Kosovo’s parliament on Friday failed to adopt the constitutional amendments needed for the creation of a special court that would handle war crimes allegedly committed by former ethnic Albanian guerrillas.
Only 75 lawmakers in the 120-seat parliament supported the amendments which would have allowed the establishment of the court dealing with accusations of war crimes committed during and after the 1998 to 1999 Kosovo War. The change of the constitution had to be backed by a two-thirds majority in parliament.
Pristina has been under intense international pressure to create the special court ever since a 2011 Council of Europe report alleged crimes, including abductions, summary executions and — most controversially — the trafficking of prisoners’ organs by Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) members during the war.
The report by the council’s special rapporteur Dick Marty said the KLA had abused, tortured and killed 500 prisoners, mostly ethnic Serbs and Roma.
The KLA guerrillas are still considered heroes among Kosovo’s majority ethnic Albanian population of almost 2 million.
The war ended with a NATO-led air campaign which forced Serbian forces to withdraw from the territory in June 1999. Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed independence from Serbia in 2008.
French authorities yesterday said that they would close a Paris mosque as part of a clampdown on radical Islam that has yielded over a dozen arrests following the beheading of a teacher who had shown his pupils a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed. The mosque in a densely populated suburb northeast of Paris had disseminated a video on its Facebook page days before Friday’s gruesome murder, railing against teacher Samuel Paty’s choice of material for a class discussion on freedom of expression, a source close to the investigation said. The French Ministry of the Interior said the mosque in Pantin, which has
LONGSTANDING NEUTRALITY: The US request came as it vied for influence in Southeast Asia with China, but Indonesia has never let foreign militaries operate there Indonesia this year rejected a proposal by the US to allow its P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance planes to land and refuel there, four senior Indonesian officials familiar with the matter have said. US officials made multiple “high-level” approaches in July and August to Indonesia’s defense and foreign ministers before Indonesian President Joko Widodo rebuffed the request, the officials said. Representatives for Indonesia’s president and defense minister, the US Department of State’s Office of Press Relations and the US embassy in Jakarta did not respond to requests for comment. Representatives for the US Department of Defense and Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi
COVID-19 UNDER CONTROL: The two prime ministers agreed to ease entry bans, and allow short-term business visits and reopen flights between Vietnam and Japan Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, in his first overseas summit since taking office last month, yesterday agreed with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to step up defense and security cooperation in the face of China’s expanding influence in the region. In talks in Hanoi, Suga and Phuc set up a basic agreement allowing Japan to export defense equipment and technology to Vietnam. Japan has been pursuing such agreements to bolster ties with Southeast Asian nations and sustain its own defense industry. Suga said that his four-day trip to Vietnam and Indonesia would be key to pursuing the “free and open Indo-Pacific” vision
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said that he has no problem with being held responsible for the many killings under his crackdown on drugs, and that he is ready to face charges that could land him in jail, but not charges of crimes against humanity. Duterte’s televised remarks were among his clearest acknowledgement of the prospects that he could face a deluge of criminal charges for the bloody campaign he launched after taking office in the middle of 2016. Police have reported that at least 5,856 drug suspects have been killed in raids and more than 256,000 others arrested since