Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Belgrade has already made clear that the declaration does not have government support. State Secretary Oliver Ivanović reportedly said “it is nothing serious. There is nothing official and there are all sorts of initiatives, for instance there is the initiative of Kosovo joining Albania.” Asked by Express whether northern Serb leaders Marko Jaksić and Milan Ivanović might be behind the declaration, Oliver said he spoke to one of them who denied being involved. This last point is perhaps an important clarification given possible plans in Pristina to arrest northern leaders. Indeed, the “fastest mouth in the West,” Sheriff Rexhepi was quick to call the declaration a provocation. He warned that the Kosovo government would not allow it to happen. The Interior Minister has been talking about sending Kosovo Albanian special police into the north, removing the current commanders of the KPS and making arrests for several weeks. The US has apparently been encouraging these provocative statements and is now trying to convince its Europeans partners to support a massive use of force to finally break Serb resistance. Pristina's hype over the “declaration” could be a prelude to using it as justification for such action.
The draft declaration itself purports to be from the “Community of Municipalities of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija.” This association claims to be the highest body of local government of Serbia in Kosovo. It rejects the so-called declaration of independence by the “Republic of Kosovo” and declares that the Serb municipalities of Kosovo are independent of that “Republic” in a way analogous to the declaration made by Pristina. The draft also asserts that violence committed by Albanians against Serbs and others justifies the action. The draft does not declare independence from Serbia but rather reaffirms that Kosovo remains part of Serbia. It also reaffirms adherence to Serbian law and UNMIK regulation and welcomes the presence of international military and police as protection from the Albanians. The version of the draft that I received remains undated and presumably so far has not been adopted.
Though Pristina and friends may seek to use the declaration as justification for the use of force against Kosovo Serbs, they should not expect to have their cake and eat it too. They trumpeted the ICJ decision as a victory and now must face that it raises more questions than it answered. The northern draft points to the fact that anyone may make such declarations. In the end, what matters is who accepts it and who doesn't. Kosovo's declaration has been recognized by a minority of the international community. Any northern declaration is likely to remain merely symbolic.
Pristina and the Quint also must accept blame for the fact that the northern Serbs feel threatened enough to resort to a declaration. The draft declaration is the reaction of a community that finds its very existence threatened with no one ready to take its side. The northern Serbs feel targeted by Albanian provocations, supported by the internationals, and ready to be sold down the river by Belgrade. This is not a formula for peace. The northerners appear to be telling us that they are not ready to surrender despite the pressures on them. With violence in the air, they are still trying to protect themselves with words. Anyone using this against them, by using it to justify use of force, would be the first to throw the stones.
Kommentar: der einzie logische Schritt, bei soviel Dummheit der Kosovo Mafia und ihrer Deutschen FES Einflüsterer