Saturday, October 29, 2005

Commentary warns Kosovo partition would lead to disintegration of Macedonia

A Macedonian Albanian commentary says that if Kosovo Serbs attain autonomy in Kosovo, Albanians in Macedonia could also request autonomy, given that their share of the Macedonian population is "three times higher" than the percentage of Serbs in Kosovo. The only option that would prevent Macedonia's disintegration is thus "official recognition of the process of independence of Kosovo", the paper argues. The following is an excerpt from the commentary by Bashkim Muca entitled "Macedonia, balance for unified Kosova" published by the Macedonian Albanian-language newspaper Fakti on 26 October; subheadings as published:

According to a well-established view that has been around for some time, the first thing that would happen in case of the partition of Kosova [Kosovo] would be the disintegration of Macedonia. If we are to believe this implication, then it also follows that the international community, rather than being concerned about a unified Kosova, is trying to preserve the stability and integrity of Macedonia, which could escalate to a major problem (it could become a second Bosnia-Hercegovina) if the whole game were to begin all over again. Ranked by their importance for the developments in Kosova, Macedonia is not far behind Albania and Serbia. But the key issue that puts Macedonia in the first place is that it is the crucial balancing factor for the preservation of a unified Kosova. Even if Albanians were to agree with Serbs on the partition of Kosova, I have the impression that the international community would not allow it, because it believes that there could never be a unified Macedonia without a unified Kosova. The problem of preserving the unity of Kosova is linked to a much more important problem: that of preserving the unity of Macedonia, in which a great deal has been invested.

All "fences"

The option of Kosova's partition, apart from its immediate implications for Macedonia, would create conditions for a new reconfiguration of the Balkans. The fact that this is something that the Serbs want, has made it something that Albanians will always oppose, even though the outcome might not have been so disadvantageous to them even if they had to give up Trepca [mine in northern Kosovo], which is considered a very important resource. Based on the concept of the nation-state, which is still a prevalent concept in the Balkans (it is thought more stable than multiethnic states), Albanian political quarters have often wondered why they have to strive to be governed or share government with others in areas where they make up the majority population. [Passage omitted]

One of the key arguments that the Serbs have been using against the independence of Kosova is that they cannot agree to the formation of two Albanian states in the region. Here, the Albanians would have a ready fallback option which would lead to the disintegration of Macedonia.

Albanians should have worked openly in their decisionmaking offices on the option of partition of Kosova, which would have had Serbian support (Albanians and Serbs cannot be enemies for ever). This option would never enjoy the support of the international community, but it could serve as a form of pressure against it [the international community], given that such plans would enjoy the support of Albanians as well as Serbs. This would persuade the international community of two things: that the partition of Kosova was out of the question and that the Kosova Serbs should not enjoy any autonomy in Kosova (let us remember that this, too, is a Serbian project). I believe that the least that Serbia expects to get is a special status for the northern part of Kosova, thus creating initially a ditch and, later, an imaginary border with the hope of seceding that part in the future, when a favourable moment may arise as a result of internal problems in Kosova. However, the issue of Macedonia would again emerge on the scene.

Most functional option

Given that the Albanians in Macedonia account for a percentage of the overall population that is three times bigger than the percentage that the Serbs account for in Kosova, in accordance with the traditional Balkan mentality autonomy for the Kosova Serbs would lead to a similar demand by the Albanians in Macedonia, thus invalidating the Oher [Ohrid] Agreement. The reasoning is simple: if the Serbs refuse to live as a minority in a common state with Albanians, then Albanians, too, do not have to accept such a thing in Macedonia.

