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Illegal structures of Serb minority in Kosova and the stance of Serbia and International Community towards them

Scientific Study 2012 31 Pages

Politics - International Politics - Region: South East Europe, Balkans

Excerpt

Contents

1 INTRODUCTION

2 THE SERB MINORITY IN KOSOVA, ITS ILLEGAL STRUCTURES AND THE ROLE OF SERBIA
2.1 DISREGARDING OF KOSOVA POLICE CHAIN OF COMMAND BY THE SERB MINORITY
2.2 SERBIA’S BEHAVIOUR AFTER THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE OF KOSOVA
2.3 PERSECUTION AND PUNISHMENT OF SERBIAN WAR CRIMINALS

3 THE ROLE OF INTERNATIONALS IN COMBATING OF SERB CRIME AND SETTING THE RULE OF LAW IN KOSOVA

4 SUMMARY

5 BIBLIOGRAPHY

6 ABREVIATIONS

AUTHOR

1 INTRODUCTION

Dealing with illegal Serb minority structures in Kosova, as well as Serbia’s and International community’s stance towards them is more than necessary, as these illegal structures are the greatest danger not only for Kosova's statehood, but also for stability in the region. Serbia's stance towards them is a destructive one, since not only that she has established them, she has also funded them at all times. On the other side, the international community not only that they have allowed their establishment and functioning, by not taking any measures against those structures, however, she instead after the declaration of independence of Kosova is trying to impose the Kosovan institutions that they are legalized.

Given that we are dealing with a topic about which, thousands of pages can be written, this paper seeks to address this problem in brief, so that the reader can have a quick access into this phenomenon, which is producing only instability and insecurity in Kosova and in the Balkans. The unequal treatment of the Albanian majority population vis-à-vis the Serb minority in Kosova by the international community represents a disturbing fact and produces an additional uncertainty to the Albanian majority population in Kosova.

2 THE SERB MINORITY IN KOSOVA, ITS ILLEGAL STRUCTURES AND THE ROLE OF SERBIA

Serbian enclaves represent the main problem or the obstacle in combating the organized crime, where the hand of the law and police does not cover them properly since 1999. This is also confirmed by the fact that not only border control in the north of Mitrovica is not functioning, but in February 2008, the police and customs check points No.1 and No. 31 were torched down and destroyed by the Serbs. Another painful fact is represented also on the date of March 5th, 2009, when, that time General Director of the Kosovan Police, Sheremet Ahmeti, and former chief of EULEX Police, Rainer Kuehn were prevented by Serb groups to visit police stations in Leposavic, Zvecan and Zubin Potok, and as well as the border check point no. 31.[1]

The vice chairman of the Serb National Council in Kosova, Rada Trajkovic, told in a meeting in Caglavica near Prishtina in September 2008 that she had thought that the burning and destruction of the border check points in the northern part of Mitrovica by the Serbs was "a demonstration against the independence or some kind of support for the Serbian system".[2] Later on, she observed how goods and fuel without tax smuggled into Kosova, which, according to her, could lead to the establishment of a criminal network.[3]

Unfortunately the Serbian secret service is working against the stability of Kosova and supports the illegal Serbian parallel structures in Kosova, which create unstable situation.

The illegal activity of Serbia in Kosova through its secret service is not stopped even after the establishment of international structures in Kosova in 1999. On the other side, the foreign intelligence agencies have also pursued their own interests at all times and haven’t cooperated properly within the international community either, nor with the Kosovan institutions. Throughout the entire period of the UNMIK administration (1999-2008), the Kosovan Government was not allowed to establish its own secret service. Furthermore, Kosova was not permitted to establish a local secret service, at least within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, despite the fact that a Kosovan secret service would have been very useful that time for eliminating of threats against Kosova's stability. The NATO commander, the U.S. Admiral Mark Fitzgerald, responsible for NATO southeast[4] , during his visit to Prishtina on February 18th, 2010, said:

“Any parallel structure that may exist in Kosova is dangerous for the country. As we have said before they must not exist. However, if they are operative, and in this case cause a threat, then we are ready to intervene, because we are here based on the Resolution 1244 and have a task to ensure a quiet and safe environment ”[5] .

