Independence: goals and ensuing complications

Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci has vowed to protect the rights of all minorities as the province prepares to declare independence from Serbia.

Today there is an increasing trend towards globalisation. Countries need economic and political rapprochement for continuous progress. Around the world, especially in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, there are peoples asking for independence. In Spain, there is ETA which is relentlessly struggling to get independence for the Basques region. In Turkey there are the Kurds seeking to form an independent country Kurdistan. In Asia there are the Tamil rebels seeking cession from Sri Lanka.

But the independence of a region in the world is mainly decided by international support. When an (emerging) independent country can be advantageous for one part of the international community, it can be seen suspiciously by the other part. In the case of Kosovo becoming independent, this means the sphere of Russian influence in this region of Europe will be reduced as a new Kosovo is surely to form a strong alliance with the USA and the EU.

It seems that cultural and racial differences are the causes of tensions in multiracial and cultural societies, especially when one section has predominance over key areas and marginalising the rest.

The principal rules for a state to become independent are to get international support and to have the means to survive itself from its own resources. History has shown that independent states don’t come into being without marathon struggles and negotiations. This can take decades before being fulfilled or remaining just projects on the diplomatic agenda. In the Middle East, there is still the continuous struggle for an independent Palestinian state. The project has been shelved on many occasions because the criteria for a state haven’t been agreed upon by all sides.

In this age of globalisations, states with various ethnic and religious groups should endeavour for a federal system instead of falling into civil wars and disintegration. Independence can just perpetuate the animosity between the newly independent state and the country from which it has seceded. Currently there is the case of Russia and the former soviet republics, especially Georgia and the Baltic states.

Independence itself can be disappointing for the locals as currently many peoples are disenchanted by the performance of their leaders. The day of independence can be a euphoric moment as it is portrayed as a new dawn. Failure to implement the ideals behind independence can turn the country in a long dark night or simply a satellite turning around giant ones. Perhaps the world doesn’t need more independent countries. It needs existing ones to be homogeneous internally and with effective unity with those on their borders for peaceful and fruitful coexistence. This is easier said than done, as existing countries are members of international organisations like the UN as there are regional organisations and countless bilateral agreements. And yet the goals they have set aren’t completely attained. So states seeking independence will be just new countries fit in an old system that is unlikely to change overnight.

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