January 21, 2004

ERP KiM Newsletter 21-01-04

Kosovo Serbs do not want to participate in collective suicide

Let's be clear. The Serbs are not against humanitarian standards and improvement of their lives but are against the entire context of so called "Standards for Kosovo" which in its essence represent a revision of the UNSC Resolution 1244. The mandate of Mr. Holkeri, as he said on his meeting with Bishop Artemije in Gracanica a few days ago, is to implement the Resolution 1244. The Resolution consists of certain clear provisions which have not yet been implemented and it appears that UNMIK has no intention to implement them at all. The most important of them which should be realized prior to the final status settlement are: Kosovo Province as a substantial autonomy within Serbia-Montenegro, return of S-M personnel to the borders and in vicinity of the patrimonial sites, return of all refugees. Instead of these provisions UNMIK is offering another set of standards which de facto means creation of completely independent Kosovo institutions which will serve as a basis for the secession of the Province.


The true role of UNMIK In Kosovo seems to be completion of what NATO bombs began in 1999  - to make an independent Albanian state in which there will be no Serbs left. Four years ago the euphemism was a "humanitarian intervention", now they call it
 "Standards for Kosovo"

The sign of former FR Yugoslavia on one of the border crossings in Kosovo. Since arrival of UNMIK and KFOR Serbia's borders in its southern Province have become almost nonexistent. In reality, despite Resolution 1244 UNMIK is practically creating an independent Albanian state in Kosovo under a pretext of  building of "self-governing" institutions. Serbs have no reasons, whatsoever to participate in amputation of their sovereign territory in exchange for some vaguely defined "minority rights" which will anyway be nonexistent in sovereign Kosovo as they are now under the UN Protectorate.

 

The latest information: - Church Belfry Set on Fire

The Serbian Orthodox Church has confirmed today that unknown persons set on fire the belfry of the church of St. Archangel Michael in Stimlje. Exclusive report with photos will be soon available in English.

Editorial by Fr. Sava Janjic:

Pressures on Serbs to support "Standards for Kosovo" are continuing

In any case after the latest elections in Serbia it has become more clear that the Serbian people will not peacefully and passively tolerate cutting their country apart by UNMIK and NATO. Serbia is ready to continue its reforms and the process of integration but not on expense of its sovereignty and dignity, particularly not on expense of its citizens in Kosovo which are today most discriminated inhabitants of Europe. Therefore, one of the first steps of the New Serbian Government should be to initiate a new Standards implementation plan which would primarily focus on implementation of already existing standards of the UNSCR 1244. Kosovo institutions can count on Serb participation only if they are in function of all citizens of the Province regardless of their ethnicity. Creation of institutions which will serve only the ethnic Albanian interests is absolutely unacceptable and no Serb representative will ever get mandate by their own people to participate in them.
 

ERP KIM Info-service
January 21, 2004

These days we are witnessing continual pressures on Serb representatives in Kosovo institutions to back the Holkeri's plan "Standards for Kosovo" and take part in the work of the "working groups".

Let's be clear. The Serbs are not against humanitarian standards and improvement of their lives but are against the entire context of so called "Standards for Kosovo" which in its essence represent a revision of the UNSC Resolution 1244. The mandate of Mr. Holkeri, as he said on his meeting with Bishop Artemije in Gracanica a few days ago, is to implement the Resolution 1244. The Resolution consists of certain clear provisions which have not yet been implemented and it appears that UNMIK has no intention to implement them at all. The most important of them which should be realized prior to the final status settlement are: Kosovo Province as a substantial autonomy within Serbia-Montenegro, return of S-M personnel to the borders and in vicinity of the patrimonial sites, return of all refugees. Instead of these provisions UNMIK is offering another set of standards which de facto means creation of completely independent Kosovo institutions which will serve as a basis for the secession of the Province.

The new "Standards for Kosovo", which have appeared under the pressures of certain international circles which want to speed up Kosovo's independence, do not mention that Kosovo institutions must be established within the framework of substantial autonomy within Serbia Montenegro. There is no reference to return of the S-M personnel either. This practically means that Serbia which was granted by the Resolution 1244 inviolability of its international borders (at least until the final negotiated settlement) is in forced to tolerate building of a quasi-independent state in which non-Albanian citizens are exposed to continual violations of human rights and freedoms by the ethnic Albanian majority.

From the legal point of view participation of Serb representatives in implementation of the revised UNSCR 1244 would mean denial of the very Resolution and acceptance of secession of Kosovo Province. Once independent Kosovo institutions are created without any institutional link with Serbia it would be impossible to negotiate about anything else but secession. The new "Standards for Kosovo" are being forced by certain diplomatic circles which under the pretext of protection of so called "minority rights" want to close the Kosovo issue as soon as possible and bring Belgrade to fait accomplis.

Therefore the strong opposition of Serb representatives against the so called "Standards for Kosovo" is not demonstrating Serb obstruction in improvement of their own human rights, which would be absurd, but their clear position that UNSCR 1244 cannot be changed but should be implemented to the very last letter. Four years ago, Serbs could see how a so called "humanitarian operation" of NATO was launched against Serbia under the pretext of protection of human rights although it is very clear now to every person better acquainted with the Balkan issues that the intervention itself created a humanitarian catastrophe and that the violations of human rights have not been stopped after the intervention but have continued on expense of Serbs, Roma, Bosniaks, Croats and other non-Albanian communities. To put it short, a pretext of so called "humanitarian intervention"  was used in order to change borders of a sovereign country as well as today "Standards for Kosovo" are being introduced as a tool to finish the process and cut off all remaining links between the southern Serbia's province and its mother state.