2.1 DISREGARDING OF KOSOVA POLICE CHAIN OF COMMAND BY THE SERB MINORITY

Kosova declared its independence on February 17th 2008, however, on February 29th 2008 300 Serbs, members of Kosova Police refused to be under the Kosova Police chain of command. They, however, requested not to be any longer under the command of Kosova Police, but instead under the UNMIK Police in Mitrovica. For this reason they were suspended of duty, whereas they had continued receiving their salaries. The deputy commissioner of Kosova Police, Sheremet Ahmeti, declared on that time that this paid suspension for 285 Police officers, who had still not returned to service, would be effective till May 30th 2008. This statement came after the Police Inspectorate had given the recommendation to stop the payment for suspended Police officers.[6]

The decision for suspension without pay was taken on May 30th 2008, “at 8 o’clock”[7] , since that was the deadline for Police officers to return on duty. In the afternoon, the Ministry of Internal Affairs stated that the set deadline for suspension will be prolonged, by retaining their salaries.[8] This came after the Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi made the following statement regarding Ahmeti’s decision for suspension without pay:

“Ultimately this should be clear: you cannot discharge, you cannot appoint, you cannot suspend, you cannot stop salaries and you cannot dismiss people from their jobs without a unanimous decision by the Government”.[9]

This Government statement was done following the pressure from international community, given that the suspension was only a matter of Police HQ and the decision by the Government was a political one. Many Albanian Police officers have expressed their outrage after this decision and felt that they were unequally treated. The deadline for return to duty was extended again. On June 30th 2009, at a press conference hosted by Kosova Police, it was announced that majority of suspended police officers from Serb minority returned to duty. The return was done as the following:

-In Prishtina region, 113 out of 114 of suspended Police officers returned to their duty,
-In Gjilan region, , 125 out of 129 of suspended Police officers returned to their duty
-In Peja region 7 of suspended Police officers returned to duty,
-Within the Border Police, 48 out 50 of suspended Police officers returned to their duty
-Within the general management, 13 out of 24 of suspended Police officers returned to their duty.

In Mitrovica, one suspended police officer had also returned to duty in Kosova Police.[10] On the other hand,a Serb Zoran Simiq, who had not refused the service in Kosova Police, on June 29th 2009 had stated:

“I will not accept them police officers when they return to duty. I will work with them, but the respect that I had for my Serbian colleagues, I will not have any longer. I have lost the respect for them, since, I was considered as a traitor by them due to my determination not to leave duty. They did not accept my decision and will not tolerate that my supervisor to be a Serb who is expected to return on duty. I will carry on my Police service in Viti, where I will have an Albanian supervisor”.[11]

Such kind of public statement was not possible to be done for any of Albanian police officers, due to the consequences that they would face. An official from Kosova Police Service anonymously made the following statement:

“Minorities have all the benefits here. Serbs have not been coming to duty for months and yet receive salaries same as us working and are exposed to risk every day. I often make jokes with other minorities that come to work. I tell them: What are you doing here at work when you could get the same salaries even by not coming to work at all. They laughed and said that they are not sure that this applies to them as well”.[12]

Although in other areas of Kosova, the Police officers from the Serb minority have returned to duty and thereby have been subordinated to the command of the Kosova Police Service, in the northern part of Kosova, they still refuse to be under the command of the Kosova Police Service respectively to the General Directorate, despite the fact that the salaries of those officers are paid directly from the Kosova Police Service budget. The international community’s (UNMIK and OSCE) political strategy, in establishing completely ethnic police stations in Serb enclaves, proved to be a wrong one. If the international community had assigned police officers from the Serb minority across police stations throughout the entire territory of Kosova, then all police stations and border checkpoints would’ve been under the command of the General Directorate, and most likely that the law enforcement would’ve been established in the North as well.

