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The Information Service of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija

Daily press briefing of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija

Gracanica, November 10, 2000

SNC MOST STRONGLY CONDEMNS THE MURDER OF FOUR ROMA

“The international community is responsible for securing basic human rights, freedom and self-government for non-Albanian communities in areas where they live”

The Serb National Council most strongly condemns yesterday’s murder of four Roma in the village of Dosevac, Srbica municipality. The heinous murder of four innocent people who recently returned to the homes from which they were expelled by the Albanians has caused unrest among all the Kosovo-Metohija Serbs, especially those who are refugees planning to return to their homes.

The Roma are, next to the Serbs, the community which has suffered most during the post-war period in Kosovo and Metohija, and this newest crime clearly demonstrates that Albanian extremists have the obvious and apparent goal of an ethically cleansed, Albanian Kosovo. This is the very reason for the large number of obstructions in the process of refugee returns - Serbs, Roma and Bosniacs - by the Albanians. After the murder of these four Roma, it is completely clear what could well await Serb refugees as well under the present conditions despite the presence of KFOR forces which are obviously incapable of providing protection for returnees.

This obviously ethically motivated murder most vividly demonstrates the position of non-Albanian communities in the Province and absolutely does not correspond with the picture of a democratic Kosovo which Albanian politicians and some international circles have gone to great lengths to create. The fact is that Kosovo today is the arena of the most brutal violations of human rights of all those who are not of Albanian origin. Kosovo continues to be ruled by violence, organized crime, destruction and forceful appropriation of Serb property, drug smuggling and prostitution. Unfortunately, even after more than a year the UN mission has not succeeded in creating minimal freedom for Serbs and Roma outside their well-protected ghettoes which are not infrequently enclosed in barbed wire. For those who are not Albanian there is no freedom of movement, employment or free living. Even the dead have not been left in peace because, in addition to destroying Serbian churches, Serbian cemeteries are being desecrated and used as garbage dumps.

From the present situation it is very clear that without the establishment of fundamental law and order, freedom and rights for all citizens in the Province, there is and there can be no common building of democratic institutions. The Serbs, the Roma and all other endangered communities which commonly live together in peace, next to each other, should be given basic rights and self-government in enclaves where they live in order to prevent the complete ethnic cleansing of Kosovo and Metohija. Because the UN mission is incapable of providing these citizens with the basic rights guaranteed by all the charters in the world, it is fully understandable that these communities are justified in seeking greater support from the present democratic government of FRY, the country to which they belong, in the future.

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