Once upon time last Friday, KFOR Commander Lt. De Marnhac and the SRSG went to Gorazdevac. Some local Serbs did not like their visit. So, according to reports, the Serbs “clashed” with De Marnhac’s and Ruecker’s security (see here). The “clash” then was characterized as not one between the Serbs and De Marnhac and Ruecker, but one between the Serbs and KFOR and UNMIK.
Was it necessary to call it a “clash” or a “mass fight” between KFOR and UNMIK? Perhaps it was merely some Serbs being obnoxious or rude, but nothing escalating to a point of a “clash.” Perhaps, too, the Serbs were merely demonstrating against the two officials.
To be sure, there were about 50 Serbs involved in the “clash” with KFOR and UNMIK. The two officials had to be “evacuated” by helicopter. Of course, what they don’t tell you is that the De Marnhac and Ruecker arrived in a helicopter.
But let’s not leave sleeping dogs lie, right? Next day, SRSG says that he was “informed” that the clashes had been directly instigated by Belgrade. (In a region of rumor and “I know because someone told me so”, I am always a bit skeptical of anyone who says they are “informed” of something). The SRSG is so convinced of this that he commented, “It’s unacceptable, I will be informing the Security Council of it. I have been told that it concerns threats originating directly from Belgrade” (see here).
Go home and tell Mommy, heh Ruecker? You better be right about the “threats” from Belgrade. Otherwise, you just put a bit more tinder under a potentially volatile situation.
To increase the war of words further, the Kosovo Serb National Council ordered the authorities in Serbia to “take the most concrete measures to protect all Serb people throughout the territory of Serbia.” That’s an interesting response to the situation.
But that wasn’t the end of it. The Kosovo Serb National Council then went on to say, “Ruecker’s Serbophobia is nothing new, but today it manifested itself in such a way that testifies to his hatred for Kosovo Orthodox believers, Serbs throughout Serbia, which is the reason why the UN secretary general should immediately withdraw his mandate and call him to account.”
Didn’t the Serbs say that about the prior SRSG? And the one before that?
Can everyone just take a deep breath?