On Monday, March 26, everything happened so violently, as if it wanted to cover something else, much less visible, with such a noticeability and inappropriate use of force.
First of all, the announcement itself, a mere routine announcement that Marko Đurić, the High Representative of the Serbian Government, Nikola Selaković, the Secretary General of the Bureau of the President of the Republic of Serbia and Vladan Vukosavljević, the Minister of Culture intend to visit Kosovska Mitrovica and participate in the consultation of representatives of Serbian municipalities in the north Kosovo.
This was followed by a notice that the Kosovo authorities would not issue a permit to Đurić to enter. Despite of this, the delegation went on the road. With several hours of delay, Đurić and Selakovic, whose arrival was not disputed, arrived in Mitrovica. The third member of the delegation, Minister Vukosavljević, gave up his visit to Mitrovica and went to talk with his nuns to the monastery of Ziča near Kraljevo.
Then everything happen very quickly. On his arrival at the meeting, Đurić said that he was bringing a message that the north of Kosovo would never be part of the Republic of Kosovo, and that the goal of Serbian politics was to find the compromise needed for peace in the region. It seemed that it would all end relatively peaceful. However, immediately after that, new participants appeared, members of the special units of the Kosovo police, who aggressively interrupted the meeting of Kosovo Serbs political representatives with the power of guns, roughly and without any real need. They took away Marko Đurić, whom I met in Berlin at one of the meetings dedicated to political and economic incentives for the development of the Western Balkans, organized by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Almost everything was done disregarding the rules. The mothers, aunts and wives of the Kosovo special police officers, who carefully took care of how and in which profile the cameras would catch them during the action, were most likely afraid during the watching of the television broadcast, that some of them would accidentally drop their weapons and hurt themselves or become the victim of smoke bombs they threw. The policemen who were wearing different uniforms and were armed with different types of weapons apparently were not accustomed to one of the most general military facts, that is, that there is someone who is a commander.
They literally dragged the High Representative of the Serbian Government to police vehicles that were not very close. It was similar in Priština where he was later taken. It was an event intended primarily for the general public. Specifically, the police armoured vehicles were parked far enough from the building where the investigating judge was located, so that they could, again, proudly show its power and the arrested representative. And it is here that we should stop, because the continuation of the description of the strangeness of such police intervention and the current Serbian responses, the announcement of an order to raise the level of readiness of the Serbian army, would surely lead us beyond the real reasons and the consequences of everything that happened on Monday.
We have to go back a few days back. On Friday, March 23, European Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini began a new round of Brussels dialogue on the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Priština. It is common for meetings to start in the afternoon and last. This time, Mogherini met, bilaterally, with Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, then with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, and finally, as usual, she invited both of them to a joint table, to some sort of working dinner. One of the key topics of the meeting was the Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo.
The governments of Serbia and Kosovo concluded in August 2015, with the mediation of the European Union, an agreement on the right to form a federation of municipalities with the Serb majority in the north of Kosovo. The agreement, relatively short, contains only 22 points, but its substantive provisions are very extensive. Serbian municipalities are allowed full administrative autonomy, it also enables the formation of their own parliament and acting government, and provides political and financial ties with Belgrade and complete freedom in the formation of health, school, social policies and economics. Only a few months after the signing of the Agreement, in December 2015, the then Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga filed a request for the assessment of the constitutionality of the signed document.
The Constitutional Court of Kosovo was to decide on this in the first months of 2016, but at the latest in March of the same year. Of course, nothing happened. Only the then Prime Minister, Isa Mustafa, announced that Kosovo would not implement the Agreement. Vučić, Thaci and Mogherini talked again last week about this, about the time frame and the way of forming the community of Serb municipalities.
Both of the presidents said only a few days before that they that they visited New York, quite by chance. Tachi to promote his new book, and Vučić for meeting with the UN Secretary General and a short break with his daughter. Whatever.
Vučić requested in Brussels a quick fulfilment of the agreed Agreement. At the same time, he did not just announce Đurić’s participation in the meeting in Kosovska Mitrovica, but at the same time he agreed that a high representative of the Serbian government will take part in the meeting, despite a possible ban. Soon thereafter, it was announced that the Serbian president would convene the National Security Council meeting that would be held only a day after the meeting in Mitrovica.
There were two options, the first one, that Đurić does not attend the meeting in Kosovo, and the other, that the Kosovo police somehow overlooks his participation and later submits a diplomatic protest.
These days, none of the options was possible anymore, because negotiations in Brussels are in their final stages after which only the solution can follow.
President Vučić has announced that he will announce his proposal on normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, in May or at the end of April. Representatives of Serb municipalities in Kosovo first agreed that the political party Serb List should leave the government coalition of Ramush Haradinaj and thus create a crisis of the Kosovo government, because without them there is no government majority, and then proclaim the establishment of the Association of Serb Municipalities on April 20 this year.
Thaci announced that they will soon form a necessary expert group to prepare the basis for the functioning of Serbian municipalities.
Both Vučić and Thaci announce that the goal is a compromise that will enable the preservation of peace and stability.
The content of this compromise was first announced by late President Zoran Đinđić, and two years later Dobrica Ćosić. In September 2004, he wrote the text of the proposal on the coexistence of the Albanianс and Serbs, a document that I propose to read to my clients for investments and money these days.
Ćosić writes about the territorial delimitation between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo based on a compromise of historical and ethnic law, which can be the end of the centennial interethnic antagonisms.
Today, it is called very simply: a division.