Kosovo – still a battle for the north?

UNMIK, EULEX and KFOR should act as necessary to stop unilateral construction in north Mitrovica until there is a mutually agreed, Kosovo-wide approach to internally-displaced persons (IDPs) from all communities.

Suggested Reading

Conflict Background


By Gerard M. Gallucci

Since Kosovo declared its independence in February 2008, the focus of the internationals supporting that declaration has been largely on the north.  During the first years, KFOR and EULEX – the Quint agents acting in Kosovo formally under the status neutral mandate of UNSCR 1244 – allowed, and in some cases supported, Pristina’s efforts to bully the southern Kosovo-Serbs to accept participation in the new state.  That worked as Serbs in the south have no alternative other than to leave.  Meanwhile, Pristina and its internationals sought to build pressure on the northern Kosovo Serbs to either surrender or succumb to provocations and undertake violence that would justify a NATO seizure of the north.   Pristina tried to seize the northern boundary crossings, to send its special police (ROSU) into the north, to impose unilateral “returns” in the north to re-engineer the ethnic balance there and to end or limit the UN role in north Mitrovica.   EULEX and KFOR tended to support these efforts until the unfortunate violence of late 2011.

This year, it seems that the Quint has backed off somewhat from efforts to impose Pristina’s rule in the north through force.  Instead the EU and US have apparently been focusing on pushing Belgrade to give up the north through “negotiations.”  In order to receive a date for EU membership, Serbia is to “abolish” its local institutions in the north and reach an accommodation with Pristina on the northern boundary that they hope will amount to making it a recognized border.

Pristina, however, is not comfortable with this approach.  The current leadership there does not want compromise and probably has a clearer idea of what the Serbs can accept than their internationals do.  Neither Belgrade nor the northern Kosovo Serbs will accept surrender.  The local Serbs will not as they see it as the prelude to their eviction and the government in Belgrade cannot because it can’t simply abandon Kosovo in exchange for nothing but vague EU promises.  The Kosovo Albanians understand this quite well.  They therefore want to continue pressure on the Serbs to gain advantage or force an error.  As the internationals have not allowed them to seize the northern crossings, their efforts focus on injecting more Albanian “returns” and construction in north Mitrovica and trying to close the UN office there.  Also, the occasional stoning, shooting or grenade attack in mixed areas along the River.

The UN remains responsible for ensuring peace – a safe and secure environment – in north Kosovo, as do KFOR and EULEX.  In the face of violence surrounding the illegal Albanian construction in the high ground of Brdjani in north Mitrovica, KFOR increased its presence and reportedly prevented an attempted incursion by ROSU.  Some construction has stopped but some continues.  UNMIK’s failure so far to formally require the end to unilateral construction allows EULEX and KFOR to escape their responsibility to stop it.  UNMIK does know better.  In a briefing to diplomats prepared for November 27, it called the construction – presented as “returns” – more about “creating facts on the ground.”   UNMIK also was critical – in the mild UN way – of the effort by the south Mitrovica municipal government to extend its control into the north and to cut off payment of salaries to staff of the local UN administration there (UAM).   UNMIK noted that limiting UAM’s ability to act leads to “confrontation between Serb and Kosovo institutions becom[ing] sharper with little acceptability for Pristina outreach efforts [sic] which are overshadowed by what is perceived as efforts to dictate and take control amidst allegations of attempts to change demographics through the (re)building process.”

UNMIK pleads that lack of Kosovo Albanian acceptance of its role in the north means it can do little more than call for dialogue.  But sometimes, peacekeeping requires setting firm limits.   Dialogue is unlikely to prosper while one side continues to do what it wants.  UNMIK, EULEX and KFOR should act as necessary to stop unilateral construction in north Mitrovica until there is a mutually agreed,  Kosovo-wide approach to internally-displaced persons (IDP’s) from all communities.

Gerard M. Gallucci is a retired US diplomat and UN peacekeeper. He worked as part of US efforts to resolve the conflicts in Angola, South Africa and Sudan and as Director for Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council. He served as UN Regional Representative in Mitrovica, Kosovo from July 2005 until October 2008 and as Chief of Staff for the UN mission in East Timor from November 2008 until June 2010.

To read TransConflict’s policy paper, written by Gerard and entitled ‘The Ahtisaari Plan and North Kosovo’, please click here.



64 Responses

  1. Fadil

    As usually, ridiculous statements from Gerard. It is indeed ridiculous saying that reconstruction of burned Albanian houses from criminal Serbian forces is “illegal”. Such constructions, in fact, were approved from LEGAL municipality of Mitrovica. There is ONLY one municipality in northern Kosovo, which is LEGAL and that is municipality of Mitrovica. As for UNMIK, its role is ended since independence of Kosovo. Actually. according to UN SC 1244 its role should be ended on 2002 since after “facilitation of process of Kosovo status” (paragraph 11 of UN SC 1244) THERE IS NO MORE role for UNMIK. Indeed, according to UN SC 1244, UNMIK should have transferred ALL of “its administrative tasks” to Kosovo institutions. UNMIK in Kosovo is present just because ONE state- Russia opposes new resolution which would end presence of UNMIK. But OK, UNMIK can be present in Kosovo but with NO ROLE. If UNMIK wants new role than it should be A NEW binding decision of UN SC.

    As for Serbs in northern Kosovo, there is already compromise. Serbs in the north have the better offer that such group may have in planet Earth. If Serbs in the north do not accept such offer then they will have NOTHING, like Serbs in Croatia who refused so called plan Z4. With such behaviour, Serbs in northern Kosovo may harm themselves.

    As for 12K Albanians from northern Kosovo, EXPELLED from Serbian criminals during and after the war on 1999, no one can stop them returning in their houses. It is a duty and obligation toward them rebuilding their destroyed houses. It is their BASIC human right and no one can deny that. They are not going in THEIR LAND to do something other than living IN THEIR HOUSES. Those Albanians returning in THEIR HOUSES do not need any permissions other than that of Kosovo institutions.

    1. Gerard Gallucci

      It is actually not up to Kosovo to declare the UN role over. That is reserved for the UN Security Council. Kosovo disrespect for the UN doesn’t recommend itself as an indicator of readiness for membership in the international community.