On the other hand, the local institutions should’ve, also, at least after the declaration of independence been more determined in dissolving of these illegal structures and not to draw back and leave this issue to the internationals, when we have in mind that internationals are the ones who have enabled the establishment of these structures. While, the payment for suspended Serb police officers was not only unjust, furthermore, the Albanian population of Kosova have paid the price for it, as they did not receive salaries from two different countries as the most of Serb minority does, by receiving salaries both from Kosova and Serbia. In addition to this, they are funded and continue to be funded in various forms of project by different international organizations as wel..

2.2 SERBIA’S BEHAVIOUR AFTER THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE OF KOSOVA

The fact that Serbian Government is active and is working against the stability in Kosova, is proven also by the incident occurred on March 17th and 18th 2008, UNMIK police was able to identify Serbian Government employees, respectively members of Serbia’s Secret Service among those seizing the Mitrovica Court building.

The neighbouring countries have reacted in different ways in regard to the independence of Kosova. Unlike Albania, who recognized the independence of Kosova on February 18th 2008, meaning the next day, the recognition of two other neighbouring countries like Macedonia and Montenegro occured on October 9th 2008. Whereas, Serbia still continues to be opposed to the independence of Kosova and is engaged by all means in further obstruction of recognitions of Kosova’s independence. Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vuk Jeremic, on February 17th 2010 stated for the Belgrade daily ‘Blic’ that the diplomatic combat against the independence of Kosova has three priorities:

1. Preventing further recognitions of Kosova as an independent country,
2. Preventing its membership into international organisations, and
3. Informing the international community for the alleged human rights violations and in particular to the alleged restriction of freedom of movement for Serbs in Kosova.[13]

In addition, Serbia makes obstructions in the international arena, not only in terms of recognition of Kosova as an independent country, but also in the participation of Kosova citizens in the international sports as the representatives of Kosova or acting on their own behalf, as it was the last case of the athlete Majlinda Kelmendi. On the other hand, the international community supports Serbia and Kosova is treated unliterary and unjustly, when we have in mind that UN has 193 members, which recognizes them as independent countries, while the International Olympic Committee, the one supporting Serbia and prevents the participation of Kosovan sport, has 204 members,[14] which means altogether 11 non members of UN, including Palestine.

For Serbs, the Serbian propaganda, which is based on slandering, was also on the agenda during the Milosevic’s regime. That this kind of behaviour is not a new thing, it was confirmed also in 1914, when the famous Serbian socialist, Dimitrije Tucoviq and his colleagues described how Serbia conquered Kosova and Albania during the Balkan wars, by robbing and committing unprecedented massacres against the innocent Albanian population. At the same time, it had spread the propaganda in Europe and had accused Albanians for allegedly committing crimes against the Serbian army.[15]

The Member of the Kosova Academy of Science and Arts, Mark Krasniqi, on October 15th 1992 before the Belgian Parliament in Brussels had stated that even “the mastermind of Great Serbia, the academic Jovan Cvijiq (1910) wrote that Serbs in Kosova had always been only a small minority, around 5% of the overall population”[16] . The Academic Mark Krasniqi taken from the Belgrade daily “Vreme” of the December 9th 1991 quoted Stefan Dedijer, who lives in Sweden, who stated: “the chauvinistic vision of the Serbian hegemonic policy means that Serbs must have the ruling over the all nations in Yugoslavia, to make out of Yugoslavia the same what they have done in Kosova – a police state”[17] . Krasniqi refers also to another Serb academy member, Mica Popovic, who stated:

“Serbs are not used to democracy, so that they have a need to learn much more in this field (...). The Serbian people tend to think of themselves much better than they are actually (...). Serbs are seriously convinced and even believe that God himself is a Serb”.[18]

In this regard Krasniqi states:

