The heartland of the Serbian nation and the centre of the Serb psyche, Kosovo, is considered too dangerous for Serbian journalists to enter, according to UNMIK forces. They banned the Serbs from entering Pristina, claiming that they could not guarantee their safety. For this reason, the 22 Serbian delegates elected to the regional legislative assembly refused to take part in the training seminar under the auspices of the UNO, returning to Belgrade.
The UNO had been warned that the Serbian delegation and journalists world be arriving 48 hours in advance and guarantees had been given that a UN escort would be provided. Oliver Ivanovic, a Serb MP elected in the recent legislative elections, claimed that the situation was shameful and scandalous and that it gave a very bad image of the UNO to Kosovo’s Serbian population.
On top of the lack of ability (or will) shown by UNMIK, the journalists were forbidden to film anything. Upon arrival at Pristina airport, UNMIK police separated the Serbian journalists from the group, told them they had no permit to enter the city and informed than that filming was forbidden and anyone trying to film would have his camera confiscated and film destroyed.
UNMIK spokesperson Susan Manuel confirmed that UNMIK was unable to provide security for the group of journalists. The fact is that these numbered thirty people and 48 hours’ notice had been given. Susan Manuel claimed that this was not enough time to provide security for such a large group of people. It is hoped that the Serbian delegation of MPs will return to Pristina before the regional parliament opens on Monday.
By interfering in the internal affairs of the Federal republic of Yugoslavia, NATO created a monster in the Balkans – the Albanians – which five hundred years of history had tried to prevent. The fact that security cannot be provided for Serbs in their own homeland by an invading force (NATO was replaced by the UNO) is a sorry statement, a confirmation of the incapacity of the international community to perform.
There is a clear case for the Yugoslav armed forces to return to Kosovo, to normalise security for both the Albanian and Serbian populations, which is what they were trying to do before they were so rudely interrupted.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru