detractions of policies and interests of greater powers of Europe, and the impossibility of approximating and unifying these extremes, to make Europe a Union in its essence and full meaning of the word, the actions of the USA in resolving the crisis are comprehensible and justifiable. Being the leader and decisive in partial attacks of the Northern Atlantic Alliance, to come to a peace conference by coercion, similar to the Dayton, it was not possible to tackle the whole Yugoslav crisis at one go, in a single conference. In fact, a prior well-studied concept had been missing, because knowing the circumstances and other factors, there would be no one to deal with the matter in terms of coming to a solution. This had another reason, the scepticism of the US in being able to cope with such a large chaos, in terms of tackling the whole Yugoslav problem, which had grown for almost a full century.

[1] ALBANIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCE (Centre of Albanian Encyclopedia): Kosovo in an encyclopedic view, Toena, Tirana, 1999, pg. 139.

[2] Reymond DETREZ: KOSOVO. DE UITGESTELDE OORLOG, translated from Dutch by: Mirela Shuteriqi, Tirana, 2004, pg. 143.

[3] Visnja STARESINA: VJEZBE U LABORATORIJU BALLKAN, Neklada Ljevak d.o.o., Zagreb, 2004, pg.49.

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DOI: 10.21113/iir.v1i1.196

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