by Antonina Zhelyazkova 

IV. Kosovo – a look from outside 

Albania encourages anything that happens in Kosovo. Each achievement of the Kosovars has been  acclaimed and approved. The fact that the Kosovars are cleansing the territory from Serbs and Roma, that they keep in fear and tension the Gorantsi(s) and the Turks – all this has been explained by the consequences of the suffering endured.  No one is inclined to comment the fact that the aggression turns against their own people, against the intellectuals, former ideologists of the resistance against the Serbs, who fear now the Kosovar xenophobia and the vague prospects for the development of Kosovo. 
The prevailing answer of the respondents from Albania is: “Kosovo must be independent, and after plenty of time, if need be, we could unite.” Albanians know one and only one truth from their history textbooks, namely that Kosovo is a long-standing Albanian territory, which was treacherously raided by the Serbs in 1912 and was cut of from the motherland along with its population. 

A great disappointment reigns among the Albanian community in Macedonia six months after the end of the war. Contacts are kept only by businessmen and the Mafia structures, which redistribute the gray economy. Ordinary people, who gave shelter to refugees, have no contacts with their new friends from Kosovo, they do not know their fate, nor can they exchange any information with them.  

We put a question to a famous Albanian intellectual and political leader, who was familiar with the first part of our research: “Well, what is going in Kosovo now; is our conclusion that Kosovo will turn into a center of attraction, into a Mecca or a Piemonte, for all the Albanians in the world, still valid?” He answered with bitterness, “Kosovo will never be anything else but one big Aviano, or in simpler words, a big American base”. Question: “Are the Kosovars aware of what has happened to them for six months now?” Answer: “The only Albanians in the world who do not understand what is happening to them are the Kosovar Albanians”. Another respondent from the Macedonian Albanian community added accordingly: “Actually, they cannot get out of the euphoria of victory and revenge or rather, this euphoria gradually and imperceptibly turns into a lasting fanaticism, admixed with criminality and impunity”. Another respondent: “They are isolated from the outer world, that is the reason why no one of us can warn them that they are enclosed in a ghetto which is the breeding ground of hatred only. It is only the Mafiosi and the traffickers who travel everywhere and meet whoever they want”. 

In Bulgaria, from where a lot of drivers transport building materials from the Ukraine and other parts of the region, there is already an ironic catchword about the new Kosovo racism: “In Kosovo the best thing is to be a black person”. A Bulgarian official from the UN mission was killed because of his Slav origin, two of the Bulgarian drivers were also killed. According to the Bulgarian drivers KFOR and the international police troops are not in a position to gain command of the crime rate: “They attack and maraud. When a KFOR soldier appears, they have already disappeared, when the soldier goes away, they come again to finish off what they have started. Our work is like a Russian roulette.”  

The Bulgarian policemen from the international contingent, who have gained a long experience in Cambodia and Bosnia, say that their mission there is the most difficult one. They explained that both in Cambodia and in Bosnia, or wherever they had worked, they had always relied on the empathy and assistance of the local people, but this was not the case in Kosovo: “Police work is entirely based on contacts with the local people, and everywhere this has worked – in Bosnia we even made good friends. We are facing a wall here, no one is willing to ask for our help or to assist us. In fact, nobody wants us to stay there”. Another Bulgarian policeman: “I have long experience and I know that nothing is black-and-white in life and that namely the nuances are the place where we lay the principles of our work. Here in Kosovo, we met for the first time an absolute elementary black-and-white situation which made us feel helpless and our efforts - useless.”