From the first attack on Camill's house to the beginning of February there were approximately ten incidents in which besides the throwing of explosive devices at state facilities there have been injured policemen. Among the most recent is the murder of two Albanians on January 26 in the village of Dobrosin. The deceased's relatives accuse the police of the murder, while Serbs in the south of the republic cite that the police patrol was attacked near the village and one of its members was wounded. The Serbs cite that the Albanians used automatic weapons of a large caliber in the attack on the Police and that they had come from the direction of Kosovo. The burial of the two Albanians in Dobrosin, a village in the demilitarized zone on the administrative border of Serbia and Kosovo, was attended by several thousands of civilians and by ten men in uniforms with the insignia of the former Kosovo Liberation Army, claim witnesses. The witnesses also said that the funeral was attended by Albanians who came from Drenica [a purported KLA stronghold].
That someone is "only" trying to instill the psychosis of Kosovo in the south of Serbia is perhaps further indicated by the fact that in the explosions near houses, schools, police stations and barracks, there were no victims, as well as that all such incidents occurred in the dead of the night. "In those incidents the goal was to frighten," claim sources close to the Police.
While the Serbs in Bujanovac and Presevo are convinced that the perpetrators of the incidents are "Albanian terrorists and gangs from Kosovo, which wish to transfer the conflict to the south of Serbia as well", representatives of the Albanians are unable to precisely define who is guilty for the attacks.
"Perhaps 'Albanian terrorists' are responsible for the attacks, or perhaps it is 'groups of Serbs'. In my opinion, both variants are possible. Perhaps the incidents were necessary to the state to send significant numbers of police reinforcements after a number of years," claims the leader of the Albanians in the region of south Serbia, the president of the Democratic Action Party and the only ethnic Albanian mayor in Serbia, Riza Halimi.
The leader of the Albanians in Serbia also sees possible offenders among the seven to eight thousand Albanians who fled from Bujanovac and Presevo to Kosovo and who are revolted by the fact that they had to leave their houses. "These people are bitter because they have spent several months away from their homes, which they left because of abuses by the Army and the Police, and lost the security which every man feels in his home and his state. They are the biggest candidates for perpetrators because they are ideal candidates for misuse," speculates Halimi.
"Albanian terrorists are penetrating the territory of the municipality and attempting to provoke conflicts," assesses, on the other hand, the president of the neighboring municipality of Bujanovac, Stojanca Arsic, whose opinion is also shared by the municipal board of the Yugoslav United Left in Bujanovac, which assesses that "Albanian terrorists are penetrating the territory of Serbia and by terrorist acts are attempting to incite conflict among the local population".
"We call upon the Albanian population in the municipality of Bujanovac not to fall prey to the external manipulations of the separatists and their NATO supporters. Our state will undertake all measures to guarantee security and a peaceful life to the Albanian population in that multiethnic environment," states the Yugoslav United Left of Bujanovac.
While representatives of the regime in these municipalities call on the Albanians not to fall prey to the manipulations of their conationals, one of the leaders of the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohia, Momcilo Trajkovic, calls upon the representatives of the ruling parties in Belgrade to quickly resolve the "growing problems" of the three mixed municipalities in the southernmost part of Serbia, to prevent an escalation of conflicts in this region from having direct consequences for the Kosovo Serbs.
"If the government does not quickly find a solution for the growing problem, which is worsening every day, in the municipalities of Bujanovac, Presevo and Medveda, where Serbs and Albanians live, this will have the most direct consequences on the Kosovo Serbs as well," warns Trajkovic and warns the representatives of the regime that "if the authority of Serbia is suspended in Kosmet, there is no excuse for the weakness being demonstrated in the southernmost region of Serbia".
Trajkovic, like the Serbs in the regions of Presevo and Bujanovac, assesses that "Albanian extremists" are intentionally coming from Kosovo into the territory of Serbia proper and provoking incidents in the villages on the very administrative border of the republic and the province in order to "create the impression of endangerment of ethnic Albanians in the three municipalities in the south of Serbia" and thereby "justify their participation in the expulsion of Serbs from Serb enclaves in the area of Kosovo Polje and the Kosovo Morava River region [kosovsko pomoravlje].
"They are using the proximity of the presence of the international community in order to have it enlarge the area that they control and transfer their influence outside Kosovo. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the authorities in Serbia to stop such processes in time so that tomorrow it will not be confronted with a fait accompli and accuse others of treason," claims the president of the Serb Resistance Movement of Kosovo and Metohija.
The wish for the UN forces or OSCE observers in the territory of their municipality was also expressed by the administrators of the Democratic Action Party, who along with a warning that the situation in the south of Serbia may escalate, requested their presence in these three municipalities in the south of Serbia, with the prior acquiescence of the governments of Yugoslavia and Serbia and the withdrawal of all special forces units from this region.
The largest Albanian party in the south of Serbia assesses that with the Kumanovo agreement "the sensitive issue of the Albanians in Presevo, Bujanovac and Medveda was ignored by virtue of the fact that the demilitarized zone was imprecisely defined. In practice, this has enabled the tremendous militarization of this region as a result of which the Albanian population is en masse leaving for Kosovo," claims the Democratic Action Party. The president of this party emphasizes that in this region the increased presence of police forces is apparent which Albanians interpret as the intent of the state to in advance identify them as culprits.
"The reinforced police forces have the effect of psychological pressure on the local Albanians. During the war period, the presence of the army and police was justified but the war was finished eight months ago," says Halimi.
While, on the one hand, the Albanians see the resolution of the tense atmosphere in Bujanovac and Presevo in its internationalization, on the other hand, the Serb side apparently is again quiet and is once again sticking to the already tested method of avoiding a resolution of the problem with obligatory silence and stoking of a tense atmosphere. The problem of Kosovo is the best demonstration that this method is catastrophic for the Serb side.