A Turbulent Decade. The Serbs in Post-1999 Kosovo

A Turbulent Decade. The Serbs in Post-1999 Kosovo
The purpose of this study is not to provide a detailed and complete picture of the life of Kosovo Serbs within Kosovo and Metohija province in the first post-war decade under international administration (UNMIK), but to point out the main political currents which primarily permitted, and then covered up the process of systematic discrimination, forced expulsions by the Albanian extremists and violation of their basic human rights by the dominant Albanian elites. All of this is an unacceptable political practice, apparently in sharp contrast with the basic European values and universal human rights. Furthermore, there is a particular emphasis on the unprecedented destruction of Serb patrimonial sites by the Kosovo Albanian extremists, mounting to 1,300 various medieval churches, monasteries, hermitages, medieval fortresses and palaces, various archaeological sites etc., which were and still are an significant patrimony of European and world culture, as confirmed by UNESCO, which enlisted four Serbian medieval monasteries in the UN-administered Kosovo on the list of World Heritage Sites: Dečani Monastery (Visoki Dečani), Patriarchate of Peć (Pećka patrijaršija), Gračanica Monastery (Gračanica) near Priština and The Mother of God of Ljeviša (Bogorodica Ljeviška), a cathedral in Prizren. Serbian monasteries in Kosovo, which have been since June 1999 guarded from the hostile Albanian environment for more than a decade by KFOR-troops, are the only European cultural monuments which were being protected from immediate destruction by strong international military forces, often by tanks, cannons or armoured vehicles, and defended by weapons as it was the case during the March Pogrom of 2004. The facts and analysis, mostly of Western and Balkan origin, presented in this book, with added documentation, might provide the additional scholarly, political and cultural interest for the extremely difficult position of Kosovo Serbs since June 1999. Obviously, the additional efforts to prevent the ongoing denial of basic human and community rights, as well as to improve the standard of the protection of human rights, property rights, freedom of movement and right to return for more than 200,000 internally displaced persons in central Serbia, remains to be badly needed for the rapidly declining Kosovo Serb community ― even after the unilateral proclamations of independence by the Albanian-dominated Provisional Institutions of Self-Government in Priština in February 2008 ― in this troublesome province of Serbia.