In any case after the latest elections in Serbia it has become more clear that the majority of Serbian people will not peacefully and passively tolerate cutting their country apart by UNMIK and NATO. Serbia is ready to continue its reforms and the process of EU integration but not on expense of its sovereignty and dignity, particularly not on expense of lives of its citizens in Kosovo which are today most discriminated inhabitants of Europe. Therefore, one of the first steps of the New Serbian Government should be to initiate a new Standards implementation plan which would primarily focus on implementation of already existing standards of the UNSCR 1244. Kosovo institutions can count on Serb participation only if they are in function of all citizens of the Province regardless of their ethnicity. Creation of institutions which will serve only the ethnic Albanian interests is absolutely unacceptable and no Serb representative will ever get mandate by their own people to participate in them.

This is exactly what Bishop Artemije said to Mr. Holkeri a few days ago. In his latest interview to the Belgrade daily "Svedok" he rephrased his statement saying more clearly: "Four years' experience has taught us not to accept cooperation on our own expense". This opinion reflects the views of great majority, if not of all Kosovo Serbs who have paid a dear price (in 2000 missing and killed and 115 churches) for their well-minded belief that UNMIK and NATO arrived to Kosovo to play an evenhanded role of peacekeepers.


CONTENTS:

Serb returnee in Novake village attacked by two Kosovo Albanians
In the Serbian village of Novake, in the municipality of Prizren, southern Kosmet, one Serb was attacked by two Albanians from the neighboring village of Trnje, the spokesperson of the regional police in Prizren, Fatmir Djurdjialo, announced.

Serbs in Kosovo institutions are only for decoration
The deputy of the Coalition "Return" in Kosovo parliament, Rada Trajkovic declared that Serbs "Haven't managed to do anything for their community in the Kosovo institutions and that they act only as decoration". "A logical question comes, why we are here at all, while regarding that the Serbian community don't have a chance to get any kind protection through these institutions, said Trajkovic for Novi Sad's daily "Dnevnik".

Bogdanovich - UNMIK will implement standards without Serbs
"We requested the unconditional implementation of returns, the vacating of usurped property, a different privatization process, recognition of the right to restitution, restoration of the cultural heritage of the Serbian people, the transformation of the Kosovo Protection Corps but none of our recommendations, in fact, were accepted," said Bogdanovich. "Europe needs to say whether it is in favor of the creation of new mini-states in the Balkans, and it must determine whether it supports a multiethnic, multicultural and multiconfessional society in Kosovo," emphasized Bogdanovich.

Le Mond Diplomatique - Fragile Status quo in Kosovo - an airplane without a pilot
The future of Kosovo is not only uncertain but is being kept consciously indeterminate. As long as the Serbian population in the north still has no protected rights of existence, a discussion about the future international law status of the region is out of the question. The temporary administration by the UN mission (UNMIK) is not a long-term solution, either. And the expectation that the Albanian majority of Kosovo could renounce the aim of independence in exchange for the long-term prospect of EU membership is an illusion. The rejection of this view could instead give new impetus to Greater Albanian irredentism.

Flash News from Kosovo and Metohija: 17 - 20 January 2004

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This newsletter is available on our ERP KIM Web-site:
http://www.kosovo.net/erpkiminfo.html


Serb returnee in Novake village attacked by two Kosovo Albanians

In the Serbian village of Novake, in the municipality of Prizren, southern Kosmet, one Serb was attacked by two Albanians from the neighboring village of Trnje, the spokesperson of the regional police in Prizren, Fatmir Djurdjialo, announced.

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Radio Serbia Montenegro
January 19, 2004

In the Serbian village of Novake, in the municipality of Prizren, southern Kosmet, one Serb was attacked by two Albanians from the neighboring village of Trnje, the spokesperson of the regional police in Prizren, Fatmir Djurdjialo, announced.

The attack, as announced, was caused by the fact that the Serb had tried to prevent the attackers from using his estate. The names are known to the police and investigation is under way, Djurdjialo said.


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the building of the Municipality of Stimlje in which the local UNMIK office is based
In front of the building there is no UN sign, only a flag of Republic of Albania
This is not a lonely example, such scenes can be seen on almost all public buildings in Kosovo. It is only a question of time when the Flag of a Foreign state will be finally legalized on the UNMIK Headquarters in Pristina and the Province finally be proclaimed a part of Greater Albania

Serbs in Kosovo Institutions are only for decoration
The deputy of the Coalition "Return" in Kosovo parliament, Rada Trajkovic declared that Serbs "Haven't managed to do anything for their community in the Kosovo institutions and that they act only as decoration". "A logical question comes, why we are here at all, while regarding that the Serbian community don't have a chance to get any kind protection through these institutions, said Trajkovic for Novi Sad's daily "Dnevnik".

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Epoka i re
Pristina, January 19, 2004


The deputy of the Coalition "Return" in Kosovo parliament, Rada Trajkovic declared that Serbs "Haven't managed to do anything for their community in the Kosovo institutions and that they act only as decoration". "A logical question comes, why we are here at all, while regarding that the Serbian community don't have a chance to get any kind protection through these institutions, said Trajkovic for Novi Sad's daily "Dnevnik". She also said that the international community should "accept the reality", and understand that Serbs have only two ways: "to remain inside of these institutions, which obligate them to get assimilated, or to go into isolation, which leads to radicalism", and also added that "the coalition "Return" for the moment  does not want to participate in the implementation of the standards for Kosovo because they represent a revision of Resolution 1244".

