We’ve just received the following important declaration from the Kosovo Women’s Network, with whom we are working. It is a call for the application of what the UN has said should happen after conflict and an invitation to a citizen’s protest on 3 November 2012, in Prishtina.

If the principles which underpin transitional justice are ignored – as they have been in the Balkans since the ostensible ending of the conflict – then there can be no justice and you cannot call this peace.

WILPF supports the legitimate calls of the Network for an apology, justice, reparation and truth about the fate of those missing and absolute guarantees of non-repetition.

Visit the Kosovo Women’s Network online here, or find them on Facebook here.

Logo for Kosovo Women's NetworkStatement for Justice and Dignity before negotations

We, the citizens of Kosova, united for “Justice and Dignity before Negotiations,” invite you to a citizens’ protest on Saturday 3, 2012 from 11-13 at Mother Theresa Square (in front of RINGS restaurant) in Prishtina.
Without meeting our demands, any negotiation with Serbia is unacceptable! These are the legitimate demands of a population that has experienced genocide. Human and state dignity are necessary conditions for entering into negotiations with Serbia!

Please see our declaration and demands below:

We are a people whose history has been forgotten or suppressed by international actors, and, more painfully, by our own political leaders;

We are the women and men, girls and boys who for more than ten years participated in peaceful, civil resistance with the dream that one day we would live in a democracy where our voice would be heard and our rights protected;

We are the people who have seen our life savings and property taken from us by a state that refuses to take responsibility for the crimes it committed against us;

We are a generation of youth who were denied the right to education for nearly a decade, causing irreparable damage to our employability;

We are a population who was denied the right to work, to healthcare, to peaceful protest, to speaking our native language, to singing our traditional songs, to our cultural heritage;

We are the families of the 1,765 persons still missing since the 1998-1999 war, who cry out for our loved ones to be found;

We are the families of innocent civilians murdered during the war; we are the victims of genocide perpetrated by the state of Serbia;

We are the brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers of the thousands of women and girls who were raped, as a weapon of war, perpetrated by the Serbian military, and who have yet to receive an apology, let alone justice;

We are human. And we stand together against any human rights violation perpetrated against us and our loved ones by police, military, and/or political leaders.

We have the right for our voices to be heard, and we have the right to organize peacefully in public spaces.

We wear red to represent the blood that was spilled in direct violations of our human rights, during the 1990s. And we demand:

1)    The return of all missing persons;

2)    A public apology by the Government of Serbia for the human rights violations carried out against the people of Kosovo during the 1990s, including rape as a weapon of war;
3)    Compensation for our life savings, as well as our stolen and destroyed property by the State of Serbia; and that

4)    Our political leaders, negotiators, and international stakeholders will ensure that our demands for justice for the human rights violations perpetrated against us are met.

Yours sincerely,
Igballe Rogova Kosova Womens Network
Nesrete Kumnova “Thirrjet e Nenave”