      Also, under the Ahtisaari Plan, the south Mitrovica administration is not legal in the north. Even the Kosovo government has its own separate office for north Mitrovica. Any way you cut it, it is illegal for the South Mitrovica municipality to have anything to do with the north.

      1. Fadil

        Gallucci, Kosovo did not declare end of role for UNMIK. UNMIK’s role simply ended on 2002 as its CLEARLY stated in UN SC R 1244, paragraph 11, which says that UNMIK should establish substantial autonomy for Kosovo, promote it, TRANSFER all of its tasks TO KOSOVO Institutions and finally “facilitates political process for Kosovo status” baseod on Ramboiullet accord, which gave the role to international presence ONLY THREE YEARS. So for UNMIK, in FINAL PHASE, there IS NO MORE ROLE but “facilitation of political process”. If UNMIK wants a NEW role, a new decision in UN SC must be adopted.

        You say: “Also, under the Ahtisaari Plan, the south Mitrovica administration is not legal in the north”

        You are indeed very ridiculous. The Mitrovica administration is LEGAL in the north as long as there is no NEW municipality in the north. Up to now there IS NO municipality of Mitrovica NORTH apart of one ILLEGAL entity created ILLEGALLY from Serbia. Of course such illegal entity in the north as well as all other illegal “municipalities” are in breach of Kosovo Constitution and UN SC R 1244. Its was CLEARLY stated form chief of UNMIK that Serbia could not hold local elections in Kosovo since it is violation of UN SC R 1244. In this regard, every entity created from such illegal elections is ILLEGAL.

        And yes, Kosovo government has its own office in the north, the only LEGAL one in that part of Kosovo. Fortunately, there in the north, many Serbs are asking for services from that office. There are also many thousands of ethnic Serbs in the north asking for financial services (loans, grants, projects etc) in the north and they must have Kosovo ID cards as well as sign contracts in which Republic of Kosovo is mentioned. More and more will do that. In the end there i no more choice form them (Serbs in the north) because they have the choice to live entire their life in barricades and tensions or choose normalization of life.

  2. Beha

    Mr Gallucci, what exactly did you achieve when you were the head of the mission for Mitrovica? Was it not that in your sight institution buildings were occupied by Serbs and you refused to obey the higher command in Prishtina to free them? And don;t forget that over 20000 Albanians were driven out of their homes in north Mitrovica. Have they not got a right to return? What about parallel institutions that Belgrade finance and controls, are they not illegal according to SC 1244? Perhaps there is a gilt in this Serb vibrant defence.

  3. Hesh Rabkin

    Actually, the Belgrade gov’t would be more than happy to give up all of Kosovo i Metohija if they knew they would not be somehow punished by Serbs themselves. The Islamist Albanians will not stop trying to cleanse Serbs from Kosovo i Metohija so that wont change regardless.

    The best thing to hope for is if tensions continue to rise in neighboring Macedonia, which it seems to be the case, the sovereign nations of Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and possibly Greece can finally rid themselves of the Islamist separatist problem in their countries. The USA probably wouldn’t Serbia today if it tried to liberate Kosovo i Metohija, much less if multiple sovereign nations agree to solve this problems once and for all.

    Whoever wants to stay can stay, but you come to a country you accept their way of life. This is what the Islamist’s do not get. The Albanians wont stop until they complete their greater Albania fantasy, but that’s exactly what it is, a fantasy.

    Peace and reconciliation is possible only when separatism is crushed like a cockroach.

    1. Fadil

      @Hesh Rabkin,

      Who are those “Islamist Albanians”?? Are you aware what are you speaking about?? Seems you are out of this world and living in another planet.

  4. Hesh Rabkin

    @Fadil, those Islamist extremists who burned Serbian Churches & Monasteries and expelled the Christian population in many cities throughout occupied Kosovo i Metohija both during the war and also March 2004 pogroms against Christianity.

    The Serbs will win though. The fact that you cannot guarantee your occupation shows you are highly vulnerable. When the problem of Albanian Islamist separatism is solved, only then the region can get to reconciliation.

    Cheers from Tel-Aviv!

    1. Fadil

      @Hesh Rabkin,

      You are totally misinformed and don’t have even a clue on what’s going on in Kosovo. Albanians in Kosovo are so “Islamist” so if you walk in the streets of any city, village in Kosovo you would never realize that there is a single Muslim there. You could see fewer covered women in Pristina (Kosovo capital) than in London, Berlin, Paris. You could see men and women drinking alcohol drinks massively. In my quarter live 10,000 inhabitants and no more than 50 of them go in the mosque. Is this “Islamist country”??

      So stop writing rubbish here.

      As for Churches@Monasteries in Kosovo I should tell you that Albanians saved these objects for centuries. What happened in 2004 was a frustration of few individuals and those individuals are not supported in any circumstance for what they did.

      I should remind you that Albanians expressed high solidarity with Jewish saving them during the WW2 being at risk of losing their lives from Nazi occupiers. Albanians were the only people in region to have done that. Jewish people is thankful for that attitude of Albanians.

      As for “occupying” of Kosovo I should urge you reading the report of International Commission on Balkan wars on 1912 when Kosovo was occupied. It says: “Houses and whole villages reduced to ashes, unarmed and innocent populations massacred en masse, incredible acts of violence, pillage and brutality of every kind — such were the means which were employed and are still being employed by the Serbo-Montenegrin soldiery, with a view to the entire transformation of the ethnic character of regions inhabited exclusively by Albanians.[1]”

      As you can see, Kosovo had been inhabited EXLUSIVELY from Albanians so its very strange how Albanians could “occupy” a territory in which they were living EXCLUSIVELY. Its CLEAR from the report who tried to CHANGE ETHNIC CHARACTER of the region (not just Kosovo). The authors of report were Americans, Germans, French, Austrians, Russians, British. On that time apart of Austrians all the others supported Serbian cause. So since 1912 Kosovo was occupied from criminal Serbian soldiery. Hundred years later Kosovo is independent as it should have been 100 years ago.

      Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacres_of_Albanians_in_the_Balkan_Wars

  5. Tony

    Fadil, you’re wasting your breath. Most people who read Gerry’s blog have worked in Kosovo and know the truth. Most of us worked closely with the locals in developing their capacity, we know the law and the history. We know that the settlement being built by the Albanians in the North is not a returns site, but an incursion.

    It’s interesting that you don’t condemn the attacks on the sites in Zac, Osojane or lootings and destruction of property of Serbian IDPs in Babljak, Babus and the cancelled returns in numerous locations because of attacks during go-and-see visits (i.e. Mushtiste in Suva Reka).

    As for the authority in the North? None of the legislation passed after the UDI is technicaly legal as under UNMIK Regulation 1999/24 states that new legislation must be promulgated by the SRSG. There has been no transfer of this authority. In truth, the Albanian government in Pristina has even an less legal for being in the North than the Belgrade gov’t. (Bear in mind that there was also a referendum by the entire population in the North rejecting Albanian domination from Pristina). This is the right to self determination of a local population. The same thing Albanians wanted. They need to respect that right for others as well.

    1. Fadil


      What kind of truth you know?? Do you know for 800K of expelled Albanians from Kosovo and 12K of them from northern Kosovo? Who are you to deny their return and call it “incursion”. Do you indeed believe that anybody should ask UNMIK whether to go and rebuild burned houses?? I don’t think so. I did not condemn cases of Serbs, you mentioned, since here we write for something else. Of course I condemn every case in which people can’t go and live in their houses.

      As for authority, why you do a kind of separation of the north. Prishtina’s authority is either valid in all of territory of Kosovo or nowhere. It is well known that Serbia can’t hold elections in ANY part of Kosovo, including the north of course thus every “institution” established from Serbia whether in the north or the south is illegal.

      UNMIK’s role has ended as its clearly says paragraph 11 of UN SC R 1244. UNMIK, according to paragraph 11 of UN SC R 1244 had the role only three years. Until then UNMIK should have transferred all of its administrative tasks to Kosovo institutions. I urge you reading carefully UN SC R 1244, particularly paragraph 11.

      I would ask you, however, based on what “Albanian government in Pristina has even an less legal for being in the North”?? And who says you that there is “Albanian government” in Pristina. I don’t believe that deputy prime minister Mr. Petrovic is Albanian or minister Rasic and one another that I don’t remember.

      As for referendum. There have been many of such referendums. There was, for instance. referendum of Albanians in southern Serbia askin to join Kosovo. Why we should take into account the referendum in the north and not the others? As for comparing Kosovo, as federal entity in former Yugoslavia with all institutions as all republics had, with three municipalities in the north, I don’t want to comment since there is no sense on it.

      As for respect, yes Serbs in the north have the offer never seen in any part of planet Earth.

      1. Gerard Gallucci

        For the record, UNSCR 1244 says nothing about any three-year limit to the responsibility and authority of the international civil presence (UNMIK).

        Para 11 of the Resolution does include language saying that the presence take “full account” of the Rambouillet Accords but this would presumably refer mostly to the NATO presence. The Accords call for a “MECHANISM FOR FINAL SETTLEMENT” and stipulate that “three years after entry into force of the Accords, an international meeting will be convened to determine a mechanism for a final settlement for Kosovo, on the basis of the will of the people, opinions of relevant authorities, each party’s efforts regarding the implementation of the Accords, and the Helsinki Final Act.”

        But the Accords never entered into force because not all parties signed. Yugoslavia, Serbia and Russia refused. This led to the ultimate decision for NATO intervention. The Accords were in any case superseded by UNSCR 1244, which the Security Council did approve. The “international meeting” that would have been called under the Accords never took place and no mechanism for final settlement was ever agreed upon by the parties.

        The three years mentioned in the Accords were only aspirational and the Accords never operative. Upon passage of UNSCR 1244 – under which the UN and NATO legally entered Kosovo and established themselves under the international mandate – the UN Security Council asserted final authority on completion of the UN mandate. The UNSC has not reversed itself or given UNMIK any three year or other limit. UNMIK remains legal and was so cited by the ICJ.

        There was never a three year limit on UNMIK. Mere assertion – no matter how oft repeated – doesn’t make it so. Kosovo’s disregard of the UN’s peacekeeping mandate in the north – where there clearly remains differences over Pristina’s legal status – is a black mark on its claim to international acceptability.

        1. Fadil


          Rambouillet Accords were signed form Kosovo delegation on February 1999. Three months later UN SC adopted resolution 1244. Rambouillet Accords refer EXCLUSIVELY to international CIVIL presence, known as UNMK, since this document is mentioned ONLY at para 11 of R 1244 (tasks and responsibilities of international presence). So in para 11 UN SC says to to civil presence what to do NOT to military presence. If Rambouillet Accords would have to do with NATO, there should be reference in para 9 (duties and responsibilities of international military presence in Kosovo), but in para 9 there is no single word for Rambouillet Accords. This means that you are writting here nonsense.

          So your claim that “taking into fully accounts” of Rambouillet Accords has to do with NATO presence is simply with no ground. Indeed UN SC does not says that international civil presence will stay in Kosovo for three years but Rambouillet Accords says so.

          I don’t really understand meaning of this: “the Accords never entered into force because not all parties signed”. Its not a matter whether the Accords entered into force or not. What matters is that this accord is PART of UN SC R 1244 and it should be fully taken into account. The Accords were mentioned twice in para 11 of UN SC R 1244. First while establishing of substantial autonomy for Kosovo and in final phase when UNMIK had to “facilitate political process, taking into account Rambouillet Accords” thus not mentioning at all, for instance, territorial integrity or sovereignty of so called and not recognized entity FRJ.

          Since you are writing nonsense a question for you: why Rambouillet Accords were mentioned at all in para 11 if that was “only inspirational and never operative”??

          Having this in mind then a logic of three year term is more acceptable then unlimited time for a dead mission, which stays in Kosovo only because one state of this world – Russia vetoed adoption of new UN SC resolution and ending of presence of UNMIK.

          Indeed UNMIK is legal in Kosovo but with no role after “facilitation of political process” for Kosovo status. After that “facilitation” UNMIK simply has nothing to do in Kosovo.