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Bogdanovich: UNMIK will implement standards without Serbs

"We requested the unconditional implementation of returns, the vacating of usurped property, a different privatization process, recognition of the right to restitution, restoration of the cultural heritage of the Serbian people, the transformation of the Kosovo Protection Corps but none of our recommendations, in fact, were accepted," said Bogdanovich. "Europe needs to say whether it is in favor of the creation of new mini-states in the Balkans, and it must determine whether it supports a multiethnic, multicultural and multiconfessional society in Kosovo," emphasized Bogdanovich.

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Beta News Agency, Belgrade
January 18, 2004

PRISTINA - Goran Bogdanovich, a Serb minister in the Kosovo government, said that UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri has asked the Kosovo Serbs for a quick answer to the invitation to participate in task groups for implementing the standards, warning that "the implementation of the standards is a fundamental issue and the results will be achieved whether the Serbs participate in this or not".

In an interview for the Kosovo Serbian language magazine "Glas Juga" (Voice of the South), Bogdanovich stated that Serbs have refused to participate because their requests have been ignored, pointing out that UNMIK has been imposing individual solutions on the Serbs through unilateral decisions.

"We requested the unconditional implementation of returns, the vacating of usurped property, a different privatization process, recognition of the right to restitution, restoration of the cultural heritage of the Serbian people, the transformation of the Kosovo Protection Corps but none of our recommendations, in fact, were accepted," said Bogdanovich.

"Europe needs to say whether it is in favor of the creation of new mini-states in the Balkans, and it must determine whether it supports a multiethnic, multicultural and multiconfessional society in Kosovo," emphasized Bogdanovich.

Minister Bogdanovich, who is responsible for agriculture in the Kosovo government, says that the international community is closing its eyes to the usurpation and illegal use of Serbian-owned property and land by the Albanians.

"Most of the land has been usurped and a good part of it cannot be cultivated due to lack of adequate security. A great number of people are refugees who are far from their property, while Albanians are using and making a profit from that land," said Bogdanovich.

"People have asked me to help them to return but we encountered resistance by the institutions as well as by individual Albanians. We have asked that they pay rent for the land they are using; however, the Albanians think that the land is practically theirs and that their land was forcibly usurped in the colonizations of 1945 and before World War II," stated Bogdanovich.

In his opinion, the Return Coalition (Povratak) will survive despite the political turmoil in Belgrade.

"We have acted relatively independently thus far, acting as a political party, because no one is more interested than us in the fate of our people," emphasized Bogdanovich.



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Fragile status-quo in Kosovo - an airplane without a pilot

The future of Kosovo is not only uncertain but is being kept consciously indeterminate. As long as the Serbian population in the north still has no protected rights of existence, a discussion about the future international law status of the region is out of the question. The temporary administration by the UN mission (UNMIK) is not a long-term solution, either. And the expectation that the Albanian majority of Kosovo could renounce the aim of independence in exchange for the long-term prospect of EU membership is an illusion. The rejection of this view could instead give new impetus to Greater Albanian irredentism.

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Le Monde Diplomatique

(From the German supplement appearing in Die Berliner Tageszeitung. Link and German text follows this rough translation into English.)

December 12, 2003


From Jean ARNAULT DÉRENS *

*Journalist, Belgrade. Chief editor of Le Courrier des Balkans.

For the first time since the end of the Kosovo war, representatives of Serbia and the Kosovo Albanians met on October 14, 2003 for direct talks. Few days later in a village in Kosovo, an old man who was the last Serb remaining in the village died of starvation. None of his Albanian neighbors had taken care of him. Behind this small message, a collective tragedy hides itself: four and a half years after end of the war, the remaining 80,000 Serbs live in the UN protectorate of Kosovo under inhuman conditions. (1)

NATO had based its intervention in Kosovo in Spring 1999 on the fact that it must force the Serbian regime of Slobodan Milosevic to withdraw his security forces to stop the infringements against the Albanian population. With UN Security Council Resolution 1244, Kosovo was placed under temporary UN administration "taking into account the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia". This obligation also applies with respect to the state union of Serbia and Montenegro, which legally succeeded the old Yugoslavia on February 5, 2003.

Since then the government in Belgrade has sent repeated requests for strict application of Resolution 1244, leading to the gradual recovery of Serbian sovereignty in Kosovo. The resolution also provides for the return of Serbia and Montenegro border guards to the area. In contrast, the UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) is trying to construct entirely new and independent state institutions. However, this has put it in constant conflict with the clearly defined mandate of the UN mission.

In May 2003 the Kosovo Trust Agency – a department of the European agency for reconstruction in Kosovo – was established with great delay for the privatization of enterprises. But the KTA had to cancel the third round of tenders issued in September because according to Yugoslav law, the enterprises still belong to the nationalized sector of the economy. A U.S. businessman who had purchased a sawmill in Pec filed charges in a New York court because of a dispute. KTA employees were subsequently threatened with criminal charges because they had privatized something that did not belong to them at all. (2)

This example illustrates the absurd situation of the international organizations in Kosovo: They are expected to fulfill their tasks in a region where 50 per cent of the people are unemployed: however, they cannot get any development project going because the legal presuppositions remain inexplicable. "When I came to Kosovo in 2000, all of the representatives of the international organizations would do anything to somehow start the economy," says the assistant of a humanitarian organization. "However, now nobody seems to believe anymore in any form of profitable production. One just assumes that the region can live in the long term from international help, the transfers of Albanian emigrants and the profits from organized crime." A big majority of the Albanian population desires the independence of Kosovo. Their leaders also see the international protectorate as just a stage on the way to national sovereignty. Kosovo expert Branislav Milosevic recently said that Resolution 1244 had become "a sort of the Bible in which nobody believes anymore" because UNMIK itself has adopted an "official version" of it. (3)

According to Albanian journalist Veton Surroi, Kosovo today is like "an airplane without a pilot". (4) The Vienna meeting was nothing more than a PR campaign by the international community to get the representatives of the Serbs and the Albanians to effectively shake hands in front of the media. Both sides had to accept the dialogue to avoid international sanctions; however, they are persisting in largely incompatible positions.

