Something I have been subjected to here several times during my short stay in Kosovo is power cuts. So far there have been five of them during my 2 1/2 days stay. And they come now and then and you can not for see them. Now the question is why do they occur? I asked this question and apparently it is because some people simply are not bothered to pay their electricity bills.
I was puzzled by this and made some research online and found that the electricity in Kosovo is divided into three categories, named A, B and C. These are assigned according to how “good” an area is at paying their electricity bills. The category A means a constant flow of the good stuff. Category B is a different approach with availability of electricity for five hours then off for one, and the lowest category, named C gives you up to four hours on and then two off.
As this happens now and then depending on the area and it is not like the water which off during the night when people should sleep, it also affects businesses and other establishments and not just the regular flats. After a power cut have happened it doesnt take many minutes before you hear engine noises from the street and feel the funky smell from the small diesel generators that are outside all
restaurants and shops as a substitute to the power cuts.
Living here also means that no electricity also means drop in water pressure so you can not flush the toilet, not take a shower and so on so here in the flat of my host, there are numerous PET bottles filled with water to use in a worst case scenario would happen during your session on the porcelain throne.
Now as I have been taught as I grew up, if you dont pay, you dont get. Simple.
That doesnt apply here.
The other power struggle is the political struggle of the Kosovo self ruling as an independent state. The UN resolution 1244 which was accepted in 1999 created The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo or UNMIK and is the interim civilian administration in Kosovo, under the authority of the United Nations. Though UNMIK is still existing it was replaced in late 2008 by the EULEX, or the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo. EULEX objectives is to assist and support authorities in Kosovo for the rule of law area, such as the police, judiciary and customs areas. Now apparently the UNMIK have failed in many of the areas where they should have been practicing during the 13 years it have been in force. For example to build up a functioning infrastructure, like the electricity or prevent ethnic violence from flaring up. Or that in early 2007, UN police fired rubber bullets at unarmed demonstrators in Pristina, killing two and injuring 82. The organizer of the demonstration was arrested, something even Amnesty International reacted to, but the UN force was never investigated.
As Kosovo declared independence in 2008 they should also have their own government, which they have however the UN Resolution 1244 is still in force, which means that ultimate responsibility for the administration of Kosovo still falls on the special representative person appointed by the UN. This have led to a great mistrust and recent by the Kosovo Albanians who more and more have started to demand that the 1244 resolution should be torn up, even though it got decided to be prolonged in 2010.
I have seen several tents being set up and people flocking around the tents to sign on the petition to tear up the 1244 resolution so that Kosovo can start pursuing their own self rule as a nation rather then being controlled and govern by the UN.
A nation that is eager to take their own first steps without the father holding their hands on the way. Is this good or bad? Just today there is a big protest outside the government building which I can hear from the apartment where i am sitting and writing this.
The EULEX intends to remain in Kosovo until at least June 2012, Im heading back to my temporary home in Bulgaria in a few hours, I will have to follow the progress through the news. But I learnt a great deal during my short stay and that I am happy for.