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Thoughts on the Kosovo War

Dublin Core

Title

Thoughts on the Kosovo War

Subject

Kosovo (Republic)
Kosovo War, 1998-1999.

Description

Oral history video clip featuring Miki Jacevic, a survivor of the Yugoslav War. This video was originally produced by Media Entertainment, Inc., for the 2000 documentary The Genocide Factor.

Creator

Media Entertainment, Inc.

Source

Genocide Factor Collection, Oral History Program, Tampa Library,
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.

Publisher

Tampa, Fla. : University of South Florida Tampa Library.

Date

1999-11-05

Contributor

Jacevic, Miki

Relation

G36-00030
Tape number: 4142E

Format

video / mp4

Language

English

Type

Oral History

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Nelson, Jane

Interviewee

Jacevic, Miki

Transcription

Well, I certainly believe that the intention, that story what was happening since October of last year, was that there was some sort of an agreement in which Kosovars were gonna have their autonomy back and that they could start going back to schools and all that stuff. I certainly consider what was going on in Kosovo for literally now eleven years, when you know that Milošević really started the rise to power through Kosovo, and the fact that Albanians are really suppressed in terms of the fact that they could not use their autonomy in any sense. They were not allowed to use their language; they could not go to their university; a lot of them lost their jobs because they wouldn’t sign the oath of allegiance to the Serbian government and all of that. In that sense, there was much clearer indication of an ethnically based oppression than in any other parts of Yugoslavia. I think even in Bosnia, in Croatia and other places, there was some balance and some equilibrium of rights and responsibilities for any and all ethnic groups; whereas in Kosovo there was clearly an oppressor and the oppressed. And of course, then the whole war started, first in Slovenia, Croatia; the world kind of forgot about Kosovo, and the Albanians themselves were never organized. Plus, there was a fact of a peaceful resistance that was tried for ten years by the Albanian population, in which they just declined to participate in any political or economic processes of the Serbian state, but they were not taking up the arms. The fact that the major disappointment for them was the Dayton peace agreement—actually, mostly the negotiations, because when the Kosovo situation was brought up by the international community, Milošević then literally said, “That’s not to be talked about. If you want me to sign anything for Bosnia, if you want me to stop fights and stop the war anywhere in the region, we must not talk about Kosovo.” And in a sense, that then within a couple of years produced the fact that the Kosovars did not see any other ways of trying to reclaim their autonomy than trying to express it through the violent means. And that’s how the Kosovo Liberation Army got born, out of that. Of course, then once they started acts of violence and terrorism, the Serbian state acted in a more repressive manner. And that’s in a sense a situation that applies to other regions, especially to Tibet, with their historical experiences of peaceful nonresistance yet also some acts of violence. Where does it start to perpetuate itself to end in this Kosovo-like situation in which within three months we had a major war? I think in a principle, what has happened literally since the bombing started, they have tried - they had a big regional meeting in which they tried, even before Rambouillet Peace Accords, peace process, to kind of create a framework in which both the Serbs and the Kosovars would be satisfied in creating what I was talking earlier about, what is the least amount of our economic, political, social, cultural cooperation in which we can peacefully coexist. That was clearly not acceptable to the Serb side, because it gave too much of an autonomy to the Kosovar population, whom they historically believe lives in a part of a territory that is part of Serbia. And for that, there is a lot of history and myths and legends that co-created all of that element in which Serbs believed that it was easier to let go of Bosnia and Croatia and other parts, but never to let go of Kosovo. In that regard, what really could have—the only choice all of those sides had was to realize we have to create some sort of a framework in which not only could we live together, but we would allow for all of those historic and huge elements of our identity to be respected by the other side. And that did not happen. And then the bombing campaign started. Many things were associated with that, the whole international community and all of that. I believe the situation now will unfortunately end in the same way that in a sense Bosnia has ended, which is that probably the majority of the Serbs will leave the region, ’cause they will just be surrounded by unacceptable living conditions. So in a sense, all of what we have strived to fight against, which is ethnic cleansing, pure ethnic regions, divisions, all of that, in reality on a slow motion process will actually happen in Kosovo, which is unfortunate.

Original Format

Beta tape

Duration

5:21

Citation

Media Entertainment, Inc., “Thoughts on the Kosovo War,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed September 20, 2019, http://exhibits.lib.usf.edu/items/show/547.

Geolocation