The Foreign Affairs Committee has agreed to the
1. The death of Tito in 1980, a growing desire
for change in the constituent parts of Yugoslavia and the collapse
of communism in central and eastern Europe led after 1990 to the
implosion of the Yugoslav Federation. With the restraints of the
Cold War removed, a spasm of war convulsed the area over the 1990s.
A state simply disintegrated. Rioting in 1981 in Kosovo, and the
removal in 1989 of the previous Kosovan autonomy, had presaged
the conflicts to come, and it was war in Kosovo, and NATO's bombing
campaign against the residue of Yugoslavia, which ended the millennium.
This report looks at the events leading up to the engagement of
NATO forces over Kosovo, concentrating on events in the period
since May 1997 for which the current Administration has responsibility;
at developments in Kosovo since Milosevic's forces withdrew; and
at the future for Kosovo and the rest of the region, and in particular
for Montenegro which many identify as the next potential flashpoint.
2. This report does not aim to provide a comprehensive
history of the crisisthere are a number of academic and
other works available which do this.
Our aim is to make political recommendations to the British Government
on the lessons of the crisis and on the future.
3. Throughout the crisis in Kosovo, the Foreign
Affairs Committee has held regular sessions of oral evidence with
Ministers. On 19 March 1998 and 26 January 1999, we took evidence
from Mr Tony Lloyd MP, then Minister of State at the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office (FCO). The Foreign Secretary appeared before
the Committee on three occasions while the NATO campaign was taking
placeon 14 April, 28 April and 19 Mayand once immediately
after the conclusion of the campaignon 13 July 1999. We
published this evidence, together with several memoranda we had
received from the FCO, with an interim report.
The Committee then decided that it should build upon the evidence
it had received, and undertake a wider and deeper inquiry. It
announced the following terms of reference in July 1999:
"To inquire into the
foreign policy lessons of the Kosovo crisis and how the Foreign
and Commonwealth Office might best promote peace and stability
in the region."
4. Further evidence was taken in Autumn 1999
and Spring 2000. First we heard from Dr Emyr Jones Parry, Political
Director at the FCO, Sir John Goulden, Permanent Representative
at the United Kingdom Delegation to NATO and Mr Brian Donnelly,
Director, Regional Crisis, in the FCO and former Ambassador in
Belgrade. In January we took evidence from the journalists Mr
Jonathan Steele of The Guardian, and Mr John Sweeney of
The Observer, together with Mr Tim Judah the author of
Kosovo: War and Revenge, along with two academic experts,
Jane Sharp of King's College London and Professor Adam Roberts
of Oxford University. On 1 February Dr Susan Woodward of King's
College London, Mrs Elizabeth Roberts of Trinity College, Dublin
and Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, former Political Director of the
FCO, appeared. Later in February, we took evidence from three
international lawyers: Professor Christopher Greenwood QC of the
London School of Economics, Mr Mark Littman QC (author of Kosovo:
Law and Diplomacy) and Professor Vaughan Lowe of Oxford University.
On 16 March, at our final oral evidence session, we heard again
from the Foreign Secretary, together with Dr Jones Parry and Mr
Donnelly. We also received a large number of written memoranda,
and held a number of private informal meetings, including ones
with President Djukanovic of Montenegro, Mr Paskal Milo, Foreign
Minister of Albania, and Mr Bodo Hombach, Special Co-ordinator
of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe. We are most grateful
to all those who gave written and oral evidence, and who briefed
us in other ways.
5. We also visited the area from 6 to 11 March,
travelling first to Montenegro, then overland to Kosovo. Our original
intention to return directly from Pristina was thwarted by the
cancellation of our flight, but that gave us the opportunity to
travel to Skopje and to hold brief discussions with the British
Ambassador to Macedonia. In Montenegro we met President Djukanovic
and several of his ministers, as well as politicians of all parties.
In Kosovo, we met a number of representatives of the international
civil and military authorities, the principal Kosovo Albanian
leaders, and many representatives of Kosovo Albanian society.
