Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Former US diplomat backs Albanian nationalist in Kosovo elections

William Walker, who exposed a Serbian 'massace' in the 1990s, is supporting Albin Kurti's party which wants unity with Albania

    William Walker in March 1999 after he exposed the 'massacre' of at least 39 villagers in Racak by Slobodan Milosevic's Serbian forces. Photograph: Dragan Milovanovic/AP

    A veteran US diplomat whose declaration of a "massacre" by Serb forces paved the way for the Nato bombing campaign in 1999 has surprised observers by campaigning in the Kosovo elections for a radical nationalist party led by a former student rebel.

    William Walker, 75, who is revered as a hero in Kosovo for leading the international monitoring mission that reported the slaughter of 45 Kosovo Albanians in the village of Racak, has appeared on the campaign trail in support of the Self-Determination party.

    The movement, which has been known for covering UN and EU buildings with graffiti and clashing with police during demonstrations, has growing support among Kosovo's young population.

    Kosovans began voting today in the country's first general elections since it formally declared independence from Serbia almost three years ago. Diplomats are following developments closely, amid concern that a political stalemate could destabilise the fledgling state.

    In a move Walker conceded would be perceived by former colleagues in the state department as "going rogue", he has endorsed Albin Kurti, a radical 35-year-old hostile to the "colonial" presence of the international community in Kosovo......

    more see; http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/12/former-diplomat-backs-albanian-nationalist

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