Albanian demonstrations in South Mitrovica, photo Reuters

WHY IS MITROVICA A DIVIDED CITY TODAY?
Reality cannot be changed to the better by creating misconceptions

Text in Serbian

By Fr. Sava (Janjic)

The problem of the divided Kosovan city of Mitrovica is usually unilaterally interpreted as a problem of Serbs in the North who refuse to live with Albanians in the South. In many respects, things are quite the opposite.

In dramatic events during the summer of 1999, when Kosovo Albanians led by UCK/KLA militants managed to ethnically cleanse a large part of Kosovo Province, and after the withdrawal of Yugoslav troops and the arrival of international peacekeepers, Serbs in Mitrovica organized their defense and did not allow Albanian militants to cross the Ibar River and drive them away. All Serbs with the exception of a dozen souls have been expelled from the southern part of the city; the Roma community was totally eradicated and their quarter or "mahala" burned to the ground by the KLA. Serb houses and businesses were occupied overnight by new Albanian "owners". At the same time, North Mitrovica, comprised of only one-fifth of the entire city area, has remained a multiethnic area until the present day, a fact even recognized in a recent report by the International Crisis Group.

In fact, according to OSCE figures, Mitrovica municipality (both north and south) currently has a population of over 100,000 people. North of the Ibar River there are 12,000 Serbs, 3,000 Albanians, 2,000 Slavic Muslims, 600 Turks and 500 Roma, including approximately 5,000 internally displaced Serbs, who mostly found refuge there upon fleeing from the southern part of the city. Paradoxically or not, North Mitrovica is one of the most multiethnic urban areas in Kosovo but nevertheless a most serious problem for many, especially Albanian extremists. In the southern part of the city, there are only 15 Serbs currently living in an old church compound surrounded by barbed wire and heavily protected by KFOR soldiers. The number of Slavic Moslems (called Bosniaks) has rapidly decreased too. This part of the city is "multiethnic" only because international peacekeepers and UN personnel work and live here beside the Albanians. Local non-Albanian communities simply do not exist, as in most if not all other Albanian dominated cities.

No one can deny that there are problems in the North. A few criminal groups operate in this part of the city, taking advantage of the extremely difficult economic situation. But keeping in mind that the rest of Kosovo is overwhelmed with drug gangs, mafia, semi-legal security agencies and prostitution rings, an objective observer could hardly point to North Mitrovica as the most serious Kosovo problem.

In fact, the problem of North Mitrovica and the northern part of Kosovo, predominantly inhabited by Serbs (c. 60,000), is that Kosovo Albanians do not rule this area and cannot drive the Serbs out as they did in other mostly urban parts of Kosovo, regrettably, in the presence of KFOR and the UN. Serbs in the north are not ready to accept the new Kosovo institutions as long as they are under the strong influence of Albanian political parties which evolved from the KLA after the war. For Serbs, North Mitrovica is the last hope of multiethnic Kosovo. As an area in which Serbs, Albanians, Turks, Roma and Slavic Muslims still live in relative peace and equality, it should serve more as a model for the rest of almost ethnically cleansed Albanian dominated Kosovo than an obstacle for a better future. It goes without saying that all these above mentioned communities live on the territory of Central Serbia and Montenegro without conflict, enjoying freedom of movement and full cultural and human rights. However, as soon as one enters the UN-administered Kosovo province, the reality changes abruptly. While cars with passengers of different ethnicities freely travel along Yugoslav roads, especially towards the Montenegrin coast, and while increasing numbers of Kosovo Albanians go to Belgrade for medical treatment, in the rest of Kosovo Serbs still live in ethnic ghettoes and enclaves without free access to Kosovo Albanian dominated institutions.

Mitrovica - a divided city
Mitrovica is a divided city
Northern part of Mitrovica is the only city in Kosovo where Serbs can freely move,
go to shops and a hospital. Yet, it is only one fifth of the entire city area (editor)

