Marko Jaksic, lawyer, former councillor of the CI SDP – Oliver Ivanovic in North Mitrovica municipality and one of the organizers of the “#1 in 5 million protest” in this city confirmed to the Belgrade based daily Danas that the “citizens who participate in protests in Kosovo will come to Belgrade on April 13”.
On the daily’s question how the members and supporters of the Serbian List react to the protests “#1 in 5 million” in northern Kosovo, Jaksic replied that “the behaviour of Serbian List officials, along with the SNS, is especially harsh” and in the form of “dismissals, suspensions and transfers from workplaces, along with various threats and bullying”, which in his view, shows great anxiety in their ranks.
-This confirms that protests are bothering them, that they are rather irritated by them, especially here-where something like this was not expected, because a false image was created, that we all support Aleksandar Vucic’s policy absolutely and without reservations. However, we have a long way to go for the government, at both local and central level, to be shaken. For seven years, they are creating a system of governance based on fear, violence, lies, scams, blackmail, violation of the Constitution and laws and they won’t allow us to easily shake them. But it is important that the road is laid out, and one thing is certain – at its end, we are faced with a dismissal/change of this destructive regime. The question is when this will happen, but after that, a much more difficult and important job awaits us. And this is the restoration of the entire system.
German expert for the Balkans, Wolfgang Ischinger, says that we are light years away from the solution for Kosovo. What is your impression and the impression of the people living in the north of Kosovo, how close is the solution?
-Although Haradinaj’s tariffs or Vucic’s rhetoric sometimes appear to be a confirmation of Ischinger’s position, 2019 is the year of the solution. Due to some circumstances, the Balkans once again became the scene of a conflict of big powers, and the “compromise” solution with a “concession” to Serbia is a chance to completely diminish the influence of Russia and consolidate the Euro-Atlantic future of the region after Montenegro’s accession to NATO and the agreement between Greece and Macedonia. In addition, this is the last opportunity in the next 30 years for Kosovo to get Serbia’s recognition at a certain price, which the political elite in Pristina should not miss out from their perspective. If they repeat Milosevic’s mistake of the 90’s regarding the control of the entire Kosmet- great. No politician after Vucic will be able or want to do something like that”.
Jaksic told the daily that he does not expect early elections in Kosovo, because snap elections in both Serbia and Kosovo would mean “further delay of the already disrupted negotiations and would drastically diminish the possibility of reaching an agreement”, which is why, according to him, “this will not be allowed by the international community”.
Are the stances of the opposition in Serbia vis-à-vis the solution to the problem of Kosovo sufficiently clear to the residents in northern Kosovo?
-I don’t think so. Because they are not sufficiently informed. I’m sure that the media darkness has greatly contributed to this, as there is no space for information other than the one offered by the regime, except through social media. The representatives of the ruling majority are maliciously serving the views of the opposition on Kosmet in the media with national frequency or through the local TV Most, defining them as treacherous, destructive and directed towards the migration and loss of Kosmet…
How do you assess the views of Bosko Obradovic and Dragan Djilas on Kosovo?
-Their stances, and the position of SzS (Alliance for Serbia), highlighted in the Alliance’s program, that the goal is to find a viable and just solution through dialogue with Albanians, which would respect the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, are acceptable and meaningful. The issue of Kosmet is equally important as the freedom of media or the rule of law, so it is desirable to talk about it more often. I expect from every following government to first remove the disastrous consequences of all Vucic’s and Djuric’s Brussels victories of 5: 0 after which the position of Serbs in Kosmet is drastically worse than it was before the dialogue in Brussels. Only then it is possible to have the talks that would not have a time limit. Of course, provided that that some sort of an agreement is not reached this year.
In how many places in Kosovo the protest “#1 in 5 million” is organized and staged?
So far, the protests, nine of them in total, were held in Kosovska Mitrovica, Gracanica, Partes and at the administrative crossing Jarinje. The protests in Kosmet will continue in the coming period.
Do you agree with KFOR’s assessment that the security situation in the north is stable?
-The security situation in the North was, according to KFOR estimates, also stable immediately before the March 2004, after which we have had extreme ethnic violence, or in July 2011, followed by more than a year of barricades. The may appear as calm, but it resembles quite a bit the one that preceded the aforementioned events. Violence in Kosovo explodes unexpectedly, and it is always at the expense of Serbs.