Moreover, the UNMIK chief in place since July, Finn Harri Holkeri, had expelled repatriation minister Milorad Todorovic (of Serbian origin) and health minister Resmija Mumdzija (of Turkish origin) from the Albanian delegation "for reasons required by protocol". Kosovo Prime Minister Bajram Rexhepi had already refused to participate. Rexhepi is a member of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) to which most of the former fighters of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) also belong. Although the PDK had fundamentally agreed to the talks, only two members of the moderate Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) went to Vienna: Kosovo president (and LDK president) Ibrahim Rugova - a highly respected personality morally without political power - and parliamentary president Nexhat Daci. As a consequence, the LDK representatives had to fear again being stamped as "traitors" if they got seriously involved in conversations with the Serbian arch-enemy.

However, Nikola Kabasic, a champion of the civil rights in the mainly Serb north of Kosovo for many years, is also severely critical of the LDK: " Rugova's positions are hardly less radical than that of the other nationalists. During the two years of his presidency, he has not tried even once to talk with representatives of the Serbs or see for himself what the situation is in the enclaves." According to Kabasic, there will be "serious conversations only when Albanian politicians find the courage to also accept responsibility for their Serb fellow citizens. They must clearly disassociate themselves from the acts of violence, the restrictions on freedom of movement and civil rights, and stop treating all Serbs like war criminals and second class citizens."

So far such a beginning evidently appears too risky to the Albanian leaders. There are no such impulses coming from the civil society, either. Since 1999 the attempts to encourage a dialogue between the communities in Kosovo have been decreasing, depending always on foreign initiatives and finding little resonance.

Nikola Kabasic draws a bitter conclusion: "The Albanians are interested only in the political advantages which they can use for propaganda; for the government in Belgrade, too, Kosovo is only an election campaign issue, and the international community limits itself to restraining the conflicting parties."

The civilian staff of UNMIK and the international organizations number in the thousands. At the municipal level UNMIK representatives - who remain mostly only six months or a year on location – can override the decisions of the assembly delegates elected in 2001. One hears very bizarre stories about these people: for example, a Mauritanian expert is said to have told an Albanian labor union delegation: 'Kosovo is now ruled by democracy. There is no more socialism and also no labor unions."

Hub of trade and drug trafficking

Several times the international administration has been beset by cases of corruption cases bringing even its highest circles into disrepute. In December 2002 the German manager of the Kosovo Electricity Company (KEK) was arrested in Germany because 4.5 million euros of international subsidies had disappeared from KEK accounts. (5)

The flourishing of organized crime is among the biggest problems of the UN administration. Smuggling thrives at the borders and, more than ever, Kosovo functions as a hub for drug trafficking and trade. In its fight against crime the UN police force is dependent on collaboration with the Kosovo Police Force (KPS) which is recruited from the Albanian population. However, this body is infiltrated by organized crime and UCK agents, while also indirectly controlling the use of the translators who are necessary for the UN police.

As recently as October 14, thousands of supporters of the People's Movement of Kosovo (LPK) and the National Liberation Movement of Kosovo (LKCK) (6) demonstrated in Pristina against the Vienna talks and demanded the end to the "international occupation". As early as at beginning of the NATO intervention in Kosovo, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had urged the Western democracies not to neglect in their "humanitarian" intentions to find a practical solution to problems which they wanted to get a grip on with military means. Otherwise, the intervention would only lead to the Albanian perception of the NATO peacekeeping force as the adversary in the battle for the independence instead of the Serbs.

Since the EU summit of Thessaloniki in June 2003 a new European "Kosovo doctrine" is being considered: Like all countries of the "western Balkans" (the new concept refers to Albania and the former republics of Yugoslavia, with the exception of Slovenia), the "natural" right of Kosovo to belong one day to a united Europe is guaranteed. The hope for an EU entry should cause all area conflicts to resolve satisfactorily over time and bring lasting peace to the region. However, the governments of the EU countries did not want to commit themselves to a timetable.

The preservation of the status quo has been presented to the Albanian population recently as a logical consequence of the vague prospect of EU entry. But their patience is gradually waning. Since Spring 2003 threats and attacks have again become more frequent in Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbian Preshevo Valley on account of the " Albanian National Army" (ANA). The ANA demands the unification of all "Albanian regions" in the Balkans into an "homogeneous ethnic Albanian state". Already in 2001 the hopeless situation in Kosovo had led to guerrilla warfare actions in Macedonia and the Preshevo Valley, except at that time one spoke of "individual acts".

While the ANA still enjoys no broad support it is, on the other hand, connected closely with the criminal environment. For the majority of the Albanians, the hope for an independent Kosovo remains more tangible than the vision of a "Greater Albania". But the international community wants to hear nothing about new borders in the region because it fears that this would lead to a nuclear chain reaction of territorial claims. Consequently, Ibrahim Rugova can always warn that extremism will increase as long as the independence of Kosovo is rejected.