  6. Mirel

    As far as I see Mr Gallucci and Toni propably are the most pro serb people than even serbs themselves.
    4 town-halls according to Gallucci are more important thah 1.7 other million people who live in Kosova.Any reason?They are serbs and they think they are in Balkan to rule others.
    I dont know why this hate of Galluci against Albanians .All his articles are full of insults about Albanians and full of praises about serbs.
    Even the serbian media such as B92 tell hundred of stories of Northen Serbs who are involve in ilegal businesses,while for Gallucci the problem is in South of Ibar not in the North where is no law.

    I am Albanian Orthodox myself and when I listen to Irenej, for instance, who NEVER,I MEAN NEVER IN his prayers says “peace between albanians and serbs” I am very upsett.Serbian Orthodox Church is trying to probvoke albanians every time they have a chance.

    Mr.Gallucci like it or not UN and UNMIK was and is a useless organization and they did a poor job in Kosovo.

    The gonverment of Kosova is legal,and the UDI is also legal by Hague.

    Serbs are always looking for trouble.In the North they have rejected all the peace plans,like their brothers in Croatia.
    I wish they chenge their mind and make a compromise with Prishtina and move on,otherwise they will end up in outskirts of Belgrade.

    1. Gerard Gallucci

      It seems strange, at least to me, to hear that my occasional writings are full of “hate” and “insults.” The charge seems to reflect more an unfortunate tendency to judge everything by the standard of “you are either 100% for me or 100% against me.” Again, for the record, I do not hate Albanians or write to “praise” Serbs. I simply believe that the Kosovo Serbs who do not wish to be part of the new Kosovo cannot and should not simply be forced to accept it. This is especially the case for the northern Serbs as they have the option to simply remain where they are, as part of Serbia, rather than be forced to leave the country of their birth. The same standard was applied in the case of the Kosovo Albanians who could not be forced to accept being part of Serbia.

      Vis-a-vis the myth that the ICJ found the UDI “legal” – it found only that it was not covered by international law – I refer to this previous piece (http://www.transconflict.com/2011/09/kosovo-myth-busting-279/)

      The assertion that the mention of the Rambouillet Accords in UNSCR 1244 means they are incorporated fully and therefore place a time-limit on UNMIK would not stand any serious legal analysis. Article 19 of the Resolution makes this clear: “Decides that the international civil and security presences are established for an initial period of 12 months, to continue thereafter unless the Security Council decides otherwise;”

      1. Fadil


        Indeed, Mirel is right. You are bigger Serb then Serbs themselves. Just remember how many times you attacked Serbian officials because they are “giving up”. Your are simply interested EXCLUSIVELY for northern Kosovo. According to you a group of people in northern Kosovo is part of special species that must have some special rights!!! This is very strange.

        You failed all the times explaining to public why ONLY Serbs in the north should be pleased with some special rights?? In fact, Serbs in the north should be THE LAST group in planet Earth to ask something. They did not have even 1% of atrocities others had, plus they have an offer never seen for such group.

        Again, comparing situation in Kosovo during 1990’s with that of northern Serbs is a huge nonsense. Your logic is very strange. You say “if a group wishes something then it must have it”. But this should be applied ONLY and EXCLISIVELY for Kosovo northern Serbs (excluding those in the south). No one in planet Earth would understand such logic.

        As for “UDI”, ICJ found that it was not in violation of general international law, UN SC R 1244 and Constitutional framework of Kosovo. ICJ did not forget, for instance, that there were cases in which UN SC resolution would condemn such declaration and UN SC R 1251 in particular (case with Cyprus), adopted just 19 days from the same body.

        Ramboiullet Accords were mentioned in para 11 of UN SC R 1244 when international civil presence in Kosovo (UNMIK) had something to do, it means while UNMIK had a role. UNIMK’s role ENDED once it started “facilitating political process in Kosovo” in order to find final status for Kosovo. There are NO MORE paragraphs describing further role for UNMIK.

        As for para 19 of UN SC R 1244, you are fully right. Indeed the presence of both civil and military presence is established for 12 months, to continue thereafter, unless UN SC decides otherwise. That’s fine. UNMIK can be present in Kosovo as long as UN SC decides otherwise but UNMIK’s ROLE has ENDED since there is no job for UNMIK after “facilitation of political process”.

        Its very strange how you are unable to distinct role vs presence.

        Lastly, if you have complaints against Pristina, related to UNMI, why you don’t address the issue to UN SC?? Or, why UN SC did not have a single objection on Pristina??

        1. Marko

          @Fadil, we meet again. I believe it has been at least seven months since the last time we had a little chat, and obviously you have not changed a bit – you still can not write one single sentence without lying.

          Nevertheless, let us begin.

          First of all, you wrote that UNMIK no longer has a role in Kosovo since the separatists declared independence in 2008. Well, I am deeply sorry to correct you but according to the UN itself “the tasks of the Mission have significantly been modified to focus primarily on the promotion of security, stability and respect for human rights in Kosovo.” Given the fact that atrocities and attacks on minorities are still taking place in Kosovo, UNMIK’s presence is far from unnecessary.

          Now, since you seem to believe in the lie of a democratic Kosovo, where everyone has equal rights, do you mind explaining why the celebration of Vidovdan on the 28th of June at Gazimestan was brutally abrupted by the so-called “Kosovo Police” even though there was no violence nor provocations by the participant Serbs? Do you mind explaining why their crosses were pulled from their neck chains and then throwed to the ground beside them? Explain why their flags were taken from them only to be tossed to the ground like filth? Please don’t give me an answer like “it’s provocative to have a Serbian flag in Kosovo”, because a true democracy ensures the right of an individual’s nationality and religious belief, no matter what they are. Clearly you need to take a lesson in human rights since none of you Albanians seem to respect them.

          About the ICJ’s declaration regarding Kosovo’s illegal independence; you can try to twist as much as you like, but the result stays the same – they did NOT deem it LEGAL, otherwise their declaration would have stated so literally.

          Looking forward to your reply, but I suspect it will be filled with even more nonsense and naivety than your previous comments.

