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INFO::: Transitional Justice > Seselj Case > Neighbours, Kosovo and Minorities


Neighbours, Kosovo and Minorities


In view of recent recognition of Kosovo by several neighboring countries, notably Hungary and Croatia, the internal scene of Serbia is anew affected by growing tensions. Those tensions are fanned mostly in inter-ethnic milieus by political factors who consider ethnic minorities a factor which threatens "the all-Serb unity" in the state and national policy. Prominent official of the Serb Radical Party in Vojvodina, and the Serb Parliament MP, Milorad Mircic, stated on the 17 th of March that "there is a danger of eruption of incidents in the Hungarian minority-inhabited parts of Vojvodina when Budapest recognizes Kosovo." Mircic added that he was informed about that possiblity "by confidential, intelligence sources." According to him, Hungary would be held accountable in case of eruption of such incidents.

In Vojvodina that statement caused some concern, in view of the fact that it is a throwback to the notorious blueprint of "internal enemies -generating" in a milieu which over the past two decades bore the brunt of such provocations.

Bojan Pajtic, co-president of the Provincial Security Council: "We heard their statements to the effect that incidents could erupt in Vojvodina Hungarians-inhabited localities. However, I was informed by the state institutions that they have not "registered" any danger or threat to membes of national minorities. Thus the Radicals by circulating such a story aim to sow fear among members of other nationalities and also to inspire various militants and extremists, who already have a propensity for causing incidents. Radicals have now resorted to far subtler the past they called for a direct showdown with minorities members, while now they engage in incident-mongering among Vojvodina extremists...Some incidents are possible and that is why I demand the highest possible vigillance by the local police forces and their high readiness to prevent any incident. "

Tivdar Tot, head of the MP club of the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians in Vojvodina Pariament, stated the following: "Vojvodina Hungarians are citizens of Serbia, its tax-payers, and they rightfully expect protection from competent bodies of this country."

Laslo Djula, MP of Democratic Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians in Vojvodina Parliament, was of the following opinion: "Mr. Mircic carries a certain political weight. He is the former president of the Security Committee of Serbia and a man quite familiar with structures of the state security services and the police services. Therefore he should dislose in detail any such relevant information."

Tomaš Korhec, provincial Secretary for National Minorities Rights stated that, according to his information, the mood in Vojvodina is not at all propitious for eruption of spontaneous unrest relating to recognition of Kosovo by Hungary, or any other neighbouring country: "If anything unpleasant happens, rest assured that such an incident shall be entirely engineered by some power centers in Vojvodina-namely state bodies, political parties or other organized groups..."

Branko Horvat, President of National Council of Croats: "We think that this day, the day of recognition of Kosovo shall cause a certain strain, and tensions. We shall try to pre-empt such tensions and protect ourselves from possible excesses. Added to that we shall endeavour not to generate any provocation, in view of the current situation and mood.



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