Agim Çeku

Agim Çeku[a] (born 29 October 1960) is a Kosovo Albanian politician, currently the Minister of Security Forces in the Republic of Kosovo and formerly the Prime Minister. Of military background, he was a commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) that fought against Serbian rule in 1998–1999, earlier being a commander in the Croatian War of Independence in Croatian Army.

Çeku is an ethnic Albanian who served as an officer in the Croatian Army during the Croatian War of Independence and was military commander of the KLA during the 1998–1999 Kosovo War, and then commanded the Kosovo Protection Corps under the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo.

Agim Çeku
Agim Ceku 2006
Minister of Security Forces of Kosovo
In office
22 February 2011 – 9 December 2014
PresidentHashim Thaçi
Prime MinisterIsa Mustafa
Preceded byFehmi Mujota
Succeeded byHaki Demolli
4th Prime Minister of Kosovo
In office
10 March 2006 – 9 January 2008
PresidentFatmir Sejdiu
Preceded byBajram Kosumi
Succeeded byHashim Thaçi
Personal details
Born29 October 1960 (age 58)
Ćuška near Peć, Yugoslavia
(now Kosovo[b])
Political partyNone as PM (sponsored by AAK)
PSDK
Today PDK after PM term

Early life

Çeku was born in Ćuška (Qyshk in Albanian),[1] a village near Peć, at the time part of the Kosovo-Metohija Province of PR Serbia, FPR Yugoslavia.

Military career

After Agim Çeku finished the secondary military school in Belgrade, he attended the Zadar Military Academy. Shortly afterwards, he joined the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) as an artillery captain. In 1991 the Yugoslav wars broke out and he deserted from the JNA and joined the Croatian National Guard (which transformed into the Croatian Army), when the Republic of Croatia fought a war in breaking away from Yugoslavia. The Croatian Army fought the Serb breakaway Republic of Serbian Krajina. He participated in several military operations, he first was in Operation Maslenica when he was the head of Velebit's artillery section, from January to February 1993, Operation Medak pocket near Gospić, in which he was wounded, and Operation Storm in August 1995 that captured most of the Krajina territory. Subsequently, he continued the advance as head of Croatian forces into the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina fighting in western Bosnia against the forces of the Serb Republic in Operation Maestral.

After the war the Croatian Army was reformed and President Franjo Tuđman named Çeku commanding officer of the Fifth District Region in Rijeka. In 1998 he filed a request for retirement in order to go to Kosovo to join the ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) that fought Serbian rule, which was officially fulfilled in February 1999 with his resignation.

Kosovo War

Çeku had developed contacts with the KLA in the mid-1990s. When was broke out in Kosovo, the KLA initially did very badly against the Yugoslav forces, due in part to poor leadership under senior commander Sylejman Selimi, a militarily inexperienced individual who had been given the post largely because of his influence in the Drenica region (the KLA's heartland).

In May 1999, Çeku was appointed the KLA's chief of staff, replacing Selimi. He immediately set about reorganising the KLA and implementing a proper military structure within the organization. In the closing days of the Kosovo War, the KLA began providing systematic intelligence to NATO as well as mounting attacks to lure Serbian forces into the open, enabling NATO warplanes to bomb them. According to reports at the time, Çeku was the principal liaison between NATO and the KLA.

Kosovo Protection Corps

Following the end of the war in June 1999, Çeku oversaw the demilitarisation of the KLA and its transformation into the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC), an ostensibly civilian organization charged with disaster response, demining, search and response and humanitarian projects. Although the international community insisted the KPC was a civilian organization, Çeku and its membership said they believed the KPC should evolve into the future army of an independent Kosovo. Çeku managed ably many difficult challenges for the KPC, including allegations that its members were supporting the ethnic Albanian insurgency in Macedonia in 2001

Political career

On 10 March 2006, Çeku was elected Prime Minister of Kosovo by the Kosovo Assembly. After being sworn in, he declared his support for Kosovo independence, whilst promising to protect the rights of the Serbian minority.[2] Çeku's appointment was backed by former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, who resigned in early 2005 after the ICTY had indicted him for war crimes. In his first one hundred days in office, Çeku prioritized the implementation of the UN-endorsed "Standards" for good governance and multi-ethnicity, earning praise from UN Kosovo chief Søren Jessen-Petersen and Contact Group countries. On 24 July 2006, Çeku traveled to Vienna for the first high-level meeting between the Presidents and Prime Ministers of Serbia and Kosovo to discuss Kosovo's future status.

