Letter: Disaster for Serbs
Friday 30 July 1999
Sir: Your leading article (26 July) on the murder of 14 Serb farmers in Gracko, Kosovo, included the comment that "what is surprising is that there have not been more atrocities committed by the returning Albanians".
Atrocities do not become acceptable simply because they are carried out by one side rather than another. Nor does taking stock of the Kosovo conflict lead us to conclude that "it has turned out far better than anyone could have hoped", as if Nato's bombing of Yugoslavia somehow represents progress.
Your claim that "most of the Serb minority appear to have stayed and continue to live in the same apartment blocks as their Albanian neighbours" is quite wrong. According to the answer I received to a parliamentary question on 23 July, the UNHCR estimates that 170,000 Serbs and an unspecified number of Roma people have left Kosovo since the K-For occupation.
These Serbs are refugees, ethnically cleansed from Kosovo by the KLA's terror tactics. What is more, this piece of ethnic cleansing has taken place under Nato's nose, while K-For troops stood by doing little, if anything, to prevent it.
Nato bombing was a humanitarian disaster for all the people of Yugoslavia. For the Serbs of Kosovo who are now being driven from their home, it has been a double disaster. In no way can the bombing or its aftermath be said to represent progress.
ALICE MAHON MP
House of Commons, London SW1
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