Montenegro and Kosovo Declare Independence
In May 2006, Montenegro held a referendum on independence, which narrowly passed. On June 4 the federal president of Serbia and Montenegro, Svetozar Marovic, announced the dissolution of his office, and the following day Serbia acknowledged the end of the union. The EU and the United States recognized Montenegro on June 12.
In Feb. 2007, the International Court of Justice ruled that the massacre of some 8,000 Bosnian Muslims by Bosnian Serbs in Srebrenica in 1995 was genocide, but stopped short of saying the government was directly responsible. The decision spared Serbia from having to pay war reparations to Bosnia. The court's president, Judge Rosalyn Higgins, however, criticized Serbia for not preventing the genocide. The court also ordered Serbia to turn over Bosnian Serb leaders, including Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karakzic, who are accused of orchestrating the genocide and other crimes. In April, four Serbs–former paramilitary officers–were found guilty by a war-crimes court of executing six Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica in Trnovo in 1995. The judge, however, did not link them to the massacre in Srebrenica.
Negotiations between the European Union, Russia, and Washington on the future of Kosovo ended in stalemate in November 2007.
Tomislav Nikolic, of the hardline nationalist Radical Party, prevailed over Tadic in the first round of presidential elections in January 2008, taking 39.6% of the vote to Tadic's 35.5%. Tadic prevailed in February's runoff election, winning 50.5% over Nikolic's 47.7%.
Kosovo's prime minister Hashim Thaci declared independence from Serbia on Feb. 17, 2008. Serbia, as predicted, denounced the move. Serbian prime minister Kostunica said he would never recognize the "false state." Ethnic Albanians, who were brutalized by the Yugoslav army and Serbian police in 1998's civil war, took to the streets in jubilation. International reaction was mixed, with the United States, France, Germany, and Britain indicating that they planned to recognize Kosovo as the world's 195th country. Serbia and Russia, however, called the move a violation of international law. Albanians make up 95% of the population of Kosovo.