  7. PEN

    @Tony and Gerard; As you can plainly see there is absolutely nothing to be achieved by attempting to intellectually engage in a sane debate with Albanian fanatics. Their logic is so warped and twisted that they will conjure up any fantasies to try and prop up their ludicrous arguments. Every rational criticism is perceived as a personal slight. A medieval mindset typified by the vendetta and the blood feud. Agree with me, or else. Living amongst them for those who are not one of them must be terrifying.
    Don’t be perturbed. As you both appear to have extensive knowledge of the situation as it is, I value your views. Keep it up!

    1. Fadil


      Living among us is very funny, especially being foreigner and Serb. For instance I always communicate with Serbs in their own mother tongue, it means in Serbian. We (as Kosovo society) are offering to Serbs very fair offer so they can have normal life as Serbs. They can use their language everywhere, they can take documents in their language and they do not need to learn the language of majority in Kosovo. Just to remind that Serbian is second official language in the whole territory of Kosovo. Serbs in Kosovo at the same time have control over their education system, medical services, local police, courts. Serbs have reserved seats in Kosovo Assembly and reserved ministerial positions. For instance a Serbian candidate would be elected with only ONE vote while Albanian colleague needs ate least 7000 or more votes for one seat. Serbs in Kosovo can establish a new municipality with only 5000 inhabitants and have more power in local matters than Kosovo capital Pristina. Cultural and religion of Serbs in Kosovo have special treatment.

      Indeed its very bad being with such privileges in Kosovo!!

      So if this offer makes somebody “fanatic” we can just imagine what we should call somebody else in democratic countries, not to mention dictatorial ones!!!! Indeed some people should seriously review their logic of things.

  8. PEN

    Come on Fadil, get real. Would you really have us believe a Serbian vehicle with Serbian occupants, speaking Serbian would be in a position to pass unscathed through Albanian settlements. They would be attacked at the first available opportunity by some nasty nationalist thugs. Your obsession with some nebulous laws dreamed up on paper have absolutely no correlation with the situation on the ground. I have a challenge for you. Pretend you’re a Serb and travel as I’ve just suggested through Albanian territory and see what happens. Then report back to us on your experiences. Go on I dare you.

    1. Fadil


      Serbs of Kosovo are already traveling “through Albanian territory” and to my best knowledge, without incidents. As for “nebulous laws dreamed up on paper” its a matter of Serbs themselves whether want it real. Serbs have an offer. It is up to them whether to accept it or not. You can’t blame Pristina if Serbs do not want that offer but want Kosovo within Serbia. No my friend we (Kosovo society) can’t do that. Kosovo or any part of it can’t be Serbia. As soon as you realize it better for you.

      And OK you me keep up (as you urge Gallucci@Co) but I would suggest you reading this:


      For the record. known Serbian historian Latinka Perovic speaks about Serbia, which is disappearing because “Serbs don’t understand the time”.

  9. Mirel

    @ Mr.Gallucci,

    ….I simply believe that the Kosovo Serbs who do not wish to be part of the new Kosovo cannot and should not simply be forced to accept it….

    If you believe so, tha you should believe that Albanians in Preshevo Valley can not be forced to be part of Serbia too.FYI they held their referendum since 1992 where 99% voted to join Kosovo.

    As for your articles,they are full of sympathy for nothen serbs,and I am still waiting to see any word from you, about the ilegal activities in North.Even Iciva Dacic himself said thet serbs in North have 3-4 houses in Belgrade.Do you think they bought those houses with their salary?Because I have a very good salary in USA and yet I can not afford to buy more than one house.
    In my opinion serbs in North want only the statu quo.Thye dont want to join Serbia,because they have to pay taxes and bills.
    Trying to paint them as saints, when in reality are far for being peacefull people,just doesnt help their cause Mr.Gallucci.

  10. Milli

    Unbelievable. Mr. Gallucci tries to fair to all sides, and gets lambasted by the likes of Fadil. BTW, Fadil, looks like you have a lot of time on your hands, to be commenting so often. The word ‘ridiculous’ seems to be your favorite. You are the one who is ridiculous. What’s your problem? What are you after now? You got your corrupt state, thanks to NATO. And, you have US military base, Camp Bondsteel. And, many more mosques dotting the landscape, funded by Saudi Arabia and Iran. Things are going swimmingly well for you. Settle down.

    1. Fadil


      I simply can’t understand how come that a group of 50K of people in northern Kosovo should have far more than more than 100K of people in southern Serbia. What kind of “fairness” is this? Could you explain such kind of logic than I will admit that I am “ridiculous”. Eager to see your response.

  11. Michael Djordjevich

    What Fadil is writing is plain humbug. There is not a modicum of fairness and understanding of the basic problem involved with Kosovo.

    Albanians wanted self-determination and could not live with the Serbs and their communist rulers led by Tito and Milosevic. OK, fine and dandy. Now whatever is left of the Serbs after ethnically cleansing most of Kosovo (some 200,000 Serbs , Romes and other minorities have been driven out to create a mono-ethnic state, they are demanding the same right for self-determiantiojn. They know as all objective people that they cannot live under Albanian (Kosovar’s) administration. It would be only a matter of time when they would be driven out from their ancestral homeland.

    As for these discussions of legality and resolutions, it is just smoke-screen and disingenuous blabber. By international law Kosovo was illegally separated from Serbia by the force of NATO. It would behoove Albanians to be more tolerant and understanding of the situation, mindful that wounds in the Balkans do not heal easy, while the deep wounds sometime never. Fadil and his ilk would be smart to turn sights towards the future and seek some “win-win” solutions for the problem of the Northern Kosovo and sincerely work for overall improvement of relationships with Serbia for the mutual benefit of all the people who suffered enough by flawed and selfe-servng policies of theri leaders.


    1. Fadil

      The same question as to Milli: what kind of “fairness” you do see denying rights to bigger group (Albanians in southern Serbia) and giving much more rights to smaller group as Serbs in northern Kosovo. Where do you see fair treatment here. As for “illegality” of Kosovo independence could you please show us evidence here. And yes people like me understand perfectly situation and ready do accept giving to Serbs in northern Kosovo never seen in any part of planet Earth.

  12. TexMex

    Mr. Gallucci, you are one of a very few voices of reason and understanding of the plight of, not only Serbs, but all minorities in Kosovo. Thank you.

