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Kosova opinions and alerts 1998
KOSOVO - What can still be done?

"Violence closes doors and minds. Good conflict-resolution opens them. A principled, impartial and innovative approach is now the only way to prevent a new tragedy in the Balkans. A limited United Nations presence could be one element in violence prevention, says TFF director Jan Oberg. Below you find some examples, developed by us during our work with the Kosovo conflict since 1991. We'd be happy to have your comments and your suggestions."

"Many things can still be done - but only as long as there is no, or limited, violence. When violence is stepped up, opportunities for genuine solutions diminish. Governments and citizen around the world can take impartial goodwill initiatives, for instance:

"It is not the task of outsiders to dictate anything. Only the parties themselves can find an acceptable and sustainable solution. What we foreigners can do now is to help the parties take the necessary steps back from the abyss and prevent a tragedy that could cost hundreds of thousands of innocent lives and spread to Macedonia," says Dr. Jan Oberg.

"This is why TFF facilitated a dialogue in writing between Belgrade and Prishtina authorities between 1992 and 1996.

Our proposal emphasises the process and does not say a word about the end result. To break the deadlock, the best option is a combination of a new kind of UN presence combined with non-governmental mediation. The UN is the least biased and most conflict-resolution competent organization we have. A UN presence should be new, limited and entirely non-military. We call it a United Nations Temporary Authority for a Negotiated Settlement, UNTANS.

It aims to facilitate, in a context of order, safety and respect for human rights, a peaceful and longterm negotiated settlement of all conflict issues between the parties. It's difficult, but not impossible. To summarise, there are so many ways to approach conflicts such as that in Kosovo. Violence is the result of fear and lack of good ideas. The best help governments and NGOs can bring just that - new ideas and therefore no threats or force," concludes TFF's director.

We can mail PressInfo 24 about UNTANS to you, just ask us. You may also read it or order the full mediation report at http://www.transnational.org. There you will find all the relevant links to Yugoslavia and the Kosovo province, too.

March 6, 1998

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E-mail: tff@transnational.org
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