In yesterday’s post concerning UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to Kosovo, I addressed SG Ban’s late arrival by cynically noting that “the first rule of power is make ‘em wait.”

I wasn’t wrong, really — just a little sunburnt and surly — but new reports from Koha Ditore indicate that my aim may have been a bit off. There’s a first (not first) time for everything, I guess.

According to the Pristina daily, the power in question was not exercised by Secretary-General Ban at the expense of us rapidly reddening journos, but instead by Serbian border authorities at the expense of the UN.

Though Ban’s meetings with the Nikolić government in Belgrade were characterized by calls for “dialogue” (that grandly disingenuous modern favorite!) and UN-supervised negotiations with Pristina, Serbia’s border guards allegedly took a harder line with the Secretary-General.

According to Koha Ditore, the UN plane waited for 45 minutes on the tarmac in Belgrade before being denied clearance to fly to Kosovo. Despite the energies of UN officials, all diplomatic requests for clearance (see: “dialogue”) were rebuffed, forcing Secretary-General Ban to take an indirect route through Macedonia.

Of all the sunburns I have ever received, this is by far the most cloak-and-dagger.

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