8. 2. 2017 - 12:00

V srbskem delu etnično razdeljene Kosovske Mitrovice je decembra zrasel dvometrski betonski zid. Kljub uradnim razlagam srbske strani, da naj bi zid zgolj utrjeval brežino reke pa je bilo jasno, da je namen njegove postavitve v nadaljnjem ločevanju albanske in srbske skupnosti v Mitrovici. Pred nekaj dnevi sta sprti strani prišli do dogovora, da zid porušijo.

Gradnjo in rušenje betonskega zidu ter morebitne povezave z izvolitvijo ameriškega predsednika Donalda Trumpa, za Radio Študent komentira kosovski aktivist Rron Gjinovci:

Together with the rise in power of Slovenia’s Son in Law, Donald Trump, in north of former Titova Mitrovica a wall has risen to. Local Serbs the majority of north Mitrovica decided to build a two-meter high concrete wall in the entry of the bridge that connects north populated with Serb majority and south populated with Albanian majority of divided city of Mitrovica.

This wall was just the expression of the euphoria that abducted Mitrovica North when Trump was elected as president. Streets of the city were decorated with billboards with his photo and inscription “Srbi su podržali” (“Serbs have supported him”).

For different reasons, such as Trump’s standings towards president Putin and NATO, Serbs have interpreted the victory of Trump as a turning point on Kosovo – USA relations. And to test their hypothesis they decided to send a train to Mitrovica without Kosovo’s permission. This train, also a “chapel”, fully covered from inside with orthodox iconography, and outside covered with a provocative slogan in 20 languages, the traditional and most favored slogan of Serbian politics “Kosovo je Srbija”. As usual, trains come and go without Kosovo’s permission, but this time, Kosovo decides to act like a sovereign state! They sent special police forces in the north populated with Serb majority and stopped the train.

But common sense tells us, that when it comes for such decisions, Kosovo government doesn’t take them without the international approval. Therefore, this act, was interpreted as a message for Serbian politics on Kosovo-USA relations.

But the wall still stood stoic, like a tribute memorial to Donald Trump who in a way ‘betrayed Serb trust’ on the train fiasko. “Is it worthy?” everybody could have thought for a moment.

Kosovo went further. Its Parliament took the decision to tear down the wall. Now it was the time for the second test on Kosovo-USA relations.

A meeting in Brussels, between former Commander Snake – now President Hashim Thaqi, former gravedigger – now President Tomislav Nikolic, former Tito’s Youth Leader – now Prime Minister Isa Mustafa and former Millosevic’s propaganda and censorship secretary – now Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, between this great constellation of titles from past and present, went bad.

Angry Vucic flew back to Serbia, complaining that Serbs were being persecuted in Kosovo, while Kosovo politicians continued to rant on the wall removal.

And there we go, General Secretary of NATO came to Kosovo, and when asked about the possibility of Serb invasion in North of the country he made it clear that in Kosovo’s territory only Kosovo Police, EULEX and KFOR can be present, expelling the possibilities of any adventures of Serbia’s army.

The wall fell, with a fake agreement that was actually rammed through the outstanding dissagreements between Kosovo and Serbia. Fingers were again pointed to the West. Had its subtle yet interventionist approach, yet again, saved the day?

Everybody has calmed down these recent days. Vucic now presents himself as a hero of peace, claiming that he avoided an armed conflict with his wisdom, while Mustafa and Thaci are fighting silently on claiming the credits for bringing down the wall.

Meanwhile in both countries it is business as usual. Youth unemployment rate is around 50% in Kosovo, and 36% in Serbia. Corruption looms in both countries; populism on the other hand, stands tall, higher than all walls, be they visible or invisible. The European Commission’s report on Kosovo for 2016 was marked with stagnation from top to bottom. At least they were so kind to erase the punch line “Progress Report”, and call merely a report.

Meanwhile Kosovo citizens, be them Albanian or Serbs, Bosnians or Turks, people of all convictions, races and color, en masse wait for some cross-border miraculous event to manifest itself. Everybody is waiting their own trains to arrive, some from the West and some from the East.

Almost no one, I repeat NO ONE, is really betting on themselves and on their fellow citizens to actually bypass the invisible walls that divide us and try to change something, for us, by us, for ourselves, and in a way that does not resemble an alien invasion.

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