Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Kosovo's ex-fighters disgusted by talks with Serbia

By Matthew Robinson

PRISTINA, Serbia and Montenegro (Reuters) - Veterans of the Kosovo Albanian guerrilla army expressed disgust on Tuesday at the idea of negotiating with Serbia on the future of the province, and said protests were possible.

"Based on the blood that was shed ... on the historic, political and legal arguments, these talks are imposed and unjust," said Sherif Krasniqi, head of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) veterans.

"We're afraid the aim of these talks on status is to convince the people of Kosovo to accept whatever is served up to them. Kosovo Albanians want only recognition of their right to self-determination, to decide their own future," he told Reuters in his rundown office in Pristina's "KLA" street.

Serbian and Kosovo Albanian officials hold direct talks next week in Vienna, the first since the United Nations launched a mission late last year to decide the fate of Serbia's southern province, a U.N. protectorate for almost seven years.

Two million Kosovo Albanians, roughly 90 percent of the population, say independence is non-negotiable. Serbia insists Kosovo is the sacred cradle of the Serb nation and can never become a separate state.

The KLA emerged in 1997 as Kosovo Albanians grew tired of a policy of passive resistance to Serb repression. Its guerrilla war drew a brutal response by Serb forces, accused of killing 10,000 Albanian civilians and expelling 800,000 more.

"We talked with Serbia through the war we fought," said Krasniqi, who was based in the hardline Drenica region.

SACRIFICE

Lords of their own manor since NATO bombs drove out Serb troops in 1999, Kosovo Albanians are in no mood to compromise. They look on the U.N.-led process of negotiation with Belgrade with deep suspicion and distaste.

"From the promises of the local and international politicians ... we don't believe the status of Kosovo will match what the people fought for," said Krasniqi, a small, grey-haired man in a brown striped suit.

He said the possibility of protests "cannot be excluded". Asked if Kosovo's U.N. overseers should be concerned about the veterans, he replied: "They should be. Our members have sacrificed the most and deserve to be respected".

The major powers have not publicly stated their intentions, but Western diplomats say Kosovo will almost certainly win independence by the end of 2006.

But there will be strings attached, including significant concessions and guarantees for the beleaguered Serb minority and some form of continued international supervision.

Keeping a lid on the frustrations and fears felt by Krasniqi and others like him will be key. Diplomats say a repeat of Albanian mob riots against Serbs in March 2004, in which 19 people died, could derail the entire process.

(Additional reporting by Shaban Buza)

11 comments:

ivan said...

""Based on the blood that was shed ... on the historic, political and legal arguments, these talks are imposed and unjust," "

Pathetic. Just tell me what legal arguments? this is a joke

Anonymous said...

The national liberation movements are totally legal and they can use violence to achieve their goals. If not convinced you can still come and study international public law with us in Geneva...

Heku

ivan said...

Heku,

so if Kosovo becomes independent, Serbs have the right to form their liberation army, and use violance to achieve their freedom. Right?

arianit said...

If the government is abusing them, than Mr. Jefferson claims that it is not only a right but a duty for the people to replace it.
So far though they have no right to bitch about Prishtina because they don't accept to be represented in that government, nor join the police force, nor TMK forces that are supposed to protect them.
I was reading earlier how the local government in Viti built 19 houses for Serb families but those families are refusing to go back becuase they want also water and sewage system built for them, and they want jobs.
As long as retired people in Kosova get 29 euros a month, I can certainly tell Serbs to dream on.

heku said...

regarding to inernational public law it's their strict right, but in national liberation army you have the word nation which is compulsory and 100-300 thousand serbs in a country (bc in that case Kosova/o is a country) does not represent a nation, you can find the definitions of nation in Renan's writings of 1882 which is still quite accurate. And if ever this happens and to gain the right to claim anything, they will have to win that war if they want to be heard. this what actually happened with the last war even if uck did not win that war alone...Happy?

heku

ivan said...

"I was reading earlier how the local government in Viti built 19 houses for Serb families but those families are refusing to go back becuase they want also water and sewage system built for them, and they want jobs. "

Can you imagine those greedy serbs. They want water, and sewage and jobs? what do they think they are? Maybe they would want food as well? Or to breath air? Could you imagine those serbs want air to breathe.

PS-I was being ironic if you couldnt understand.

Dardania 2006 said...

Ivan read the post carefully. 29 Euros for pension, 60% unemployment, till last year the energy situation was much worse and still its not good...

...other words, first the houses, then the sewage, water etc, step by step.

Serbs are 3% - 4%, the whole country needs rebuilding.

Give us some slack :)

Kristian said...

Ivan your really funny

Did you know that the majority of the houses don't have those ammenities in their houses? So don't be greedy look at facts, when the majority doesn't have it why are they complaining. Brand new house and I don't have to pay for it, shoot I'd take it. I don't care what country it was in. At least i would rent it out after staying there a few months if I didn't like it.

ivan said...

Serbian people had water and sewer system in their houses before you burnt them down. Its not their fault that you chose to live like that.

Personally Kristian i would not move into a house that has no water in it, nor the sewer system. Thats my culture, i guess yours not

Cvijus011 said...

ivan,

"Can you imagine those greedy serbs. They want water"

imagine, also these Serbs demand human rights!! How greedy :)

Kristian said...

cv....

Human rights they do have, but they're also not participating in the political process either. How can you demand something when your not even trying to make it happen. In my backyard or even in my home I can bitch all day but if I don't do anything, i'm just blowing off steam.

The pen is mightier then the fist

Maybe that is why I write to all my elected officials in my district and state. What have the serbs done? Stay in there homes and try to get sympathy.

And Ivan ppl lived like that in many regions, serb and albanian. It all depended in what village you lived and how much money you had. And don't tell me that all serbs were city dwellers. Bc serb and albanians still have mud houses, few but still there. When you have an economy that is growing negatively and its all bc of belgrade policy to make conditions discomforting so that albanians would leave.

Also did you know that a large portiion of the male population was out of Kosovo/a when serbs started the full assault on the albanins ppl? Its easy to kill women and children when there aren't many males to defend their homes. And again there is plenty of video footage showing women and children leaving in excess numbers.