If we are to apply the rule of elimination to find a balanced solution for Kosova, then the conclusion is clear: the option of partition of Kosova is automatically ruled out if we want to preserve the integrity of Macedonia. Second, the option of autonomy for the Kosova Serbs should be counterbalanced with the demand for a different status for the Albanians in Macedonia, which should be much stronger than that of the Kosova Serbs (some kind of republic). In that case, the demands of the Montenegro Albanians for a more favourable status in that country and for a special status for the Presheve [Presevo] Valley Albanians should also be taken into consideration. So this option would have to be ruled out, too. So, it is clear that the only option is a united Kosova. In that case, there are two options: Kosova's return under Serbia, or independence for Kosova. Given that any intermediate solution is hard to imagine - not just for the Kosova citizens but also for the whole of Europe - the last option that has to be ruled out is the return of Kosova under the Serbian protectorate. This means that the only remaining option is the one that takes Europe into Kosova and Kosova into Europe. This is official recognition of the process of independence of Kosova with the support and supervision of the Euro-American factor.

Source: Fakti, Skopje, in Albanian 26 Oct 05 p 4


Anonymous said...

This sounds very reasonable and just logic.
So welcome to independent Kosova

Anonymous said...

Pushite ga!

Anonymous said...

this article is the best I've read in a long time... albanianas should not eccept anything les than full indepandence without any specail status for serbs. other wise there should not be double standarts for albanians....... serbian language is alredy offical all over kosova in macedonia ?albanian language is official only where the population is 50% or higher.... now lets do some math here..kosova serbs are 8% in in kosova and the serbina language is official all over kosova and on the other hand albnians are 43% in macedonia yet the language is official only where they are majority 50% or this is double standarts ... I would recomend the KURVA PLAK (E.U) AND (F.Un.d ) IF THEY DESIRE A PEACFULL BALKAN not to MESS with the albanais AND FAIR ... this time is not the 1913s eras... as they say screw me once shame on you screw me twice shame on me.... lets hoPE THAT OUR LEADERSHIP AND THE E.U NOT TO MAKE THE SMAE MISTAKE OTHERWISE THEY ARE CALLING FOR A BLODDY WAR........

arianit said...

Very good comments. I hope that Albanian negotiatiors are reading this. I hope that Cato analysts are reading this as well. I use the same arguments when Americans ask me about a possible partitioning. Well no problem, Albanians have the most to gain from a repartitioning of the Balkans (from a pure nationalistic perspective) because they have lands in W. Macedonia, S. Serbia, S. Montenegro, and Chameria (N. Greece). I say, bring it on.

ubitshiptar said...

How about we recognise kosovo and the serb minority go to serbia and the albanin minority in Macedonia p1ss of to kosova so we have all you rats living in the one area and not polluting our country?
Secondly do you honestly think that that europe would allow a large islamic nation in europe? they want kosovo to be independant so your rats can breed and die there and not infest other countrys as you people do. There is no doubt that europe is awakening to the plague of the 21st century and thay is known as albanians. It would be easy to kill you all of but unfortunately Christians dont do thar.

Wim Roffel said...

This "warning" is blackmail, an attempt to influence international policy with threats. I believe that the international politicians should make it very clear that this is absolutely inacceptable.

Every country should be treated as a seperate case. I really cannot see why the position of Macedonia's Albanians should be dependent on that of Kosovo's Serbs. It is an internal affair of Macedonia and should be solved by negotiations between the local parties involved.

There are good reasons for partitioning Kosovo: the position of the Serbs is very bad and the Kosovo government has been unable to provide them basic (physical and economical) safety. The prospects that this will improve are bad. Many Serbs indicate that they will leave Kosovo if it becomes independent because of this.

So partitioning is just the only option left to guarantee at least a part of the Serbs basic human right. Kosovo's Albanians might ask some compensation in the Presevo Valley, but that is it.

Bekimi said...

Why Kosova needs to be independent?
Simply,in Kosova lives about 2mil.ppl,90%albanians,7%serbs and others.Serbs ucupated Kosova in 1912 from Otoman empire.In country named Kosova before thousands years lived Illyrians,then came slavic ppl from Carpatian in Xcentury,so all the facts,history,momentally r in albanians hands.About the churches in Kosova,here many monuments historical churches and that churches belongs to albanians bc before the otoman empire albanian religion was catholic and serbs after they ocuped Kosova the did some renovations to be like it is othodox.And does exist any1 in the world who can leave in one country like in Serbia who killed about 20000 albanians,raped many womans,and many things like only serbian criminals can?

