|The war in Kosovo||
The war in Kosovo is one of the latest examples of a massive violation of the right of a large group of people.The background for the war
Until 1989 Kosovo had a partial self-government, but when the Serb nationalists came to power, this was taken away from them. From that point the opression of the Albanians in Kosovo has gradually increased, until the climax in March 1999, when NATO felt compelled to step in against the Serb regime.
When the self-government was suspended Albanian, that used to be the official language, was prohibited in in public education and administration. It was also prohibited to publish newspapers and magazines in Albanian. Besides all criticism of the Serb domination was banned. Because of this oppression many Albanians moved away from Kosovo, to places where they would be able to maintain their language and traditions.
The opression of the Albanians got stil worse and soon the numbers of fugitive Albanians increased so much that Kosovo attracted the attention of the rest of the World. Even though several attempts was made to make the Serbs stop the opression it didnt get any better.The rest of the world steps in
When it became clear that the Albanian emigration had developed into a systematic ethnical cleansing, the United Nations made a proposal for an agreement between the involved parties. The Albanians approved the agreement, but the Serbs would not accept it.
At this point many people started to think that the use of military power was unavoidable. Even though the negotiations were continued, many countries started to doubt that it would be of any use. Several of these countries were members of NATO, and in March 1999 NATO decided to use military force to solve the conflict. After several months of massive bombings Serbia finally gave in to NATOs term, the opression of the Albanians has been stopped and everybody are happy OR ARE THEY?Pros and cons
The supporters of NATOs politics has some arguments that most people can understand (though they may not agree in them). One of the most logical reasons for NATOs intervention in the conflict, is that you cant just stand by without doing anything to help. Another argument is that it didnt seem like it was possible to achieve anything by negotiating.
Of course it is good when something is done to stop violations of the human rights, but you also have to look at the problems that the situation creates. The greatest problem is that the military action was initianted without UNs authorization. This is a problem because NATO only concist of 19 countries, whereas UN represents almost every country in the world. Therefore it is wrong that NATO "judges" Serbia in the way it does, since it only represents a very small part of the nations of the world. The way in which NATO ignores UN is a bit like taking the law into your own hands and punishing somebody yourself, because you dont think that he has got a harsh enough sentence in court. This is, as well as strictly prohibited in all countries, against the spirit of the declaration of human rights, which says that everybody has the right to a fair trial.Future consequences
In the long view NATOs actions in Kosovo can have very serious consequeces for the way that similar situations are handeled. Naturally it will be hard to respect the decisions that UN makes, now that it has turned out that you can just ignore them without any kind of punishment. This can cause enormous problems, for example if a crisis arises that NATO doesnt have any interest in solving. If that happens UN will be powerless, they will just be ignored, and there will be no one to stop the conflict.
An example of this is the problems concerning the way Turkey treats the Kurds, a people that has been oppressed by Turkey for decades. Like in Kosovo a more or less systematic ethnic cleansing has been taking place. Just like in Kosovo the governments reason for the ethnic cleansing has been to avoid terrorism. It is estimated that in the years between 1990 and 1994 more than one million Kurds has been forced out of their homes. In Kosovo "only" a fraction of that number was necessary to attract international attention. There is different opinions on why nothing is being done to help the Kurds, one of them is that Turkey is a member of NATO. Of course this makes NATO less willing to help the Kurds, some might even say that they are doing the opposite. By saying so is meant that Turkey is by far the nation that purchases most American made weapons, weapons which are used to bomb Kurd villages
The war in Kosovo | Right On Target | UN's declaration of human rights |