Mushtisht/Musutiste Interethnic Dialogue
Wednesday, on November 10, 2004
Municipal Assembly Conference Room, at 11:00 hrs
Fay Woolley, Co-chair
Sali Asllanaj, Municipal President
Vitor Markaj, Vice-president of the Municipality- Co-chair
4 IDP's from Belgrade and 5 residents from the receiving community from Mushtisht/Musutiste
Observers: RRU, CDHRF, UNHCR, MR Punya, KFOR, UNHCR from Belgrade etc.
Situation in Mushtisht/Musutiste village; situation of IDPs in Serbia , next interethnic dialogue Fay Wolley opened and chaired the interethnic meeting and informed the participants the way this meeting will go. Each party agreed by the proposed agenda. Then she gave the floor to the MP who greeted all the participants, he welcomed the IDPs from Serbia and informed that FW will chair the meeting together with the Vice-president VM, in this regard he wished to all of them good job. He stated that the sustainable return is of great interest of all parties and all political parties in the Municipality, which should be done as soon as possible. Let this return be sustainable and we shouldn't engage into the politics. The security situation is calm in Suhareka/Suvareka Municipality, free and peaceful elections were completed without any incidents. The government will be engaged strongly in the returns process. It has been done a lot of work after March events and MP believes that the returns will happen by the desire of the IDPs, therefore we have to work very hard to seek funds to reconstruct the houses and the infrastructure of the village. We have to be aware that you are going to be citizens of Kosovo and you shouldn't be influenced by the Serbian policy that you haven't voted recently in the Kosovo's elections. It must function the judiciary state, our politics is to protect all the citizens because they are equal. Kosovo's institutions are new and they are going to constititute new organs where all the citizens will abide to law and order. The ethnic equality for ensuring better conditions no matter their background. These words come from a sincere person, moreover for all of those things what happened and the consequences that we had before we do hope that the return should happen very soon. FW thanked MP for these good and sincere words, therefore all of us are sincere that this process should continue in the sincere manner. The goal of this interethnic meeting is to permit both parties to share the dialogue by the reciprocal discussion, our role is to facilitate this dialogue. The other participants of this meeting will only observe it whereas they don't have any right to take the floor. Their access would be necessary by setting the item of agenda where all the parties could participate. The draft agenda will be the situation in the village Mushtisht/Musutiste and the situation of IDPs who are living in Serbia and expectation for the coming interethnic dialogue. Receiving community representative greeted the chairman and chairwoman, MP and all the observers, he also greeted the IDPs with the desire they should return indeed. He informed the meeting that the situation is the same as it was 5 years ago, there arent any investment at the moment. International and local government haven't done anything to improve the infrastructure of this village. This is not to create doubts or propaganda for the return but this is reality. If we want a sustainable return we have to support the infrastructure in this case someone will say let them come back, but if the returnees will aske themselves if there isn't any employment, minimum conditions of life. We would like that returns should take place but we should at least have better conditions of life. I cannot say here you are but those ones who are implicated in crimes, there are some other matters that he will mention later on. When we departed by force they were witnesses of the violence of the village of Mushtisht/Musutiste. Even there were physical and spiritual participants, but however we cannot say that IDPs shouldn't return, the security will be their choice because they know their stand to return, since the villagers' heart is broken from Mushtisht/Musutiste and they don't want to declare that the Serbs should come back. Looking the humanitarian rights, the majority citizens of Mushtisht/Musutiste are for the retun to their place of origin. I'd like to end now wishing them luck, security and return as soon as possible. FW asked IDPs whether there's any question. Randjel Mitic from Mushtisht/Mustisht began saying that he is very glad being here even though he has participated 3-4 times before. It was discussed the possiblity of return in Belgrade, too. We are very sorry that they didn't participate to return to Mushtisht/Musutiste and to see the reality. We couldn't imagine the reality to return 3-4 years ago, but today 90-95% the situation is much different, he believes to the words of the MP and his sincerity and he would like what the MP said it should be realized. Then he referred to the voting issue and emphasized that their wish was to return and vote. There wasn't any GSV recently. We won't like to happen once again the consequences of the last year. He said that he would like to listen his neighbors because they are responsible of their village therefore we believe them. They want to see their properties, houses, graves and to be accomplished as soon as possible, in this regard he proposed that instead of going for lunch they would like to go to the village, since the situation is calm and peaceful. FW agreed that the suggestion is good and after the break we'll take it into consideration. After the pause and the suggestion of the IDP we would like to hear the answer from the receiving community. Mr. Bytyqi stated that he likes the view of Randjel, the visits in Belgrade by the various agencies and CDHRF and in this way listening simple phrases and they shouldn't get angry because they are associations for the humanitarian rights and they expect from them to respect the human rights. Randjel has the right that they have chosen Belgrade and the participation of agencies in these GIVs without the participation of Municipal officials which would be one firm step for the dialogue which is happening today and the return to occur as well. On the other side they would like to go and visit Mushtisht/Musutiste today, I can say they may return the way I decided to return after the war when there was a presence by the KFOR.
