Monday, September 05, 2005

FACTBOX-Gravely ill Rugova is Kosovo's independence icon

PRISTINA, Serbia and Montenegro, Sept 5 (Reuters) - The Kosovo Albanian pro-independence leader and president, Ibrahim Rugova, said on Monday he had lung cancer but was optimistic he would recover.

Here are five facts about Rugova:

-- Dubbed the "Gandhi of the Balkans" for his advocacy of non-violent resistance to Serbian oppression, Rugova, now 60, dominated Kosovo Albanian politics in the 1990s until the outbreak of armed conflict in 1998.

-- His Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) led the campaign, creating a parallel, underground state. But the literature professor, who habitually wears a silk foulard over a necktie, misjudged the popular mood towards the end of the 1990s.

-- He was sidelined by the Kosovo Liberation Army guerrilla insurgency, which triggered a harsh crackdown by Serb forces and eventually provoked NATO into its first war, taking sides with the Albanians and bombing Yugoslavia to force it to withdraw troops from Kosovo.

-- Ever popular, Rugova rebounded from the setback and became the province's first president in 2002, albeit under the protection of the United Nations. He was elected to a second term as president in December 2004 and redoubled his call for the independence of Kosovo from Serbia.

-- If he recovers from his cancer, Rugova can expect to take Kosovo and its two million ethnic Albanians into talks this year on their desire for independence from Serbia.

But the LDK has no apparent successor to Rugova, and if his health does not recover the faction-ridden party seems destined for a messy power struggle that could once again see former rebel commanders resurgent.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

It s a big setback for Kosova, there is noone of even close to Rugova's stature. The only prominent Kosova politician not to have a bandit past.

Anonymous said...

yep, that's right. too bad so many of your 'leaders' lead lives of criminal intent and intimidation of their fellow citizens. What is that quote from Kadare?

"Let us admit that it is not the first time that the Albanians are destroying themselves. With their own hands, they shove the chance offered to them. With their own acts, they destroy what was achieved with such effort".

Anonymous said...

Are you saying that the cancer was intentional and with criminal intent? If that's your aim, than you really left us all speechless.

Anonymous said...

anyone who has cancer needs our prayers...especially lung cancer. it is an awful way to die..very painful. I am referring to your remaining 'leaders' who, in the words of your albanian poster, are nothing but bandits.

Anonymous said...

At 3:34 PM, Anonymous said...

You were referring to smoking, right? True, smoking kills...

Just like they say on Kosova, "Mos po duhan, ha molla" (Don't smoke, eat apples).

Anonymous said...

"lives of criminal intent and intimidation of their fellow citizens"

That is the funniest analogy that I have read in a while. Hope you're not implying that Rugova is in that category.

Rugova cannot intimidate his wife, let alone other citizens...

It was funny though, nice try...

Anonymous said...

There are politicians without criminal background. Wishful thinking dear Serbs.

We might be destroying ourselves cause we're too dumb to see through the Serb game and we even forgive them way too early, but don't worry there are plenty from where Rugova came from.

Gzim Uruqi said...

Rugova will eventually recover and finish what he started which is the mission of kosovo's independence.

Anonymous said...

I have never seen read such idiocy and seen such denial. The man CAN'T step down because you all will kill one another. There won't be any Rugovno and there won't be any 'independence' for Kosovo, either...if there were, it would have happened by now. You know it and so does the rest of the international community who sees the minorities living behind barbed wire in Kosovo because of your jihadist nuts.

Anonymous said...

There hasnt been independence because you Jihadist Serbs didnt let us advance, speak our language, use our schools, and create a level of people capable of ruling a state...

Serbs killed those that were capable of this during the last 30 years, and yes, slowly but surely Kosova will become independent and will become a true European state before Serbia.

I wish you luck dear Serbs, cause Albanians of many religions, ideologies, and social backgrounds are working together for this. The hardest thing will be establishing an embassy in Belgrade, I am worried terrorist activities will be a frequent news there.