French fight for human rights of Serbs in Kosovo

Magdalena Ivanović
Photo: Facebook

Translation provided by KoSSev

By Magdalena Ivanovic (the text has been published by Danas daily)

The text „Serbian Spirit of Resistance,“ published by the French magazine „Le Figaro,“ had recently caught the public’s eye.

I must admit that I barely managed to read all ten pages on the life of the Serbian people in Kosovo and hold back the tears, as well as powerlessness and anger towards those who led them to such a position, who did nothing for years to help change anything in their favor – quite the opposite.

In the following pages, I would like to draw attention to the facts concerning the Serbian people we practically don’t know exist, as well as their life in Kosovo. We mostly hear about Srpska Lista, or to be more precise, the progressive one, which is doing their hardest to fight for “someone’s rights.”

One of the most important and most upsetting events that marked and exacerbated the position of the Serbian people in Kosovo and in Metohija happened in 1999, when a large number of residents left Kosovo. According to the French author of the text „Serbian Spirit of Resistance,“ Jean-Christophe Buisson „… after 78 days of bombing by the international coalition (including France) and without a UN mandate, Belgrade has relinquished its province, which the Albanian majority will declare as independent in 2008.“

After that, it was estimated that over 200,000 Serbs left Kosovo, while 100,000 of them are currently living there. A certain number of them remained due to various benefits coming from the Serbian authorities for years, a part of the population does not want to leave their homeland and family because of their connection to all that they have built and lived through during their lives, while most of them are not able to leave, even if they wanted to. Jean-Christophe Buisson also speaks of them, „often the poorest or oldest inhabitants gather in enclaves, in which they are never protected from the outbreak of violence. This is the reason some Serbs refuse to leave their villages, where they are surrounded by Kosovo Albanians and cut off from the world and where they live in an obsessive atmosphere. The Novake hamlet, located about fifteen kilometers from Prizren, is the most pathetic illustration of this. It is hard to reach both during the summer – by using dusty paths and during the winter – by using the swampy ones. Of course, despite the constant demands of the peasants, the Kosovo authorities never agreed to, at least, pave the roads for them.“ And I would like to add – neither did the Serbian authorities…

Also, according to one of the locals Branko Gligorievic, there are those who live in such fear that when they go to North Mitrovica to shop, they organize convoys comprising of several vehicles to prevent possible attacks on their way there. „We work in an autarky: everything that is produced here is consumed on the spot. During the harvest, since we do not have the necessary equipment due to the lack of a budget, we lend agricultural machines to each other which move around Serbian enclaves in Kosovo. It does not matter, we have to stick together at all costs: we are at home here!“

While reading the report by Jean-Christophe Buisson, no one can remain indifferent and it is devastating that we are hearing about the lives of our people from Kosovo and Metohija from a French journalist (one of the sources was also the humanitarian Arnaud Gouillon), because many of us who would like to witness all this at the scene and publish it – are not allowed to do so. By the Kosovo authorities, and by ours, because they would try their hardest to prevent us from publishing stories about the real life of the majority Serbian population (especially those who live outside of the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica). More precisely, anything in which they are not the main „heroes and fighters for the rights of Serbs in Kosovo.“

Unfortunately, instead, we have been forced to hear stories from President Aleksandar Vucic about the resolution of the Kosovo issue, more precisely about some delimitation – which we still do not know what exactly it would imply.

Mr. President, Aleksandar Vucic,

What will happen to the Serbian people who do not live in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica, and make up the majority of the Serbian population in Kosovo? Have you already given up and left them to themselves, as well as to the Kosovo Albanians, on behalf of North Mitrovica? Are their lives less valuable than those in North Mitrovica?

Where does the money sent daily from Serbia to Kosovo go and under which criteria it is distributed? Obviously it does not reach those who need it the most.

Have you ever visited one of the enclaves inhabited by isolated Serbs or do you only visit places where you are falsely applauded and welcomed by those you pay to represent your and their own interests in Kosovo? In all these years you have been in power and allegedly fighting for the Serbian people have you visited the hamlet of Novake at least once? What will happen to these people who live in disastrous conditions, if demarcation you are advocating so much happens?

What is the function of Srpska Lista in Kosovo? Who and in what way do they represent in Kosovo authorities?

It’s well known that you react to everything that someone says or publishes, even on social networks, so why did you not react after this report was published? You don’t want to accuse a well-known French journalist of „lying and inventing,“ as you do with our people on a regular basis?

Despite everything that the people in Kosovo experience every day, they are not giving up on their homeland (which is also the original title of the published report „The Serbs in Kosovo are resisting“), while you have given up on them a long time ago, as did the international community.

The fight for human rights is the basic postulate of all international and domestic communities and organizations. Who and in what way is defending the rights of the Serbian people living in Kosovo?




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