[ 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.
Found this article from 1982, where the two step Albanian
agenda is described:
- creating an ethnically clean Kosovo;
- merging Kosovo into a Greater Albania.
Statistics from the 1971, 1981 census are reported. Would be nice to run them against the
1991 census, and current estimates to get a picture of how many illegal immigrants from
Albania entered Kosovo.
The New York Times, Monday, July 12, 1982
EXODUS OF SERBIANS STIRS PROVINCE IN YUGOSLAVIA
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.
The 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 by
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.
''The 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
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 1168.
57,000 Have Left Region
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
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 pressures.
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 percent Montenegrin.
Ex-Defense Minister Concerned
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
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 Street
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
In some mixed communities, there were reports of 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
''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.''