News archive

May 12, 2010

12. May 2010.

Representatives of the Albanian Ethnic Community in South Serbia Support the Inquiry Conducted by the War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office

Vranje, Bujanovac, Presevo – „The activity that the War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office took in connection with the grave of Albanians in the territory of Raska is the best bit of news I heard over the past few years”, said Skender Destani, the Leader of the Democratic Union of the Valley (DUV) from Presevo.  

According to him, this gesture restores confidence in the Serbian governmental institutions and it rebuilds the trust of representatives of South Serbia’s Albanian ethnic community in the institutions that are willing to face problems. In his opinion “the Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office is the only competent body which, in spite of the political arrangements, can make an effort towards achieving trust among ethnic communities”.  

Ragmi Mustafa, the number-one – man of the local self-government in Presevo, who is from the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA), said that “this is the first step that should establish an open dialogue between the governments in Belgrade and Pristina”.  

„We expect from the War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office to make further efforts and identify those that committed crimes eleven years ago, since many Albanian families in South Serbia are still looking for missing persons”, Mr. Mustafa said. He also said that there was a list of “around one thousand Albanians whose destiny during the wartime is unknown”. 

MP Riza Halimi, the Leader of the Party for Democratic Action (PDA), said that that the most important thing was that “the tangled web of crimes is becoming unraveled and the most important role in the process is the one of the War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office, which is led by Mr. Vuckovic”.  

„Someone is responsible for the crimes, but the point at issue isn’t just one grave, for the people have been wretched for over ten years because they don’t know where their nearest and dearest got killed”.  

„I equally appreciate the protests staged by mothers in Belgrade and by those in Pristina, who don’t know where their nearest and dearest died. We can’t maintain peace in South Serbia’s region without facing the past”, Mr. Halimi said.  

Saip Kamberi, the President of the municipality of Bujanovac, said that “the state of Serbia may rescue its future by facing the crimes that were committed in its name”.  

„The acknowledgment of all the crimes committed in 1999 and the punishment of those who committed them in the name of the Serbian people is a precondition for a long process of reconciliation in the Balkans”, Mr. Kamberi said.