Kosovo Ombudsman: “Intent to cleanse all Serbs”

Serbian Orthodox Church’s electronic information service carried the statement of Kosovo Ombudsman Marek Nowicki late Thursday. All emphasis mine:

Ombudsman office, Pristina, Kosovo
Statement to the Media, 18 March 2004

I once again take the opportunity to appeal to the Albanian part of the population of Kosovo, not only as Ombudsperson in Kosovo, but also as a man who has been living among and working with people from Kosovo for the last four years. Throughout these years, I have been trying to help you by raising your problems and questions with the responsible people in UNMIK and the local administrative structures. I tried to be a people’s advocate and at the same time the friend of all Kosovans.

I had done all of this because I had assumed that you, the people of Kosovo, had chosen to take a path leading to a prosperous future for you and your families, a future in which you would live in a society that would be based on openness, tolerance and the protection of the rights of others.

The recent developments have, however, suggested that not all members of the Albanian community in Kosovo really want this prosperous future. Instead, the current pictures of horrible violence and heinous criminal acts against members of the Serbian community and the international security forces create the impression in and outside Kosovo that there exists the intent to cleanse this land from the presence of all Serbs, in total rejection of the idea of a multi-ethnic cohabitation in Kosovo.

However, there is still time to turn back from this dangerous and violent path of action, which will and can only lead to a dead-end. I cannot do more than to ask you to reconsider your present attitude, in the hope that even if you do not agree to listen to others, you will at least take into account the concerns and serious objections of the Ombudsperson.

Marek Antoni Nowicki
Ombudsperson in Kosovo