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Response to NYT Editorial on Kosovo

1 August 2006

Dear Sir,

Your Editorial “Navigating Kosovo’s future,” recognises the importance of guaranteeing minority rights, but why only the rights of Serbs? The Turks, Roma, and even the Albanians (in the north of Kosovo) are all minorities whose rights must be safeguarded. What you fail to note is how seven years of international rule has failed minorities. In a recent report we found the situation of minorities in Kosovo to be the worst in Europe, with the highest degree of segregation and harassment of people for who they are or what language they speak. Ethnic cleansing of minorities has twice taken place under the noses of the international administration. Now, the future of Kosovo is being decided in Vienna without minority participation. There is a grave risk that Vienna may leave Kosovo firmly segregated into Albanian and Serbian areas, with all other minorities having second-class status. Kosovo deserve a democracy based not on segregation but equality.

Yours faithfully,

Clive Baldwin, Head of International Advocacy
Minority Rights Group International