September 16th 2008 12:53:11 PM
EU envoy, International High Representative to Kosovo Peter Feith
Fletcher Burton says that an OSCE report’s claims of a lack of a multi-ethnic society in Kosovo are inaccurate.
Deputy Chief of the International Civil Office in Priština, headed by Pieter Feith, said that the report by OSCE Mission Chief in Kosovo Tim Guldimann did not hold water.
“For me Novo Brdo always remains an example of multi-ethnicity, which is one of the main principles of international mediator Martti Ahtisaari’s proposal,” he said.
Burton said that the OSCE report was “not based on the reality on the field”.
Presenting the report on human rights, ethnic relations and democracy in Kosovo from the summer of 2007 to this year, Guldimann said that Kosovo could not be called a multi-ethnic society.
“Different communities live in Kosovo, but a multi-ethnic society implies the existence of integration, understanding, tolerance and cohabitation. We do not see that,” Guldimann said.
There is a two-pronged reason as to why Northern Mitrovica has to be forced into submission by the U.S.-led international community, why “there can be no partition of Kosovo,” as Sec. of State Rice and everyone else keeps repeating. In addition to the necessity of giving the Albanians every inch of territory they violently demand, the Serb-heavy Northern Mitrovica is needed to enhance the illusion of a multi-ethnic Kosovo.
Above, however, Burton mentions the town of Novo Brdo as an example of multi-ethnicity. Washington-based National Guardsman Paul Andrew Kirk, who has done two tours in Kosovo, would beg to differ:
Mass graves of Kosovo Serbs and Roma have been found during my rotation and reported to the UN. Yet nothing has been done. Why? When we posed the question to our UN contacts in Pristina they replied: “During the transitional stage of Kosovo this would be destablizing. We’ll wait until there is a final resolution before we proceed.” All those journalists interested in a real story…start looking in around Novo Brdo.
In other words, most of Novo Brdo’s multi-ethnicity exists six feet under. Well, probably a bit shallower than that. In fact, let’s revisit Novo Brdo. Here is the very recent and still unfolding history of Novo Brdo, as quoted from Hiding Genocide in Kosovo in an earlier post titled “What an Independent Kosovo Would Sanctify“:
Today, Novo Brdo is the smallest municipality in Kosovo, and like some other municipalities in Kosovo, until relatively recently it had a Serb majority. After 1999 like in most other places in Kosovo, the demographics were forcibly changed, usually at the point of a gun.
The UN often points out that Novo Brdo is one of the safest areas of Kosovo for non-Albanians. It is worth considering what constitutes safe according to UN standards. Since 1999, 16 people have been killed or kidnapped and never found. The killings/disappearances begain in June 1999 when the Serbian security forces had to withdraw under the terms of UN Resolution 1244. The KFOR contingent with responsibility for the area, US KFOR, did not arrive in Novo Brdo until August 1999. Meanwhile, this left the Serb and Roma inhabitants of the municipality at the mercy of UCK [KLA]. These janissaries of a new empire very quickly took control of the area and thus began a reign of terror not seen since the invasion by the Turks in the 15th century. Once again, the Serbs were driven out, the most influential and strongest were slaughtered and once again their property was expropriated. 500 years later they were again to become second class citizens in what had been their state.
In June 1999 the UCK, fresh from fighting against the Serbian security forces on the border with Albania, arrived back into Kosovo hot on the heels of NATO soldiers. As pointed out in other stories, there was little or no fighting in the east of Kosovo and Novo Brdo had no problems during the conflict. It was only after the arrival of NATO troops with the UCK following soon after them that the attacks began in this part of Kosovo. When the UCK entered Novo Brdo their first port of call was the barracks of the Trepca mine complex which housed vulnerable Serbian refugees from Croatia. A group of local UCK arrived and they shot and killed a man called Mila Vukas, a refugee from Croatia, and disposed of his body, which has never been found. In fear, the rest of the refugees fled the barracks and took refuge in the Serbian Orthodox church in the mainly Roma village of Bostane. From there they were taken by bus to Gracanica Monastery and eventually fled the province.
The UCK followed up this attack with raids on the Serb villages scattered in and around Novo Brdo. In the village of Klokubar they killed a father and son from the same family, the Simic family. Their bodies were disposed of and have never been recovered. An Albanian father and son, the Bunjakus, (Agim and Bislim) were also killed, because they had friendly relations with their Serb neighbours before the war and their crime was to have worked in the police force before 1999. An old lady from Klokubar, Dragina Stankovic, was executed and her body was later found dumped in a well. A Serb farmer from Klokubar, Stanko Stojanovic, was beaten and hanged in front of his house, after having animal faeces stuffed into his mouth. Zivojin Peric, a man from Trnicevce village, was killed and his body was found dumped in a garbage container in Gnjilane. Sava Stojkovic of Labljane village was killed in an attack on the village, and out of panic and fear the villagers buried him in his lawn and not in the cemetery. Zivkon N. of Paralovo village was found hanged in front of his house. Aleksander Jovanovic was killed in Bostane village on June 21, 1999 while keeping guard near his house, and Blagonja Stankovic of Ljestar village was axed to death. Vojislav Timotijeic of Stara Kolonija was murdered while Zoran Anjelkovic of Nova Kolonija and Sasa Tasic of Boljevce village disappeared and their bodies have never been found.
In the village of Trnicevce the UCK killed a teenage boy and dumped his body in a garbage container. Several villagers in the village of Labljane were killed and the Serb residents of Nova Kolonija were terrorised to the extent that they all fled. Their apartments were immediately distributed by the PDK (the political party established by [current “prime minister”] Hashim Thaci, UCK leader and very special friend of Madeleine Albright), to local loyal members of the UCK.