New Delhi: Tensions over the plight of the minority ethnic Serbs in Kosovo seem to have reached a flashpoint. The provisional self-governments in Pristina (capital city of Kosovo) continue fanning tensions in Kosovo and deliberately deadlocking the dialogue with Belgrade (capital city of Serbia). The indigenous Serb population and its fundamental rights and freedoms are once again under threat.
Yet more evidence of (Pristina’s) disdain was the holding of the so-called elections in the Serb-populated northern part of the autonomous territory on April 23. Despite the fact that the Serb majority boycotted the “elections” and refused to nominate their candidates, the ballot went ahead, under Western pressure. The result was predictable: the Serbs unanimously boycotted this parody of the democratic process, with 96.5 percent of voters failing to turn up at the polling stations.
But the negligibly low turnout of 3.5% ensured by the small number of Albanians and the lack of elementary conditions for voting (two-thirds of polling stations were portable containers) did not prevent Pristina from cynically declaring the elections a success and naming the “winners.” All four of them, to be sure Albanians, got between 100 and 519 votes, depending on the municipality, whereas the residents with voting rights there number almost 46,000.
It is “rule of law” Kosovo-style, a pet topic in the United States and the European Union (EU). This means substituting a shameful imitation for the generally accepted electoral procedures, an imitation that nevertheless suits Pristina’s Western sponsors to a T. They are encouraging the occupation of northern Kosovo and seeking to finally deprive the local Serbs of their right to vote in the face of the persecution and terror unleashed by the local “Prime Minister,” Albin Kurti.
The Kosovo Albanians are boasting of failing to implement their obligations under the Brussels Dialogue and threatening to thwart the creation of the Community of Serb Municipalities with executive powers. They build up the presence of heavily armed “police” special forces in non-Albanian areas and intimidate residents.
Emissaries from Washington and Brussels have long played up to the Pristina leadership, encouraged false accusations against the Serb community, and hushed up the growing threat of aggressive Albanian nationalism. As a result, EU mediation has become a conveyor belt for churning out versions of a pseudo-settlement benefiting the Kosovo Albanian side.
The “municipal elections” have additionally highlighted the pernicious nature of the West’s policies in the region. Opting for despotism, discrimination and ethnic cleansing cannot lead to peace and agreement. Unable to quash the ingrained Serbophobic reflexes, the US-EU tandem is plunging Kosovo ever deeper into crisis.
For their part, the Serbs, who did not wish to participate in this electoral farce, have demonstrated true national dignity, unity and cohesion in a difficult environment, as well as readiness to hold their ground shoulder-to-shoulder with Belgrade.