Back to Archive Hope on the Balkans   Kosov@ Crisis 1999
Back to Kosov@
Crisis 1999
Opinions Archive 1999
Fehmi Agani`s last four weeks

Rexhep Ismajli, who is a well-known scholar and writer, spent four weeks in Prishtina after the beginning of the NATO air strikes with Fehmi Agani, who was one of the top leaders of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK). Serbian police took Agani out of a refugee train near Lipjan on May 9 and killed him. Agani was a committed senior representative of the non- violent resistance movement led by Ibrahim Rugova. Ismajli gave an interview to RFE/RL on May 17.

RFE/RL: You were together with Agani in Prishtina. What did he think about the developments [after the air strikes began]?

Ismajli: I was together with Agani until April 29, when I left for Macedonia. He was very upset about the situation and would have liked to establish contact with the outside world, but we could not even find a telephone in Prishtina. He was shocked that people like [Jiri] Dienstbier, [Cornelio] Sommaruga and others went to places like Belgrade, Novi Sad, and Podgorica in the name of the UN but said that they could not go to Prishtina because that city was being bombed by NATO. Their behavior was indeed hypocritical, cynical and terrible, and Fehmi was very badly affected by that. Agani had predicted that Serbia would behave harshly in Kosova, but he never thought that it would reach this degree. At the same time, he did not think that the [ethnic] Albanian political forces should have done anything to moderate their position towards Serbia in view of [what the Serbs did to the Kosovars]. We expected more [statements and] reactions from those who got out, but we have not heard anything. Since we could not speak out from inside Kosova, he expected from the politicians outside that they would at least say something...

RFE/RL: What does the killing of Agani mean for the national movement?

Ismajli: From my point of view, the death of Agani is one of the most fundamental losses for the national movement. His killing could not have been committed by a regular policeman or been ordered on the level of some local police station. This was ordered directly from Belgrade -- if not directly by [Yugoslav President Slobodan] Milosevic -- because Agani was one of the creators and inspirers of the idea of an independent Kosova and had been so since the 1960s. He was the one who developed a strategy for the political movement. He was a person who urged all [different Kosovar political groups] to create a united front... Nobody in the entire Albanian world can replace him. Serbia knows this well because he was the key player in the negotiations. British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook -- who knew and valued Agani both personally and politically -- said that the killing of Agani shows that Serbia has no interest in developing a dialogue with anybody. The NATO air campaign must continue until a final settlement is found under international control.
(Translated by Fabian Schmidt)

Source: Radio Free Europe
via Press Now

Back to Archive | Back to Kosov@ Crisis 1999