The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia
strongly condemns President Tomislav Nikolić’s statement about “the
outbreak of civil war in Serbia” in the event the official Belgrade
recognizes Kosovo; speaking of which, it makes no difference whether
his statement was meant to homogenize the nation again for the
Kosovo question or it hinted a split in the ruling party.
The attempt at shaping the public opinion with
fabrications about EU’s conditioning Serbia anew recently in
Brussels – wanting it to recognize Kosovo – is a dangerous deception
and blindfolding of citizens of Serbia. All relevant conditions were
agreed on in the first Brussels Agreement signed two years ago.
What is Nikolić’s statement telling of? Is it that
he, in his capacity as the President of the Republic and Supreme
Commander of Armed Forces, would use force against those ready to
recognize Kosovo? The fact that in this specific case “those” are in
a convincing minority is of no consequence at all. What is of
consequence is that opponents to the governmental policies were
threatened with the use of armed force and that the force as such
was introduced in the political arena and public discourse.
By giving such statements the President is
creating a climate of hostility not only toward the resolution of
the Kosovo issue but also all differently-minded people. First,
statements as such stand in the way of a political agreement with
Kosovo’s representatives; second, they hint at broken down
negotiation; third, they move Serbia towards Russia; fourth, they
open the door to radicalization at home; fifth, they force political
actors to present themselves in the public eye either as patriots or
traitors; and last but not least, they suspend reform moves and push
Serbia into an abyss.
Need we remind that not long ago stage director
Kokan Mladenović was lynched in the media for having said Serbia
would end up in violence?
The Helsinki Committee expects the President of
the Republic to take realities into account and think twice how much
his policy might cost the country. The Committee expects him to be
accountable and renounce the nationalistic palaver and myths
threatening to Serbia.