Open letter United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan

By: Xhemil Zeqiri

Køpenhavn 01 06 04
Open letter
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan
Copy for Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller
As a long time human rights activist and chairman of the danish department
of Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms (hereafter CDHRF) in
Kosova, I am appealing for you to turn your attention to a number of serious problems in Kosova.
Recent events in Kosova once again exemplify the deeply felt frustration of
the Albanian population stemming from the lack of permanent solutions to the
Albanian issue.
The Albanian issue is not new. It goes all the way back to the London
Conference of 1912/3, where the bigger countries decided to tear the Albanian nation into pieces.
When the borders of the Balkan were closed, the majority of
Albanians found themselves outside Albania, having become a part of the
neighbouring countries without ever being a part of the decisionmakingprocess.
Three million Albanians lived in the former Yugoslavia, principally in Kosova and Macedonia.
They never acheived the same status as the other peoples of
Yugoslavia, in spite of them being the third-largest ethnic group. While
Slovenians, Bosnians, Croats, Serbs and Macedonians had their traditions
secured and gained their own republics, the Albanians never got the same
treatment. In fact, they were brutally repressed and Kosova became the
poorest region of Yugoslavia.
There can be no doubt that the lack of solutions to the Albanian issue was
an important factor in the dissolution of Yugoslavia. When the different
republics tore away from Yugoslavia, part of the reason were plebiscites,
where the peoples expressed their wish to become separate states.
The Albanian people also almost unanimously expressed their wish for a
sovereign state in a such vote. But the international community ignored the
wishes of the Albanians. It has had dire consequences, culminating in the
NATOattacks on Serbia.
Albanians hoped for a permanent solution in accordance with their wishes.But
nothing happened. In spite of many years passing since the war ended, the
situation basically has not changed. Therefore, the Albanians have grown
crtitical of the UN administration in the Kosova (UNMIK). UN resolution 1244
has in reality turned Kosova into a prison for Albanians. In reality Kosova
has been made a canton. Whereas Serbian enclaves are outside UNMIK control,
Albanians must answer to this authority. It is a still more common attitude
that Albanians are disfavoured compared to Serbians. Albanians feel that the
historic injustice continues.
Recent events in Kosova show that tension is growing and could spontaneously
combust, if Albanians feel they are treated unfairly .Responsibility for the
violent incidents in Kosova is put on the Albanians, even though Jim Moran,
the KFOR spokesman, has recognized that all actors, including KFOR, UNMIK
and the political parties, all had a part to play.
Therefore, I beseech you to commence an independent inquiry into the
background of the recent tragic events in Kosova, in an attempt to stop the
continuous violence.
The Albanian population of Kosova wants to live in peace with its
neighbours. They have no interest in driving out Serbians or others from
Kosova.On the contrary, they feel a strong urge to secure the rights of all
ethnicities. This is the only way to ascertain lasting solutions, not only
for Kosova, but also for the hundreds of thousands of Albanians living in
Serbia, and the almost one million Albanians in Macedonia.
When the UN Security Council discussed the question of Kosova on May 4. of
this year, in light of recent turmoil in the region, once again a decision
was made without the Albanian people being heard. The UN has claimed
“standards before status” and decided on a long list of demands to Albanian
people, before the process of sovereignty can begin. This is impossible. How
will the Albanian people be able to turn Kosova into something resembling
paradise on earth, in a situation where they are deprived of even the most
basic human rights.
The Albanian people wish, like the other peoples of the former Yugoslavia,
the right to decide on their own fate. There has been too much hate created
and too much blood spilt. Both are at the heart of the great sorrow the
Albanian people feel.
There are no easy solutions, but the current UN course is a dead end, which
will invariably end in disaster.
I beseech you to work for a solution according to the wishes of the people
of Kosova. Albanians are not a minority. We comprise 95% of the population
of Kosova. People here have the same right to determine their fate, as the
other peoples of the former Yugoslavia. This is the only way to create
lasting peace, where the peoples of Kosovo can live together in peace as
Yours sincerely,
Xhemil Zeqiri
Kopenhavn -DK

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