Page 947 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 947

threat to the whole strategy of exclusive ethnic domina- tion. The concept of full control over a certain territory is combined with some seemingly democratic political de- mands, which, however, are paving the way to the creation of an independent Kosovo and, in the next phase, most probably, of a single, ethnically unified Greater albania, if not de iure, at least de facto.
For years the extremists among the Kosovo albanians have found crucial logistic support in the extended, and dominant in europe, albanian-controlled trafficking in drugs, arms and humans. Thus, organized crime gave a strong economic stimulus to the war concept of the Kosovo albanians, while endemic lawlessness additionally boost- ed illegal businesses, especially drug smuggling.37
according to reliable data gathered by the German in- telligence Service (BND), filed in the sixty-seven pages of the confidential report of 22 February 2005, recently partly published by the Swiss weekly Weltwoche, the leading po- litical figures of Kosovo albanians, former KLa warlords Hashim Thaci, Ramush Haradinaj (indicted by the iCTY tribunal at The Hague) and Djavid Haliti, are, for years now, deeply involved in organized crime in the Province, from arms and drugs smuggling to human trafficking and mon- ey laundering.38
The same report includes the statement of Klaus Schmidt, chief of the european Mission for Police assistance of the eU Commission in albania (PaMeC), that “through Ko- sovo and albania 500 to 700 kilos of drugs are smuggled daily, and that a part of it is refined in Kosovo laboratories.” The lack of control over borders and the movement of peo- ple and goods between UN-controlled Kosovo and alba- nia additionally strengthen organized crime, which further increases the concerns of the international community.39
Over the last eight years, the KLa war commanders, doubtlessly involved in criminal activities and accused of war crimes, have become the leaders of the most influen- tial Kosovo albanian political parties. They continue to be the main representatives of the war concept as the only effective method of resolving the Kosovo status problem, by harassing and discriminating Serbs, in order to change the prewar ethnic structure and thus delegitimize all the claims of Serbia to Kosovo and Metohija.
Within such a context, the Serbs and non-albanians in Kosovo and Metohija, sharply diminished in number, are still living under the strong, permanent and highly discrim- inating pressure of extremist albanians, most often fully deprived of basic security, individual and collective rights, legal and ownership protection and the right to maintain and further develop both their national and cultural identi-
37 Xavier Raufer (avec Stéphane Quéré), Une menace pour l’Eu- rope Lamafiaalbanaise Commentestnéecettesuperpuissancecri- minelle balkanique? (Lausanne: Favre, 2000).
38 jürgen Roth, “Rechtstaat? Lieber nicht!,“ Weltwoche 43/05, pp. 48–50.
39 Ibid.
Serb population of Kosovo in 2011
ties. The protection of their identity, including the right to return, as stressed not only by UNSC Resolution 1244, but also by the eight standards of the international community, set to develop the rule of law, inter-ethnic tolerance and democracy, and to provide for the Province’s sustainable development. Thus, Kosovo and Metohija remains very far from the minimal standards required for a society to be modern, tolerant and civilized and to function in accor- dance with the most fundamental european values.
Violence against the Serbs has somewhat diminished due to the UN-sponsored negotiations on Kosovo’s future status in Vienna (2006–2007), but the general trend of co- vert or overt pressures aiming at an albanian-dominated and ethnically cleansed Kosovo is still underway. On euro- pean soil, under the UN flag, the Serbs, members of one of the oldest european nations, still live in ghetto-like condi- tions, in areas guarded by international military forces, their armoured vehicles and, in some places, by barbed wire. For the majority of them, the only solution for their very sur- vival, for their demographic recovery, sustainable return and both political and economic sustainability is to main- tain Kosovo within Serbia, on the path toward the euro- pean Union.
The Serbs of Kosovo and Metohija 1999–2007

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