For example, in Pristina, the capital of the province, despite a strong international presence only 110 Serbs (excluding interpreters from Central Serbia) remain out of a pre-war total of 20,700 urban Pristiners. In Prizren out of 8.300 pre-war Serbs only 65 elderly people remain; in Djakovica the last remaining Serbs are only 6 old Serb women living in a parish home, while in Pec there are no Serbs in the town, in which 9.100 Serbs lived before, and only 26 nuns live in a convent outside of the city under KFOR protection (see the table). In fact, in all Kosovo cities the number of international personnel is higher than the number of Serbs who originally lived there, which is not quite the best substitute for the lost multiethnicity. Pristina Serbs live in a small ghetto known as the "YU program building" and around the old Serbian church. While 20 Serb children travel every day by military vehicle to the neighboring Serb village to attend their classes, in the city of Pristina all schools are reserved only for Albanian speakers. Pristina University does not have a single Serb professor or student while the main Pristina hospital is free only for the majority population -- the Albanians. Neither in Pristina, nor in any other Kosovan city except North Mitrovica can Serbs doctors do their job normally and Serbs were forced to establish a network of village clinics which are supported both by Belgrade Government and UNMIK.

Is Pristina then a better and more encouraging model for multiethnic Kosovo than North Mitrovica? Quite on the contrary: Pristina, Prizren, Pec, Urosevac, Djakovica and some other smaller Kosovan towns are examples of what Mitrovica and the north of Kosovo would look like if there were a "reunification" on the basis of what Albanian political parties and extremists want. Therefore, it is so difficult to understand that the international community often accepts such a wrong view of the reality based on reports which abound in unfounded information and prejudices, if not outright propaganda.

At the moment Kosovo Albanians deny the Serbs the right to have their university in Mitrovica where young Serbs and other Serbo-Croat speakers would be able to attend classes in their own language and the Serbian speaking professors would freely teach as everywhere else in Yugoslavia. In the seventies, it was exactly this right that the Belgrade government granted to Kosovo Albanians and they got their university in Pristina which unfortunately soon became a hotbed of separatist ideas with Albanian professors from Tirana spreading Hoxhist and Maoist ideas and cultivating hopes for a Greater Albania. Serbs understood very soon that Pristina University was creating new political and cultural identities in Kosovo in which there was less and less room for Serbs and other Serbo-Croat speaking students. In denying Serbs their right to a university and at least one out of a dozen regional hospitals in North Mitrovica, not only Albanians but also the international community is committing a serious injustice. Insisting on “multiethnicity” of the Mitrovica University and Hospital while at the same time leaving all other hospitals and the Pristina University virtually ethnically clean Albanians want to prevent Serbs to have at least one regional center in which they would enjoy basic freedom and rights. In fact, under the guise of "multiethnicity" one can discern attempts to destroy one of the last remaining areas in which Serb students, engineers, professors and other promising young people can work freely using their mother tongue. In all other parts of Kosovo, urban areas are closed to Serbs and young intellectuals can only choose to work for KFOR or UNMIK or cultivate the fields as farmers.

So-called parallel institutions in Mitrovica are not “parallel” but the only existing institutions for that area which offer the Serb speaking population basic services without discrimination and repression, quite unlike institutions in Albanian dominated areas in which remaining Serb enclaves are either left to themselves or rely on ample international support. Non-Albanian participation in these new Kosovan (read Albanian) institutions is only symbolic because hardly any Serb would dare to freely go to a Pristina, Prizren or Pec hospital or court to get what he needs. There are no Serb parents who would send their son or daughter to Pristina University risking the life of their child in an environment based on overt ethnic discrimination.

This is well-known to all internationals in Kosovo but is intentionally kept hidden from many people in the West who rely on false reports which try to cover up the failures of the Kosovo administration. Very few international officials who come to Kosovo for the first time understand that this society is ethnically divided into a privileged and free population, and those who are not free. Hardly any of these visitors understand at first glance that the smiling faces of children and young people in the streets of Pristina, Pec, Djakovica or Prizren are almost 99.99 % Albanian because the presence of a Serb speaking his or her mother language in a public place is headline news in Kosovo. Also, many European and U.S. donors do not know that the institutions they support are largely inaccessible to the minority populations, primarily the Serbs. Finding one or two Serbs to write at least their names on an application is sometimes enough to present a public institution as fully multiethnic and free for all regardless of ethnicity and religion. This is exactly how many Kosovan institutions received ample funds from the West although they are not multiethnic at all.