In the most important host countries – Germany, Belgium, Sweden and Switzerland – the current refugee status of Kosovo Albanians has been a domestic policy issue for some time. Since 1999 these countries have taken a narrow view of the right of asylum and implemented more or less drastic measures involving repatriation of the refugees. Today the Albanians of Kosovo are the youngest population in Europe. If their despair increases, a new wave of emigration as well as the radicalization of the people who remain in the state is certain.

Translated into German by Edgar Peinelt

Footnotes:

(1) 200,000 Serbian refugees from Kosovo still live in Serbia and Montenegro.

(2) See Tanja Matic and Alma Lata, "Kosovo's Privatisation Hiccups", Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), October 24, 2003. www.iwpr.net/index.pl?archive/bcr3/bcr3_200310_465_2_eng.txt

(3) B. Milosevic, "Kosovo: la serbie à la recherche dune stratégie de sortie", www.balkans.eu.org/article3674. html Original in Reporter (Belgrade), October 7, 2003.

(4) Veton Surroi, "Kosovo: y a-t-il un pilote dans lavion?", French under: www.balkans.eu.org/article3651.html  Original in Koha Ditore (Prishtina), October 1, 2003.

(5) Adriatik Kelmendi and Astrit Gashi, "Kosovo: Arrest Follows Electricity Funds Probe", IWPR, December 9, 2002. www.iwpr.net/index.pl?archive/bcr3/bcr3_ 200211_389_1_eng.txt

(6) Both parties grew out of the UCK.

French original: Le Monde Diplomatique, No. 7232, December 12, 2003, page 4, 301 lines (documentation), Jean ARNAULT DÉRENS

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http://www.taz.de/pt/2003/12/12/a0028.nf/text

DIE TAGESZEITUNG (BERLIN) - LE MONDE DIPLOMATIQUE SUPPLEMENT

Die Tageszeitung (Berlin) - Le Monde Diplomatique Supplement

Fragiler Status Quo im Kosovo - Flugzeug ohne Pilot

DIE Zukunft des Kosovo ist nicht nur ungewiss, sondern wird bewusst in der Schwebe gehalten. Solange die serbische Bevölkerung im Norden noch keine gesicherten Existenzrechte hat, ist an eine Diskussion über den künftigen völkerrechtlichen Status des Gebiets nicht zu denken. Auch die vorläufige Verwaltung durch eine UN-Mission (Unmik) ist keine Dauerlösung. Und die Erwartung, dass die albanische Mehrheit der Kosovaren bei einer langfristigen Aussicht auf EU-Mitgliedschaft dem Ziel der Unabhängigkeit abschwören könnte, ist eine Illusion. Die Verweigerung dieser Perspektive könnte eher dem großalbanischen Irredentismus weiteren Auftrieb geben.

Von JEAN-ARNAULT DÉRENS *
* Journalist, Belgrad. Chefredakteur des Courrier des Balkans.

Erstmals seit dem Ende des Kosovokrieges trafen am 14. Oktober 2003 in Wien Vertreter Serbiens und der Kosovo-Albaner zu direkten Gesprächen zusammen. Wenige Tage später verhungerte in einem Dorf im Kosovo ein alter Mann, der als letzter Serbe in seinem Dorf geblieben war. Keiner seiner albanischen Nachbarn hatte sich um ihn gekümmert. Hinter der kleinen Meldung verbirgt sich eine kollektive Tragödie: Viereinhalb Jahre nach Kriegsende leben im UNO-Protektorat Kosovo noch immer 80 000 Serben unter unmenschlichen Bedingungen.(1)

Die Nato hatte im Frühjahr 1999 ihre Intervention im Kosovo damit begründet, dass sie das serbische Regime von Slobodan Milosevic zum Abzug seiner Sicherheitskräfte zwingen müsse, um die Übergriffe gegen die albanische Bevölkerung zu stoppen. Mit der Resolution 1244 des UN-Sicherheitsrats wurde das Kosovo unter vorläufige UN-Verwaltung gestellt, allerdings "unter Beachtung der territorialen Integrität der Bundesrepublik Jugoslawien". Diese Verpflichtung gilt auch gegenüber der Konföderation Serbien-Montenegro, die am 5. Februar 2003 die Rechtsnachfolge des alten Jugoslawien antrat.

Seither mahnt die Regierung in Belgrad immer wieder die strikte Umsetzung der Resolution 1244 an, was auf die schrittweise Rückgewinnung der serbischen Souveränität über das Kosovo hinauslaufen würde. So ist etwa in der Resolution vorgesehen, dass die serbischen und montenegrinischen Grenztruppen in das Gebiet zurückkehren. Im Gegensatz dazu versucht die UN-Mission im Kosovo (Unmik), von Grund auf neue, eigenständige staatliche Institutionen aufzubauen. Damit geriet sie allerdings in einen ständigen Konflikt mit den im Mandat der UN-Mission festgelegten Bestimmungen.

