G8 Peace Proposal Say ALL Displaced people, not Just Albanians, Would Have "Safe and Free Return"
By Mary Mostert, Analyst, June 7, 1999
In Friday's column, which I called "Clinton Defeated by Milosevic's Approval of G8 Peace Proposal" I pointed out that the G8 peace proposal which the Serbian Parliament signed and Milosevic approved, was a defeat for Clinton and NATO, since it clearly called for a United Nations Security Council resolution approving the make up of the international peace-keeping force. The G8 proposal states: "Deployment in Kosovo of effective international civil and security presences, endorsed and adopted by the United Nations, capable of guaranteeing the achievement of the common objective
- "Establishment of an interim administration for Kosovo to be decided by the Security Council of the United Nations to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants in Kosovo
- "Safe and free return of all refugees and displaced persons and unimpeded access to Kosovo by humanitarian aid organizations."
Milosevic agreement with the G8 proposal was greeted in Washington with unconcealed annoyance and continued bombing. I said, "The obvious foot-dragging going on in the White House, the continued bombing, and the statements by the President to the media yesterday were clearly efforts to stall for time. The G8 Peace Proposal is a crushing defeat for KLA dreams of a greater Albania, which would include Kosovo, and represents a major problem for those who positioned NATO as a multi-national military force to implement Clinton doctrine around the world. "If he can somehow avoid signing the agreement, Bill Clinton will."
It only took two days for my prediction to come to pass. In the best Clintonesque form, Clinton's delegates in the military discussions that took place over the week-end, demanded an unconditional surrender of the Serb military, a 7 day period in which the Yugoslav army would come out in the open, on designated roads, with their heavy equipment and leave Kosovo province to NATO and the KLA terrorists.
Did ANYONE really think the Serbs would succumb to such a thing, after 72 days of bombing? Think about that. NATO gave NO promises, in writing or elsewhere, that they would not bomb the Yugoslav army, once they were out in the open where they could be detected by NATO spy planes. A very key provision in the G8 agreement, besides the involvement of the United Nations, was "Establishment of an interim administration for Kosovo to be decided by the Security Council of the United Nations to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants in Kosovo." To all the other ethnic groups in Kosovo, Serbs, Gypsies, Macedonians, Greeks, etc., that provision, which comes in the agreement BEFORE the return of the refugees, is critical. It means that Kosovo would not be ethnically cleansed of all other ethnic groups, in preparation for its inclusion in a new "Greater Albania" planned by the KLA.
Indeed, as the New York Times reports today (Monday) - "After two days of tense negotiations, NATO officials on Sunday night failed to get Yugoslav military officials to agree to terms for a Serbian withdrawal from Kosovo, throwing into doubt the peace deal reached last week by political leaders and prompting NATO to promise to intensify bombing."The breakdown appeared to be caused by the Serbian demand that the U.N. Security Council first approve a peacekeeping force before NATO troops enter Kosovo as well as by several details of the withdrawal plan itself, which Serbian officials felt impinged on Yugoslav sovereignty."
Well, what did NATO and Clinton expect? The proposal CALLS FOR approval of the U.N. Security Council before any peacekeeping force enters Kosovo -and it does not call for a NATO military take-over. Folks, that's what the war is all about.
That demand in Rambouillet that the Serbs agree to turn Kosovo over to a NATO occupying force was the point the Serbs would not agree to. They didn't agree to Hitler's troops taking over their country in 1941 and they are not going to agree to NATO troops taking over their country in 1999.
Not every journalist is merely printing NATO press releases and Jamie Shea's bizarre pronouncements. At least one appears to have read the G8 agreement besides me. Early today this exchange took place in a press conference in Brussels at NATO headquarters with NATO spokesman Shea:
M. Jungwirt, DIE KLEINE ZEITUNG: You were giving us a scenario, signing the agreement, withdrawing Serbian troops and stopping the bombing. Where does the UN resolution fit into this time frame?
Jamie Shea :The G8 Foreign Ministers are meeting tomorrow essentially to finalise the text of the UN Security Council resolution. Once that work is done, and hopefully it will be done successfully, the text can go off to New York and be voted upon quickly. As far as NATO is concerned, the quicker the better, but it does depend on the G8 tomorrow.
