From a witness of the tragedy of this region to a political factor. For the new vice-president of the Kosovo Assembly, Saranda Bogujevci, life has not been easy. As a child, she was wounded while bearing witness to a crime, while the „Scorpions“ killed nearly her entire family right before her eyes. Twenty-two years later, Bogujevci is involved in politics, standing out as a symbol of a new generation. In a guest appearance on the “Medju nama” show on Nova.rs, Bogujevci said that the „burden of the recent past“ should not be left to future generations. “We need to learn lessons and see some future politicians fighting for a better future for all,” she underlined.
„I was 13 years old, and losing my family was a terrible experience. It was important for me to talk about it, and I hope that no one will ever have to go through that,“ says Bogujevci, adding that she, as well as four of her relatives who were wounded at the time, recovered in England.
She recalls that she and her relatives were witnesses at the trial of two of the accused in Belgrade in 2003 and 2008.
„It was difficult, but also important to move forward in that process full of scars,“ she added.
When asked if those wounds can heal and contribute to a better future for Serbs and Albanians, Bogujevci replied that people must know what happened in 1999, noting that this is the first step in this process.
„Let’s be open to that knowledge. When addressing victims on both sides, you need to know how much they suffered and what they went through. Justice for all victims is important,“ she added.
In her words, apart from international courts, the responsibility for that also falls on local authorities.
„The man who shot at me was tried in Serbia. All the culprits can’t end up in international courts, and that is why all domestic courts must prosecute the criminals.“
Bogujevci stated that the younger generations are obliged not to leave the „burden of the recent past“ to future generations.
„We need to create a better future for the coming generations. Learn lessons and see some future politicians fighting for a better future for all,“ she said.
Bogujevci was recently elected the vice-president of the Kosovo Assembly as part of the Albin Kurti-led Self-Determination Movement.
She revealed that she did not see herself involved in politics, adding that she got the opportunity to participate in all this.
„It was a hard decision, but I said to myself, I accept the challenge because I was lucky that other people supported me. From this position, I am focused on changing something for the better.“
Addressing the relationship between Belgrade and Pristina, she said that the quality of life of Serbs in Kosovo depends on this relationship.
„It is important that all citizens of Kosovo have a good life, and that they are integrated. Student exchange is something that is an important and a good guide. We have to work with young people, get to know and understand them,“ she added, arguing that this will be difficult to do if we keep returning to the past.
„It’s not easy, certainly, but we have to work on moving forward together,“ she said.
When asked whether Belgrade has extended a hand to Pristina, Bogujevci said: „Unfortunately, I do not feel that is the case.“
„I hope the government will do something to change that. If the stability of the region depends on us, it simply has to happen.“
She underlined that everyone in the region is oriented toward the European Union, revealing that it is difficult for her to hear that people holding the most important posts, when talking about the war in 1999 – “won’t admit what happened in Kosovo.”
„That must change,“ she added.
According to Bogujevci, the issue of missing persons is one of the important topics in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.
„It is inconceivable to live 22 years with no knowledge about the fate of your loved ones, that is the human aspect in it, it is not all a matter of strict politics. What benefits will the people and citizens have from the dialogue – that is the most important thing. Concrete changes in people’s lives,“ she concluded.
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