Seven years since Albanian pogrom against Serbs in Kosovo-Metohija

18/3/2011

Thursday marks seven years since the major ethnic Albanian pogrom against Serbs in Kosovo-Metohija on March 17, 2004, when Kosovo Serbs, their property and holy sites of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) were attacked and over 4,000 people were forced to leave their homes.

Thursday marks seven years since the major ethnic Albanian pogrom against Serbs in Kosovo-Metohija on March 17, 2004, when Kosovo Serbs, their property and holy sites of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) were attacked and over 4,000 people were forced to leave their homes.

This was the second large-scale pogrom the ethnic Albanians committed after the NATO air raids, when the province came under the UN administration in June, 1999. More than a quarter million Serbs, Roma people and other non-Albanians were expelled before the very eyes of international forces.

During the March 17, 2004 violence, which is known as ‘the Crystal Night in Kosovo,’ 19 persons were killed – eight Serbs and 11 Albanians, whereas two more Serbs are still registered as missing.

In only two days, 954 persons were injured, including 143 Serbs and dozens of members of international forces who clashed with Albanians trying to protect Serbs and their property. Moreover, 72 UN vehicles were destroyed.

The number of expelled Serbs reached 4,012, six towns and nine villages were ethnically cleansed, and 935 Serb houses and 10 public facilities – schools, healthcare centers and post offices, were severely damaged.

The special target of ethnic Albanian violence was the cultural and architectural heritage of the Serb people, and as a result 35 churches, including 18 monuments of culture, were razed, burnt or severely damaged.

The motive for the pogrom was found in the campaign of the Albanian media claiming that six ethnic Albanian boys from the village of Cabar near Zubin Potok had drown into the Ibar River trying to escape from local Serbs who chased them with dogs.

The investigation of the UNMIK police determined that the Albanian accusations were false and spokesperson of the international police Neridz Sing stated that the Albanian boys who survived the tragedy were under great pressure exerted by Albanian journalists and politicians to accuse Serbs from the nearby village of the incident.

According to the data of the Serbian intelligence sources, the threads of the March pogrom were pulled by Ramus Haradinaj, one of the commanders of the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), while the key role was assigned to Islamic terrorist Samedin Dzezairi, also known as Commander Hodza.

After the pogrom against the Serbs, 270 ethnic Albanians were arrested, 143 persons were convicted, the majority of whom to fines and 67 to imprisonment, but the main political figures and former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) members remained free.

The terror of Albanian extremists was formally condemned by the UN Security Council and the European officials, and the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly condemned it by passing a special resolution. Regardless of the ethnic cleansing, Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence in February 2008, with the support of the leading western countries.

EULEX dropped most indictments for March 2004 violence

EULEX spokeswoman Irina Gudeljevic told Tanjug, on the seventh anniversary of the Albanian violence in Kosovo which erupted on March 17, 2004, that the EULEX prosecutor in Pristina has dropped six out of the seven cases related to the events, while the indictment was confirmed in only one case.

“The main trial has started in the case in which the indictment was confirmed. One trial was completed before the Prizren District Court, and the accused was found guilty,” Gudeljevic said without revealing more details.

Anniversary of pogrom market in Kosovska Mitrovica

The laying of wreaths and lighting candles on the White Angel monument in northern Kosovska Mitrovica has marked the 7th anniversary since the pogrom of Kosmet Serbs.

The ceremony gathered representatives of the municipality, Mitrovica district, several associations and members of the families of Borivoje Spasojevic and Jana Tucev, who were killed in March 2004, while defending their homes.

To this day the Serb people are terrorized through the International Civil Office of Peter Feith, EULEX and special police forces of the so-called state of Kosmet, who unfortunately have the support of KFOR, stated municipality president Krstimir Pantic.

The district head Radenko Nedeljkovic has pointed that seven years after the pogrom, although Pristina is saying the Kosmet society is democratic and open for all, the Serbs know better and are receiving signals from Pristina that they are not welcome.

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