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Roksanda Nincic, Belgrade
"Ethnic cleansing has just changed direction"
 real 28k

Roland Bless, OSCE spokesman in Pristina
"We are aware that the security situation is not what it should be"
 real 28k

Kan Ferdy, Northern Ireland
"They've got to talk"
 real 28k

Iva Ignjatovic, Belgrade
"Revenge breeds revenge"
 real 28k

Naim Hassani, London
"Rather than forgiveness we should ask for tolerance"
 real 28k

Anton, South Africa
"They need a visionary leader to take the people forward"
 real 28k

Weng Choi, China
"Intervention was somewhat necessary"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 15 December, 1999, 09:13 GMT
Kosovo: Can there be forgiveness?

Six months after Nato troops went into Kosovo, a report reveals atrocities continue. Can there ever be forgiveness and reconciliation?

The war in Kosovo
The OSCE spokesman in Pristina, Roland Bless and the BBC's Belgrade correspondent, Jacky Rowland answered your questions in our live debate.

Select a link below to watch or listen to Talking Point On Air

Kosovo should not get independence. The land of Kosovo belongs to Serbian's, Albanians in Kosovo can always move out of Kosovo if they hate to live in Serbia.

Forgiveness is so easy to advocate if you're not involved in this horrendous situation. I doubt that there can ever be total reconciliation in view of what the Serbs have done. It is the ultimate test of one's faith in man.
Dave, UK

Forgiveness must be a joke for a region that has been a constant tension point of the Balkans. Those who know a bit of history can easily answer the question "no there will be no forgiveness" let's divide up the region and let everyone live in their own territory. Otherwise, we must be prepared to see further conflicts in the region.
N. Comez, UK

Whilst one has to except the Kosovo Albanians are to a much lesser extent doing what the Yugolsavian armed forces did to them, it is the initial perpetrator that must be responsible for even the revenge attacks. Unless of course the entire human race feels like waiting for GOD to punish state terrorism.
Krishan Canagasabey, UK

The Serbs have managed to show us the reason why they are unworthy of forgiveness but have also exposed the mass delusion which has led them to commit dreadful crimes against the Bosnians before.
Zainudin, Philippines

By shamelessly exaggerating the number of Albanians killed and peddling 1000-year-old lies of babies impaled the West is trying to justify its own genocide against the Serbian people in Kosovo and Yugoslavia. The question should be "will the Serbs ever forget the west for decades of lies and bombings"?
Will, Australia

As a Kosovar living in the UK I find it very difficult to understand how some people ask us to forgive what the Serbs have done to us for years now and to Bosnians and Croatians earlier. Even if we do forgive them I do not think that GOD will - as I am sure he doesn't leave anything for tomorrow. They will be punished hard, until every Serbian household understands in their own way what a pain is when someone kills your baby - just because they can.
Enisi, UK

The non-Albanians that have been driven out of their homes since Nato's entry into Kosovo are by and large as innocent as those Albanians that have been driven out by Milosevic a few months before. These are not revenge attacks, therefore, but an organised campaign to create an ethnically "pure" Kosovo. The fact that Nato is not doing much to stop or prevent such actions of violence suggests that its concern about human rights in the region is largely disingenuous.
Misha, UK

As an Orthodox Christian I forgive but I will never forget. That is the only way.
Leta, Serbia

Serbs treated Albanians like animals. Now the Albanians behave like animals. There is as much chance of setting up a multi-ethnic society in Kosovo as there is of setting one up on the moon.

