La nostra corrispondente da Sofia ha incontrato per l'Osservatorio Momcilo Trajkovic uno dei leader dei serbi kosovari. L'intervista è stata realizzata durante la tavola rotonda sulla questione albanese nei Balcani, tenutasi a Sofia il mese scorso.
Pubblichiamo di seguito un'intervista con Momcilo Trajkovic, uno dei leader politici dei serbi del Kosovo. Le sue posizioni rappresentano spesso il segno della difficoltà di dialogo tra le due comunità principali della provincia, ma pure ci sembrano importanti per capire il clima politico attuale.Prossimamente pubblicheremo un analogo intervento di Adem Demaci, leader politico kosovaro albanese.
The charismatic leader of the Kosovo Serbs Momcilo Trajkovic is an MP in the Serb Parliament and head of the parliamentary commission on Kosovo. He is also the leader of the Serb Movement for Democratic Change, which is a member of the Democratic Opposition of Serbia. Being dangerous for him to live in his apartment in Pristina, he resides in the Mimosa Motel in Caglavica and is permanently guarded by KFOR due to the life threats he receives. He is fond of saying that his predecessors have lived in Kosovo for 600 years and that is the reason why he does not want to leave it. On the 28th of June 2002 when the Serbs celebrate Vidovdan Momcilo Trajkovic arrived in Sofia to join the Serbia and Montenegro and not a separate state.
Mr. Trajkovic, how do you comment the work of the round table devoted to the Albanian National Issue and the Balkans? How would you evaluate the reports of the Bulgarian researchers affiliated with IMIR who have conducted fieldwork on this issue?
The reports of IMIR provoked us to debate. This type of work is constructive. After the war many share the view that there is no need to talk. At this round table in Sofia there are no Kosovo Albanians present. Why does this happen? Because they believe that they have completed their work and there is no need to talk about it and to open processes to arrive to a long-term solution. During this big Serb holiday, Vidovdan, I have chosen to come to Sofia and talk to the Albanians, to the Bulgarian experts and find out what they think and try to explain what we think. The Albanians outside of Albania have new ethnic claims. The national question for them is strictly connected to territory. We, the Serbs, follow in my view a different logic - we think that national issues are not separated from democratic issues, as for example economic development, integration etc. We need to set today the Albanian national issues as a factor for integration in the Balkans. The Albanians oppose the concept of a Great Albania only in words but they all want to create a Great Albania. On the round table in Sofia we heard that the Albanians from Montenegro request local self-governance and autonomy and that the Kosovo Albanians request an independent state, the ones in Macedonia pursue a federal state and the Albanians from the South want autonomy.
As far as Kosovo is concerned I think that the Albanian claims will be solved when the issues of the repatriation of the 250 000 Serbs and other non-Albanians, expelled from Kosovo, has been solved and when there will be freedom for the 150 000 Serbs and the other non-Albanian population still living in Kosovo. If Albanians are good neighbours of ours, they should not fight, burn churches and monasteries but they should accept the repatriation of Serbs and others to their houses in Kosovo. When the Albanians pose the issues of independence in Montenegro, they have to bee ready to embrace autonomy for the Kosovo Serbs.
Which do you think could be the firsts steps of cohabitation of Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo, could be the self-government of the Serb enclaves?
Yes, even though, this might seem as a step backwards. The local self-rule for the Serbs is a temporary and not a lasting solution. Power needs to be decentralised at the local level. The Serbs in each municipality have to participate in the political processes, in the work of the municipality, etc. The whole surrounding of Pristina is Serb, Serbs have lived for centuries there. There are Serbs in the Kosovo Pomoravie, in the mountain of Sar - these are enclaves, where Serbs have lived for centuries.
You, yourself are not free to move around Kosovo and are guarded by a KFOR escort. How do you imagine the return of Serbs in Kosovo?
The international community has the mandate to establish conditions for security, peace, and return. The talks of our Albanian friends we just heard at the round table is nonsense if the Albanians will not oppose the Albanian extremists.
In September there will be local elections in Kosovo. Which are the conditions for the Serb participation?
There are only 300 Serbs currently residing in Pristina, that had 40 000 Serb residents before the war and it will have, after the elections, 60 Albanian delegates and just 2 Serbs. How will be able these Serbs to perform their functions? Before the war there were 20 000 Albanians in Pristina and 40 000 Serbs. Today in Pristina live 600 000 Albanians. Three years ago 400 000 Albanians came to Pristina from Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro.
If this Serb concept for self-rule fails to be accepted, would you boycott the local elections?
We boycotted the first local elections since they lead to the independence of Kosovo. But this time we will participate in the local elections in an effort to try to take the power at least in the locations where the Serbs represent a majority. If we do not participate, the Albanians will take power also there. We are getting ready for the elections, we are setting some conditions. On the former elections the international community promised that, if we would have participated, the Serbs would have been repatriated to Kosova. We are now in June and Serbs still did not return to Kosovo.
How do local institutions operate in Kosovo?
The establishment of Albanian institutions solely and the exclusion of all others has deteriorated the situation. On the Sofia round table the Albanians said that the status of Kosovo has already been solved. But when we refer to the status of Kosovo and to connected issues we should be able to individuate a consensual solution that does not harm the parties involved, we need to establish real democratic institutions. If we will be able to have them it will be easier to reach a consensus.
The Kosova Albanian intellectual Veton Suroi claims that a multiethnic Kosova is an ideological mantra of the West. Do you agree with this comments?
There are around 250 000 non-Albanians residing in Kosova and Metohja, which have been evicted from their homes and now fear to return because Albanians are not ready to accept them. The enforcement by the International Community of the concept of multi-ethnicity, supposed to help the return and integration of the Serb community will, in my opinion only scare them. It is not true that the International Community is in charge of Kosovo because it has been three years now that Albanian (and not Kosovo) institutions have been established. How can we talk about multiethnicity if we have these Protection Corps of Kosovo which are nothing different from a furtherance of the terrorist KLA?
Why Serbs are not part of the Corps for the Protection of Kosovo?
This institution is a furtherance of the terrorist KLA, the ones that have killed Serbs, set Serb houses to fire, evicted and kidnapped Serbs. It is not imaginable the victims and the tormentors would join in the same institution. I do not want the creation of Serb Corps but I just want a common Kosovo institutions. The Kosovo police should not be an Albanian one but a Kosovo one and should carry the international sign of the UN. The International Community strategy has been in these last three years aimed at resolving the Albanian national issue and not the Kosovo one.