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Fury, Rage and Hatred

Shkëlzen Maliqi
Shkëlzen Maliqi

Shkëlzen Maliqi is one of Kosovo's best known intellectuals, writers and commentators. In 1993 he wrote the following, describing the mood amongst Kosovo Albanians. "The fact that war has not yet broken out in Kosova can be attributed to two factors:"

…the decision by Albanian leaders to pursue a policy of non-violent resistance, and the fact that virtually all Serbian military capacities have been taken up in the conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina. But the war has only been postponed – because nothing has been done to remove its root causes. In the meantime ethnic conflict in Kosova has turned into a kind of intense war of nerves, in which one side stops at nothing, committing the most brutal violations of human rights and civil liberties, completely ignoring the protests of international organisations which for a while sent monitoring teams in Kosova, while the other side bottles up its humiliation, despair, fury, rage and hatred – but for how long before it explodes?

In fact there were attempts and plots to begin armed uprisings and there were occasional shootings of policemen and soldiers but as Pleurat Sejdiu, in 1998 the London spokesman of the KLA told Judah, in "ninety per cent" of cases where the Serbs put Albanians on trial for being involved in such plots they had caught the "right people". Quite simply though, the time was not right for rebellion, nor was it really possible. What was to change everything was the collapse of the Albanian state in 1997 and the looting of its armouries. Suddenly large amounts of weapons at a very low price were available to be bought and smuggled across the border.

[pp: 97-98,]

Kosovo: War and Revenge. 2002, Second Edition. [Yale University Press]

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