Why must Serbia be bullied into giving up Kosovo, when Serbs in the Republik Srpska are denied the right to cede from Bosnia?
Serbs and Kosovo
Thursday November 2, 2006
You suggest (Leaders, October 31) Serbian foolishness in not giving up Kosovo. To Serbs, Kosovo is an integral part of Serbia, legitimised by the London agreement of 1916 and by UN security council resolution 1244 of 2001. Kosovo is also the historical, religious and emotional heartland of Serbia. The change from a Serb to an Albanian majority does not change its historical, legal and political status.
Serbia's claim to Kosovo is no different from Russia's claim to Chechnya, China's to Xinjiang, India's to Kashmir, Thailand's to Panni Marathiwad and Philippines to Mindanao - all Muslim majority provinces in non-Muslim majority states where violence for independence has taken place for decades. The Serb majority of the Krajina region in Croatia broke away and declared independence. They were not recognised. The Krajina Serbs have all been driven out of Croatia in the largest ethnic cleansing of the Yugoslav wars. Republika Srpska has been denied independence from Bosnia.
As long as the independence of these provinces are denied, Kosovo has no special right to independence either. Serbia must not be treated differently.
Professor George Thomas
Marquette University, Wisconsin, USA