Confucius said...

partition kosovo? hehehe we'll yeah that could happen, but you know what else is gonna happen, another war will happen immediately after that. people of kosovo have suffered a lot to settle for partitioning of kosovo. and the only reason for all that suffering was because we were not prepared for that war, things are different nowadays. the only solution for kosovo is complete independence from serbia.

arianit said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
arianit said...

Mr. Roffel:

The facts you start with are wrong. You assume that Serbia and Kosova are one country. It never was that way until Milosevic's coup in Kosova when he encircled the parliament and all of Kosova with tanks and special police and made the parliamentarians sign whatever he wanted. A couple of months later they reverted their decision and pronounced Kosova republic and then independent. For us Kosova was occupied and colonized. But this is not the first time violence was used to subdue my country.
In 1912 Kosova was occupied through shear massacres and ethnic cleansing and then joined to the Kingdom of SKS, not Serbia. In 1919, after Serbia's debacle in the home and Saloniki front, French army gave their war allies a hand in reoccupying Kosova again as a gift (very generous the French). In 1945 again Kosova was in flames and suffered more from the Yugoslav (i.e. Serb) occupation than the Nazi one. Guess what, you never saw these events on CNN.
Serbs in Kosova have all the rights that Albanians in Presheva or Macedonia have, and more. Their position is actually better than that of any minority in Serbia. (So if their situation is unbearable, we must use the same standards for the neighboring countries.) Will they take advantage of them and doing so would mean they recognize the independence of Kosova, or deny everything, live in ghettos where they protect the war criminals and hope that Kosova will be split: big dilemma since you might also lose everything when you play out all your chips like this.

teuta1 said...

"The reasoning is simple: if the Serbs refuse to live as a minority in a common state with Albanians, then Albanians, too, do not have to accept such a thing in Macedonia.

by this reasoning, if the albanians in the Serbian province of Kosovo refuse to live in a common state with the rest of Serbia and Montenegro, then the Kurds of Turkey are entitled to the same, the Chechens too, the Serbs of Bosnia the same, the Croats of Bosnia the same, the Hungarians of Vojvodina, the basques of spain, the same, the Taiwanese, the same...

Dardan said...

Teuta, don't worry, Vojvodina and Sandjak are next...

teuta1 said...

ah dardan, I have no worries...but the albanians of today, now they have many worries.

Sotir Ilievski said...

It is a very short life people, we can either live it with fear and hate or kindness and joy. Why must our minds be so small? Why do we always think of us versus them. Why do we always have to hate others and want to kill them. Instead of changing the world try changing your mind, try it, its' a lot eaisier. Why go through life hating people. Why do you want to teach your children to hate other people. Can't you see they are just like you. Would all your wories be over if the whole world was Albanian? Would you like to live in such a world? Don't you find it enjoyable to listen to other people's music, see their customs see the beautiful diversity among all people. I am a Macedonian and I enjoy watching and listening to Albanian programs. The music is beautiful as are the costumes and the people. Rather than living in a small world where only people like me are acceptable to me, I choose to live in a large world of many people and cultures that make my life more enjoyable. Besides it is easier to go through life making friends rather then enemies.

Dardan said...

Sotir, 50 years of anti-Albanian propaganda that intensified in the last 15 years in Serbia has corrupted a whole generation.
Years and years will pass until Serbia is cured from the collective xenophobia that was instilled upon them by the Milosevic regime.

As a result, the other groups have distanced themselves and want nothing to do with Serbia. Unfortunately, those stuck within Serbia's borders will suffer the most.

