ICO: Serbs in the north have no knowledge on Ahtisaari's Plan

ICO: Serbs in the north have no knowledge on Ahtisaari's PlanMitrovica - "Guests in our house," is so called the report of the ICO office in Mitrovica,...Photo 1/1
Written by M-Magazine Friday, 27 April 2012 | 10:30

Mitrovica - "Guests in our house," is so called the report of the ICO office in Mitrovica, whose presentation was made Thursday at a press conference, including the situation in northern Kosovo, based on 100 surveys that were conducted with the Serbs of all ages from 18 to 70 years.

Directors of ICO in Mitrovica said that such a thing is done for the first time in northern Kosovo, where respondents were asked primarily about comprehensive plan, known as the Ahtisaari Plan, to which respondents were expressed they have not read it and actually do not know what the plan contains.
"Serbs in the north have not read at all the Ahtisaari Plan and do not know what it contains", Head of the ICO office in Mitrovica, Kate Fearon, said, adding that Serbs initially said they did not want to talk about this plan while then demanded to know what it contains.

"There have been many cases when Serbs in the north have stated that based on the Ahtisaari plan Serbs will not be entitled to use their language, facilities of worship, i.e. churches and monasteries  would not be protected, etc. But Ahtisaari's plan actually represents quite the opposite of what Serbs of northern Kosovo say", she stressed.  

On the other hand, Dhurata Hoxha, a political advisor of Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, said that the Kosovo government is willing to talk to representatives elected by  the northern Kosovo Serb. 
"All the concerns of Serbs in the north have solution in the Ahtissari Plan; let's look at the south Serbian municipalities in Kosovo, how they are integrated.

The Serb community in northern Kosovo is manipulated by Belgrade by saying they will have special status for the north, or will be split. But now when the international community has made clear there will be no special status and partition, there are voices wanting to talk about it, and the government is willing to, " Hoxha stressed.

Swiss Ambassador to Kosovo, Krystyna Marty, who was present at the conference, said that "Kosovo will not be Kosovo without its north and the Serbs in the north are being given the chance to talk about comprehensive plan for resolving the Kosovo status. 
It was said that Serbs were interviewed on condition of complete anonymity in their homes, but also here in the office of the ICO.

She also stressed that Serbs were frightened and therefore asked to be interviewed where they feel safe and Fearon could not say who they were afraid of.