"You are a Serb and an agent of Belgrade. Go to Serbia. I don't give a damn whether you'll ever return to the village," Asani told Miroslav Mladenovic from Matejce, who represented internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the Kumanovo region at the meeting.
No one in this country has the right to expel one of its citizens, least of all a representative in the parliament, whose salary is paid by taxpayers. This sort of incendiary rhetoric can definitively slow down, and even complicate the process of the return of internally displaced persons. The tactics of the BDI representative, who yesterday did not have patience to sit through the exchange between Asani and Mladenovic and left the meeting room to get some fresh air, is also not going to help with the reintegration of the IDPs. Similarly, a BDI representative boycotted the visit to the Lipkovo region. The purpose of the visit was to inspect the security situation in the area.
Members of the commission from the DPSh and the BDI should demonstrate their willingness and dedication to find a solution for the problem. Unfortunately, so far these representatives have left a different impression. They are displaying indifference, as if this was an ordinary issue, and not an issue affecting survival of whole families. The IDPs have property, fields, history in their hometowns, and no one can deny them the right to return to their homes.
However, the people represented by Mladenovic and by Jana Petrisevska from Aracinovo should demonstrate that they really want to return to their homes. Perhaps it is a problem that the Macedonian flag is replaced by the flag of the Republic of Albania in these villages, but that is merely a legal problem. It does not affect safety. If there are other safety concerns, they should be addressed. Otherwise, the concept of ethnic cleansing will triumph, and we believe that no one wants that.
The parliamentary committee should increase its efforts to solve this problem. However, three years have passed since the conflict and if it is difficult to find plaster to fix human wounds, it is far from impossible to find good plaster and reconstruct houses of all the IDPs. The construction of new police stations in Matejce, in Aracinovo and in other locations, as needed, goes in parallel with the process of reestablishment of trust between ethnic Macedonians, Albanians and Serbs. All problems should be openly discussed, solutions should be sought, because only that will stop dangerous verbal threats of representative Asani.
We saw how quickly Kosovo went up in flames and what the consequences were. We do not want to see a repetition of year 2001. God forbid!