Therefore, calls for "reunification" of Mitrovica as long as this process is based on the idea of the domination of the majority population over the minority is profoundly wrong and unjust and would never win the support of Serbs in either the North or in other parts of the Province. Serbs in Kosovo have the undeniable right to maintain their links with the country to which they legally belong according to the UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and resist forceful integration into Kosovo regional institutions for as long as they are denied their basic human rights and dignity. They also have the fundamental right to preserve their identity: culture, language and religion in a society which is progressively eradicating anything which is not Albanian. When Serbs one day are able to get their basic administrative, medical and educational services in Pristina, Prizren and Pec normally and without any obstacles then there will surely be no reason for Mitrovica to remain divided. The situation in Mitrovica cannot therefore be understood outside of a wider Kosovo context and is more a symptom of the general Kosovo problem than a source of the problem itself.

In actuality, the battle for Mitrovica is not being fought at the bridge over the Ibar River but in those areas which have been ethnically cleansed of their non-Albanian population in the international presence.


KFOR protected Serbian church in South Mitrovica

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As an illustration to what has just been said we are enclosing a newspaper article published in Belgrade based GLAS (Herald) daily on Aug 6, 2002 as well as an article published in Politika daily a day before illustrating the decrease of Serb population in the Pec region after the war. In attachment you can find a table showing the decrease of Serb population in major Kosovan cities.

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French KFOR in attempt to calm down Albanian street riots
Scenes of anarchy and disorder - no courts, no law, no peace... only KFOR enforces the order French KFOR in attempt to calm down Albanian street riots, Mitrovica Aug 99

Glas Javnosti, August 6, 2002
Translated from Serbian


Reporters of the “Glas” (Herald) in a short adventure in the southern part of Kosovska Mitrovica

Serbs pretend to be Englishmen

If you happen to come from Belgrade or the northern part of the city there is a rule: never speak Serbian, or otherwise you’re going to have problems.

Crossing the bridge which once spanned the left and the right bank of the Ibar river, and now stands between the northern, Serbian, and the southern, Albanian, part of Kosovska Mitrovica was not an easy task despite a routine showing of press cards to the French soldiers; Not at all an easy task.

More difficult part of the job, which we did on our own ,disregarding warnings both by Serbs in the north, who would never dare do such a thing, and the peacekeepers themselves, occurred immediately we left the UNMIK building on which still stood a logo sign of “Jugobanka”.

The first things we noticed were a horrendous crowd in the streets and shops full of goods from all parts of the world; of course, from Serbia, too. On Saturday, which is a shopping day here, it is almost impossible to walk through the streets packed with cars and shoppers. KFOR soldiers and UNMIK police officers have the most difficult task to get through these narrow streets and alleys in which often various illegal things happen.

Last month the French soldiers searched 14 Albanian houses in a routine search operation and found a 9mm caliber pistol, several hunting rifles, four rounds of ammunition and two ammunition magazines for the Kalashnikov machine gun.

Due to security conditions we could not visit the Serbian church with the last 15 Serbs in South Mitrovica as well as the Serbian cemetery in which many tombstones were pulled down. That is why we went along a street in which a single Serb has not walked the last three and half years.

Armed with our camera and curiosity we turned to the square near the former shopping center. We knew the rule: no Serbian language, but pretend to be English even if someone addresses you in Serbian. To be a Serb in this city is equal to a capital punishment. Those who did not listen to this advice never came back. That is why the Serbs do not think of crossing the bridge except if they all freely go back to their homes.

The charred Serbian shop “Photo Moma” which has not been rebuilt nor completely pulled down attracted our attention at the first glance. It looks like a warning to the Serbs who can see this ruin from afar.

Several days ago Albanians burned the building of the former Russian Consulate, built in 1903. In this house worked the Russian consul Nikolay Shtcherbyna, shot by Albanians on 10 March 1903. He died ten days later. The Mitrovica Serbs consider the burning down of the Consulate as a reaction of Albanians to the visit of the delegation of the Moscow city government to the northern part of Mitrovica. On that occasion the president of the Serb municipality Nikola Radovic and the mayor of Budjanovsk-Lyashceno Nikolay Andreyewich signed a twin-city charter.

The former Roma quarter looks like a ghost town, completely destroyed by Albanians after the arrival of KFOR in June 1999. Perhaps the foreigners who come to this city would not ever ask a question who did this and why, if it were not for Faruk Spahija, the mayor of South Mitrovica, who planned to clear the grounds and build a new shopping center on this location.

South Mitrovica is a large building place. Albanians destroy Serbian houses and on their locations energetically build their multi storied homes, easily visible from the north. The YU program block of apartments, the construction of which was stopped before the NATO bombing campaign, has been completed and now there live Albanians who have occupied other Serb houses and flats.

