Kosovo Country Profile Travel Guide Security Information

Kosovo Country Profile Travel Guide Security Information

Kosovo Is A UN Proctectorate Protected By Troops From NATO

Kosovo population Kosovo religion Kosovo history Kosovo economy road travel and other Kosovo national information

Kosovo Travel Information Guide

Kosovo – National Tourist Board Information

At present there is no official tourist board for Kosovo. Independent sources of information for tourist and travel information and advice are available on the Kosovo page of Wikipedia. An interesting blog with some useful links is the Prishtine Blogspot

Kosovo Consulate Information

The Kosovo authorities have not established a network of international Consulate offices. In some cities the Albania Consulate Offices are providing and information on passport & visa requirements for visitors to Kosovo.

Kosovo The Milosevic Factor

Kosovo – After the Genocide

Kosovo Map

Pristina City Break Guide (to follow)

Pristina Airport & Airline Guide (to follow)

 

Kosovo Country Profile

The Kosovo’s Parliament unanimously endorsed a declaration of independence from Serbia on Febuary 17th 2008. 90% of Kosovo’s peope are Albanian. 10% are Serbian the majority of which live in northern Kosovo near the border with Serbia.

Following the declaration The Serbian Government In Belgrade, Russia and a minority if European Union Member states said they will not recognise the new state. Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci two days before Declaration Of Independence was made promised to protect the rights of all minorities in Kosovo.

Kosovo Recent History

Following several years of civil year war between the Serbian and the Albanian communities, forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Association intervened in Kosovo on March 24th 1999. On June 10th 1999 this area became a United Nations Protectorate under resolution 1244 passed by the United Nations Security Council.

Kosovo Under President Slobodan Milosevic

The war crimes committed in Bosnia & Herzegovina Croatia and Kosovo before the intervention of the United Nations by the Serbian forces under the control of the Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic resulted in his arrest on charges for war crimes on1 April 2001 in Belgrade by local authorities. On June 29 2001 he was transferred to the custody of the International Criminal Tribunal For The Former Yugoslavia (ICTFY) at the Hague in the Netherlands.

Following his arrest Milosevic (with others) was charged on the 29th October 2001 that between 1 January 1999 and 20 June 1999, that forces of the FRY and Serbia acting at his direction, with his encouragement, or with his support , executed a campaign of terror and violence directed at Kosovo Albanian civilians.

It is alleged that the operations targeting the Kosovo Albanians were undertaken with the objective of expelling a substantial portion of the Kosovo Albanian population from Kosovo in an effort to ensure continued Serbian control over the province. The Indictment goes on to describe a series of well-planned and coordinated operations undertaken by the forces of the FRY and Serbia.

Approximately 800,000 Kosovo Albanian civilians were expelled from the province by their forced removal and subsequent looting and destruction of their homes, or by the shelling of villages. Surviving residents were sent to the borders of neighbouring countries. En route, many were killed, abused and had their possessions and identification papers stolen. Furthermore, specific massacres allegedly committed by Serb forces in places such as Djakovica/Gjakovë, Suva Reka/Suharekë, Racak/Reçak, Bela Crkva/Bellacërkë, Mala Krusa/Krusë e Vogël, Velika Krusa/Krushë e Madhe, Padaliste/Padalishtë, Izbica/Izbicë, Vucitrn/Vushtrri, Dubrava/Dubravë Prison complex, Meja/Mejë and Kacanik/Kacanik are listed in the Indictment.

Some estimates suggest that estimated 800,000 Kosovo Albanians fled the country in terror, and 7,000 to 9,000 people were killed.Others suggest that up to 13,000 were killed before the UN intervention.

Kosovo After UN Intervention

The JIAS assumed control of all quasi-governmental organisations, including the provision of all public services and the collection of revenue and taxes throughout Kosovo at a municipal level. In October 2004 general elections were held for the 120 seat Kosovo assembley which resulted in a ruling coalition formed of non-Serbian poltical parties. In Kosovo the Albanians made up 90% of the population.