“This way Serbs think also that the fate of Albanian people must be on their hands, and that their historical and ethnic territories must be under the ownership of the Serbs. In order to turn this dream into reality and continuous agony of theirs, they come up with incredible lies and exercise an unprecedented terror and genocide over the Albanian population. Violence and lies are a permanent principle of Serbian politics, as Dobrica Qosiq himself stated: “Lying is a trait of our patriotism and evidence of our natural intelligence. We lie in a very creative, fantastic and imaginary way” (in the encyclopaedia of aphorisms “Velika Epohina enciklopedija aforizama”, Zagreb, 1968, p. 264, from Cosic Novel “Seobe”)”.[19]

This strategy of lies was confirmed as well on February 17th 2010 by the Serbian foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, where on February 18th 2010 stated for the Belgrade daily newspaper that all Serbian ambassadors have the duty to inform[20] friendly states in details on alleged violation of human rights in Kosova, although the reality in Kosova is completely different and minorities are very privileged even with the constitution like in no other place in the world.

Another problem is the fact that among Serbs, there is still no true segregation between church and politics, religion and the state respectively. Serbian people are manipulated by force and negatively influenced by both, politics and the Orthodox Church, which meddles in politics as well.

[...]


[1] Cf, Daily Zeri, daily newspaper: Serbs prevent the visit of Ahmeti and Kuehn in the police stations in the north, No. 2816, on the 6.3.2009, p. 2.

[2] Trajkovic, Rada, on the Main news in RTK on the 29.9.2008 time 19:30..

[3] Cf, Trajkovic, Rada, therein.

[4] http://www.rp-online.de/politik/ausland/Deutschland-uebernimmt-Kommando-ueber-Nato- Truppen_aid_755181.html, accessed on 19.2.2010.

[5] http://www.rtklive.com/new/, accessed on 19.2.1010, and as well in: Morning session in RTK “Good morning Kosova” on the 19.2.2010 time 8:00

[6] Cf, Lajm, daily newspaper, No. 1129, on 31.05.2008. Decisions within a day p. 5.

[7] Koha Ditore, No. 3937 on the 31.05.08.“The government does not allow the suspension of the Serbian police officers without pay”. p. 2.

[8] Cf, Lajm, daily newspaper, No. 1129, on 31.05.2008, as the above

[9] Express, Nr. 1170 of 31.05.2008. the slap for the General, p. 6.

[10] Cf , Ministry of Internal Affairs: Majority of suspended Serbian police officers had returned to the Kosovan Police, Prishtinë, 1.8.2009, http://www.mp-ks.org/?page=1,46,291, accessed on 1.8.2009.

[11] Simic, Ziran: Serbian Kosova Police officer, on the Main news in RTK on the 29.6.2009 time 19:30

[12] Discussion with the Kosova Police Officer X-4 in Prishtina, on 18.5.2009.

[13] Cf, Jeremic: Three priorities of the fight for Kosova, on: http://www.rtklive.com/new/?cid=news, seen on 18.2.2010.

[14] Cf, The mission of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) is to develop, promote and protect the Olympic Movement in their respective countries, http://www.olympic.org/ioc-governance-national-olympic-committees, accessed on 29.5.2012.

[15] Krasniqi, Mark: Kosova heute: Referat vor dem belgischen Senat am 15. Okt. 1992 (Kosova sot: Referat para Senatit belg më 15 tetor 1992), Prishtina 1992. Aus dem Albanischen übersetzt von Hans-Joachim Lanksch. Hrsg.: E. Nujici, 1. Aufl., Frankfurt/Main: Wernicke 1997, p. 9.

[16] Therein, p. 19.

[17] Therein, p. 22.

[18] Therein, p. 22.

[19] Therein, p. 22-23.

[20] Cf, Jeremic: Three priorities of the fight for Kosova as above.

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Title: Illegal structures of Serb minority in Kosova and the stance of Serbia and International Community towards them