So, NATO knows what the proposal calls for.What we are watching is an incredibly clever effort on the part of Clinton and NATO to totally sabotage, by simply ignoring, the provisions of the G8 peace proposal. CNN reports today "NATO leaders were insisting that the Yugoslavs sign the six- page document, which outlined the procedures for withdrawing forces from Kosovo. NATO was adamant that there would be no negotiations with the Yugoslavs and that the withdrawal must take place on NATO's terms."
Part of the "no negotiation" ploy of NATO includes the key point of the G8 peace proposal:"Establishment of an interim administration for Kosovo to be decided by the Security Council of the United Nations to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants in Kosovo." According to CNN, NATO is flatly refusing to even consider the notion of ensuring conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants of Kosovo. In fact, there is a near blatant expectation that everyone but ethnic Albanians will be expected to leave Kosovo.
Philip Smucker in Skopje, reporting for the London Telegraph wrote, "SERBS from Kosovo fear reprisal killings by the Kosovo Liberation Army when the Yugoslav army withdraws. They say that Nato is not offering enough guarantees for their safety in the troubled province. Danijela Knezevic, 28, a nurse with two small daughters said: "When I heard about the peace deal I called my husband in Pristina and said, 'This is great. I am coming home soon'. But he didn't share my opinion. He said, 'Be patient and stay there a little longer. The KLA might start to slaughter'." America offered few assurances over the weekend. Ken Bacon, a Pentagon spokesman, said: "Our assumption is that many Serbs will leave Kosovo. I don't think that Kosovo is going to be a very happy place for them."As the above story indicates, many Serbs, at least 25% of the total Kosovo Serb population, have fled Kosovo due to the NATO bombing in the last 2 months. However, Serbs are not given "Refugee" status. They were not given refugee status when 300,000 were driven out of Krajina in 1995 and they are not being given refugee status when fleeing NATO bombing. An exodus of the remaining 150,000 Serbs from Kosovo, which Ken Bacon is clearly encouraging, of course makes a farce of the claim that the West seeks a "multi-ethnic Kosovo."
Albanian attacks against persons thought to be sympathetic to the Serbian regime began over the weekend in the Stankovec II refugee camp.Several gypsies accused of helping to burn Albanian homes were severely beaten in the camp by an angry mob. "Christopher Hill, the American Ambassador to Macedonia, arrived on the scene and tried to calm the Albanians by reassuring them that they would soon be going home under Nato's protection. But few Western officials appear ready to guarantee the safety of Serbs in Kosovo. The Serbs are most concerned about the first few days of the peace implementation process when their own forces leave and Nato forces move in," the London Telegraph reported. Western officials estimate that the rebels now have 20,000 armed followers, which is four times the number they had 2 months ago. Clearly the KLA has been rearmed and given a financial infusion during NATO's bombing. "NATO officials say they hope to plug the security vacuum, but are not optimistic about creating immediate peace in Kosovo," the London Telegraph reports. "Capt Anthony Kennaway, a British spokesman for Nato in Skopje said: 'We are not saying that when the first troops cross the border we will have peace in Kosovo. We will be in Kosovo to enforce the peace and that applies to both sides. It has been made clear to the KLA that we expect them to abide by our terms.'
"Such statements are met with scepticism. The Serb people, who suffered immensely through two World Wars, have a long history of being persecuted. Zaklina Popovic, 30, a female economist from Pristina said: "Nato will provide no security for the Serbs in Kosovo. My husband is there, my job and my home. But I still don't feel free to plan my return."
In effect, what it all add up to is no security for Serbs in the so-called "peace-keeping" by NATO.That leaves them with no incentive to knuckle under to NATO occupation. NATO already has increased its bombing raids, which means increasingly that civilians will be targeted. Already many observers fear an outbreak of epidemic disease, since the electricity which runs things like sewage treatment plants and water treatment plants, has been knocked out. The first to die, of course, are the elderly and the babies in hospital incubators.
It only took two days for Clinton to figure out how to avoid peace and continue bombing . All this humanitarian bombing to save the Kosovo Albanian refugees has made a wasteland out of the cities, villages and towns of Kosovo. At what point will Clinton finally conclude his humanitarian bombing is a total success?After millions are dead?