The OSCE role in Albania: A success for conflict prevention? Hugh Miall Introduction In March-April 1997, Albania seemed about to join the small group of 'failed states' where government authority breaks down, clans and local warlords exercise power and a protracted breakdown of sovereignty threatens regional security as well as the indigenous population. An estimated 140,000 weapons from ransacked garrisons and police stations had fallen into private hands. The authority of the police had collapsed in large parts of the country, and the army was no longer responsive to the President's demands. Yet by July-August, the OSCE was presiding over new elections, in which all the major parties agreed to participate. The OSCE declared the elections 'adequate and acceptable', and a change of government was effected which won both international and domestic legitimacy. The Italian-led intervention force, Operation Alba, was able to leave in August, having achieved the purpose for which it was sent. Has this been a success for conflict prevention? If so, how was it achieved, what was the OSCE role, and what can we conclude for future OSCE interventions in internal conflicts? 'Light' and 'deep' conflict prevention The OSCE has taken on a range of
Helsinki Monitor (in 2008 continued as Security and Human Rights) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1997
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