Page 948 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 948

Chaos and Disorder Kosovo and Metohija Four Years Later
Archimandrite Fr Sava Janjić, Abbot of the Dečani Monastery
Four years after the deployment of the UN Mission and KFOR troops in Kosovo and Metohija one can hardly claim that the war-torn southern Province of
Serbia is on the right track to become a democratic and multiethnic society. Quite on the contrary, UNMiK’s poli- cy of constant concessions to Kosovo albanians and their political goals has made life for the Serbs and other non- albanian communities extremely difficult and without true perspectives in the future. UNMiK’s constant ignoring of UNSC Resolution 1244 and legitimate claims of the Ser- bian people on one hand and the creation of temporary “multiethnic” institutions without any link to Serbia-Mon- tenegro on the other, have turned Kosovo and Metohija into a virtually independent ethnic albanian state prior to any negotiations at all. in fact, it appears that the goal of some international circles and Kosovo albanian leaders is to pursue a policy of fait accompli and practically leave in- dependence as the only remaining option to which Serbia is expected to agree pushed along by certain concessions on the other side.
The willingness of Kosovo Serbs to participate in the building of multiethnic institutions along the lines stipu- lated by UNSCR 1244 has only been exploited in order to give a false legitimacy to the institutions which in reality remain under the complete control of Kosovo albanians and have become tools of institutional repression. if such policy of UNMiK is continued in the future and if there is no constructive revision of the Constitutional framework to return the process of institutionalization inside the lim- its of UNSCR 1244, Kosovo may not only become an inde- pendent state but also a state in which all traces of the Ser- bian people and its culture will be completely eradicated. Four years of the internationally enforced peace with a ter- rifying record of crimes and destruction of cultural heri- tage are only a shadow of what the Province might look like once Kosovo albanians are given full and unrestrained power. Last but not least, this “state” may become the main destabilizing factor for all of South-eastern europe, which will seriously obstruct the process of european integration and democratization of the Balkans. as a focal point for future ethnic albanian integrations, independent Kosovo may become a dangerous precedent for redrawing political maps of europe according to ethnic lines.
Changes for the better for only one community
Frankly speaking, in Kosovo and Metohija much has changed for the better in the last four years but only for the alba- nian community. Under UNMiK’s rule, however, changes are only slightly or not at all reflected in Serb areas where less than 100,000 remaining Serbs are hard pressed to see any essential improvements since the end of the war. While it is true that many hospitals have been restored, Serbs can- not seek treatment in them; numerous roads have been tarmaced but Serbs lack the freedom to travel on them; tens of thousands of houses have been renovated but only about one hundred of them are owned by Serbs. after the war, all mosques were repaired and many new ones built while over one hundred Serbian churches still lie in ruins and not one has been reconstructed; there are many new supermarkets, gas stations and restaurants, but what use are they to Serbs when only albanians and foreigners can safely enter them. in short, based on his first-hand experi- ence, the average Serb feels that UNMiK has come to help only one community while Serbs appear fated to live as second-class citizens on the margins of society.
Nevertheless, the greatest failure of UNMiK is that in three years it has not managed to stop the negative devel- opment of creating an ethnically pure and divided society where citizens are divided into the privileged and those who lack basic human rights. This system is being perpe- trated largely due to the fact that UNMiK is simply not ready to implement the basic provisions of Resolution 1244. The overwhelming majority of Kosovo Serbs still lack civil freedoms and rights, as well as free access to public institu- tions in urban centers: hospitals, schools and cultural insti- tutions. The cities and towns of Kosovo and Metohija, ex- cept in the north of the Province, have been almost emp- tied of their Serb population. in Priština today there are only about 250 Serbs remaining; an equal number are in Gnjilane; in Orahovac, there are about 450; in Prizren, 65; in Djakovica, 5; in Peć there are none, with the exception of some 20 elderly nuns in the Peć Patriarchate. Towns such as Uroševac, Srbica, Glogovac and Klina have already be- come ethnically pure albanian settlements. all assessments suggest that these small Serb communities in urban cen- ters will soon be extinguished unless the provisions of UNSC Resolution 1244 are implemented.

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