Recent analysis shows that it is not only the Albanians that are a target of these types of campaigns. See below:

Serbia's government is failing to curb a surging tide of violence against ethnic and religious minorities, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a 52-page report released earlier this month. Titled "Dangerous Indifference: Violence Against Minorities in Serbia," the report documents a broad range of crimes against minorities since 2003, including physical assaults, attacks on religious and cultural buildings, and cemetery desecration." "The government's response to these attacks has been inadequate," HRW found. "Officials have been quick to minimize incidents, police have sometimes failed to protect mosques and minority-owned businesses from attack, prosecutors have been slow to prosecute attacks, and those who are brought to justice are often punished with suspended jail terms or small fines." "Violence against minorities has increasingly become a problem in Serbia today," said Holly Cartner, HRW's director of European and Central Asian affairs. "Serbia cannot hope to move closer towards the European Union unless it starts taking these attacks a lot more seriously." The European Union's (EU) commissioner in charge of enlargement, Olli Rehn, visited Belgrade earlier this month to open negotiations with the Serbian government on a Stabilization and Association Agreement. The protection of minorities is a benchmark for upgraded EU ties. HRW found that the Serbian government"s weak reaction to ethnic and religious violence has encouraged Serb extremists over the past year and a half.

In March 2004, Serb ultranationalists in Belgrade and elsewhere in the country reacted angrily to news of anti-Serb violence in the predominantly ethnic Albanian province of Kosovo by attacking ethnic Albanians, Muslims, and Roma. Attacks on ethnic Hungarians and Croats in Vojvodina province have been widely reported, HRW noted. In 2004, ethnic Slovaks and Ruthenians were the targets of intimidation and violence for the first time in many years. This year, ethnically motivated incidents have decreased in Vojvodina, but have intensified in other parts of Serbia, often taking the form of antisemitic and anti-Muslim graffiti, as well as physical assaults on Roma. Members of the minorities, who were victims and witnesses of attacks in Vojvodina and other parts of Serbia told HRW that, in some cases of ethnically motivated violence, the police were slow to intervene, allowed the assailants to leave, or even expressed approval of the attack. In March 2004, for example, demonstrators broke through an undermanned police cordon and set fire to Belgrade’s only mosque. Serbia has no hate crime law that would allow ethnically motivated violence to be subject to more serious punishment than ordinary crimes. "Offenses against minorities are often dealt with through administrative proceedings rather than the criminal courts," according to the report. “Where wrongdoing is established, the punishment is usually light. Fines in misdemeanor proceedings rarely exceed the equivalent of $20 and jail terms are limited to 10 days. The government's implicit message to Serbian society is that it does not take violence against minorities particularly seriously.

Dardan said...

ubitshiptar said...

Ubitshiptar, your "christian" name said it all.

"Ubitshiptar" translates to "killing albanians"

Funny how Serbs are the only nation in the world that use the term "Bog te jebo". That shows what kind of god they believe in.

"Bog te jebo" means "May God Fuck You"

armera said...

I have one thing to say.
The future of Balkans are Albanians. Most of the arguments that our dear Serbs bring here are relative. Things change fast, one that doesn't realize this is a dinosaur.

I am proud Albanian, but even when I try to think from a perspective of a Serb, I have hard time understanding these Serbian patriots?! I mean whose side are they on?

You only harm yourself with this mentality. You are making this whole thing boaring, we don't have to do anything to show international community who you are, and what's in your mind.

I couldn't have done it better myself.

ali_pashai said...

Dardan i have one thing to say to you:
you are the man.
it's about time someone analyzed how one sided this whole mess is becoming. how in the world can we try to be understanding of serbian concerns, or them not recognizing two different albanian states when they have no problem recognizing two different greek states or two different italian states.
Sotir i hear friend. I can't say that what you say doesn't make sense but i will ask you if you felt really friendly towrds greeks when they did not and still don't recognize your country and still claim that you are greek. How can you be friendly to someone showing andything but friendship towards you? in the states les 20% are spanish speaking people but spanish is a second language even in alaska where there are virtually no latins. why don't you show friendship and then ask for it back?
Now mr. roffel can argue and say macedonia and montenegrin are two different states but that does not mean that their citizens do not watch the news, especially if it relates to them directly.