It was not possible to meet Kosovo Serbs, other than in the monastery
at Gracanica. We regret this. The full details of those whom we
met are set out in an Annex to the Report.
We also visited the municipality of Glogovac in the Drenica valley.
The evidence of violence, cruelty and destruction which we saw
there, and elsewhere in Kosovo, was profoundly moving and affected
us all. In this report we will come back to Glogovac from time
to time to exemplify points which we make.
6. Our inquiry is not the only parliamentary
inquiry into the events of Kosovo. The Defence Committee is at
present undertaking an inquiry into The Lessons of Kosovo,
and the International Development Committee reported in May 1999
on Kosovo: The Humanitarian Crisis.
We have shared evidence with our colleagues on the Defence Committee
as our two inquiries have run in parallel.
7. Both the Defence Committee and ourselves encountered
one problem in assembling the evidence on which to base our report.
The Chairmen of both Committees wrote jointly to the Prime Minister
to ask for separate but sequential evidence sessions for the two
Committees with a representation of the Joint Intelligence Committee
(JIC) and the Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), who would appear
together. The request to take evidence from the JIC was refused
by the Prime Minister,
and the Defence Secretary was willing for CDI to appear only before
the Defence Committee.
We regret this restriction on our work, which we shall take up
with the Liaison Committee in their forthcoming inquiry into the
accountability of the intelligence and security services.
8. We are grateful for the specialist advice
of Dr Richard Caplan of Jesus College, Oxford, and Ms Miranda
Vickers of the International Crisis Group, in this inquiry. The
expertise of both advisers has been most helpful. We are of course
responsible for the conclusions which we have reached.
9. We are also most grateful for the help of
FCO staff in the region, and for British armed forces attached
to KFOR, who assisted us in a visit to a region which is neither
easy or safe. We are particularly grateful to the Royal Air Force
for transporting us at short notice to Skopje, and for the British
Embassy staff there for looking after us.
10. In two Annexes to the Report,
we list all the abbreviations we use as well as a list of all
the individuals mentioned, together with a brief description of
11. The two main ethnic groups in Kosovo are referred to in this report as "Kosovo Albanians", and "Kosovo Serbs." The use in quotations of the term "Kosovar" is taken to mean Kosovo Albanian. "Kosovan" refers here to the whole population of Kosovo. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is referred to as "Macedonia", and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) is referred to as "Yugoslavia". Yugoslavia consists now of two republicsSerbia and Montenegro. Yugoslavia before its break-up is described as "former Yugoslavia". Serb versions of place names in Kosovo are used (e.g. Glogovac rather than Gllogoc). Bosnia Herzegovina is referred to as "Bosnia".
6 For example: Misha Glenny, The Balkans, 1804-1999,
London, Granta Books, 1999. From here on "Glenny."
Tim Judah, Kosovo: War and Revenge, Yale University Press,
2000. From here on "Judah." Noel Malcolm, Kosovo:
A Short History, London, Macmillan, 1998. From here on "Malcolm."
Miranda Vickers, The Albanians-a modern history, London
I.B. Taurus 2nd ed. 1999. From here on "Vickers."
Marc Weller, The Crisis in Kosovo 1989-1999, International
Documents and Analysis, Vol I, Documents and Analysis Publishing
Ltd, Cambridge 1999. From here on "Weller." Back
Seventh Report, Session 1998-99, HC 188. Website: www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/fachome.htm. Back
Annex 1. Back
report by the OSCE on the current situation in Glogovac is available
at: www.osce.org/kosovo/publications/democratization/municipal_profiles/index.htm. Back
Third Report, Session 1998-99, on www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199899/cmselect/cmintdev/422/42202.htm. Back
Ev. p. 372. Back
Ev. p. 373. Back
Report from the Liaison Committee, Session 1999-2000, HC 300,
para 92. Available on www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199900/cmselect/cmliaisn/300/30002.htm. Back
Annexes 2 and 3. Back