News.... Reports....Testimonies

The situation in Kosovo and Metohija in light of the most recent session
of the UN Security Council

Without signs of fundamental progress
by Fr. Sava Janjic
(document in MS Word format)

Kosovo and Metohija May 31, 2002
Yugoslavia, UNMIK sign agreements on cooperation

Michael Stainer and Nebojsa Covic at the press conference

UNMIK head Michael Stainer and head of the Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija Nebojsa Covic today held a meeting of the High Working Group of Yugoslavia and UNMIK, where a series of agreements to be signed between UNMIK and Belgrade authorities were discussed, as well as harmonisation of principles and positions on the return of the displaced. Working group members also discussed transfer of Kosovo prisoners to Serbian jails and integration of Serbian judges and prosecutors into the Kosovo judiciary, and agreed to set up a working group for the protection of cultural heritage.

Nebojsa Covic: Short-term and long-term prerequisites for security in the Balkans May 28, 2002

The extremism of a few Kosovo Albanians, who have acted publicly and aggressively, represents the most severe threat for peace in the region as it denies both Serbian and Christian rights in Kosovo and Metohia. The nationalism and extremism of Kosovo Albanians is the only one that has, after all, survived in the conflicts fought over the wreckage of the former Yugoslavia. The international community unintentionally supported it in its legitimate opposition to the regime of Slobodan Milosevic, a regime that abused the human rights of all citizens of the FRY and Republic of Serbia. One never discards their allies easily and immediately after victory has been won.

Long-term sympathy toward such an ally, however, can strengthen the hard-line right wing among other nations, and among Serbs in particular, as their nationalistic front believes that the Serbs have been misunderstood and mistreated by the international community. They dream of revenge and reprisals.

Dr. Covic in his speech

US Senator George Vojinovic and his wife
during their visit to Gracanica Monastery, May 29, 2002

Yugoslav Sovreignity in Kosovo Confirmed
by International Community

UNMIK, UN Security Council, EU Presidency and US Adminstration unanimously reject and condemn attempt of Albanian MP's in Kosovo Parliament to redraw borders of Yugoslavia and FYRO Macedonia

Reuters UN Governor Rejects Kosovo Resolution on borders
AP U.N. Rejects Kosovo Resolution
UNSC Press Statement on Kosovo by President of Sec. Council
EU Declaration by the Presidency of the EU
USIP U.S. Says Kosovo Assembly Can't Reject FRY-FYROM Border Pact

Ninth Assessment of the Situation of Ethnic Minorities in Kosovo
(Period covering September 2001 to April 2002)


Letter of Bishop Artemije to KFOR Commander Lt. Gen. Valentin about the continuation of systematic destruction and desecration of Serb Orthodox Holy Places in Kosovo and Metohija
"I can only assure you that these acts of vandalism are clearly a part of the wider strategy to discourage returns of our IDP's and change the cultural identity of the region which has been known for its valuable Serb Orthodox sites worldwide. Changing not only ethnic, but also cultural identity, Kosovo Albanian leaders want to accelerate the process of independence of Kosovo which would essentially be a "state" tailored to the measure of Albanian people." May 15, 2002

Coordination Centre
of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Republic of Serbia
for Kosovo and Metohija

Report on the destructions of cultural heritage
in Kosovo and Metohija

When the international community will stop sponsoring
a society based on ethic violence and discrimination against non-Albanians

May 17, 2002, Serbs protest in Gracanica against discrimination in Albanian
dominated Kosovo Province.

Bishop Artemije and HRH Crown Prince Alexander in Belgrade
13 May 2002 - Press Statement

Latest News from Kosovo

U.S. State Department Announces Additional Support for
Minority Returns to Kosovo

"I am expecting a public statement from the US Government saying that it will not tolerate the current situation of the Serb community; that the US administration is concerned for the situation of Serbs in Kosovo; that it is unsatisfied with UNMIK's work in the last three years; that it will not reduce investments; that it plans to invest US$5 million for the return of Kosovo Serbs. We also ran into powerful support for the decentralization of Kosovo."

Rada Trajkovic, May 13 to KOHA Ditore after her visit to the United States.

An olive branch or political marketing
Kosovo Albanian Prime Minister in the Pec Monastery

Kosovo Prime Minister Bajram Rexhepi with the highest UNMIK and KFOR representatives at Patriarchate of Pec Monastery, Easter 2002

At first glance, it appears encouraging that the political rhetoric of the Albanian leaders has taken on a somewhat more moderate tone; however, on the ground we still have the usual practice of denial and destruction of everything Serb and Orthodox, which demonstrates a serious discrepancy between words and actions. Two possible explanations for this exist: either there is insincerity on the part of the leaders of the Kosovo Albanians who are pulling the wool over the eyes of foreign diplomats or, on the other hand, they fundamentally lack control and influence over their voters. Fr. Sava

History is repeating

Scenes of barbarism
The Serb Orthodox Cemetery in Djakovica

on Easter

KFOR intentionally tried to hush up the incident and did not
inform the Serban Orthodox Church about this act of vandalism. The Diocese learned about this desecration only in an indirect way while the KFOR authorities still
do not allow Serb Orthodox representatives to visit the location.

Crosses were overturned and smashed, marble tomb coverings removed
so that only concrete and the ground remain

Just before the Orthodox Christian Feast of Easter Kosovo Albanian extremists have desecrated the Serb cemetery in Djakovica. After this latest act of vandalism the local KFOR did not inform the Serb representatives nor the Serbian Orthodox Church in order to hush up the scandal. In fact, until recently the cemetery and the church of St. Lazarus were guarded by Italian KFOR but not long ago the fixed check point was removed and KFOR troops established a patrol system of protection. Obviously this was not a deterrent for the Albanian vandals who used the absence of Italians and desecrated the last remaining Serb Orthodox cemetery in the area. MORE

More about previous cases of desecrations