US intervention in Kosovo is taking the region into the wrong direction. The US, NATO and their temporary solutions have only aggravated the problem. Let's face it, NATO failed to bring peace to Kosovo. It may have halted Serb actions against the Albanians, but has indirectly encouraged Albanian action against the Serbs and has led to a mass exodus of Serbs from the area. On top of that, Serb civilians outside Kosovo were bombed and punished for something that they weren't even fully aware of. The world must abandon the assumption that Serb and Albanian civilians are killing each other due to "centuries of ethnic hatred." The reality is that Serb and Albanian civilians want to live together peacefully. Those who are committing the barbaric acts of violence are those who belong to two rival extreme organisations.
AG, Greece

I am fed up with Western arrogance and hypocrisy about Yugoslavia. What Nato agression achieved is Albanian opression against all other ethnic groups. Not only the Serbs but the Gipsies and other minorities are being forced out of Kosovo or killed. If Nato is sincere (wishful thinking), this is enough to bomb the KLA and the Tirana government.
Stéphane Wailliez, Brussels

Albanians will be ready to forgive when Serbians are ready to say sorry

Nijazi, UK

As an Albanian living in the UK I think Kosovar Albanians will be ready to forgive when the Serbian people are ready to say sorry for what they have done. At the moment they are just acting as if they would do the same terrible things again if they had the chance.
Nijazi, UK

I don't think Nato has achieved its objective of preserving a multi-cultural Kosovo. Though the Nato bombings weren't responsible for the historical hatred it was wrong and the West has the moral responsibility to solve the problem as best as it can. Probably Milosevic is smiling as Nato and the West get embroiled in the centuries old hatred.
Henry Njuru, Australia

Your comments during the programme

You can't force the Albanians and the Serbs to suddenly like one another, after centuries of hatred. There has to be a visionary leader to take people forward, like Nelson Mandela in South Africa, someone who was willing to say, 'yes it was wrong', but if we hate then the cycle will never be broken and we'll never move forward.
Anton, South Africa

It's going to take a long time because the feeling of hatred there is running high, I've spoken to Albanians who've said to me we will die for Nato, so obviously before they can sit down and talk they've got to cool down. They've got to try to stand back and see a continuation of the problem that that they were faced with, turning it round isn't going to help the situation, it never will, they've got to talk
Kan Ferdy, Northern Ireland

Ethnic cleansing in Kosovo hasn't stopped. It has just changed direction

Roksanda Nincic, Belgrade
I don't believe that intervention should have taken the form of aggression against the civilian population in Serbia, killing so many people, contaminating the earth even, the water, the air, I don't see that anything has been achieved except an independent Kosovo in the very near future which was the aim of the UCK but not of the international community or Nato allegedly, this has just caused an enormous suffering for civilians.
Roksanda Nincic, Belgrade

The international community is not void of self criticism, we are aware that the security situation is not as it should be and we are aware that there is not enough security on the ground for instance. Dr Kushner called for much more police to be deployed, but countries simply haven't been forthcoming with deploying these police officers. On the highest level there is an advisory board for Kosovo and the Serbs are in fact boycotting that transitional council. On the lower levels in the regions in the cities the picture is much more heterogeneous - we have co-operation, and we have the denial of co-operation in other instances.
Roland Bless, OSCE spokesman in Pristina

I don't feel hatred for Albanians, when war happened a lot of bad things happened and many people on both sides lose control and they become, shall I say, beasts, well we are human, we evolved from, we came form water and we came here and at the very end of the twentieth century we came to the new millennium and I think that the people should really, revenge is really one circle and you cannot emerge from it, one revenge brings another revenge.
Iva Ignjatovic, Belgrade

I am an ethnic Albanian in Kosovo and my life has now gone back to normal. A year ago I didn't see a future but now I have a job and I am studying.
Stumin Rama, Kosovo

I regret to tell that we hear in the media most of the time, that the Serbs have been targeted from the Kosovo Albanians. But we can't forget what the Serbians did in Kosovo was terrible, and of course there's a kind of revenge, but we can't even forget that Milosovich, what he did in Kosovo I don't think that he finished everything in one day, so we said before that Milsovich, we could deal with him but he was, say, a liar and I don't think he has forgotten Kosovo so quick
Naim Hassani, London

I think it is possible for the two communities to live side by side

Armend Susuri, UK
I think that it is possible for the two communities to live side by side. But first the Yugoslav Authorities must hand in all the wanted war criminals to the Tribunal in Hague. Secondly they must release all Albanian political prisoners that are still being held in Yugoslav prisons. And thirdly they must Apologise to the Albanian people for they have done and pay the for the damages that they have inflictited. Just as the Germans have done after the second world war. Then the Albanian people will try to forgive them, but it would still need some time for the wounds to heal.
Armend Susuri, UK

