Balkans: The Violence Behind the Violence


January 9, 2006: While terrorism, civil war and political instability get most of the media attention in the Balkans, the major problem on the ground is corruption and gangsters. These two problems confront people every day, and in increasingly annoying ways.

January 5, 2006: A raid by EUFOR peacekeepers in Bosnia led to the arrest of war crimes suspect Dragomir Abazovic. A firefight broke out during the raid. Abzaovic was wounded and his wife was killed. EUFOR said its troops were fired on first. Force protection and Rues of Engagement (ROE) remain a big issue in Bosnia. Subsequent to the arrest, Bosnian Serb politicians accused the EUFOR troops of taking "innocent human life." Abzaovic was indicted in 1999 and the warrant for his arrest has been outstanding since that indictment.

January 4, 2006: The UN reported a bomb was tossed at a bus in Kosovo. No one was injured. However, there have been several similar incidents over the last two months. An Kosovar Albanian policeman was arrested for killing a prisoner because of a feud between the two families. These feuds are a major problem among Albanians, because of an ancient tradition that is proving difficult to eliminate. The feud tradition demands that families ignore the legal system and settle disputes among themselves.

January 3, 2006: A bomb went off near the Albanian embassy in Belgrade, Serbia. Serb and Albanian sources report no one was injured.




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