South Serbia Albanians rally to be annexed by “soon-to-be-independent” Kosovo, hint at possible armed clash Report #1

Hundreds of ethnic Albanians from Serbia’s volatile south rallied Friday in the town of Presevo and demanded secession of Presevo, Bujanovac, and Medvedja in order to become part of Kosovo.

The protest was staged by the Association of War Veterans, an organisation that rallies former ethnic Albanian guerrillas who fought Serbian security troops during the 2000 insurgency.

The association’s head, Lulzim Ibishi, told some 500 protesters that the main goal of the ethnic Albanian minority in the area is to join Kosovo…”Albanians have the right to decide about their faith [fate]…”

This is something we often hear from Albanians and other proponents of Kosovo independence — that Albanians have the right to decide their fate, and they are the majority of Kosovo, so they should decide what happens to it. But the truth is, Albanians decided their fate when they chose to move to Serbia, mostly crossing illegally into Kosovo and then intimidating the local population into moving out, plus using the familiar tactic of strategic reproduction to become the majority in that particular province of Serbia. They then call it the “legitimate will” of Albanians to decide the fate of the places they take over.

There were no incidents during the rally, which was supported by mayor Ragmi Mustafa, who is also the head of the Democratic Party of Albanians, and by Jonuz Musliu, the deputy mayor of neighbouring Bujanovac and a former guerrilla commander.

“This is the legitimate will of Albanians, and soon we will officially forward our demand to the Serbian parliament to join Kosovo,” Musliu told Balkan Insight.

Other key ethnic Albanian leaders from the region, Skender Destani and Riza Halimi, who is also a deputy in the Serbian parliament, distanced themselves from the rally. Destani told Balkan Insight that the position of his supporters is “in accordance with the position of the Contact Group”, a group of Western powers and Russia, “that advocates for an independent Kosovo but without changes of borders”.

And this is something I’ve talked about before: Albanians being caught off-guard by the Albanian end game. Albanians whose feelings I’ve hurt with my factual writings about the Albanian end game write to me complaining and trying to discredit me for attributing all kinds of devious goals to Albanians when the particular Albanian writing me has no such intentions, and doesn’t know any other Albanians who have such intentions, and so on. Then they’re always surprised when the flawed cause they signed on to — regardless of its architects — spirals out of their grasp and beyond their own original intentions.

Text of report by Belgrade-based Radio B92 on 15 June, via BBC Monitoring

…Based on the results of the referendum in 1992 [held in the three municipalities], we seek the annexation of the Presevo Valley to Kosovo, the chairman of the association of the Liberation Army of Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac veterans, (Lulzim) Ibishi said. Ibishi also urges all relevant international political organizations, including NATO, to send their emissaries to southern Serbia in Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja.

Asked by journalists how he thought this idea would come about, Ibishi said that they would fight for the realization of the 1992 referendum results using all disposable means. To a repeated journalist question as to what he meant by that, he said that they would first use political means and later — you know, Ibishi said, the way in which Yugoslavia disintegrated.

The American strategy in giving away Kosovo is to achieve Peace in Our Time.

“President Clinton started the NATO intervention, while Bush would be the one remembered as granting Kosovo its independence, so in a certain way a historical circle is closed by both of them,” Enkel Demi, editor of Albania’s private broadcaster TV Klan, said on Monday.

He can say that again. The Albanian network (rather aptly titled “Klan”) was commenting on the invitation to Albania that Prime Minister Sali Berisha has now also extended to Bill Clinton. As the ongoing developments above illustrate, the Kosovo giveaway will not bring an end to the demands of the Albanian supremacists. With regard to Bush and Clinton, all one can say is that in Munich, even Hitler insisted that the Czech president sign a document agreeing to give up the Sudetenland, to make the Munich Pact legal. But when it comes to the Balkans, we dispense even with the veneer of legality.