I think that intervention was somewhat necessary, but also highly nationalistic, but sometimes there's got to be outside force to stop something, because we all remember Pol Pot in Cambodia, so sometimes it's necessary. But I think Nato, especially United States and Britain made some mistakes, if you want to really reinforce human rights you should take a global view rather than take a country specific.
Weng Choi, China

Your comments before we went ON AIR

I think anything is possible. The remaining serbs were not enemies of the Albanians - the very reason they feel they can stay. Most Albanian people are peacefull and will be able to live with their old Serbian neighbours. The trouble come from the paramilitary - they would like to treat every single Serb as an enemy and destroy them. To solve this they must lay down their weapons. The whole of Kosovo needs to be demilitarised. All we can do is keep our 'fingers crossed' for all those suffered and are still suffering in Kosovo.
John, China

The aim of the Albanians is not to reach agreement with the Serbs but to take land which the Serbs have been living on for centuries. How would a Greek feel if the Turks smashed the Acropolis, or a French if the Algerians bombed Notre Damme. So I wonder who started it and who should forgive who?
Bojana, Yugoslavia

The differences between the two parties are irreconcilable. There is only one possible solution, a geographical division of Kosovo, Serbs on one side and Albanians on the other.
Andrew Hunt, Singapore

The question should be: can the serbs forgive the west?
Kanavouras A, EU

Can there be forgiveness and reconcialiation? Of course, if all people from all ethnic backgrounds train their minds in relinquishing hatred and develop loving compassion. Will there be forgiveness and reconciliation? Of course not, at least not for a very long time to come. It is easier to follow the old habit of nurturing hatred and waging war than to develop a kind attitude towards all your fellow beings.
Hermes Brandt, Netherlands

Kosovo should never have happened. Western intervention sent the message that it is acceptable for an ethnic minority to become independant as a way to sidestep the need for peaceful interaction. The chain of events that has been set in motion will continue for the next generation at least.
Charles Biba, Canada

The numerous demands for revenge and "an eye for an eye" killings is sickening. Not surprisingly such barbaric rhetoric originates from individuals who reside in countries where the rule of law is basically non-existent (Pakistan, N. Cyprus, Kosovo) or lacking in substance; this suggests a stable, secure government is essential for Kosovo and/or any region troubled with warfare. For those individuals living in the UK, Canada, the States, who still harbour such archaic revenge killing thoughts, I thank God you are restrained by the system of law established in the West.
Claire, NYC

Step one. The Serbs killed the Albanians. Step two. USA steps in and sets up peacekeeping forces. Step three. Now the Albanians kill the Serbs. I would say that since history is going to repeat itself again, we [the USA] should just forget about KFOR and bring our peacekeepers back. Nothing is working anyway. The Albanians should stop killing the Serbs. Killing innocent people is not going to get them anywhere. Murdering innocent children, women, and the elderly is not acceptable. No one deserves to be dragged from a car and beaten in front of his wife and children. Humanity does not stop at ethnic backgrounds. This is not eye for an eye. This is murder. And anyone who commits it should be severely punished. If the Albanians and the Serbs are to achieve peace, they will have to put their differences aside and stop the innocent killings. Its now happening in Ireland, and it can happen there.
Amina, USA

It is high time the peoples of the world, whether they be black, white, green, or purple realise that we have but one planet, and we must share it.
Peter Fitzneissenteit, Germany

Forgiveness is for those who accept responsibility for what they did and sincerely repent