He stated that he would found a new political party after stepping down as PM, dispelling rumours that he would join the Reformist Party ORA.[3] However, he joined the Social Democratic Party of Kosovo on 10 April 2008, and did not rule out that the party would unify with ORA.[4]

On 23 February 2011, Çeku was made Minister of Security Forces of Kosovo.[5]

War crimes accusations

The Serbian government has accused Çeku of war crimes.[6] Although Çeku has not been the subject of any ICTY indictment, he was briefly detained in Slovenia in October 2003 and in Hungary in March 2004 on the basis of an Interpol warrant issued by Serbia. Çeku was quickly released in both instances following pressure by the UNMIK. The ICTY issued the last indictments in late 2004 and limited all further investigations to ongoing cases only.[7]

In May 2009, Colombian authorities expelled Çeku from a conference held in the country due to Serbia's extradition request based on possible war crimes committed by him during the Kosovo War.[8][9]

On 23 June 2009 he was arrested in Bulgaria under the Interpol arrest warrant issued by Serbia for alleged war crimes in Kosovo against non-Albanian population.[10] The Bulgarian authorities decided to release him from custody, but requested that he remain in the country for up to 40 days as officials consider Serbia's extradition request.[11][12] On 30 June, he returned to Kosovo, after the Bulgarian prosecutors decided not to appeal the court's decision for his release.[13]

Family life

He is married to Dragica, who is half-Serbian, half-Croatian. They have three children and the family divides its time between Pristina and the Croatian town of Zadar.[14]

Notes

a.   ^ Albanian spelling: Agim Çeku. Serbo-Croatian spelling: Agim Čeku, Агим Чеку.
b.   ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has been recognized as an independent state by 113 out of 193 United Nations member states, 10 of which have subsequently withdrawn recognition.

References

  1. ^ Kosovo Prime Minister's Web Site: Biography of Agim Çeku Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed October 26, 2007.
  2. ^ "New Kosovo PM wants independence", BBC News, March 10, 2006. Accessed October 26, 2007.
  3. ^ Kosovo's Agim Ceku reiterates intention to create new party (SETimes.com)
  4. ^ Kosovo former PM returns to politics - People's Daily Online
  5. ^ "Composition of new cabinet government of the Republic of Kosovo, led by Prime Minister Hashim Thaci" Archived September 25, 2014, at the Wayback Machine kryeministri-ks.com 22 February 2011, Link retrieved 23 February 2011
  6. ^ "Serbia denounces Kosovo PM plan", BBC News, March 3, 2006. Accessed October 26, 2007.
  7. ^ "Investigations". icty.org. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Gulf Times – Qatar's top-selling English daily newspaper - Americas". Gulf-times.com. Archived from the original on 2011-06-08. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
  9. ^ Colombian Administrative Department of Security: Press release 019, Bogotá, 6 May 2009 (in Spanish). – Retrieved on 24 June 2009.
  10. ^ "Ex-Kosovo PM arrested by Bulgaria on Serbian warrant", Reuters, 23 June 2009. - Retrieved on 24 June 2009
  11. ^ "Bulgaria releases ex-Kosovo PM wanted in Serbia", Reuters, 25 June 2009. – Retrieved on 25 June 2009.
  12. ^ Brunwasser, Matthew (27 June 2009). "Bulgarian Court Frees Former Kosovo Leader". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  13. ^ "Ceku arrives in Kosovo", Makfax, 30 June 2009. – Retrieved on 30 June 2009.
  14. ^ [1] Letter from Kosovo; The Countdown- The New Yorker

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Bajram Kosumi
Prime Minister of Kosovo
2006–2008
Succeeded by
Hashim Thaçi
2007 Kosovan parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections to the unicameral Assembly of Kosovo (Albanian: Kuvendi i Kosovës, Serbian: Скупштина Косова, transliterated Skupština Kosova) were held on 17 November 2007, together with municipal elections. The Assembly of Kosovo is the legislative branch of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government that the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) created to help administration in Kosovo. The elections were scheduled by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Joachim Rücker (head of the UNMIK) on 1 September 2007.Municipal elections in Kosovo were held at the same day as the parliamentary elections.