Since June 1999 in this city which got its name after St. Demetrius (Dmitrovica – Mitrovica) there is no more place for Serbs. The last 15 Serbs who live in a parish home are guarded by the Greek KFOR soldiers. UNMIK speaker Gyorgi Kakyuk says that one can visit them under a KFOR escort but the visit has to be announced several days before to organize the meeting. Amazingly, this church is only a few hundreds of meters from the location on which we stood, but one has to approach the church without noticing attention, which seems to be impossible.

Being used to caution it was not difficult to notice that we were followed. We pretended that we did not notice a few young men who kept going several meters behind us. In one moment a man approached us who seemed to be known to us from before. He addressed us in Albanian, rather offensively, in a tone of the master of the situation. He asked us what we were doing there and why we were taking photos, who gave us permission…. He did not wait for our answers.

Our photo-reporter said in English that we could not understand a word. This man kept insisting in Albanian probably trying to find out how well we spoke English. One could perceive a grimace of satisfaction on his face… and then a shock. In the same tone he kept asking questions in Albanian: What do you want from us? Who are you and who gives you right to ask us? Instead of waiting for our answers he only repeated his questions who we were and where we came from. Journalists from Belgrade – answers came both in Albanian and English.

On the face of this man, whom we recognized soon after, we could see perplexity and then he made a grimace which seemed to give us a clear message: Do not play with such things!

That man was Halil Barani, one of witnesses on the trial to Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague, who presented himself to the court as a film director and humanitarian activist. He continued following us, constantly speaking in a confused mixture of English and Albanian. When we reached the bridge he wanted to see our documents and went with us towards a KFOR soldier. After some pushing and arguing we let him stay with soldiers who instead asked for his ID. After that he could not stay there any longer and went towards the former Cultural center in the south part of the city, on the Ibar river bank, where he worked. After showing our ID’s we returned to the north part across the bridge.

Lj.Staletovic


VANDALIZED SERB CEMETERY IN MITROVICA

Politika (Belgrade, Yugoslavia)
5 August 2002

DRASTIC CHANGE IN ETHNIC STRUCTURE OF KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

About 48,000 Serbs less in Pec district

Pec, 4 August (Tanjug)

During recent years the ethnic structure of the Pec district in the western part of Kosovo and Metohija has changed drastically. The percentage of Serbs has fallen from almost 11 percent of the population in 1998 to a negligible 0.4 percent today.

According to information published by the command of the KFOR multinational brigade West, in 1998 there were approximately 457,000 residents in the district, of whom about 49,500 (10.8 percent) were Serbs and slightly fewer (48,000 or 10.5 percent) were Roma (Gypsies).

Most numerous were the Albanians with 332,000 residents (or 72.6 percent) while the least numerous were the Muslim Slavs (Bosniacs) with 10,500 (6.1 percent).

By June of this year, according to the same source, the ethnic structure of the district has changed drastically and the total number of residents has been reduced by about 77,000.

In comparison with the earlier period, the Serbs have been reduced to an almost negligle number and currently there are 1,530 (0.4 percent) of them.

The number of Albanians has risen by about 30,000. Now there is a total of 361,915 of them and they form an absolute majority (95.24 percent).

The Roma population is also less numerous in comparison with the situation in 1998. Currently there are 12,165 (3.20 percent) Roma in the district. The number of Slavic Muslims has also been halved and today there are about 4,400 (1.16 percent) of them.


KOMENTAR
protosindjela Save (Janjica)

07. avgust 2002.

ZASTO JE KOSOVSKA MITROVICA DANAS PODELJEN GRAD?

Problem podeljenog grada Kosovske Mitrovice obicno se jednostrano objasnjava kao problem Srba na severu koji odbijaju da zive sa Albancima na jugu. Medjutim, situacija je u mnogo cemu suprotna ovoj sablonskoj tvrdnji.

U dramaticnim dogadjajima u toku leta 1999 god, kada su kosovski Albanci predvodjeni OVK uspeli da etnicki ociste veliki deo Kosova i Metohije, nakon povlacenja jugoslovenskih snaga i dolaska medjunarodnih snaga KFOR-a, mitrovacki Srbi su spontano organizovali odbranu ne dozvolivsi albanskim ekstremistima da predju reku Ibar i oteraju Srbe is a ovih prostora. OVK je vec proterala sve Srbe, sa izuzetkom nekolicine, iz juznog dela grada, dok je romska zajednica potpuno zbrisana sa lica zemlje i njihova mahala spaljena do temelja. Srpske kuce i poslovne prostore koji nisu bili zapaljeni, preko noci su okupirali novi “albanski” vlasnici. Istovremeno, severna Mitrovica, koja cini samo jednu petinu celog grada, ostala je do danas multietnicko podrucje, sto se cak priznaje i u najnovijem izvestaju Srbima nenaklonjene Medjunarodne krizne grupe.

