Monday, October 24, 2005

Scarred Kosovo faces challenges

By Matt Prodger
BBC News, Kosovo

The United Nations Security Council is expected to give the go-ahead for negotiations to resolve the status of Kosovo.

The province, which legally remains part of Serbia and Montenegro, has been under international administration since a war six years ago which left 10,000 people dead.

Negotiations are expected to last a year and will most likely result in some form of independence, with a continuing role for foreign peacekeepers to prevent further outbreaks of violence between Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority, and its remaining Serbs.

On a hilltop outside the village of Racak lies a cemetery with a difference.

It is not the Albanian flag fluttering above it in the autumnal sun, nor the flowers wrapped in plastic which adorn each grave. It is the fact that every person buried here is a murder victim.

Six years ago, Serbian police from nearby villages rounded up more than 40 people from Racak and massacred them. For Nato it was the final straw, and soon after, its bombs were ending Serbian rule in Kosovo.

At the local mosque, nearly every worshipper has a relative who died in the massacre. For 68-year-old Ramiz Ymeri, it was his son, his throat cut from ear to ear.

No compromise

He is in no mood today to compromise with Serbs over the future of Kosovo.

"Before we can even talk to Serbia, it first has to accept the independence of Kosovo," he says. "Only then can we start sorting out the past."

An hour's drive from Racak is another village, Brestovik. This is home to Serb refugees returning to Kosovo after six years in Serbia. Their houses have been rebuilt with aid from the Italian government.

Stana Dzavric has yet to plaster and paint her house, but she says she is overjoyed to be back home. Yet when I ask her how she will feel next year if Kosovo gains independence from Serbia and Montenegro, her face darkens.

"We won't stay here," she says. "We'll pack our bags and leave."

And there is no sign of compromise on a political level. Veton Surroi, a member of the Kosovo Albanian negotiating team says the demand for independence is non-negotiable.

"We are at the final stage of deciding on our independence," he tells me. "This is a mutual project with the Kosovans and the international community.

"The Kosovo Serbs will be involved in this process, no doubt about it, but the question of Belgrade is another issue. Belgrade lost its right to make decisions about this area by committing genocide six years ago."


The Serbian government minister for Kosovo Sanda Raskovic-Ivic says: "We've compromised enough by offering the Albanians everything they already have: executive, legislative and judicial powers, plus a president. Under our plan we would retain sovereignty, one seat at the UN as Serbia and Montenegro and we would control the borders."

The most senior figure in Kosovo, the head of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (Unmik) Soren Jessen-Petersen, says that there is so little common ground between the two sides that getting them to agree would be "an exercise in futility".

Instead, the "non-negotiables" have been determined by the international community: for example no partition of Kosovo, no union of Kosovo with neighbouring states, no return to the situation before March 1999, and an insistence that Nato peacekeepers remain indefinitely.

High-ranking officials in Unmik are angry about the stance of the Serbian government.

"Belgrade is going to have to concede that Kosovo is a lost cause," one told the BBC. "And we need a strong negotiating partner in Belgrade to do that. But no democratic forces in Belgrade are standing up and saying that today."

Sanda Raskovic-Ivic says Serbs would throw out any government which gives up Kosovo.

"Having Kosovo taken away from Serbia would be very painful and very dangerous," she says. "It's the best way of encouraging nationalists and it's the best way of turning the clock back to the [Milosevic era of] the 1990s."

Within Kosovo another clock is ticking. Graffiti on the streets calls for "self-determination" now, and "no negotiations".

Shadowy groups issue statements warning of dire consequences if independence is not granted. The status quo, as diplomats like to say, is unacceptable. But change also brings its own problems.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/10/24 13:53:56 GMT


Anonymous said...

Te lumte o Ramiz Ymeri!

The voice of the victims needs to be heard, not just that of the
oppressor (read: Serbia).

Anonymous said...

> High-ranking officials in Unmik are angry about
> the stance of the Serbian government.

Typical Unmik wining. They are scared as hell for Albanian radicals and for that reason they have refused to implement any reform that might anger those radicals. That includes any reform that might make the Serbs feel safer.

I believe the status negotiations should not be started until it least the municipal reform has been finished and the Serbs have some autonomy.

You can not start this kind of negotiations when not all parties have at least basic human rights.

Anonymous said...

''I believe the status negotiations should not be started until it least the municipal reform has been finished and the Serbs have some autonomy. ''

well , according to the un security council it has started.. you Faggots moron live us alone and go back to URALS

Anonymous said...

To the person who said that
"The voice of the victims needs to be heard, not just that of the
oppressor (read: Serbia)" Look at Kosovo there are 90 % albanians and 10 serbians who are the victims use ur damn brain use it its not just used for bieng stuped and if we are terrorizing the Albanians than the Albanians are some weak people its like 1 person fighting 10 people.

