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[Comment] Next war in Kosovo

09 January 2008


Tags : opinions - Kosovo


dtt-net.com - "....Serbia's Prime Minister is preparing now to fight the battle of Kosovo, as he likes to say. He is not alone. While Kosovo Assembly is preparing to declare independence, Belgrade sent an ignoring message: Serbia will protect Kosovo on any condition..."

By Anna di Lellio

The past tells us that Serbia is the main threat to security in the Balkans even when its leaders use the language of peace and law. Western powers should not trust the current Serb leaders. They should learn from their mistakes by reading the book of Florence Hartmann. In the fascinating memoirs, “Paix et Chatiement”, Hartmann wrote that as long as justice is denied to the people alive, “the dead people of Srebrenica will chase those alive in the Old Continent as ghosts.”

Hartmann was the spokesperson of The Hague Tribunal Chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte from 200o0 to 2007. Her book is a ‘J’accuse pasionate’ but it is bitter towards Western European powers and the US. Hartmann claims that they exchanged justice for security. Diplomats, same as secret services and peacekeepers, hindered the arrest of Ratko Mladic and Radovan Kradjic (accused of Srebrenica massacre) in a silent conspiracy with the Serb nationalistic leadership, who continue to shelter these two criminals. […]



None of the post-Milosevician leaders in Serbia, except the late PM Zoran Djindjic, gave up Milosevic’s policy. Djindjic handed over Milosevic to The Hague and tried to extradite Mladic, but he was killed in March 2003. Vojislav Kostunica was his successor as Serbia’s PM. As Serbia’s President, Kostunica was against the arrest of Milosevic and hesitated a lot to retire Mladic from the Serb army until May 2002. Under Kostunica’s governance, Mladic and Karadjic lived freely in Serbia and visited Bosnia often.



Kostunica is preparing now to fight the battle of Kosovo, as he likes to say. He is not alone. While Kosovo Assembly is preparing to declare independence, Belgrade sent an ignoring message: Serbia will protect Kosovo on any condition. Serbian Foreign Minister reiterates that this does not imply Serbia will wage a war. Some time ago, President Tadic addressed Serb military forces close to the border with Kosovo, “Serbia’s armed forces will act in accordance with international laws.”



If there is no threat for war, why do they talk so much about it? The truth is that special forces have already been deployed in Kosovo, as they had done in Bosnia. When Kosovo declares independence, they will join the Serb police, who are already in the Kosovo Police Service, to take over any municipality with Serb majority. They will make sure that these municipalities are cleansed from the Albanians. Belgrade will blame extremist elements, who are not known to the government, for any violence. Of course, the main blame will fall on the US and other states that decide to recognise Kosovo’s independence unilaterally. […]



The Serb nationalism, defeated for a while after the fall of Milosevic, has returned powerfully with its old tactics. Momir Stojanovic, a former-director of the Serb Army Intelligence Service, had said to Serbian daily “Glas Javnosti” that Albanian civilians have been planning to persecute the Serbs from Kosovo. The same propaganda was used to prepare arming of Serb paramilitary forces that brought the war in Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. This is a dangerous signal for the region and a reminder that there will be no justice if there is no security.

(The text was writen for Kosovo Albanian daily Express)

Anna Di Lellio is a sociologist, journalist and former United Nations consultant. She has written on a number of topics relating to the United Nations' presence in Kosovo and Iraq.

She worked for the UN World Food Program as a consultant in Kosovo and East Timor during the 1999 emergencies and later in 2003 as the political advisor to the UN Kosovo Police Corps Coordinator. From 2001 through 2003, she was the Temporary Media Commissioner of Kosovo for the OSCE (Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe).

She is the editor of the book The Case for Kosova: Passage to Independence, an anthology of essays on the future of Kosovo.


 

 

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