Zapravo, prema podacima OEBS-a, u opstini Mitrovica trenutno ima oko 100.000 ljudi. Severno od Ibra zivi 12.000 Srba, 3000 Albanaca, 2.000 Bosnjaka (Muslimana), 600 Turaka i 500 Roma, ukljucujuci i otrpilike 5.000 Srba prognanih vecinom iz juzne Mitrovice ili drugih delova Pokrajine. Paradoksalno ili ne, Severna Mitrovica je jedna od najmultietnickijih urbanih podrucija na Kosovu i Metohiji, a ipak se smatra najvecim kosovskim problemom, posebno u albanskim i medjunarodnim krugovima. U juznom delu grada trenutno zivi samo 15 Srba koji zivot provode u parohijskom domu uz crkvu Sv. Save, okruzeni bodljikavom zicom i jakom zastitom snaga KFOR-a. Broj Bosnjaka je takodje opao u ovom delu Mitrovice, kao i uostalom u drugim urbanim podrucjima Pokrajine. Ovaj, juzni deo Mitrovice zapravo je multietnicki samo zahvaljujuci brojnim medjunarodnim mirotvorcima i osoblju UNMIK-a koji ovde rade i zive sa Albancima. Lokalne ne-albanske zajednice gotovo da ne postoje, sto je slucaj i u ostalim gradovima u kojima zivi albanska vecina.

Niko ne moze da porekne da na severu nema problema. Nekoliko kriminalnih grupa deluje i u ovom delu grada koristeci se izuzetno teskom ekonomskom i politickom situacijom. Ali, imajuci u vidu da je ostali deo Kosova i Metohije preplavljen narko-bandama, mafijom, polu-legalnim “bezbednosnim agencijama” i centrima za prostituciju i belo roblje, objektivan posmatrac tesko moze da prstom pokaze bas na severnu Mitrovicu kao najozbiljniji kosovski problem.

Izgleda da ce pre biti da je Severna Mitrovica kao i severni deo Kosova i Metohije, u kome vecinom zive Srbi (otprilike 60.000 ljudi) ozbiljan problem upravo zato sto kosovski Albanci nisu uspostavili kontrolu i nad ovim podrucjem i nisu uspeli da proteraju Srbe kao iz drugih urbanih delova Kosova i Metohije sto se nazalost dogodilo u prisustvu medjunarodnih snaga i misije UN. Srbi na severu ne zele da private nove kosovske institucije sve dok u njima glavnu rec vode predstavnici politickih partija koje su se razvile iz bivse OVK nakon rata. Za Srbe na Kosovu i Metohiji, Mitrovica je poslednja nada za multietnicko Kosovo. Zato ona kao podrucje u kome Srbi, Albanci, Turci, Romi i Bosnjaci jos zive u relativnom miru i jednakosti, treba da predstavlja vise model za ostatak gotovo etnickog ociscenog Kosova u kome dominiraju Albanci, a ne kao prepreku za bolju buducnost. Ne treba pominjati da sve navedene etnicke zajednice zive na teritoriji centralne Srbije i Crne Gore bez sukoba, uzivajuci slobodu kretanja i svoja kulturna i ljudska prava. Medjutim, cim se udje na teritoriju Kosova i Metohije koja je pod administracijom UN, realnost na terenu se naglo menja. Dok kola sa putnicima razlicite etnicke pripadnosti slobodno putuju jugoslovenskim cestama, posebno u pravcu crnogorske obale, i dok je sve vise kosovskih Albanaca koji idu u Beograd na lecenje, u ostalim delovima Kosova i Metohije Srbi jos zive u etnickim getima i enklavama bez slobodnog pristupa institucijama kojim dominiraju kosovski Albanci.