  13. Assyrian

    If the North is handed over to Kosovo Albanians, the fate of the Christians there will be the same as the fate of the Middle East Christians. Middle East is the cradle of Christianity and where are all these Christians? Dead, converted to Islam, or emigrated to the West.

  14. Milli

    There really should be a limit on how many tirades a person is permitted to submit here. For sure, Fadil has exceeded all limits. So, Fadil, settle down. Get your own column, and leave Mr. Gallucci alone. Fadil, you have a problem. BTW, you’re not the smartest of all, so quit digging yourself deeper.

  15. Markog

    Excellent and principled article, Mr Gallucci. But expect no sympathy for your efforts from those who look the other way and talk of ‘facilitating political processes’ whilst their fellow Albanian leaders in Kosovo mastermind
    (a) the recent ‘peacetime’ ethnic cleansing.of a quarter of a million non-Albanian people (- Serbians, Roma and anyone else) whilst publicly calling upon these people to stay (Tudjman in Croatia was more honest about his own fascist intentions toward the Serbs)
    (b) the elimination of the archeological truth as to whose land Kosovo really is through the systematic destruction of beautiful medieval Serbian Orthodox churches and their replacement by gleaming new Saudi Arabia-financed mosques in areas of Kosovo where Albanians have only been present for a couple of generations. This applies to most of Kosovo and Metohija, to give it its centuries-old historically accepted Christian Orthodox name
    (c) the conversion of Serbia’s Kosovo Christian heartland into a demonic mafia state in which Slavs are murdered with complete impunity and in which Kosovo’s political, business and criminal leaders are actually the same corrupt group,of men whose business activities over the last fifteen years (since taking power thanks to NATO) have been focused on ensuring they keep Albanian-controlled Kosovo as the key international player in
    – the smuggling of heroin to Europe from Afghanistan;
    – the systematic enslavement and rape of possibly hundreds of thousands of East European women for purposes of forced prostitution since Kosovo was captured from Serbia in June 1999,
    – the harvesting and removing of human organs from living human beings (Serbians and anyone else available) inside Nazi-style murder camps of which Dr Mengele would have been proud.

    If there had ever been any merit in the phoney Greater Albanian arguments, it would surely have been long lost in the atrocities which have been the main activities of too many Albanians now in Kosovo under the tutelage of their leaders, Hasim ‘The Snake’ Thaci and the charmingly ICTY-freed Mr Ramush Hardinaj.

    1. Fadil


      For your rubbish here please present us evidence here. Apparently apapart of rrubish written here you lack evidence and present only pure propaganda.

      1. Markog

        Hmmm Fadil. You’re a persistent chap, and no mistake. Would you like to tell us which of the above you deny on behalf of your countrymen?

        1. Fadil


          Start ie with point a). According to registration of population, conducted from Milosevic’s regime, on 1991 were 194K of Serbs living in Kosovo. Knowing their negative birth rate we could assume that there were some 190K of them living in Kosovo on 1999. After June 1999 in Kosovo remained 120K-130K of Serbs so eventually some 70K of Serbs left Kosovo. You may continue the rest and convince us how come that from 70K you made “quarter of million”. Apparently your lies are more then tripled.

  16. Ero

    Fadil, you said that “Serbs of Kosovo are already traveling “through Albanian territory” and to my best knowledge, without incidents.” but you seem unwilling to walk in their shoes yourself. Why don’t you get an ID with a Serbian name, like Dragoslav Basic for example, and do some sightseeing in Kosovo. You can take you mother in law too and your kids, like professor Basic did. You can try speaking English instead of Serbian, too, like he did. You can try broad daylight or a dimly lit back alley of Prizren at night.
    To see what happened to him and his mother in law, see http://www.kosovo.net/basic.html

    By the way, the reason that statistics shows decrease in these atrocities is not because Albanians became more tolerant. It is simply because there are no more targets left at their reach. They have expelled all.

    1. Fadil


      No one denies some incidents in Kosovo. You are mentioning here few incidents within a year. I repeat – FEW INCIDENTS during a YEAR. Can you find a single place in planet EARTH WITHOUT INCIDENTS???

  17. Milli

    Very interesting, a comment earlier today. Apparently, Albanians in Presevo don’t want to be part of Serbia. So, why are they in Serbia? Not unlike the Albanians in Greece, in Macedonia, in Montenegro. What is it you really want? If it’s Albania, then go there. Or, do you have thoughts of Greater Albania dancing in your heads. Why? What’s so great about Albania, that so many of you immigrated elsewhere to live. Now you want to be part of Albania, which you or your forefathers abandoned earlier? No logic.

    1. Fadil


      The problem with your “logic” is that you don’t understand very simple logic. There are more than 100K of Albanians in southern Serbia who would rather be part of Kosovo but they accepted to live within Serbia and they suffered too much under Serbian ruling. The problem emerged for 50K of Serbs in northern Kosovo who want something special even though they didn’t suffer NOTHING. In fact those Serbs living in northern Kosovo CAUSED suffering of Albanians expelling 12K of Albanians from that part of Kosovo. So the northern Serbs, in fact, are the last group in planet Earth to demand something because of suffering. Instead they should be punished for suffering caused to the others but this is not going to happen as Kosovo society is willing to give them chance to live their normal life. But Serbs in the north want more, they want be part of Serbia and that can’e be afforded to them because its totally UNFAIR to other bigger groups who suffered.

      1. Assyrian

        It’s really ridiculous that you have no shame and talk about “50K of Serbs” in the North and do not pause for a second to ask yourself where are all those hundreds of thousands of Serbs who fled Kosovo because of the Muslim Albanian terror. I stress Muslim Albanian because here where I live I know Christian Albanians who are great people and who also abhor the behavior of Muslim Albanians toward non Muslims.

        So, you first terrorize the population, they flee, and then you talk about the majority rights! Just like in Middle East!