Agim

Agim is an Albanian masculine given name with the meaning "dawn". People named Agim include:

Agim Canaj, former footballer and current football coach

Agim Çeku, former Prime Minister of Kosovo

Agim Kaba, American actor, artist and director

Agim Krasniqi, Albanian nationalist and former leader of a band of insurgents

Agim Ramadani, Albanian writer

Agim Shabani, Norwegian footballer

Agim Qirjaqi, Albanian actor and television director

Agim Zajmi, Albanian painter

Albania–Croatia relations

Albania–Croatia relations refer to the bilateral relationship between Albania and Croatia. Diplomatic relations among two countries were established on August 25, 1992. Albania has an embassy in Zagreb and a honorary consulate in Dubrovnik while Croatia has an embassy in Tirana.

Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe, Union for the Mediterranean and NATO. In addition, Albania is an official candidate for accession to the European Union of which Croatia is a full member. Croatia strongly supports Albania in its euro-integration path.Albania became one of the first countries to announce the recognition of the sovereign state of Croatia in January 21, 1992. Many ethnic-Albanian volunteers fought alongside Croats in Croatian War of Independence, the most notably including Agim Çeku and Rahim Ademi.

Albanians in Croatia are officially recognized as a minority by the Croatian Constitution and therefore have their own permanent seat in the Croatian Parliament. According to the 2011 census, 17,513 people of Albanian descent were living in Croatia.

Azem Vllasi

Azem Vllasi (born 23 December 1948) is a senior Kosovo Albanian politician and lawyer.

Bajram Kosumi

Bajram Kosumi (born 20 March 1960, in Kosovska Kamenica, Yugoslavia - now Republic of Kosova) is an Albanian politician who served as the Prime Minister of Kosovo for nearly one year. He was nominated by Kosovan President Ibrahim Rugova and elected Prime Minister by the Kosovo Parliament on 23 March 2005 following his predecessor Ramush Haradinaj's indictment for war crimes and subsequent resignation. Kosumi resigned on 1 March 2006 amid widespread unpopularity and was replaced by former rebel leader Agim Çeku. He also served as the deputy chairman of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo.

Bajram Rexhepi

Bajram Rexhepi (3 June 1954 – 21 August 2017), was a Kosovar politician who served as the first elected post-war prime minister and later as interior minister of the Republic of Kosovo and as a member of the Kosovo Assembly. He was a member of the second largest political party in Kosovo, the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK).

Bujar Bukoshi

Bujar Bukoshi (born 13 May 1947 in Suva Reka, FPR Yugoslavia, now Kosovo was the Minister of Healthcare in Kosovo in the first government of Hashim Thaçi. He served as Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosova from 1991 to 2000. He graduated from the University of Belgrade's Medical School. Bukoshi is one of the founders of the Democratic League of Kosovo and was elected leader of the party.

Foreign fighters in the Croatian War of Independence

The Croatian War of Independence (1991–1995) is said to have attracted "mercenaries, adventurers and idealists", most joining the Croatian side.

Hashim Thaçi

Hashim Thaçi ([hä'ʃɪm 'θɑ:t͡ʃɪ] (listen), born 24 April 1968) is a Kosovar politician who has been the President of Kosovo since April 2016. He was the first Prime Minister of Kosovo and the Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in the new cabinet led by Isa Mustafa, which assumed office on 12 December 2014.

Thaçi is from the Drenica region in Kosovo, which is where the KLA originated. He studied philosophy in Prishtina, before moving to Switzerland, where he joined the Kosovo Liberation Army in 1993. He rose through the ranks of the KLA to become leader of the most powerful faction by 1999, during the Rambouillet negotiations. He then joined the interim Kosovo administration after the war.

Thaçi became leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), which won the largest share of the vote in the 2007 Kosovo elections. In 2008, Thaci declared the independence of Kosovo and became its first prime minister. In 2016 he was elected President of Kosovo. Thaci has pursued a pro-American policy while in office. There have been controversies regarding Thaçi's role in the KLA and allegations about him being involved in organized crime.

Isa Mustafa

Isa Mustafa ([ɪˈsɑ mʉsˈtɑfä] (listen); born 15 May 1951) is a Kosovar politician who is the leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK). Mustafa was Mayor of Pristina from December 2007 to December 2013 and served as Prime Minister of Kosovo between December 2014 and September 2017.

Jusuf Zejnullahu

Jusuf Zejnullahu (born 1944 in Democratic Federal Yugoslavia) was a Kosovar politician.

Kaqusha Jashari

Kaqusha Jashari (born 16 August 1946) is a Kosovo Albanian politician and engineer by profession. She is a member of the Assembly of Kosovo on the Democratic Party of Kosovo list since 2007.

