Serbia carries out ethnic cleansing of the Presevo Valley through administrative measures

 
ansing of the Presevo Valley through administrative measures

The political representatives of the Albanians of the Presevo Valley are calling for support from the international community and for their involvement in the Kosovo-Serbia talks facilitated by the European Union. They complain that the Serbian authorities have a discriminatory approach towards Albanians in the region.

Ragmi Mustafa, head of the National Council of Albanians in Serbia, based in Bujanovac, says that the Serbian state is abusing the law on residence, not implementing it in its entirety, to delete the addresses of Albanian residents.

"What is important to emphasize is that we consider that this massive process is selective, directed at the Albanian citizens of the Presevo Valley. In addition, we consider that this is legitimizing a silent cleansing, under the administrative guise", he said.

According to the data of this Council, so far in the three municipalities inhabited by Albanians - Presevo, Merdvegja and Bujanovac - the data of about 6 thousand people have been deleted.

"Serbia is much more perfidious because address passivity in itself is only an administrative matter, but the effect of this process is the annulment of the fundamental rights of citizens, which means their civil-legal rights, from inheritance to the right to vote and to be elected, and a host of other rights that are directly related to the identity card", he said.

Mr. Mustafa said that the most affected citizens are those living in Kosovo.

"But, mainly are the part that once in the Presevo Valley were considered legally invisible, that is, those who during the 1999 war that happened here after Kosovo was liberated. "Because of the difficult conditions here, because the UCPMB war had started in this region, they had moved to Gjilan, Fushë Kosovë, Kamenica, and so on, and since then they have been left without Serbian documents," he said.

The political representatives of the Albanians of the Presevo Valley say that some citizens have already raised this concern in the courts and facts are being gathered to address this issue in international institutions.

This issue was also raised in the European Union's 2020 progress report for Serbia. The rapporteur for Serbia in the European Parliament, Vladimir Bilcik, and the rapporteur for Kosovo, Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, in March this year, announced the review of allegations of deletion of addresses.

Albanian political representatives say the situation in the Presevo Valley continues to be dire and that no progress has been made in the region since the end of the 20-year-old conflict between Serbian government forces and Albanian insurgents fighting for more Albanian rights in this area.

The mayor of Presevo, Ardita Sinani, said that even after 20 years, Albanians are being discriminated again.

"Our municipality, first of all, is an oppressed municipality in terms of rights, it is one of the most discriminated, it is the most economically underdeveloped. The unemployment rate is over 70 percent. "It is trampled on because most of the citizens of our municipality have another language, ethnicity, culture or religion", she said.

The political leaders of the Presevo Valley see the Kosovo-Serbia talks as an opportunity for, as they say, the realization of their fundamental rights, including the problem of addresses.

"Now, definitely, it is necessary, it is vital that the issue of the Presevo Valley be addressed at the negotiating table," said the mayor of Presevo, Ardita Sinani.

Political representatives of the Presevo Valley say that the bad relations between Kosovo and Serbia are reflected in the situation in this area inhabited by an Albanian majority in southern Serbia.
Serbia carries out ethnic cleansing of the Presevo Valley through administrative measures Serbia carries out ethnic cleansing of the Presevo Valley through administrative measures Thursday, June 10, 2021 Rating: 5
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