        1. Fadil


          One advice for you. before posting something, first get informed. Apparently you lack of proper information. For your record, there was a registration of population in Kosovo on 1991, conducted from Milosevic’s regime and there were 194K of Serbs living in Kosovo on that time. Its known that Serbs have NEGATIVE BIRTH rate so from those 194K of Serbs on 1991 there should be some 190K of them on 1999. Since in Kosovo live some 120K of them (50K in the north and 70K in southern Kosovo) then only 60K of them may have left Kosovo and majority of them during the conflict while Kosovo was under control of Serbian forces. So continue getting more informed and you will see how wrong you are.

          1. Assyrian

            I am well informed, don’t you worry. I am not talking about the situation from 1991 and on. I am talking about history of Kosovo. Non of the Christian communities that disappeared because of the Muslim terror disappeared in a few decades.
            Under Albanian terror in 18th, 19th, and 20th century (Albanians as Muslim were a privileged group in the Muslim Ottoman Empire) a huge number of Christians left Kosovo and a great number of those who stayed converted to Islam in order to survive and became Albanised. Exactly the same way Christians disappeared from Middle East.
            BTW, do you know that the great grandfather of Hasim Thaci was a Serb and an Orthodox priest?
            Albanians became an overwhelming majority after WWII. Serbs were expelled from Kosovo at the beginning of WWII by the Nazis and the communist government of Yugoslavia didn’t allow them after the war to go back to their properties. So, the Serbs are victims of two totalitarian ideologies – Nazism and communism, and now they are the victims of the New World Order.

  18. Milli

    Fadil, I nominate you ‘expert of rubbish’. Apparently you are telling me that Albanians are the hands down majority in Serbia? What’s wrong with Albania, that you all make a mad exit? How’s that border with Albania doing?

    1. Fadil


      Apparently you enter the water and you don’t have an idea about it. I never said Albanians are majority in Serbia. I said there are 100K of Albanians living in three municipalities in southern Serbia and which are bordered with Kosovo. I said there are 50K of Serbs living in northern Kosovo, in three municipalities and bordered with Serbia. The question is: why 50K of Serbs in northern Kosovo should have much more rights then 100K of Albanians in southern Serbia??? Very, very simple question?

      And Gerard Gallucci is so “fair” so he wants to give much, much more rights to those Serbs living in the north of Kosovo. I am not mentioning at all, of course, half million of Albanians in western Macedonia who don’t have event 10% of rights that Serbs in Kosovo have.

      So what Gallucci wants is giving some special rights to a group which is the last in the planet Earth to deserving something because that group NEVER and EVER suffered from somebody. In contrary that group CAUSED suffering of the others, for instance expelling some 12K of Albanians from northern Kosovo and killing many of them.

  19. Fadil


    You continue presenting here false information without a single evidence. Your lie that “Albanians became an overwhelming majority after WWII” could be easily found. I urge you, again, reading what was written in the Report of INTERNATIONAL Commission on Balkan wars (year 1912) and there you could find that territory of Kosovo was INHABITED EXCLUSIVELY WITH ALBANIANS on 1912 so stop writing propaganda here and accept the TRUTH. Even Serbian officer Dimitrije Tucivic, who participated in massacres of Albanians on 1912 said “We have carried out the attempted premeditated murder of an entire nation. We were caught in that criminal act and have been obstructed. Now we have to suffer the punishment…. In the Balkan Wars, Serbia not only doubled its territory, but also its external enemies”.

    For the same thing as Mr. Tucovic, the international Commission on Balkan wars says “Houses and whole villages reduced to ashes, unarmed and innocent populations massacred en masse, incredible acts of violence, pillage and brutality of every kind — such were the means which were employed and are still being employed by the Serbo-Montenegrin soldiery, with a view to the entire transformation of the ethnic character of regions inhabited exclusively by Albanians.”


    Your clearly attempt to present this conflict as religious one, failed long time ago.

      1. Fadil


        Don’t rely in non reliable sources. I could put here hundreds of links from Albanian sources but I don’t since such sources could be treated as non reliable ones. I presented here VERY RELIABLE report from international commission, which denies your claims about Kosovo with Serbian majority. The authors of international commission VERY CLEARLY SAY – territory of Kosovo was EXCLUSIVELY INHABITED FROM ALBANIANS on 1912 and it was Serbian soldiery, which attempted to “entirely transform ethnic character of the region”.

        Here is the entire text of the report:

        And the authors of report were:


        Austria :

        Dr. Josef Redlich, Professor of Public Law in the University of Vienna.

        France :

        Baron d’Estournelles de Constant, Senator.

        M. Justin Godart, lawyer and Member of the Chamber of Deputies.

        Germany :

        Dr. Walther Schiicking, Professor of Law at the University of Marburg.

        Great Britain:

        Francis W. Hirst, Esq., Editor of The Economist.
        Dr. H. N. Brailsford, journalist.

        Russia :

        Professor Paul Milioukov, Member of the Douma.

        United States:

        Dr. Samuel T. Dutton, Professor in Teachers’ College, Columbia University.

        So as you can see even the member of Russian Douma, professor Paul Milioukov was one of members of the report.

        As for “organ trafficking”, this is indeed a fairy tale story, confirmed by one of Serbian professors, Dr. Goran Kronja, who calls such claims as stupidity. Professor Kronja, by the way, is author of more than 250 different organ transplantation.

        1. Assyrian

          So, my sources are unreliable, and yours aren’t. The report you mention was ordered and paid by the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy which at that time had aspirations on the whole Balkans.
          There are always experts who can be bought, like the dentist turned historian and an “expert” on the Balkans, the scientist that signed off on the Racak massacre, to name a few.

          1. Fadil


            When I say people like you are ridiculous ones, people like you get angry. So you know that the report of international commission comprised from Americans, Russians, French, Germans, British, was “bought”. You just make people laugh since you present nonsense things here. Just imagine how all these honorable people like were “bought”!!! As for evidence on that, who cares. people like you never care for evidence.

            Maybe Dimitrije Tucoovic also was “bought” or another Serb, Kosta Novakovic was “bought” when he wrote his diary while doing massacres to Albanians.


            Its in Serbian but google translate may help non Serbian readers.

  20. Milli

    Fadil, keep talking. You really love to think you’re the expert. Far from it. Why you left Albania is a mystery. Go back to Albania, and take the many other Albanian illegals with you. That way Serbia would be for Serbs, and Albania would be for Albanians. If you love Albania so much, stay there.