Im Mai 2003 begann mit großer Verzögerung die Kosovo Trust Agency (KTA) - eine Abteilung der Europäischen Agentur für Wiederaufbau im Kosovo - mit der Privatisierung von Unternehmen. Allerdings musste die KTA die im September begonnene dritte Runde der Ausschreibungen stornieren. Denn die Unternehmen gehören nach jugoslawischem Recht immer noch zum sozialisierten Wirtschaftssektor. Ein US-amerikanischer Geschäftsmann, der ein Sägewerk in Pec erworben hatte, rief wegen einer Streitigkeit ein New Yorker Gericht an. Damit drohten den Mitarbeitern der KTA sogar strafrechtliche Konsequenzen, weil sie etwas privatisiert hatten, was ihnen gar nicht gehörte.(2)

Das Beispiel veranschaulicht die absurde Situation der internationalen Organisationen im Kosovo: Sie sollen ihre Aufgaben in einer Region mit 50 Prozent Arbeitslosen erfüllen, können aber kaum ein Entwicklungsprojekt voranbringen, weil die rechtlichen Voraussetzungen ungeklärt bleiben. "Als ich im Jahr 2000 ins Kosovo kam, legten sich alle Vertreter der internationalen Organisationen ins Zeug, um irgendwie die Wirtschaft anzukurbeln" sagt der Mitarbeiter einer humanitären Organisation. "Aber inzwischen scheint niemand mehr an irgendeine Form rentabler Produktion zu glauben. Man geht davon aus, dass die Region auf Dauer nur von internationalen Hilfszahlungen, den Überweisungen der Exilalbaner und den Gewinnen des organisierten Verbrechens leben kann." Eine große Mehrheit der albanischen Bevölkerung wünscht die Unabhängigkeit des Kosovo. Auch ihre Führung sieht das internationale Protektorat nur als eine Etappe auf dem Weg zur nationalen Souveränität. Der Kosovo-Experte Branislav Milosevic meinte kürzlich, die Resolution 1244 sei "eine Art Heilige Schrift geworden, an die niemand mehr glaubt", weil die Unmik außerstande gewesen sei, eine "offizielle Lesart" durchzusetzen.(3)

Das Kosovo ist heute nach den Worten des albanischen Publizisten Veton Surroi wie "ein Flugzeug ohne Pilot".(4) Das Wiener Treffen war nicht viel mehr als eine PR-Aktion der internationalen Gemeinschaft, die den medienwirksamen Händedruck zwischen den Vertretern von Serben und Albanern wollte. Beide Seiten mussten sich zu einem Dialog verpflichten, um internationale Sanktionen zu vermeiden, beharren jedoch auf weitgehend unvereinbaren Positionen.

Überdies hatte der seit Juli amtierende Unmik-Leiter, der Finne Harri Holkeri, aus "protokollarischen Gründen" aus der albanischen Delegation die Minister für Flüchtlingsfragen Milorad Todorovic (serbischer Herkunft) und die Gesundheitsministerin Resmija Mumdzija (türkischer Herkunft) ausgeschlossen. Bajram Rexhepi, der Ministerpräsident des Kosovo, hatte bereits zuvor die Teilnahme verweigert. Rexhepi gehört der Demokratischen Partei des Kosovo (PDK) an, in der sich die meisten der ehemaligen Kämpfer der Kosovo-Befreiungsarmee UÇK organisiert haben. Obwohl auch die PDK die Gespräche grundsätzlich akzeptierte, reisten nur zwei Vertreter der gemäßigten Demokratischen Liga des Kosovo (LDK) nach Wien: der Staatspräsident (und LDK-Vorsitzende) Ibrahim Rugova - eine moralisch hoch geachtete Persönlichkeit ohne politische Macht - und Parlamentspräsident Nexhat Daci. Damit mussten die LDK-Vertreter wieder einmal befürchten, als "Verräter" abgestempelt zu werden, falls sie sich ernsthaft auf Gespräche mit dem serbischen Erzfeind einließen.

Nikola Kabasic, der langjährige Vorkämpfer für die Bürgerrechte im überwiegend serbischen Norden des Kosovo, übt aber auch an der LDK scharfe Kritik: "Rugovas Positionen sind kaum weniger radikal als die anderer Nationalisten. In den zwei Jahren seiner Präsidentschaft hat er nicht ein Mal das Gespräch mit Vertretern der Serben gesucht oder sich persönlich ein Bild von der Lage in den Enklaven gemacht." Nach Kabasic wird es "ernsthafte Gespräche erst dann geben, wenn die albanischen Politiker den Mut finden, auch die Verantwortung für ihre serbischen Mitbürger zu übernehmen. Sie müssen sich von den Gewaltakten, der Einschränkung der Bewegungsfreiheit und der Bürgerrechte klar distanzieren und aufhören, alle Serben als Kriegsverbrecher und Bürger zweiter Klasse zu behandeln."

Bislang erscheint den albanischen Führern eine solche Öffnung offenbar als zu riskant. Auch aus der Zivilgesellschaft kommen keine Impulse. Seit 1999 gehen die Versuche, einen Dialog zwischen den Bevölkerungsgruppen im Kosovo zu stiften, stets auf ausländische Initiativen zurück und finden kaum Resonanz.

Nikola Kabasic zieht ein bitteres Resümee: "Die Albaner sind nur an den politischen Vorteilen interessiert, die sie propagandistisch nutzen können; auch für die Regierung in Belgrad ist das Kosovo nur ein Wahlkampfthema, und die internationale Gemeinschaft beschränkt sich darauf, die Konfliktparteien im Zaum zu halten."

Das zivile Personal der Unmik und der internationalen Organisationen geht in die tausende. Auf kommunaler Ebene dürfen die Unmik-Vertreter - die meist nur sechs Monate oder ein Jahr vor Ort bleiben - auch Entscheidungen der 2001 gewählten Gemeinderäte aufheben. Über diese Leute hört man höchst bizarre Geschichten: So soll ein mauretanischer Experte zu einer albanischen Gewerkschaftsdelegation gesagt haben: "Im Kosovo herrscht jetzt Demokratie, da gibt es keinen Sozialismus mehr und auch keine Gewerkschaften."