Vice-president VM greeted all the participants and he emphasized that we are gathered today here in order the receiving community and the IDPs should talk to each other. I consider that this meeting must achieve a lot of progress and we must be happy for the fact that we gathered here together but regretfully the other parties cannot participate with their discussions because we decided that this time they should take the role of observers. FW informed the meeting that during the last meeting here in this conference room where we talked about the returns process, in addition we also talked about the continuation of the dialogue, the possibility of investment in Mushtisht/Musutiste that the participants considered that it is a correct approach for the returns process, but unfortunately things haven't moved the way we thought. We should permit that both parties should talk to one another. An IDP thanked all the local and international factors as well as the receiving community for the hospitality. He mentioned that last week due to the religious festivity IDPs wanted to visit their village, but before this they received an order form KFOR that they cannot visit their cemetery due to the insecurity. Therefore he proposed this request to all the participants whether IDPs could visit their graves in Kosovo and Metohija. VM informed the meeting that the Municipality hasn't had any information that you required such visit, it doesn't mean that we cannot provide security because here is KFOR for providing security. After the last meeting mentioning the term Kosovo and Metohija which we don't want to be reiterated any more even though everyone has the right to say whatever he wants but we have to be cautious that we are in the beginning of the returns process. IDP justified about this term that it wasn't done purposely but it was formulated according to the sentence. Director of the primary school took the floor and greeted all the participants. He said that this meeting, which is organized today, is the same one as we have organized it before, but in the beginning IDPs should admit the reality in Kosovo. Whilst the gentleman said earlier if we have here Kosovo and Metohija we cannot go any further. The director of the school continued about the infrastructure, which MP mentioned as well. The situation in the school is not very good because if we think for a sustainable return then we should have more space including here Serbian children who will be included in the education system later on. There were many promises from GOs and NGOs but in reality nobody assisted them so far. An LDK member from Mushtisht/Musutiste took the floor and informed all the participants if it is going to happen one more slight provocation by the IDPs he stated he will withdraw from the meeting. We have to be aware that it is going to be established the Returns Ministry in the Government of Kosovo and all the IDPs must be aware that their houses are under the protectorate of UNMIK and we are not here to make any politics because their properties belongs to them, but we cannot guarantee security for ourselves that we are here. I know that Mr. Mihajlovic was my neighbor where there is only a small street it divides from his house, it is also known that Mushtisht/Musutiste citizens will not expect their neighbors with flowers because it needs the blood to calm down. We are supporting this process to be accomplished as soon as possible that Serb citizens settle into their own houses, whereas those ones who committed crimes the lawsuit will be raised to the Court, the police and the court will deal with this issues. Receiving community representative was against the situation to be tensed and he supports the more sustainable climate for the return because we are all aware for the constitutional frame and this meeting shouldn't fail, therefore the IDPs may come and visit their graves.
FW the second item of the agenda for the possibilities for the future developments we are aware about the term of Kosovo and Metohija. She thinks that we don't have time to schedule next meeting, but it is for sure that we are constantly committed for the dialogue and we have to cautious when formulating the statements. From the aspect of UNMIK and MC it exists a strong desire to continue with the dialogue. IDPs and the receiving community agreed that the dialogue should continue in the future.
Note taker: Xheladin Metaj, RRU Language Assistant
Prizren, on November 16, 2004