Kosovo enclave children suffer most

Children in enclaves in Kosovo are the most vulnerable category of beneficiaries of the Serbian Red Cross, an official says.

“The most threatened children are those in the enclaves where children’s rights have been violated for eight years, not just according to human standards, but also according to the Geneva and UN conventions which the international community wrote and adopted itself,” Secretary of the Kosovo Committee of the Serbian Red Cross Dragisa Murganic told Tanjug on Sunday .

Murganic was in Baosici, Montenegro, with a group of 147 children from Kosovo, who are spending their vacation in a Serbian Red Cross holiday home in that seaside resort.

According to him, despite major efforts on the part of the Serbian state, there was a great difference between the lives led by Serbs, especially children, who live in the enclaves and in northern Kosovo, and those inhabiting central Serbia.

“Children in the enclaves have no future, their survival is uncertain. They only have their teacher and the village cafe,” Murganic said and added they had few options to get out of the “constant psychological pressure that results from the life in the enclaves.”

Disillusioned Kosovo Serb refugees in limbo ahead of resolution on province’s future

Zarko Zivaljevic, a Serbian refugee from Kosovo, is eagerly awaiting a new round of talks this week on the contested province’s future — hoping it will bring him and his family a step toward closure in an ordeal that has left them in limbo.

“We will pay the price, we always do,” he said.

Zivaljevic, from Pec in western Kosovo, left with his two brothers, their parents, wives and children, along with about 200,000 Serbs. A few returned later, but most settled in central Serbia with relatives or in refugee camps.

Eight years later, life remains grim. The Zivaljevic family, which had a farm on the outskirts of Pec and an apartment in the town, lives in refugee barracks in a Belgrade suburb.

They say their house in Pec is now inhabited by an ethnic Albanian family. Efforts to reclaim the property have failed…They now live in old, humid concrete buildings that have running water, but no proper bathrooms; makeshift electricity cables hang from the ceilings.

Vlajinka Ilic, from the eastern Kosovo town of Kosovska Kamenica, says…she also had a house and a farm, but was forced to flee in 2001, amid attacks by revenge-seeking ethnic Albanian extremists. Her eyes filled with tears as she talked about her Kosovo home.

“I would go back immediately, if only they would give me freedom,” Ilic said, explaining she had no freedom of movement in Kosovo because of the threat of violence from ethnic Albanians.

The refugees at the Resnik camp said they were waiting to see what will happen at negotiations set to resume on Aug. 30 in Vienna, Austria. But, they also say they no longer have any illusions. Stuffed in the barracks, at temperatures of nearly 40 degrees Celsius, the refugees had little interest in the political maneuvering far away from their daily suffering.

When asked about their past life in Kosovo, refugees said they had good relations with their ethnic Albanian neighbors, and blamed the war on extremists on both sides.

“We are normal people, we can live normally anywhere, only if they’d let us,” says Milenko Zivaljevic, Zarko’s older brother.

Ah, but the West prefers and promotes abnormal people.

About Serbs having had, for the most part, good relations with their Albanian neighbors before the internationals intervened on behalf of the province’s most extreme elements, that is a fact. And the book Hiding Genocide in Kosovo reasserts it. But the book also mentions the following:

The cleansing was remarkably efficient…The remainder, mostly old men and women, were secured behind barbed wire and left there in the centre of the town, exposed to the insults of the UÇK [KLA], to the insults of the civilians who had once been their neighbours and who had turned to be haters of old men and old women…

Some dates go down in military history. This should be one of them. All the heroes who fought for America, for American independence, for American values…all those heroes …where were they that night? Who slept soundly that night? The 1,000 or so old Serbs and Roma who were left, who endured that night, must have wondered what they had done? Or perhaps they wondered, having witnessed what the UÇK and their old neighbours had just perpetrated, perhaps some of them wondered is this the Second World War again? Is this the new order?

The survivors of that ordeal were left to endure being penned behind barbed wire in the open for more than a week with no sanitary facilities, no water and in the fierce heat of the Balkan summer before someone from UNMIK/KFOR chose to rescue them…The residents of Urosevac that were saved after more than a week of life under armed guard open to the gaze of the UÇK and their former neighbours who watched them continuously and who humiliated them continuously with impunity, yes they were saved.

The Albanian neighbor-on-non Albanian-neighbor violence continued into the following year and, as we know, to the present day:

Tanjug, Feb. 2000 — Four Serbs and two Frenchmen were wounded, and a Serb nurse was beaten up in Sunday’s unrests in Kosovska Mitrovica, in an exchange of fire between ethnic Albanians and KFOR French troops…One of the four wounded Serbs, Milos Mitic, was shot from a skyscraper in Kolasinska St. while trying to protect a woman with a child. According to Dr. Jaksic, the nurse, living in the same skyscraper, was beaten up by an Albanian neighbour and kept for treatment in the hospital. She suffered serious head and body injuries inflicted with rifle butt, said the doctor.