Drehscheibe des Menschen- und Drogenhandels

WIEDERHOLT geriet die internationale Verwaltung durch Korruptionsfälle in Verruf, die auch in höchsten Kreisen spielten. Im Dezember 2002 wurde der deutsche Direktor der Kosovo-Elektrizitätsgesellschaft (KEK) in Deutschland verhaftet, weil von den KEK-Konten 4,5 Millionen Euro internationale Hilfsgelder verschwunden waren.(5)

Zu den größten Problemen der UN-Verwaltung gehört die Ausbreitung des organisierten Verbrechens. An den Grenzen floriert der Schmuggel, und mehr denn je fungiert das Kosovo als Drehscheibe für den Drogen- und Menschenhandel. In der Bekämpfung dieser Kriminalität sind die UN-Polizeikräfte auf die Zusammenarbeit mit der Polizei des Kosovo (KPS) angewiesen, die sich aus der albanischen Bevölkerung rekrutiert. Diese Truppe ist allerdings vom organisierten Verbrechen und Agenten der UÇK unterwandert und kontrolliert etwa auch den Einsatz der Übersetzer, die für die UN-Polizei unentbehrlich sind.

Am 14. Oktober demonstrierten in Pristina knapp tausend Anhänger der Volksbewegung des Kosovo (LPK) und der Nationalen Befreiungsbewegung des Kosovo (LKÇK)(6) gegen die Gespräche in Wien und forderten ein Ende der "internationalen Besetzung". Schon zu Beginn des Nato-Einsatzes im Kosovo hatte der frühere US-Außenminister Henry Kissinger gemahnt, dass die westlichen Demokratien über ihren "humanitären" Absichten nicht vergessen dürften, auch eine praktikable Lösung der Probleme vorzulegen, die sie mit militärischen Mitteln in den Griff bekommen wollten. Andernfalls werde die Intervention nur dazu führen, dass die Albaner statt der Serben die Nato-Friedenstruppe als Gegner im Kampf um die Unabhängigkeit wahrnähmen.

Seit dem EU-Gipfel von Thessaloniki im Juni 2003 gilt eine neue europäische "Kosovo-Doktrin": Wie alle Länder des "westlichen Balkans" (der neue Begriff meint Albanien und die ehemaligen Bundesrepubliken Jugoslawiens mit Ausnahme Sloweniens) wird dem Kosovo das "natürliche" Recht attestiert, eines Tages dem vereinten Europa anzugehören. Die Hoffnung auf einen EU-Beitritt soll bewirken, dass sich alle Gebietskonflikte mit der Zeit in Wohlgefallen auflösen und die Region zu dauerhaftem Frieden findet. Auf einen Zeitplan wollten sich die Regierungen der EU-Länder allerdings nicht festlegen.

Die Fortdauer des Status quo wird gegenüber der albanischen Bevölkerung neuerdings als logische Konsequenz der vagen Aussicht auf den EU-Beitritt dargestellt. Doch den Angesprochenen geht allmählich die Geduld aus. Seit Frühjahr 2003 werden im Kosovo, in Mazedonien und im südserbischen Presevotal die Anschläge und Überfälle wieder häufiger, die auf das Konto der "Albanischen Nationalarmee" (ANA) gehen. Die ANA fordert die Vereinigung aller "albanischen Gebiete" auf dem Balkan zu einem "ethnisch homogenen albanischen Staat". Schon 2001 hatte die ausweglose Situation im Kosovo zu Guerillaaktionen in Mazedonien und dem Presevotal geführt - damals sprach man von "Einzelaktionen".

Noch genießt die ANA keine breite Unterstützung, während sie andererseits eng mit dem kriminellen Milieu verbunden ist. Für die Mehrheit der Albaner bleibt die Hoffnung auf ein unabhängiges Kosovo greifbarer als die Vision eines "Großalbanien". Doch die internationale Gemeinschaft will von neuen Grenzen in der Region nach wie vor nichts wissen, weil sie fürchtet, dass dies zu einer Kettenreaktion von Gebietsansprüchen führen würde. Aber genau deshalb kann Ibrahim Rugova immer wieder warnen, dass der Extremismus zunehmen werde, so lange man dem Kosovo die Unabhängigkeit verweigere.

In den wichtigsten Aufnahmeländern - Deutschland, Belgien, Schweden und die Schweiz - ist der Flüchtlingsstrom der Kosovo-Albaner längst zum innenpolitischen Thema geworden. Seit 1999 haben diese Länder ihr Asylrecht enger gefasst und mehr oder weniger drastische Maßnahmen zur Rückführung von Flüchtlingen getroffen. Die Albaner im Kosovo weisen heute den niedrigsten Altersdurchschnitt in Europa auf. Wenn ihre Hoffnungslosigkeit zunimmt, ist eine neue Auswanderungswelle ebenso gewiss wie die Radikalisierung der Menschen, die im Land bleiben.

deutsch von Edgar Peinelt

Fußnoten:

(1) In Serbien und Montenegro leben noch immer je 200 000 serbische Flüchtlinge aus dem Kosovo.
(2) Siehe Tanja Matic und Alma Lata, "Kosovos Privatisation Hiccups", Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), 24. Oktober 2003. www.iwpr.net/index.pl?archive/bcr3/bcr3_200310_465_2_eng.txt.
(3) B. Milosevic, "Kosovo: la serbie à la recherche dune stratégie de sortie", www.balkans.eu.org/article3674. html. Original in Reporter (Belgrad), 7. Oktober 2003.
(4) Veton Surroi, "Kosovo: y a-t-il un pilote dans lavion?", französisch unter: www.balkans.eu.org/article3651.html. Original in Koha Ditore (Prishtina), 1. Oktober 2003.
(5) Adriatik Kelmendi und Astrit Gashi, "Kosovo: Arrest Follows Electricity Funds Probe", IWPR, 9. Dezember 2002. www.iwpr.net/index.pl?archive/bcr3/bcr3_ 200211_389_1_eng.txt.
(6) Beide Parteien sind aus der UÇK hervorgegangen.
Le Monde diplomatique Nr. 7232 vom 12.12.2003, Seite 4, 301 Dokumentation JEAN-ARNAULT DÉRENS


