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Kosovo and the International Community

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Christian Tomuschat (Hrsg.), Brill, Leiden 2001

NATO’s air operation against Yugoslavia, undertaken with a view to helping the Kosovo Albanians resist genocide and ethnic cleansing, confronted the international community with a bitter dilemma. In Europe, the choice either to tolerate massive violations of human rights or to infringe the principle of non-use of force, given the absence of explicit authorization by the Security Council, was a challenge never before encountered since the new world order was ushered in by the Charter of the United Nations. This book, a collection of legal essays which emerged from a meeting of members of … read morethe French, German, and Polish societies of international law, not only attempts to analyze the Kosovo war from the viewpoint of humanitarian intervention based on the failure of the Rambouillet conference, but also intends to provide an overall picture of the responsibilities incumbent on the international community. Starting with the lifting of Kosovo’s autonomy by the Yugoslav federal authorities in 1989/90, it follows the tragic events step by step. Not only are the crimes committed by Yugoslav military units and police as well as by the Kosovo Liberation Army listed in specific detail, an inquiry is also made into NATO’s compliance with the applicable standards of humanitarian law. The book concludes with an examination of the future of the province in light of Security Council resolution 1244 of 1999 and the Stability Pact adopted to ensure economic recovery of the entire region.

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