BHHRG

About BHHRG

The British Helsinki Human Rights Group monitors human rights and democracy in the 57 OSCE member states from the United States to Central Asia.
* Monitoring the conduct of elections in OSCE member states.
* Examining issues relating to press freedom and freedom of speech
* Reporting on conditions in prisons and psychiatric institutions

Size of text
  • Decrease font size
  • Default font size
  • Increase font size
Kosovo: Independence as (the Final) Solution
HITS: 2209 | 18-08-2004, 00:25 | Commentaire(s): (0) |
 (Votes #: 0)

On 25th May, the UN’s special representative Harri Halkeri announced his resignation. It would be unfair to pin all the blame for Kosovo’s recent problems on him. He was simply the latest in a line of international officials who have presided over the consequences of the war in 1999. The NATO states fought that war on a false premise. Their propaganda blaming the Serbs for all the region’s ills and boasting about the Alliance’s ability to restore order and prosperity to a “multi-cultural” Kosovo/a has proven entirely false. Only the fact that the Western media was so implicated in spouting the NATO line and therefore has been unwilling to revisit and question much of what it had reported has prevented Western audiences discovering how disastrous the post-1999 situation in Kosovo has been.
Whereas the violent resistance in Iraq has shaken complacent support for the Bush-Blair line there, the fact that violence in Kosovo has been largely directed by the Albanian majority at the Serb and other minorities with very few KFOR casualties[1] (and most of those caused by mutual fights or suicides) means that the Western media have not given the negative realities of Kosovo remotely the same level of coverage as Iraq has received. If Serbs, for instance, had waged guerrilla warfare against NATO forces as Iraqis have against US and others in Iraq, or as Albanians have in southern Serbia and Macedonia repeatedly since 1999, then their plight might well have been noticed and even steps taken to improve conditions for them in Kosovo.
Sadly, the lesson of international humanitarian intervention from its support of the KLA’s insurrection after 1998 to the Coalition’s current difficulties in Iraq and the new regime’s concession to Baathists in Iraq is that violence works. After the pogroms across Kosovo on 17th March, it was not the victims who got aid but the Albanian perpetrators who saw a hike in foreign assistance. Any visitor to Kosovo can see that. Even the EU’s Javier Solana has confirmed the refusal of the Albanian-run local authorities to live up to their commitments to give both security and reconstruction aid to the Serb enclaves.[2] But both German and American soldiers in KFOR told the BHHRG observers, “We cannot stay for ever.”
On 8th July 2004, the Kosovo Assembly passed a series of constitutional amendments whose main purpose seems to have been declaratory. In effect, the Albanian majority was defying the UN Security Council’s monopoly on determining the future status of the province and throwing down a challenge to the UNMiK administration which is in a growing state of disorganisation and demoralisation after Halkeri’s abrupt resignation. Whether renewed violence can be thwarted any more effectively than in March remains in doubt. If another pretext for a pogrom is found, the mass unemployed youth who were so easily stirred up on 17th March will, no doubt, respond accordingly. About 45,000 young people come of age each year in what Richard Holbrooke has hinted could be Europe’s “West Bank.”[3]
On examination, most official criticism of the situation in Kosovo eventually leads to a solution that involves nothing less than independence for the province. In his latest report the clumsily named “ombudsperson” for Kosovo, Marek Nowicki, says:
"We cannot wait too long for the moment in which final status is decided," Nowicki said. "It is not only the Albanian community, but my impression is that also Serbs have been quite exhausted by this uncertain situation. The failure to resolve the province's final status helps to sustain distrust between the two communities and is delaying the return of refugees, many of them Serbs, who were forced out of Kosovo in 1999, he said"[4]
Many influential US politicians from both sides of the aisle, so to speak, have long been advocating an independent “Kosova”. On 27th January 2003, Democratic representative Tom Lantos and Republican Henry Hyde introduced ‘House Resolution No. 28’ into Congress to “Support the Independence of Kosovo”. Whereas Lantos has a long history of mischief-making in the Balkans one can barely imagine how an old-fashioned Republican like Hyde would respond if he was to be parachuted into the chaos and brutality that is the reality on the ground of the brave, young nation he has been led into supporting.
More recently, the American-Albanian lobby has been wooing Senator John Kerry’s foreign policy team on the understanding that pay back for their support will be independence for Kosovo should the Democrat win the U.S. presidential election in November. In fact, there is little difference between the Balkan policies of both parties in the U.S. Independence for both Kosovo and Montenegro has been mooted for a long time and will, undoubtedly, come about in the near future bringing two major centres of mafia activity into the mainstream European fold.[5]
Of course, independence will not solve anything - except in the Hitlerian sense. If the American advocates of Kosovo’s independence get their way, the surviving gheottoised Serbs face annihilation along with their ancestors’ extraordinary contributions to the architectural heritage of Christian Europe in the medieval times. Sadly that is all too likely. The first fruits of this logical outcome of so-called humanitarian war will be the death-knell of UNESCO heritage sites like Pec, Gračanica and Dečani. Probably none of the New World Order’s self-appointed spokesmen for Kosova independence have any idea of the cultural as well as inhumane consequences of their policy. But ignorance cannot be an excuse for the impending destruction of people and churches there. [6]
The International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at the Hague really ought to investigate the propagandists who made the pogroms possible by finding excuses for ethnic cleansing and justifying violence because independence had not yet been granted. Much criticism has been directed at the local Albanian-language media which has received generous assistance from Western civil society advocates and media outlets. But all of their training in human rights awareness and inter-ethnic sensitivity has come to nought. Any early departure by KFOR or the UN will mark the death-knell of the Serbian minority and their ancestors’ legacy to the world.


