Note: Many journalists covering
the war in Bosnia mistakenly claimed that "ethnic cleansing"
began in 1992 in Bosnia. We know ethnic cleansing started in Kosovo.
We found this article from
where the two step Albanian agenda is described:
- - creating an ethnically
- - merging Kosovo into a Greater
EXODUS OF SERBIANS STIRS PROVINCE
The New York Times,
Monday, July 12, 1982
By MARVINE HOWE, Special to the New York Times
DATELINE: PRISTINA, Yugoslavia
Danilo Krstic and his family are hardworking
wheat and tobacco farmers, Serbs who get along with their Albanian neighbors.
"You have to love the place where you
live to stay on the land here," Marko Krstic, the oldest son, told
visitors to the farm at Bec, a few miles from the Albanian border. There
have been no serious troubles between Serbians and Albanians in Bec, but
Serbs in some of the
neighboring villages have reportedly been harassed
by Albanians and have packed up and left the region.
exodus of Serbs is admittedly one of the main problems that
the authorities have to contend with in
Kosovo, an autonomous province of Yugoslavia inhabited largely
Rioting Brought Awareness
Last year's riots, in which nine people
were killed, shocked not only the troubled province of Kosovo but also
the entire country into an awareness of the problems of this most backward
part of Yugoslavia, which is made up of many ethnic groups.
In June a 43-year-old Serb, Miodrag Saric,
was shot and killed by an Albanian neighbor, Ded Krasnici, in a village
near Djakovica, 40 miles southwest of Pristina, according to the official
Yugoslav press agency Tanyug. It was the second murder of a Serb by an
Albanian in Kosovo this year. The dispute reportedly started with a quarrel
over damage done to a field belonging to the Saric family.
The local political and security bodies
condemned the murder as "a grave criminal act" that could have
serious repercussions, according to the press agency. Five members of the
Krasnici family have been arrested and investigations are continuing.
The authorities have
responded at various levels to the violence in Kosovo, clearly trying to
avoid antagonizing the Albanian majority. Besides firm security measures,
action has been taken to speed political, educational and economic changes.
Past Errors Acknowledged
Privately, some officials acknowledge that
the rise of Albanian nationalism in a society that is based on the principle
of the equality of nationalities is the result of past errors - at first
neglect and discrimination, and more recently failure to act against divisive
forces or even recognize them.
[Albanian] nationalists have a two-point platform,"
according to Becir Hoti, an executive secretary of the Communist Party
of Kosovo, "first to establish
what they call an ethnically clean Albanian
republic and then the merger with Albania
to form a greater Albania. "
Mr. Hoti, an Albanian, expressed concern
over political pressures that were forcing Serbs to leave Kosovo. "What
is important now," he said, "is to establish a climate of security
and create confidence."
The migration of Serbs
is no ordinary problem becuase Kosovo is the heartland of Serbian history,
culture and religion. Serbs have been in this region since the seventh
century, long before they founded their own independent dynasty here in
57,000 Serbs Have
Some 57,000 Serbs have left Kosovo in the
last decade, and the number increased considerably after the riots of March
and April last year, according to Vukasin Jokanovic, another executive
secretary of the Kosovo party.
Mr. Jokanovic, former president of the Commission
on Migration set up after last year's disturbances, said the cause of Serbian
migration was "essentially of a political nature."
The commission has given four basic reasons
for the departures: social-economic, normal migration from this underdeveloped
area, an increasingly adverse social-political climate and direct and indirect
Mr. Jokanovic, a Serb, called the pressures
disturbing and said they included personal insults, damage to Serbian graves
and the burning of hay, cutting down wood and other attacks on property
to force Serbs to leave.
The 1981 census showed
Kosovo with a population of 1,584,558, of whom 77.5 percent were ethnic
Albanians, 13.2 percent Serbs and 1.7 percent Montenegrins.
The population in
1971 of 1,243,693 was 73.8 percent Albanian, 18.4 percent Serbian and 2.5
In a recent visit to Kosovo, Nikola Ljubcic,
head of the Serbian Presidency and a former Minister of Defense, expressed
particular concern about the continuing exodus of Serbs.
"An ethnically clean Kosovo will always
be cause for instability," Mr. Ljubicic said, adding that Yugoslavia
"will never give up one foot of her land."
Conversations with Serbs and Albanians in
different parts of the province showed that that they were generally troubled
about the Serbian migration but did not know what to do about it. Some
people described it as "psychological warfare" but were at a
loss to explain who was at fault.
In Pristina, the provincial capital, with
its skyscrapers and bustling streets, people said they felt relatively
secure because the authorities maintained "a close watch." Although
the army remains at a distance and has not had to intervene, there is a
strong militia presence.
Things appear relaxed on the Corso, Pristina's
main street. As in other Yugoslav cities, every night from about 6 to 10
the main thoroughfare is closed to traffic and practically everyone turns
out for a stroll, encounters and discussions.
Different Sides of
What is special about Pristina is that it
has always been Serbs on one side of the street and Albanians on the other.
Residents say Albanians have been encroaching on Serbian "territory"
since the disturbances.
After the crackdown on Albanian nationalists
- about 300 have been sentenced - they are said to have changed tactics,
moving to the villages, where there is less security control.
In some mixed communities,
there were reports of [Serbian] farmers being pressured to sell their land
cheap and of Albanian shopkeepers refusing to sell goods to Serbs.
"We don't want to go because we have
a large farm," a Serbian farmer's wife said in a village near Pristina.
"Our property hasn't been touched, but there are the insults and the
intimidation, so we feel uncomfortable." Several neighbors have left,
she said, and her own sons who were planning to build a new house have
stopped "to see how things will turn out."
There have been many changes since the riots,
but most people in Pristina agree with Mr. Ljubicic that more could be
done. The main thrust of the changes is economic. "We're going to
change the economic structures with more emphasis on agriculture, the processing
industry, small business and handicrafts," Aziz Abrashi, the Economics
Minister, said in an interview.
"Ninety-nine percent of the Albanians
have no wish to live in Albania," Mr. Abrashi, an Albanian, said,
"but they view the rest of Yugoslavia and are aware of the higher
living standards. Our young people want the same good life, the nice houses
and cars, and they can't get them if they can't get jobs."