Na primer, u samom gradskoj zoni Pristine i pored jakog medjunarodnog prisustva zivi samo 110 (iskljucujuci stotinjak prevodilaca koji su dosli iz centralne Srbije) od predratnih 20.700 Srba. U Prizrenu od predratnih 8.300 Srba ostalo je samo 65 starijih lica; u Djakovici su jedini preostali Srbi 6 starica koje zive uz staru crkvu dok u Peci, u gradu, sa predratnih 9.100 Srba vise niko nije preostao i samo 25 monahinja jos opstaje pod jakom zastitom KFOR-a u manastiru Pecka Patrijarsija. U stvari, u svim kosovsko-metohijskim gradovima broj medjunarodnih predstavnika nadmasuje broj Srba koji su preostali, sto se tesko moze nazvati pravom zamenom za nepostojecu multietnicnost. Pristinski Srbi zive u malom getu poznatom pod imenom “zgrada YU programa” kao i oko crkve Sv. Nikole. Dok dvadesetak srpske dece svakodnevno u vojnim vozilima putuje na nastavu u Laplje Selo izvan Pristine, sve pristinske skole su rezervisane samo za one koji govore albanskim jezikom. Na pristinskom Univerzitetu nema nijednog srpskog profesora ili studenta dok je Univerzitetska bolnica u Pristini slobodna i otvorena prakticno samo za vecinsko stanovnistvo – Albance. Ni u Pristini, ni u jednom kosovskom gradu, osim severne Mitrovice, srspki lekari ne mogu normalno da rade u bolnickim centrima pa su Srbi bili prisiljeni da formiraju mrezu seoskih klinika koje pomazu Beogradska vlada i UNMIK. Sada se Srbi koji zive u ovakvoj situaciji optuzuju zbog paralelnih institucija i nespremnosti da ucestvuju u svim “blagodatima” posleratne slobode.

Da li je na osnovu svega recenog Pristina bolji i pohvalniji model za multietnicko Kosovo od Severne Mitrovice? Naprotiv, Pristina, Prizren, Pec, Urosevac, Djakovica i drugi manji kosovski gradovi su primer kako bi severna Mitrovica i citav sever Kosova i Metohije izgledali ukoliko bi se sprovela toliko forsirana “reintegracija” i “ujedinjenje” i to na osnovu programa albanskih politickih partija i njihovih jurisnika. Prema tome, tesko je razumeti zasto medjunarodna zajednica cesto prihvata jedan u osnovi pogresan pogled koji je zasnovan na izvestajima koji se temelje na neproverenim informacijama i predrasudama, a najcesce na otvorenoj propagandi.

Trenutno kosovski Albanci ne dozvoljavaju Srbima njihovo pravo da imaju Univerzitet u severnoj Mitrovici gde bi Srbi i drugi studenti koji se sluze srpsko-hrvatskim jezikom mogli da pohadjaju nastavu na svom maternjem jeziku i gde bi srpski profesori slobodno predavali kao sto to cine njihove kolege sirom Jugoslavije. U vreme autonomije Kosova sedamdesetih i osamdesetih godina Beogrdska vlada je upravo ovo pravo dala kosovskim Albancima koji su dobili Pristinski Univerzitet. Ova ustanova je nazalost ubrzo postala rasadnik separatistickih ideja zahvaljujuci prvenstveno albanskim profesorima iz Tirane koji su sirili ideje Enver Hodze i maoizma, podsticuci nadu u stvaranje Velike Albanije. Srbi su vrlo brzo razumeli da Pristinski Univerzitet stvara nove politicke i kulturne realnosti na Kosovu i Metohiji i da je u njemu sve manje mesta za Srbe i ostale studente kojima je srpski maternji jezik. Negirajuci Srbima njihovo neotudjivo pravo na Univerzitet i skolske programe koji ce biti u skladu sa nastavnim planovima Srbije, kao i makar jedan regionalni bolnicki centar u Severnoj Mitrovici kosovki Albanci i medjunarodni krugovi cine ozbiljnu nepravdu prema Srbima. Insistirajuci na multietnicnosti mitrovackog Univerziteta i bolnice dok se istovremeno tolerise postojanje gotovo etnicki cistih albanskih bolnica i Pristinskog Univeverziteta, Albanci u sustini zele da sprece Srbe da zadrze makar jedan regionalni centar u kome ce uzivati osnovne slobode i prava. U stvari, pod maskom “multietnicnosti” mogu se primetiti namere da se unisti poslednja urbana sredina na Kosovu i Metohiji u kojoj srpski studenti, inzenjeri, profesori i drugi perspektivni mladi ljudi mogu da zive i rade slobodno koristeci se svojim maternjim jezikom. U svim drugim delovima Kosova i Metohije urbane zone su zatvorene za Srbe i mladi intelektualci mogu samo da rade za KFOR ili UNMIK ili pak da se posvete obradi zemlje.

