Minorities and misunderstandings

Kosovo has made the move. A stunningly uninformed world watched and did not understand. I leave the debates about the legality of the move to those concerned. It is not the first time and it won’t be the last that we witness the “flexibility” of international law. I recall a relatively recent series of power-sharing arrangements, which turned insurgents (or criminals, terrorists, what have you) into respectable politicians and diplomats.

But that is not the issue now. Let the Kosovars enjoy their illusion of a state and the Serbs their frustrations for now. They have both earned them. And then the whole thing needs to move on. What got me worried are the first – let’s call them misunderstandings. In an immediate reaction, the leader of the Democratic Union of the Hungarians in Romania, Markó Béla, expressed his support, in what he and other members of his party think is a victory for the protection of ethnic minorities.

Wrong! Kosovo Albanians are the overwhelming majority in the new state. And they still have to prove that they are serious about protecting their minorities, not to talk about inclusion and participation. The persistence of Roma camps and the fact that Serbian enclaves have to be protected by NATO-led KFOR troops are the sad reality, one that is highly unlikely to change soon. The organised collective wave of destruction of March 2004 is still relatively fresh in the memory of the traumatised minorities in Kosovo.

It would denote a broader vision if politicians representing minority parties anywhere were more careful about aligning the cause of the Kosovo Albanians to theirs. For their own sakes. A lot more careful…

Vision! Come on…


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