Although Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic often presents himself to Belgrade journalists as a connoisseur of the state of affairs in Kosovo and as someone who knows every Serbian village, the facts say that, in reality, this is not exactly the case. The latest example is the Serbian President’s speech on the number of Serb houses in Caglavica, Bresje, and Kosovo Polje, in which he presented inaccurate data to the public.
The Serbian President criticized the former government and opposition in Serbia a few days ago, claiming that they wish for Serbia to become a hostage of Kosovo. Vucic underlined that they want to maintain their virtual story, without taking into account the fact that the number of Serbs in Kosovo is declining.
„There are less than 20 Serbian houses left in Caglavica. In Bresje, almost no one, no one in Kosovo Polje, no one,“ Vucic claimed.
The Voice of America team visited all three places the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had mentioned.
A brief tally showed that there are 152 Serbian houses in Caglavica, not 20, as Vucic stated. This was also confirmed by local residents.
The President said that there are almost no Serbs in the village of Bresje, where over 180 Serbian families lived before 1999. Miroslav Velickovic, a Serbian resident of Bresje, was surprised by this statement. According to Velickovic, there are 40 Serbian households, and over 100 people, in the village.
„There are Serbs in Bresje. Let’s see how and in what way we can return those who also lived here before,“ Velickovic said.
The President also claimed that there is “no one” in Kosovo Polje. However, in only one neighbourhood, Masinski Park, there are 20 Serbian families, with 10 more families living in other parts of the town.
„No one from Belgrade ever came here. It is very difficult for us when they say there are no Serbs in Kosovo Polje,“ said Rajko Trandafilovic, a Serb resident of Kosovo Polje.
„There are Serbs in Kosovo Polje and there always will be. The only thing that affects us is that we went to Belgrade to seek help several times. The last time we went, they told us that there are no Serbs in Kosovo Polje and that they don’t know whom they need to help, which is a crying shame and a disgrace. Now I don’t know whether they are doing this intentionally, in order to drive out the remaining Serbs,“ added Trandafilovic.
All three places mentioned by Aleksandar Vucic – Bresje, Caglavica, and Kosovo Polje were places with a Serbian majority before the war. The majority of Serbs left Kosovo Polje immediately after the war. Bresje was abandoned by the majority of its Serbian inhabitants after March 2004, while the residents of Caglavica, where there were about 300 Serb houses before the war, started selling their property after 10 Serbian houses were burned down on March 17th, 2004. In recent years, Albanians have built entire settlements, shops and dozens of motels in this village, and they are still building today. Building permits are issued by the Municipality of Gracanica, where the representatives of Aleksandar Vucic’s party have been in power for the last five years.
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