Takozvane “paralelne institucije” u severnoj Mitrovici i drugim srpskim enklavama nisu “paralelne” vec jedine postojece institucije koje pruzaju srpskom stanovnistvu osnovne usluge bez diskriminacije i represije za razliku od institucija u podrucijima u kojima preovladjuju Albanci i u kojima su preostale manje srpske enklave prinudjene da zive samo zahvaljujuci medjunarodnoj humanitarnoj pomoci. Ucesce ne-albanaca u novim kosovskim (citaj albanskim) institucijama je samo simbolicno jer se tesko moze naci Srbin koji bi slobodno isao u pristinsku, prizrensku ili pecku bolnicu ili sud da bi dobio potrebne usluge kada cak i srpski parlamentarci u zgradu Skupstine putuju u oklopnim vozilima. Nema tih srpskih roditelja koji bi svoga sina ili kcerku poslali na Pristinski univerzitet i tako rizikovali zivot svog deteta u sredini koja je zasnovana na otvorenoj etnickoj diskriminaciji.

Ovo je sve poznato medjunarodnim predstavnicima na Kosovu i Metohiji ali se istina izgleda namerno skriva od mnogih ljudi na Zapadu koji se informisu na osnovu laznih i nepotpunih izvestaja kojima se nastoje sakriti promasaji kosovske administracije. Vrlo malo medjunarodnih predstavnika koji posecuju Kosovo i Metohiju po prvi put shvataju da je kosovsko drustvo etnicki podeljeno na privilegovano, slobodno stanovnistvo i one koji to nisu. Jedva da iko od ovih stranih posetilaca na prvi pogled razume da su nasmejana lica dece i omladine na ulicama Pristine, Peci, Djakovice i Prizrena gotovo u 99.99 % slucajeva albanska, jer prisustvo Srba, koji se uz to jos sluze svojim jezikom na javnim mestima, u kosovskim gradovima vest je koja se sa nevericom prepricava. Takodje, mnogi evropski i americki donatori ne znaju da su institucije koje obilato pomazu vecinom nepristupacne manjinskom stanovnistvu, posebno Srbima. Cesto je dovoljno naci dvoje Srba koji bi samo potpisali svoja imena na nekom formularu da se ta institucija nazove u potpunosti multietnickom i slobodnom za sve bez obzira na etnicku ili versku pripadnost. Upravo na ovaj nacin mnoge kosovske institucije su primile velike fondove sa Zapada iako po nicemu nisu multietnicke i do dan danas ostaju zatvorene za Srbe.

Prema tome, apeli za “ujedinjenje” i “integraciju” Kosovske Mitrovice dok god traje proces dominacije vecinskog stanovnistva nad Srbima i drugim malobrojnijim ne-albanskim zajednicama sasvim su pogresni i nepravedni i nikada nece naici na podrsku Srba ni na severu ni u ostalim delovima Pokrajine. Srbi na Kosovu i Metohiji imaju svoje neotudjivo pravo da zadrze veze sa drzavom kojom po Rezoluciji SB UN 1244 pripadaju i odlucno se odupru nasilnoj integraciji u kosovske institucije sve dok one negiraju njihova osnovna ljudska prava i dostojanstvo. Oni takodje imaju fundamentalno pravo da sacuvaju svoj identitet: kulturu, jezik i veru u jednom drustvu u kome se progresivno unistava i iskorenjuje sve sto nije albansko. Kada Srbi jednog dana budu slobodno i bez ikakvih problema mogli da dobiju svoje osnovne administrativne, zdravstvene i obrazovne usluge u Pristini, Prizrenu i Peci tada nece biti razloga da Mitrovica ostane podeljena. Situacija u Kosovskoj Mitrovici zato se ne moze stoga razumeti niti razresiti van sireg kosovskog konteksta jer je ona pre simptom i posledica opstih kosovskih problema nego njihov uzrok.

Zapravo, bitka za Mitrovicu ne bije se na mostu preko reke Ibra vec u onim delovima Kosova i Metohije koji su etnicki ocisceni od ne-albanskog stanovnistva u medjunarodnom prisustvu.

Protosindjel Sava (Janjic)