Hope on the Balkans Kosov@ Crisis
Protests in Serbia, opposition leaders pessimistic
Yesterday in Krusevac 2,500 reservists that returned from Kosovo protested when they received orders to return to the province. Reservists and their families made their way to the military district headquarters, where an officer said the orders were for those who wanted to return to Kosovo voluntarily. Those who did not volunteer could return home. Protesters responded with shouts: "Red bandits!" and "Enough lies!" Similar protests continued in Raska and Aleksandrovac. Police had prevented a protest rally on Sunday in Cacak, another Serbian town where opposition to the war surfaced last week. A Citizens parliament in Cacak sent a letter to Montenegro's President Milo Djukanovic supporting his stand and denouncing the Yugoslav federal government's "adventurist policy based on the ideology of collective suicide". But prominent opposition members doubt the protests will spread across the country or seriously influence Milosevic's military or diplomatic strategies. They said it is impossible to mount public protests against Milosevic, because outrage over NATO's campaign is widespread and open dissent is seen as comforting the enemy. Serious protest against Milosevic would have to wait until after the war, they said. Vuk Draskovic, the leader of Serbia's largest opposition party (SPO), who was deputy prime minister until he was fired last month by Milosevic said: "We are not [in] opposition to Serbia; we are fighting for Serbia. Today we are fighters against NATO. Tomorrow we will be fighting against Milosevic."
Source: Beta Press
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