Anonymous said...

dumb fuck...its 91% shqiptar, 1% other, and 8%(not that possible) shkije..and he is talking about the hundred year of torture, masacre, and all those human rights been violated by filthy u are dumbs as it comes, and trust me it cant get worser then uer nation doctor..koshtuKari nica..haha koshtunica sucks!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ok well admit it it was better when there wernt any albanians you cant deny that and what 100 years of massacre what history books are you reading?

Anonymous said...

Serb dude stop smoking. There was a time when there were no Serbs around in the Balkans and that's what paradise is like.
Definition of Paradise- A heavenly place where there are no Serbs around.

As for Albanians, we have always been in the Balkans especially in Kosova. Even ancient Egyprtians write about us, the Dardans as being allied to the Hitites. At that time the Serbs where jerking off to cave bears in the caves of the Ural mountains.

Stop reading Serb history books, they've burned your brain cells and brought NATO bombs in your backyards.

Anonymous said...

Definition of Hell- A palce where Serbs constitute the majority.

Anonymous said...

ass wipes albaniacs were NEVER EVER a majority in kosovo until the mid 20th cen. there was no trace of u in kosovo ever, as teh heroic serbs fought the barbaric turks they were forced out slowy and u came in from the mountains to fill in the void, look it up anywhere (even teh most hard core pro albo shit supoprts this claim) and ur "ilirian" connection is BULLSHIT! show me one source from prior to the 19th century that claims u are illirian?!?!?! THERE ARE NONE! HAHAHAHA u stole that concept from teh serbs and croats of the time who were laying claim to that theory ASSWIPES! the first mention of the word ALBANIAN was in teh 12th century, yes otehrs lived there before u and before serbs so what? kosovo has been serbian majority for over 1000 years!!!!! u wre still in ALBANIA in Azerbejzan!!!!!! ahahahah i mean how funny is it that u lay claim to a people tht might have lived in the balkans whos tribal name begins with the letter A for u means u are automatiaclly decendants of them?? yet the country of ALBANIA in Baku Azeri has nothing to do with u??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH should the USA give back the land to the indians then? u must support that case tehn rite? get over urselve and stop pretending u are palestinians, u are theives, drug runners and pimps that is all u will ever be. also i can wait for kosovo to become independant serbia will finally get rid of the cancer taht has been killing it for years! u will have NOONE to finance ur villages and sheep! u can kill each other in peace now! hahahahahah!

Anonymous said...

Blah blah blah, same bull$hit Serb propaganda. There were no Serbs around the Balkans when Albanian in Kosova( Dardania) were allies of the Hitites as Ancient Egyptian scripts tell us. The word Serb did not exist at this time in the Ural mountains. You were just another animal among wild sheeps, goats, and cave bears in the caves of the Urals.

Anonymous said...

To the dumb serbian asshole with the only brain cell in his head:
You stupid asshole
IF YOU HAD MORE THAN ONE BRAIN CELL YOU WOULD AT LEAST WRITE SOMETHING SMARTER...well that would have been if you wanted to defend serbian said:
''albaniacs were NEVER EVER a majority in kosovo until the mid 20th cen...''
During that time you cleansed half of the albanian popullation by sending them to Turkey...that was the only time when you were close to get majority in KosovA...
and then you say:
''should the USA give back the land to the indians then?''
Even though americans have defeated indians at that time they still address to them as NATIVE...
So you simply told us that in your only brain cell that you have, still have information that albanians are native here but you don't want to admit that...I wonder how can you create so much lies knowing that you have only one brain cell...stupid thinking or writing and doing like yours made you loose Kosova...

ali_pashai said...

i have to admit for a country that claims education is really high serbia really lacks educated people or maybe the people who visit this site are not educated.
first of all how can you ask for the talks to be halted till the serbs in kosova have gained some kind of autonomy when the only reason why the talks are begining are because the situation is deteriorating since kosova does not have a clear status and uncertainty discourages anyone from investing. Autonomy from who? Albanians? dude if you do that albania has the right to ask autonomy for albanians in montenegrin, macedonia and greece. The serbs of kosova should take part in the new elect government and should be part of the everyday life but if serbia continues to undermine every attemt they make to cooperate with the albanians than people like this lady returning to her home naturally will say that they'll go back to serbia. Maybe that is exactly what serbia wants. Some people presuring for the outcome of these talks to be sth. less than independence. guess what it won't happen. the only thing the future holds for albanians and serbs if independence is not granted is war and an unstable balkan. Again maybe war is what serbia wants but sure as hell no one else wants that.
Now the only claim serbia has to kosova is some big battle that a serbian king fought in kosova a long time ago. Not surprisingly, the only independence day the greeks have is the day they said stop to the german army in albanian territory and not the day they actually won independence. the greeks claim south of albania used to be greek but the greeks themselves know that soon they have to answer for cameria. if you don't know what that is look it up.
anyways the claims serbia has to kosova are that it used to be serbian the claims albanian kosovars have to kosova is that it is their home land. are you this dumb that you can't tell which claim takes precedence? even if kosova was serb it is not anymore kind of like when belgrade was not serb but it is now.
stop talking nonesense and try to be helpful for once