February 26, 2003

ERP KIM Newsletter 26-02-03 b
Special Edition



Urgent communiqué of the SNC KIM regarding today's session in Kosovska Mitrovica and the accusations of UNMIK chief Michael Steiner




GRACANICA, February 25, 2003

The Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija expresses its wholehearted support for the text of the Declaration on the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of the Republic of Serbia and the Union of Serbia and Montenegro (USM) in Kosovo and Metohija and welcomes the adopted directives for the further work of the Union of Serb Municipalities and Municipal Units.

The fundamental goal of this Declaration is to once again publicly
affirm the principle of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Union of Serbia and Montenegro in Kosovo and Metohija, which is every day increasingly at risk through the activities of Albanian separatism and terrorism. The Serb people in Serbia's southern province are decisively against the secession of state territory and the creation of a monoethnic society. For this very reason at today's session decisive support was shown for the principle of unchangeability of international borders in the Balkans, which cannot be arbitrarily changed according to the will of a minority population (i.e. Albanians in USM) . The Declaration of the Union of Serb Municipalities therefore represents a strong affirmation of the principles of Resolution 1244 which decisively recognize the Province of Kosovo and Metohija as an integral part of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and its successor, the present Union of Serbia and Montenegro (USM), a country which despite ten years of new Balkan wars remains the most multiethnic state in the Balkans.

The Serb community in Kosovo and Metohija by its most recent decisions and activities also desires to
intensify the process of implementation of as yet unfulfilled provisions of UN Resolution 1244 at least in those parts of the Province where this is possible and where citizens of Serbia who respect the state organization and sovreignity are living. This certainly does not mean abandoning the intention of fully implementing the Resolution throughout the Province when the necessary conditions for this are created and when the international community makes this possible.

Absolutely unacceptable to the SNC KIM is the hasty judgment of UNMIK chief Michael Steiner that the Serbs allegedly aspire to a monoethnic society.
Mr. Steiner, as the head of UNMIK, has no moral right to accuse the Kosovo Serbs of monoethnicity because it is in fact under the rule of the UN mission that Kosovo has for the first time in its long history become an almost completely monoethnic Albanian society in which members of the non-Albanian communities lack the most basic of human rights.

Mr. Steiner calls for adherence to UN Resolution 1244, even though for more than three years it is UNMIK, with its policy of passive tolerance of Albanian nationalism, which has made it
practically impossible to fulfill the fundamental provisions of that Resolution and de facto possible to create an ethnically pure, second Albanian state in the Balkans. The UN resolution cannot be implemented selectively but integrally in all its aspects.

Let us look at the results achieved thus far in the implementation of UN SC Resolution 1244. The Province of Kosovo and Metohija still has not been constituted as a '
substantial autonomy' within the framework of Serbia and Montenegro; the return of all expelled citizens (especially Serbs and Roma) have not been enabled; absolutely all elements of the state sovereignty of Serbia and Montenegro have been eliminated in the Province and the return of a Serbian army and police contingent foreseen by Resolution 1244 is not permitted. What is more, Kosovo and Metohija today is already an almost completely formed state of the Albanian people in which the Serbs, as a constituent and constitutive people of the Republic of Serbia and Serbia and Montenegro are reduced to the level of a national minority without any rights and foreigners in their own land. The Serb language and script have been erased from almost the entire Province, flags of the Republic of Albania fly in all institutions and public places, while never disarmed bands of former KLA members roam the Province despite the presence of 40,000 KFOR actively destabilizing the entire region. The cultural heritage of the Serb people, churches and cemeteries have been exposed to barbaric destruction, and the state of Serbia has not been allowed to do anything to protect the rights of its citizens, their private property, and its own state property.

With this situation on the ground the Serb people has more than the
full right to undertake urgent measures to protect its rights and freedom and, first and foremost, to affirm the inviolability of the international borders of Serbia and Montenegro also encompassing the Province of Kosovo and Metohija. The organization of Serb municipalities and municipalities inside a Serb entity is therefore a direct response to more than three years of intensive Albanian ethnic cleansing before the international presence and under no circumstances does it mean renouncing the integrity of the state which was again strongly reaffirmed at today's meeting.

Mr. Steiner and the Albanian leaders are behaving as if Kosovo and Metohija already was and independent state and the Serbs remaining in it are acting from separatist positions. This is a cunning and false argument which attempts to transfer the failure of the mission on the Serb people. In fact, quite the reverse is true.
It is not the Serbs are not seeking to divide up the state but the Albanians, who are insisting on forming an independent state on the territory of Serbia and Montenegro. It is not the Serbs who are creating a monoethnic society and institutions: they are merely asking for their legitimate individual and collective rights as a constitutive people, while it is the Kosovo Albanians who under international auspices have created the most ethnically pure territory in the Balkans and deprived the other communities of their rights. UN Resolution 1244 does not guarantee the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Kosovo and Metohija as a state; it guarantees this right to the state to which Kosovo and Metohija legally belong, regardless of the fact that for more than three years this country has been prevented from having any influence on the course of events in this region and protecting its citizens who have been exposed to the most brutal terror and discrimination while under international rule.

it is not the Kosovo Serbs who are isolating themselves; they are only confirming the firm position that they wish to remain an integral part of the Republic of Serbia, where dozens of ethnic groups live in peace and tolerance, unlike the international protectorate in Kosovo and Metohija, which is tailored for only the Albanian people. It is the Kosovo Albanians who are in fact isolating themselves by seeking to realize their Greater Albanian ethnic aspirations at the expense of the state sovereignty of both Serbia and Montenegro, and Macedonia against every single existing provision of international law.

Thus the criticisms of Mr. Steiner directed at the Serb community
return like a boomerang to the UN mission itself, which contrarily to UN Resolution 1244, international law and the Helsinki Final Act is tolerating and enabling the creation of an independent state of the territory of a state which is a member of the United Nations with internationally recognized borders. The sovereignty of Serbia and Montenegro in Kosovo and Metohija was temporarily suspended due to excessive use of force by the previous regime; however, it cannot be unilaterally and completely abolished by either the will of Mr. Steiner or the will of the Kosovo Albanians who comprise 17% of the population of Serbia and Montenegro, in which the majority of the population opposes unilateral secession and division of its state territory.

In Gracanica Monastery, on February 25, 2003

ERP KIM Info-Service is the official Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren and works with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Artemije.
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