Saturday, August 26, 2006

Ahtisaari: Serbs have a burden to pay for

26 August 2006 | 11:50 | Source: B92 Priština, Belgrade -- Marti Ahtisaari told Belgrade, in the context of latest developments over Kosovo, that every nation has a burden to pay for

Marti Ahtisaari (FoNet)
Marti Ahtisaari (FoNet)

UN special envoy for Kosovo status negotiations told officials in Belgrade that the policy of Slobodan Milošević had to be taken into account in the process of determining Kosovo’s future status. “Every nation in the world has a burden it has to pay for”, Ahtisaari said.

“The democratic leadership in Serbia today cannot be held accountable for the actions of Slobodan Milošević, but the leaders in Belgrade have to face the heritage and responsibility, because this historical heritage cannot be ignored, but rather must be taken into account in the process of finding a solution for the future status of Kosovo“, Ahtisaari said. The Serbian team for negotiations previously asked Ahtisaari to clarify his statement that Serbs were guilty as a nation and warned that his claim could bring into question his unbiased position in the negotiations. The coordinator of the Serbian delegtion Leon Kojen told a press conference that the team from Belgrade had expressed dissatisfaction and resent towards this statement made by Ahtisaari at the meeting with members of the Serbian delegation on August 8 in Vienna.

There is progress…

At the end of his four-day visit to Priština, where he met with the Kosovo negotiations team, Ahtisaari said that the talks were successful and that there has been progress on issues of decentralisation and the protection of minority rights. He declined to reveal more details and said this would have been unfair towards his interlocutors in the talks, because of a possible influence on the further course of the status negotiations. Ahtisaari pointed out, however, that the gaps between the two parties were narrowing down, adding that a lot has remained to be done in relation to matters of decentralisation, determining the competencies of the new Serb municipalities and the entire set of issues related to the protection of minority rights. Ahtisaari announced his expert team would visit Belgrade very soon and stressed that he expected positive reactions as those received in Priština. Ahtisaari also said that he still insisted on negotiations over technical issues, which are a prerequisite for dealing with the main question of status. The general impression after Ahtisaari’s press conference is that there has been a certain kind of compromise and agreement between the UN envoy and the Kosovo negotiation team over issues of decentralization, minority rights and the protection of cultural monuments. According to well-informed sources in Priština, the two delegations have found common ground on all of these issues except for Mitrovica, the ethnically divided town in northern Kosovo that is still waiting for a solution that will be acceptable to all sides in the negotiations.

Nojkić: Ahtisaari not satisfied

Ranđel Nojkić from the Serbian List for Kosovo Metohija claims it is realistic to assume that Marti Ahtisaari has left Kosovo unsatisfied because he did not succeed in moving the issues of decentralisation and minority rights from deadlock. „My impression is that the Albanians are not prepared to make any concessions, not because of Ahtisaari and the international community, but because of the public opinion and their own people whom they are representing in Kosovo institutions. Quite probably the Albanians, their leaders and the Priština team for negotiations are prepared to accept an imposed solution and this is something I believe is going to happen“, Nojkić says. He added that the problem of Kosovska Mitrovica should have been dealt with earlier. „Kosovska Mitrovica is indeed one of the larger issues, I’m afraid that the other Serb enclaves will follow the example of northern Kosovo and raise certain issues in a more extreme manner in order to box out a situation that will provide them with security and peace”, Nojkić explained. He said the international community had underestimated the gravity of the situation in northern Kosovo and allowed things to go out of hand.


Bg anon said...

I think the opinion that the Serbian government is disputing isnt that Serbs bear responsibility but the statement that Serbs are to blame as a people.

If one doesnt believe in collective responsibility its a hard statement to justify.

Of course nationalists do believe in collective responsibility - the T shirts such as every Serb is Radovan prove that point pretty well. Is every Serb Radovan?
Is every Serb to blame for Milosevic's policies?

I know I'm not and therefore defend the right of others to dispute being at fault just for being part of an ethnic group.

Thats not to say its not all bull, it is of course all meaningless.

Balkan Update said...

The Serbian government is being silly. Every nation has to take responsibility for its action. If this principle is not followed, then we will have to live in chaos. A case can be made that when a nation is ruled by a dictator, the population of that nation should not be held responsible because they didn’t have any control. Bun even in cases like this (i.e. Germany) nations accept responsibility.
When we are talking about Serbia, however, the situation becomes more complicated: The people of Serbia elected the Milosevic regime several times ( not one time like in some other cases where dictators use election as stepping stones), and now they don’t want to accept responsibility? This is the CRUX OF THE PROBLEM.

Now, of course not all Serbs are guilty of war crimes, but not all Germans were guilty either-yet they accepted responsibility and guilt. Serbs should accept the responsibility and move on, or this question will haunt them forever. So Serbs who never voted for Milosevic are not guilty of anything and should be ashamed of anything, but since the majority of them did indeed support Milosevic, the current government should apologies and move on. Canadian’s didn’t elect Milosevic –it was the free choice of Serbs.

This current fiasco is an indication of insecurity of the Serbian government. What are you going to achieve by waging a diplomatic offensive against Ahtisari and the head of UNMIK? You will piss them off and close their ear to your arguments. The Kosovo government can always count on Serb blunders. My message to the Kosovo government is this: Don’t do or say a thing when dealing with the government of Serbia. Just be patient enough and they will screw something up eventually. I will bet on it!

Balkan Update said...

This is what I am talking about. There are still a lot of people in Serbia who support Milosevic. To an outsider this is scandalous. From BBC:

A dispute has broken out in Serbia over plans to name a street after former President Slobodan Milosevic.
Members of Milosevic's Socialist Party in the country's second largest city, Novi Sad, have put forward the plan.
But political opponents have condemned the move, describing it as a scandal and vowing to organise protests.
Milosevic died earlier this year while on trial in The Hague, accused among other things of genocide for his role during the Bosnian war.
Continuing divisions
Members of the Socialist Party in Novi Sad say their former leader should be recognised for his many achievements, including the rebuilding of two bridges in the city that were destroyed by Nato bombs in 1999.
Although the party is no longer the force it once was, it does share power with other nationalist parties in the city.
Milosevic, who led Serbia during the wars of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, died of a heart attack while on trial at the UN war crimes tribunal in March.
The street-naming dispute highlights the continuing divisions over his legacy.
While many people blame him for leading Serbia into political isolation and economic hardship, others still regard him as a hero who tried to do his best for his people.