    1. Fadil


      Your rather racist way of thinking just gives on more reason why Kosovo independence was necessary. I did not leave Albania at all. My parents and 8 generations before them lived in Kosovo so I am living in my country – Kosovo. Its OK seeing with whom Albanians had to deal with. Today, you can be a citizen of Germany, France, Italy since nobody there says “Germany is for Germans” or “Italy is of Italians” or maybe just a few who are fascists or Nazi.

      As for love, i love my state Kosovo as independent and sovereign country.

      I urge you to stop sharing fascist an nazi ideology.

      1. Assyrian

        My advice to you, Fadil is to check your ancestry a bit. I am sure you will find in those 8 generations some Orthodox Serbs in your lineage. Those who converted to Islam in order to survive on their land.

        What does Kosovo mean in Albanian? And what does Metochia mean in Albanian?

        Nobody in Europe says that Germany is for Germans” or “Italy is for Italians”, but everything the Muslim Albanians do is “Kosovo, Western Macedonia for Albanians only”

        1. Fadil


          This is very, very primitive logic. No, I don’t have any of “Orthodox Serbs”in my lineage. As for primitive logic I would just remember the very known fact – Slavic people belong to Carpathian Mountains and if they want historic reasons for something they could do it claiming something there, where Carpathian Mountains are. But we live in 21-st century and if you don’t know Assyrian, a territory is controlled by people living in that territory, regardless from their race, ethnicity and color. So Kosovo belongs to ALL people living there, Albanians, Serbs, Bosniaks, Roma, Turks etc.

          1. Assyrian

            You are right, Kosovo should belong to all people living there. The only problem, Muslim Albanians only accept their own, and are terrorizing all other ethnic groups. It’s not only Serbs who are being terrorized – Romas, Goranis, Bosniaks.

        2. Fadil

          Since there is no option for reply on the comment below for “Muslim Albanians” just to inform this propagandist who wants to discredit Albanians that such attempt failed long time ago. Take for example former Serbian foreign minister Jeremic who was thankful in many occasion to Muslim countries for not recognizing Kosovo.

  21. Milli

    So, Fadil, you love Kosovo do you? Which flag do you wave in Kosovo, the Albanian one or whatever is the Kosovo flag? You’re getting nowhere calling me a fascist or nazi. That I.D. fits you, not me. Since you’re such a know-it-all, why did so many Albanians leave Albania, and now want to annex even more territory to Albania? I urge you to smarten up, and not peddle nonsense. Perhaps why don’t at least a handful of Albanians migrate over to Croatia, which most definitely is not for Croatians only? Your brethren from Albania would be welcome with open arms. Why do they congregate in Serbia, which you label in such an unfriendly way?

    1. Fadil


      Whether I am presenting here nonsense things or not, people can see by ARGUMENTS, very reliable ONES I am presenting here. I presented here VERY RELIABLE REPORT from INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON BALKAN WARS on 1912 and I urge you reading it carefully. I am not interested AT ALL for rubbish things and personal view of individuals, which IS NOT GROUNDED.

  22. Jolyan

    in a period of 12 months there were 704 inter-ethnic incidents in Kosovo affecting minority groups (Albanian victims were also recorded). 83% of the victims were Serbian, the next largest groups were Roma and Bosniak. The majority of incidents were involving homes (looting, destruction and violence).

    1. Fadil


      Today, in 21-st century is very hard telling lies. You want to say that in Kosovo there are at least 2 incidents per day involving ethnic minorities. Actually if you read carefully Serbian media you could see that even in cases where some Albanians kids would throw a little stone to Serbs you would hear reactions in Serbia ending to president of state and not to mention media in Serbia. But reading carefully these media, you could realize that such incidents are much less than your figures.

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  24. Milli

    Fadil, these are your words, “Today, you can be a citizen of Germany, France, Italy since nobody there says “Germany is for Germans” or “Italy is of Italians” . By the way, Serbia is bursting at the seams with Albanians. Good chance that nobody in Croatia says ‘Croatia is only for Croatians’, so why not tell a lot of your Albanian friends to be citizens of friendly Croatia. Croatia will welcome them with open arms. Give it a try.

    1. Fadil


      No need to tell anything. Albanians will live in their independent and sovereign state Kosovo. Of course with all other ethnic groups in Kosovo, Serbs, Bosniaks, Gorani, Turks, Roma etc. In this regard we (Kosovo society) say and accepted Kosovo as multiethnic society giving special right for minority groups with so called “positive discrimination”.

  25. Milli

    Fadil, so tragic of you to say that Albanians only confine themselves to Kosovo, or should I say ‘Kosova’? Give Croatia a try. After all Croatia is not only for Croatians. Your Albanian brethren would love it there. So free, and even an EU member. Why just stay in Kosova? Many better opportunities in Croatia. Tell them to head to Germany, and if Germany is full of Albanians, then Croatia will welcome with open arms. So nice to hear from you that Kosova is ‘multi-ethnic’. Did you mean ‘multi-ethnic’ from Albania? Where are only so many Albanians going to fit in tiny Kosova? You had better make moves to get more territory to accommodate all Albanians who, for whatever reason, don’t like it all that much in Albania.

    1. Fadil


      When I say you write rubbish I mean indeed rubbish. You simply don’t know or don’t have idea on the topic. Why you involve Croatia at all? This is very nonsense thing. Croatia is just one of friendly states of Kosovo and Kosovo has special relations with Croatia as two independents states. Nothing more, nothing less.

      People in Kosovo will live there and will not ask you for their personal life. This is the last comment I am replying to rubbish things you write here.

  26. Milli

    Oh, Fadil, rubbish is your trade.

    Why not embrace your Croatian allies and encourage your Albanian friends to prove that ‘Croatia is not only for Croatians’. Why do you hesitate? Kosova can’t forever absorb so many Albanians. I know, now Albanians want even more of Serbia, maybe a chunk of tiny Montenegro too, etc., etc. But, try a change of pace, because you are on such good friendly terms with Croatia, Albanians will be welcomed with open arms. That’s not rubbish.

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