The Kosovo Assembly elected to seek total independence from Serbia which the latter refused. Talks between these parties, moderated by the European Union and the United Nation failed to resolve these differences and on Febuary 17th 2008 Kosovo Parliament passed am unanimous declaration of independence.

Population & Religion The population of Kosovo is estimated to be about 2 million with around 400,000 of them living in the Capital Pristina. Around 90 % of the population are Albanian, 10% are Serbian. The predominant religions are ‘Muslim and orthodox Albanian. The official national language is Albanian.

The Division Of Mitrovica

Over half the Serbian population in Kosovo live on the northbank of the River Ivar in Mitrovica in northern Kosovo. This area is though dominated by Serbs ethnically is an enclave which has no direct border with Serbia’s southern border. Its isolation might be geograpically compared with that of West Berlin before German unification.

Most of the Serbs formerly living on the southside of the river have moved to the Serbian dominated northbank. The Mitrovica Bridge across the River Ivar marks the dividing line between the two communities.

Kosovo National Security

The National Security of Kosovo remains the responsibilty of the NATO forces who entered the former Serbian province in March 1999. Currently there are 16,000 Nato troops in Kosovo and they will remain there under the control of United Nations indefinetely.

Kosovo Law & Order

Kosovo has a high crime rate and corruption is commonplace. To address these issues the EU has also as another condition of support for Kosovo’s Independence provided 2,000 relevantly qualified civilians to oversee the country’s judicial and civilian courts and police.

Personal Safety Kosovo

The British and other European Union Members are advising caution when visiting Kosovo. There are still some residual mines and other unexploded weapons in areas of Kosovo

Kosovo Economy

The Kosovo economy is effectively bankrupt. 44% of the country’s workforce are unemployed with youth unemployment at around 60%. The country is dependent on grants investment and subsidies from the European Union and the United States.

The support by the EU & US for Kosovo’s Independence has been on the condition that the Kosovo Government adhere to an EU blueprint for economic reform.

Currency

Though the official currency is the euro. the Yugoslav Dinar can still be used legally but  it is not accepted outside Serb-majority areas in the north of the Kosovo. Generally you will be asked to settle biils in cash. In Pristina there only a small number of cash machines  which accept international bank cards.

Credit Cards Are Not Always Welcome

Visitors to Kosovo should be aware that few establishments accept credit cards or Travellers Cheques. This applies in many places, large or small, including hotels and restaurants in all cities We strongly advise you to check how you are to pay for any services before use or consumption etc. You are advised to carry euros on you,

UK & Most EU Driving Licences / Road Conditions

These are valid in Kosovo, though it is possible that visitors from countries that have not recognised the country’s new status may be subject to additional regulations. European Green Card vehicle insurance is not valid in Kosovo and you should purchase local third party insurance immediately you enter the country. Where there is no insurance bureau you must purchase insurance from the town closest to the border. You should ensure that you have Euros to pay for insurance and petrol as credit card facilities are limited.

The general condition of roads in Kosovo is poor to very poor. You should drive with extreme care especially in adverse weather. Tyre punctures are common and the quality of fuel is variable.

General Advice (Subject to change)

If your visit for less than 90 days, and you are from the US or an EU Member State* no visa is presently required. * However if you are from a EU member state that has not recognised the Kosovo declaration of independence this may not apply. However ALL VISITORS must have a passport that is valid for over 90 days from their date of entry into Kosovo.

If you are staying for longer than 90 days you will have to prove the purpose of your visit ie an employment contract, registration form from the university, etc.

Due to the discord between Serbia and Kosovo it may not be possible for you to travel directly from Kosovo to Serbia and vice versa.

Other Sources of Consular Information

British Consualte Office Pristina,

Address: Ismail Qemajli 6, Arbëri Dragodan Pristina  Tele(381) 38 254 700

britishoffice.pristina@fco.gov.uk

Facsimile:(381) 38 249 799

Office Hours (GMT) Mon-Thurs:  0730-1600 Fri:  0730-1230 Local Time: Mon-Thur: 0830-1700 Fri: 08301330

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