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Flash News from Kosovo and Metohija 17-20 January 2004

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www.inet.co.yu
I*Net News, Belgrade

Tuesday 20 January 2004

21:40 Vranje police chief colonel Dragan Bozovic said that a "relatively stable" situation has been achieved on border itself and in the border zone and assessed that "armed attacks and provocations in the municipalities of Bujanovac and Presevo and the situation in the ground safety zone have made the situation especially complicated".

21:20 Montenegrin customs officials have discovered 5,400 cartons of "Monte Carlo" cigarettes stashed in a redesigned fuel truck with Pec license plates at the Kula border crossing between Kosovo and Metohija and Montenegro, said Montenegrin customs director Miodrag Radusinovic.

19:40 Maria Fucci (sp?), the director of the Kosovo Trust Agency, appointed by the European Union for the privatization of companies in Kosovo, stated today she was filing charges against Kosovo prime minister Bajram Rexhepi for slander and lies.

18:20 The Association of Families of Kidnapped, Missing and Killed Civilians, Soldiers and Police in Kosovo and Metohija expressed support for Nebojsa Covic to remain in the position of head of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija.

12:40 Albanian criminals are expanding their activities, increasingly forming ties and gradually taking over certain "crime markets" within the European Union, warned Europol in its most recent analysis for the year 2003. According to the police analysis, the Albanian underground is beginning to squeeze out the Italian and Russian mafias in European countries, and is "distinguished" by its propensity for extreme violence, especially during clashes with other rival groups, reported the BBC.

12:20 UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri met in Pristina with Kosovo prime minister Bajram Rexhepi and members of his cabinet regarding the Kosovo Trust Agency and privatization in the province. During the meeting, which took place on Rexhepi's initiative, Kosovo government members expressed their concern over the privatization process and the work of the Agency, UNMIK said in a statement.


Monday 19 January 2004

21:00 The former leader of armed Albanian extremists in the south of Serbia Shefket Musliu has been transferred from Dubrava prison near Istok to the prison in Kosovska Mitrovica, Pristina Albanian language media reported today. KFOR arrested Musliu in Kosovo at the beginning of March 2003 with the explanation that he represents a danger to a safe and secure environment.

20:40 Kosovo premier Bajram Rexhepi appointed Ilir Deda as the new coordinator responsible for liaising between the Kosovo government and the UN Mission in Kosovo. This act by Rexhepi is a positive response to the request of UNMIK deputy chief Charles Brayshaw, who last week asked him to dismiss the previous coordinator, Rexhep Hoti.

20:20 Several associations of displaced persons from Kosovo expressed support for Nebojsa Covic remaining in the position of the head of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija, assessing that he had done more than anyone else for the Kosovo and Metohija Serbs.

20:00 In the Serb village of Novake near Prizren two Albanians from the neighboring village of Trnje physically attacked a Serb man, advised Prizren regional police spokesman Fatmir Djurdjalo.

19:40 Return Coalition (Povratak) deputy in the Kosovo parliament Rada Trajkovic stated today that the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija should be discontinued.

14:40 Kosovo government minister Goran Bogdanovic assessed that UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri has the support of the international community for what he was doing. "I reproach Holkeri for suddenly, quickly and surreptitiously pushing through the standards for Kosovo and transferring competencies to provisional Kosovo institutions without the knowledge of the Belgrade government," said Bogdanovic in an interview for the Nis daily "Narodne Novine".


Sunday 18 January 2004

23:40 Serb Return Coalition (Povratak) MP in the Kosovo parliament Dr.
Rada Trajkovic assessed that the Kosovo Serbs "have not managed to do anything" for their community in the institutions created in Kosovo thus far and that they "only serve as decorations" in those institutions.

21:00 Finnish pathologist Helena Ranta criticized the Hague tribunal for failing to adequately follow up on indications that heavy fighting occurred in the village of Racak during the night of January 15-16, 1999 between Serbian forces and members of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
"There are KLA fighters buried near Racak," Ranta said in an interview for the weekend edition of the "Berliner Zeitung". "I have received information proving that a number of Serbian soldiers were also killed there. Unfortunately, we will never know the exact number of Serbs killed that night."

Saturday 17 January 2004

20:20 Montenegrin president Filip Vujanovic and Albanian prime minister Fatos Nano assessed in Podgorica that Montenegrin-Albanian relations are "a model of good neighborly relations, thanks to significant contributions by the Albanian community in Montenegro and the Montenegrin community in Albania".

20:00 UNMIK deputy chief Charles Brayshaw addressed a letter to Kosovo premier Bajram Rexhepi urging him to dismiss Kosovo government liaison officer for UNMIK Rexhep Hoti, writes the Pristina Albanian language daily "Koha Ditore".

19:40 Serb Return Coalition (Povratak) MP in the Kosovo parliament Dr.
Rada Trajkovic assessed that the massacre of 45 Kosovo Albanians in the village of Racak in 1999 was staged and that is why Serb deputies refused to participate in honoring the supposed victims.


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