Kosovo-Montenegro border demarcation

The Kosovo-Montenegro border demarcation was a diplomatic agreement between the disputed area of Kosovo and Montenegro which was finalized in 2015 about the eventual borders between them. Montenegro acquired its independence in 2006 and Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008. As such, there was no border agreement between them. The diplomatic negotiations between the governments of Kosovo and Montenegro came under heavy criticism from both sides.

The black line details the new boder and the blue/red line shows the transferred territories according to the alleged 1975 border.

Around 8,000 hectares (20,000 acres) of land stretching 60 kilometres (37 mi) had remained disputed. An article by Saudi Gazette stated it was roughly 18,900 acres.[1] Montenegro's then-Prime Minister Milo Đukanović stated that "Montenegro does not even need one meter from the territory of Kosovo".[2] The border demarcation deal with Montenegro was one of the explicit requirements by the European Parliament for the visa liberalization process for Kosovo.[3] In 2015, Ramush Haradinaj insisted that the 1974 Yugoslav borders were necessary in order to continue the good relations with Montenegro.[4] The agreement was ratified by both governments in 2015 and was enforced March 2018[5] leading to Čakor, an Albanian region symbolizing patriotism, being handed over to Montenegro.[6] The president of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi and Montenegro's prime minister signed the agreement on February 17, 2018. It was ratified in the Kosovan parliament a month later.[7] The agreement has been criticized as the prohibition to travel within the Schengen area had been lifted for more severe border issues amongst Georgia and Ukraine but not for Kosovo with its less severe border issues.[8]

DebateEdit

A villager named Hajdaraj stated that "they have taken away land that been passed from father to son for generations; we have graves here, the graves of our forefathers who fought on the other side of the border".[9] Villagers in the Rugova valley vowed to take up arms if the government continued to ignore them. In 2016, The Lëvizja Vetëvendosje accused PDK party of for the agreement of the Border Demarcation with Montenegro.[10] Prime minister Isa Mustafa met the Rugova locals opposing the demarcation in 2016. A local stated that the prime minister did not say anything about the matter. Levizja Vetendesojes party leader Albin Kurti held a protest speech with 2000 activists[11] leading to the postponing of the demarcation in the Kosovo parliament.[12] In August 2015, prime minister Ramush Haradinaj criticized the demarcation. Four years later, in 2019, he met Mujë Rugova, to discuss the finalization of the demarcation.[13] Ibrahim Rugova warned of the demarcation already in 2002.[14]

AttacksEdit

On August 28, 2015, a RTK employee suffered a second attack in his home by a group that opposed the demarcation.[15] An unknown individual tossed an explosive device inside resulting in no one being hurt. A group called Rugovasit claimed both attacks warning of more victims if the government continued to ignore the opposition. On August 30, six opposition supporters were detained by the police on suspicion of involvement in a rocket-propelled grenade attack on parliament.[16] The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) condemned the attacks.[17] Violent protests occurred in Pristina with riot police being attacked with molotovs.[18] An article by Kosovapress writes that the Rugova locals attacked RTK because it supported the demarcation.[19]

International reportsEdit

Independent Balkan News Agency published an article explaining that international experts, appointed by Atifete Jahjaga, stated that the demarcation did not breach any laws.[20] The opposition criticized the commission of being too similar to previous commissions. Both Albanian and Montenegrin locals around the borders stated that the politicians should take into consideration the opinions of the public.[21] A report from Saferworld titled Drawing boundaries in the Western Balkans: A people’s perspective published in 2011 states that failure to resolve demarcation issues and raise border-control standards likewise ensures that parts of the region maintain a reputation for being vulnerable to transnational organised crime, smuggling and people trafficking.[22]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Kosovo 'boils' over drawing border with Montenegro". Saudigazette. 11 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Djukanovic: 'Montenegro does not need even one meter from the territory of Kosovo.'". Prishtina Insight. 8 September 2016.
  3. ^ Nikci, Shkodran (16 September 2016). "PM Mustafa meets Rugova residents opposing demarcation deal". Prishtina Insight. No. Demarcation with Montenegro. Pristina Insight. Pristina Insight. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  4. ^ Hajdar, Una (30 July 2015). "Montenegro Urged to Respect Kosovo's Yugoslav-Era Border". Balkan Insight. No. Demarcation with Montenegro. Balkan Insight. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  5. ^ "Kosovo, Montenegro Announce Deal To Settle Border Disputes". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty.
  6. ^ KoSSev, Izvor (15 July 2019). "Kosovo: "Review" of the demarcation agreement; Montenegro: "The marking of the established border"". Kosovo Sever Portal (in Serbian). Kosovo Sever Portal. Kosovo Sever Portal. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  7. ^ Morina, Die. "Kosovo Parliament Approves Montenegro Border Deal". Balkan Insight. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  8. ^ Gashi, Krenar (2017). Kosovo's early elections are reviving its 'war' and 'peace' camps (PDF) (Note: This article gives the views of the author, and not the position of EUROPP – European Politics and Policy, nor of the London School of Economics ed.). Krenar Gashi is Basileus Doctoral Fellow at the Centre for EU Studies, Ghent University, Belgium. @krenarium. p. 2/4. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  9. ^ Plesch, Valerie (27 June 2016). "Kosovo highlanders fight for their land". Prishtina Insight.
  10. ^ Passarelli, Gianluca (2018). The Presidentialisation of Political Parties in the Western Balkans. Springer. p. 201. ISBN 9783319973524. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Kosovo postpones controversial border deal vote". Business Insider.
  12. ^ Faith Bailey, Valerie Hopkins (1 September 2016). "Kosovo Parliament postpones vote on demarcation indefinitely". Prishtina Insight. No. Demarcation of Kosovo. Prishtina Insight. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  13. ^ "Haradinaj meets Rugova, discuss demarcation correction". RTKLive.
  14. ^ "Ibrahim Rugova warned about the Demarcation". Arbresh.info. No. Ibrahim Rugova and the demarcation. Arbresh info. Arbresh info. 3 April 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Public media in Kosovo under attack over demarcation deal". Public Media Alliance. 1 September 2016.
  16. ^ Gotev, Georgi; Tempest, Matthew (31 August 2016). "Kosovo deplores 'terrorist' attacks over Montenegro border deal". euractiv.com. No. Attacks on RTK - Demarcation. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  17. ^ "Kosovo public broadcaster RTK hit by a second attack". European Federation of Journalists. 29 August 2016.
  18. ^ "There are no guards in the uninhabited Rugova mountains bordering..." Getty Images.
  19. ^ "People of Rugova: We attacked RTK because it's supporting demarcation". www.kosovapress.com.
  20. ^ "International experts: There are no breaches in the demarcation with Montenegro". Independent Balkan News Agency. 31 March 2016.
  21. ^ Zivaljevic, Nemanja (27 August 2015). "Closer Together? 79 Kilometers of 'Neighborly' Relations - Kosovo 2.0Kosovo 2.0". Kosovo 2.0. No. Demarcation with Montenegro. Kosovo 2.0. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  22. ^ Saferworld, Saferworld (2011). Drawing boundaries in the Western Balkans: A people's perspective (Registered charity no. 1043843 A company limited by guarantee no. 3015948 ed.). The Grayston Centre 28 Charles Square London N1 6HT: Saferworld. pp. 1, 4, 6, 12. ISBN 9781904833703. Retrieved 30 July 2019.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)