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Protests in Serbia Archive
What could happen to Kosova

DATE: 29 January 1997

by YLBER HYSA / Prishtink

This week in Kosova seems to have passed in last week's passion. The echo of the attempt against Papovic seems not to have calmed down, while the speculations of who and why committed the attempt still continue, same as the movements inside the political parties, groups, media, etc. - all of it in the "market"!

Although in a communique sent to BUJKU, UGK again takes on itself the responsibility, the doubts still continue arising.
Moreover, the attempt against Papovic has incited the respective attacks between the Serb position and the opposition. The ruling coalition accused "Zajedno" indirectly for what happened in Prishtink, even the new mayor of Prishtink, Simic, member of the SPS, accused the opposition coalition for giving "the green light" to Albanian attackers! In the meantime, the opposition accused the government that it, together with the police, is not capable of discovering things in Kosova and to keep it under control. Even accusations of the opposition against the Serbian government go as far as considering that it "is playing the last card", that of Kosova, that through initiated inter-ethnic quarrels is trying to put the Belgrade events way back in the memory, and thus prevent the democratization of Serbia.

On the other hand, Kosovan Serbs pronounced themselves too. An extremist Serbian group, "The Association of Serbian Combatants of 1991", led by (not only) the journalist Dragan Damjanovic, asked the government to act energetically and on this occasion threatened the Albanians. Differing from them, the Serbian Orthodox Church, through Episcope Artemije stood clearly against the Serbian government, saying that it needs an inter-ethnic quarrel, to take advantage of...

In different reactions and the coverage made on this occasion, is interesting to state that the Bosnian Serb telegraphic agency SRNA was the first one to inform about the attempt on Papovic and only some 20 minutes after it had happened. Meanwhile, "Politika", based on the words of a local police inspector, states that the organizers of the explosions are "the ones that have come back from the fronts in Croatia and Bosnia!".
According to the "Communique #29 of the UGK", this organization takes the responsibility for the murder of Fazli Hasani in Skknderaj and "...the second liberating action against the hard- core enemy of the Albanian people of the rector of the Serbian university of Prishtina, Radivoje Papovic. The consequences of his anti-Albanian activities and especially in the area of education are well known to everybody" - says UGK's communique.
But, not even Rugova believes that this attack could have been committed by an Albanian organization. Thus he said in his last press conference, where he even asked the FBI and Interpol to investigate the case!

The attempt against Papovic has evidenced an unusual event in the series of explosions and killings that have happened in Kosova and this has made a series of extreme evaluations appear. Time will be needed to eliminate all speculations. But, this doesn't mean that there will not be more of these similar attacks. The question is when, why and how and in all this noise, things can get out of hands having in mind so many players in the game about Kosova and how many of them accused one-another about Papovic...

But, all of it is linked to the situation in Kosova and the region. Thus, in the mutual accusations of the position and the opposition, Belgrade became part of the game too. If not directly, then simply because of the consequences and the implications that the situation in Kosova brings with it. But not only the attempts and killings are interlinked. Even the political agreements have the same role. After a long time, the education agreement has started becoming actual again. There is no official information from any of the sides. Paglia visited Belgrade and then also Prishtink, same as the American Charge, Miles, who also expressed his interest on the education agreement. In his last press conference, Rugova said that the things were being negotiated, but if nothing would change in the near future, he will give up on the agreement!

The third element, that is not linked directly with Kosova, but that can be reflected directly on Kosova, is Milosevic. The West has started thinking "technically" what could happen with Serbia if Milosevic falls? What can this bring and who can replace him and what will be the consequences for the region? Thus, "International Herald Tribune" published an article that dealt with the same matter - "the questions of the West regarding Milosevic"! On this occasion, it is said that the long-term purposes of the Serbian opposition remain a mystery, especially about Bosnia and Kosova. Sources from London, Paris and Washington stress that their governments, despite the big insecurity regarding the change of the government in Serbia, express an optimism regarding the new possibilities that would be created with the cooperation of a new government in Belgrade In order to gather the assistance from the West, these sources agree that the new government would have to make compromises to evade ethnic problems in Bosnia and in Kosova. On the other hand, the sources in Washington have concluded that Milosevic has no intention to reach a compromise about Kosova, or about the cooperation with The Hague Tribunal, or finally to make deep economic changes in Serbia.

The article ends with the evaluation that "Any successive regime of Mr. Milosevic, as the analysts say, would be thirsty for financial and other support from the West, and thus would be open for compromise that would ease up things in Kosova, at least provisionally"!
Such an analysis of this newspaper, based on the sources in Washington, but also in London and Paris, maybe for the first time openly suggests that the West has started thinking otherwise rather than colloquially: What will happen with the post- Milosevic Serbia! And all calculations include Kosova...

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