Murat Erkocevic, United States
First: I do feel very sorry for that minority of innocent Serbs who now suffer. It is unfair and inhumane to prosecute old, totally harmless elderly Serbs who remain in Kosovo. But in general: Forgiveness is for those who accept responsibility for what they did and sincerely repent. The information available (including letters of most Serbs in this Talk Shop) indicate strongly that not only Serbian regime, but also majority of Serbs do not meet these conditions. Forgiving Serbs in this situation will encourage them to continue the horrors they inflicted on Croatia, Bosnia and most recently Kosovo. The solution for Kosovo and Kosovars is obvious: Independence and never to forget what the Serbs have been doing to them in this century.
Murat Erkocevic, United States

I completely agree with Olja from Yugoslavia. The collective punishment of Serbs is widely accepted as if Serbs were some kind of savages. Ironically, the people supporting it think of themselves as being just and human. There is nothing just and human in depriving old people of medicine, children of a happy childhood, adults of means to make a living for their families. It all leads to a social and an economical destruction of a nation of 10 million people who will be marked in history as "collateral damage of a humanitarian action". The world would be a happier place without such humanitarian actions.
Alex, Canada

I am an Albanian from Kosova living in the U.S since 1981. So I would like to ask Mr. J.D Knight, if things were great for the Albanians in Kosova prior to 1989, than why am I here? I am here because the Serbs executed my great grandfather, I am here because the Serbs tried to kill my father for taking part in a peaceful demonstration for the right to go to school. Up until June of 1999 my father wasn't allowed to go back to Kosova and see his family because he was afraid. How would you feel if you couldn't visit your family and homeland for 18 years?

As far as the current situation is concerned, why wont someone look at actual statistics or numbers of exactly how many murders are taking place in Kosova today and what ethnic origin are the victims? If you look at these numbers you will find that the majority of the people being killed are Albanians.

Take someone like me who has experienced Serb atrocities in her family for decades. How can I forget? Maybe I can forget but I will never forgive. The only way this issue will ever be resolved is with the full independence of Kosova. God doesn't give the Serbs the privilege to treat people like animals and third class citizens.
Arta, USA

I only want to thank to those nice people who showed the real understanding of this issue. I am a Serb,a student from Belgrade and I don't have anything to do with Milosevic (just want him to go and leave us all alone), and neither with the truly sad killings in Kosovo. I was bombed, who knows why. We were stuck. NATO said they were punishing us because of Milosevic and yet many of us don't support him. It was the worst time of my life, and it doesn't seem I will ever recover from it. I only know that NATO helped Milosevic a lot. Who am I to blame? Who will accept the guilt for my pains? Now, Serbs get killed on their own land, but no one cares. That was expected, after all that had happened. I live in the paradoxical world, in a sad world. The only bright moments of this unhappy planet are people (which still exist, I can see it here) that want to think and see both sides, who are unprejudiced and that are not poisoned by lies, who found their own truth by doubting and questioning everything. It takes courage to THINK these days.
Olja, Yugoslavia

Consider the time scale. The Turks invaded this region 600 years ago leading to conflict between pro-occupation Albanians and pro-independence Serbs. This conflict has carried on ever since. Now the Americans have blundered in, and the our British puppet government has blindly followed. If we leave Kosovo for another 600 years some of the wounds we have wrought might start to heal, but we should examine our own goverment's actions when we are busy criticising those whose families we have killed.
Edmund, England

The world should never forget what the Serbs did in Bosnia and in Kosovo. They brought Rwanda into Europe with their unspeakable crimes. They did not just attack innocent men, women and children, they also attacked the very basics of human values and dignity, that we had long fought to achieve in Europe and elsewhere in the world. We can only forgive a mistake. How can we forgive the Serbs if they still think of what they did in Bosnia and in Kosovo was right? Gandhi once said " An eye for an eye would only leave the whole world blind." Then if that is true, then how are we going to get even?
R.Turkmen, Cyprus

Yes, there can be 'forgiveness'. But, we must have peace before we can truly have that. What happened in Kosovo was a tragedy for everyone there with no exceptions. It is still unresolved and in order to establish a stability there we must extend ourselves from a humanitarian standpoint to help the many casualties of the war. Otherwise, the situation cannot be resolved. That is my honest opinion.
Dave Adams, USA