From 1986 until November 1988, she and Azem Vllasi were the two leading Kosovo politicians. In November 1988, they were both dismissed in the "anti-bureaucratic revolution" because of their unwillingness to accept the constitutional amendments curbing Kosovo's autonomy, and were replaced by proxies of Slobodan Milošević, the leader of the League of Communists of Serbia at the time.

Kosovo Protection Corps

The Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC; Albanian: Trupat e Mbrojtjes së Kosovës) was a civilian emergency services organisation in Kosovo active from 1999 to 2009.

The KPC was created on September 21, 1999, through the promulgation of UNMIK Regulation 1999/8 and the agreement of a "Statement of Principles" on the KPC's permitted role in Kosovo. In effect, it was a compromise between the disarmament of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) which was stipulated by UNSCR 1244 and rejected by the Kosovar Albanians, transforming the KLA into KPC.

Kosovo Security Force

The Kosovo Security Force (KSF; Albanian: Forca e Sigurisë së Kosovës, Serbian: Косовске безбедносне снаге / Kosovske bezbednosne snage) is the military of Kosovo, tasked with territorial protection and crisis response operations in Kosovo and abroad. Its main tasks are territorial defense, search and rescue, explosive ordnance and hazardous material disposal, and firefighting. The KSF's commander is Lieutenant General Rrahman Rama.

In March 2008, the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) and the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) started preparations for the formation of the Kosovo Security Force. According to guidance laid out in the Ahtisaari Plan, the security force is permitted to carry light weapons and the Government of Kosovo and the international community planned to bring the force in line with NATO standards. The admission and the training of personnel began in early June, when NATO experts arrived in Kosovo to guide the process, and from early December 2008, enlisting of candidates between 18–30 years old began. In December 2018, the Assembly of Kosovo passed legislation to redefine the KSF as a "professional military force" and to establish a defence ministry.

Mahmut Bakalli

Mahmut Bakalli (19 January 1936 – 14 April 2006) was a Kosovar Albanian politician.

Bakalli began his political career in the youth organization of the League of Communists of Kosovo, eventually becoming its leader in 1961. In 1967, he became head of the party's Prishtina chapter. As he rose through the ranks, he was elected to the Central Committee of the party's Serbian chapter, and to the Presidium of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia's Central Committee.

Bakalli led the Communist Party in Kosovo during the late 1970s and early 1980s, but resigned after disagreeing with the way the 1981 protests by ethnic Albanian students were handled by Kosovo's own police, headed by Rahman Morina. Bakalli then spent two years under house arrest, before being expelled from the party. He was after that allowed to work in the province's Science Association until retirement, but was forced out when Slobodan Milošević increased Serbian control over Kosovo in the late 1980s.

He was a member of the Assembly of Kosovo from 2001. He also worked as an adviser to prime minister Agim Çeku. He graduated from the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Political Science.

In 2002, Bakalli was the first witness to testify at The Hague International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at the trial of Slobodan Milošević.

He died of throat cancer at the age of 70. He had a wife and three daughters.

Prime Minister of Kosovo

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo (Albanian: Kryeministri Republikës së Kosovës, Serbian: Премијер Републике Косово/Premijer Republike Kosovo) is the head of government of the Kosovo.

The Prime Minister and the Government of Kosovo, which he or she heads, are responsible for their actions to the Assembly of Kosovo, of which they must all be members. The current Prime Minister of the Government of Kosovo is Ramush Haradinaj.

Social Democratic Party of Kosovo

The Social Democratic Party of Kosovo (Albanian: Partia Socialdemokrate e Kosovës, PSD) is a political party in the Republic of Kosovo. It was established on 10 February 1990 by Kaqusha Jashari and was second political party to be established in the newly pluralist Kosovo.

Ćuška

Ćuška (in Serbian; Ћушка) or Qyshk (in Albanian) is a village near Peć, in western Kosovo. It is predominantly inhabited by Muslim ethnic Albanians.

Šakali

Šakali (Jackals, also written Cakali) was a Serbian paramilitary group that operated during the Kosovo War 1999.

Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo
(Federal unit of SFR Yugoslavia)
(1944–1992)
Republic of Kosova
(Recognized only by Albania)
(1992–2000)
UN-administered Kosovo
(2000–2008)
Republic of Kosovo
(Recognized by 113 UN member states)
(2008–present)

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