[1] According to Spiegel.online the mob’s leaders in Prizren assured the KFOR troops that they were not in danger unless the defended the Serbs and their property,
[2] See Iwpr's balkan crisis report, no. 506, july 08, 2004 kosovo serbs wait for rebuilt homes[3] See, Reuters, 23rd March, 2004,
[4]Nicholas Wood “UN’s mission in Kosovo is denounced”, International Herals Tribune, 14th July, 2004 ,
www.iht.com,
[5] For some other examples of American advocates of independence as the endgame, see Morton Abramowitz, “Going backward in the Balkans” www. washingtonpost.com (19th March, 2004, where he says, “The failure to establish Kosovo statehood creates massive uncertainty in the Balkans, exacerbates tensions between Albanians and Serbs, delays investment and growth, and keeps Serbia focused on the past.” That past of course included a Serbian population in Kosovo. Or, see Reuters, “Holbrooke Says Violence in Kosovo Was Inevitable” 23rd March, 2004 where the blame for the violence is placed on Holkeri’s failure to “accelerate” the trend to independence though with (surely implausible) “ironclad” guarantees that an independent Koosva would treat its Serb minority well!

contact

Ads


Links of this article:




Human Rights TV

Loading...

Google




Login




Other sites

News

Egypt condemned over human rights record in northern Sinai - The Guardian
The Guardian Egypt condemned over human rights record in northern Sinai The Guardian Egypt's military campaign against insurgents in northern Sinai is harming thousands of civilians and risks ...

Human Rights on Agenda During Xi's US Visit - Voice of America
Voice of America Human Rights on Agenda During Xi's US Visit Voice of America China's human rights record will be one of the key issues discussed during a meeting between the U.S. and Chinese ...

George Osborne downplays China's human rights abuses as a 'different political ... - The Independent
The Independent George Osborne downplays China's human rights abuses as a 'different political ... The Independent УThis is primarily an economic and financial dialogue, but of course we are ...



COUNTRIES


Albania

Armenia

Azerbaijan

Belarus

Bosnia Hercegovina

Bulgaria

Croatia

Czech Republic

France

Georgia

Great Britain

Hungary

Italy

Latvia

Macedonia

Moldova

Montenegro

Netherlands

Poland

Serbia

Slovakia

Ukraine

Uzbekistan

Yugoslavia

Cyprus

Estonia

Germany

Ireland

Romania

Russia

Sweden

United States

Lithuania

EU