October 7, 2002
Kosovar Serbs have been expelled from their homes while NATO forces have done little to help, according to Serbs who attended a weekend conference that focused on the aftermath of the war in Kosovo.
Members of the Serbian Unity Congress met in Rosemont to discuss the problems facing Serbs in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina and to try to win support from Serbs living in this country.
"When you have hundreds of churches destroyed and really nobody raising any issues with that, something is wrong," said Michael Djordjevich, describing the Serbian churches and monasteries that he said have been burned or looted since the introduction of United Nations peacekeeping forces in 1999.
"Standards have to be standard whether they're [for] a Muslim or a Serb. America has not had consistent standards on this and I'm very distrustful about it," said Djordjevich, president of the Serbian Unity Congress, a nonprofit organization created in 1990.The organization, based in Van Nuys, Calif., held its 12th annual convention Friday through Sunday in the Hyatt Regency O'Hare.
More than 100 people attended Saturday's conferences. Some broke into tears when they were shown images of conditions in Kosovo.
Danica Jovanovic, who said she has spent the last year and a half in Kosovo, showed pictures of what she said depicted desecrated Serbian cemeteries and the frames of abandoned homes. Serbs are being discriminated against, she said.
"The Kosovo problem cannot be solved without the presence of the international community," said Miodrag Perisic, Yugoslavian ambassador to Canada.
"The question is, which international institution will make it its priority to invest in Kosovo?"