It is wrong to be asking this question in this context. It is implying that granting a life to remaining Serbs, mostly helpless and elderly, is an act of mercy on Albanian side. It is washing the blood off KFOR's hands. The Albanians will not forgive the torment they have suffered, and noone is asking them to. Nor will the Serbs ever forgive NATO its crimes, yet Anglo Saxon hypocrites do not even admit they have wronged the Serbs. But the Serbs are not taking revenge terrorist attacks, like targeting UK chemical factories, causing environmental disasters or killing innocent civilians. Would you be asking the same question if they did?
Mark, USA

The civilised world defeated Hitler and left Germany destroyed, Japan was A-bombed that's the only way to deal with tyrants. If war criminals are dealt with, then and only then there will be peace in Kosova. The victims are supposed to live in peace with people who yesterday raped their daughters and slaughtered their families that's a joke of a century.
Bekim, Kosova

Imagine if your brother is brutally tortured and your sister is raped, you could not think about forgiveness.

Enam, USA
Imagine if you brother is brutally tortured and your sister is raped, you could not think about forgiveness. The ethnic violence will continue till there will be two different country with their identity and strength.
Enam, USA

Take a look at the Clean Slate Campaign site - we can all start by laying down our own hates.
André, Switzerland

Why the spreading of Nato? What good will it bring? It didn't bring good to Kosovo, it just brought troops. Nato thinks it can enslave the whole world. Quite optimistic. The media is launching their stories. Nato started the war in Kosovo; "start a war and then be a peacemaker".
It is disgusting. What did Nato achieve? It just enraged the Serbs who will return to Kosovo sooner or later. Unlike the Americans, Serbs have a great history and they don't feel like quitting the land they owned for a 1000 years.
Milan Nedved, Luzhitzan Serb from the Czeck Republic, United Kingdom

These are not revenge killings these are eye for an eye, you kill my grandmother I kill yours. An eye for an eye is the only fair form of government. If you kill my people I will kill yours, so that is how it goes so eventually killings will dwindle. Why should they forgive. Leave it up to them to forgive.
Ayeasha, Pakistan

Yes, I believe forgiveness is ultimately possible but at great cost. It is only right that the full injustice is faced up to, but who am I, whatever evil has been done against me or anyone else, to say that a person should rot in hell when I have done evil myself?
Peter Barraclough, UK

Have the Holocaust victims forgiven the Nazis for all that they had done? Are the Serbs any different from the Nazis of World War II?
Naeem Nabi, Canada

Forgiveness? While they are living side by side and every new generation inherits the hatred? You need to erect a wall to separate them for a few generations (but not cutting Kosovo from Serbia). In 1945, "German" meant "enemy" for a Soviet person; nowadays, they dig their forefathers' bones out together.
Andrej, Russia

How many times does the world have to forgive the Serbs?

Ridvan Truhan, US
How many times the world has to forgive the Serbs? How soon did we all forget what they did in Bosnia! How many times can one ask for forgiveness?
Ridvan Truhan, US

How can there be forgiveness in Kosovo when the Powers that now control it are quietly sponsoring and encouraging (if not organising) the ethnic cleansing against the Serbs? This was the point of the invasion anyway: total control of Kosovo's locality, elimination of unwanted elements (read "Serbs") and protection of the area.
The old colonial spirit revived in the beginning of 2000. It is very indicative the fact that the history books, texts, studies etc of countries that played major role in this (France, England etc) still claim that the slaughters they executed in their ex-colonies (India, Algeria, Cyprus etc) were actually "antiterrorist operations". All these in 1999.
Kostas, France

The Albanians have hate deeply inside themselves. There is no chance they could change into democratic people.

Vlado, Slovak Republic
Every normally thinking person who has information from BOTH sides, not only the Nato one, can realise what has happened to Albanians and what is happening to Serbs in Kosovo. There is one common sign: terror. And there is also a difference. While the Serb acts were done by paramilitary special groups, the Albanian acts are being done by ordinary people.
The Albanians have hate deeply inside themselves. There is no chance they could change into democratic people. I hope Nato will get out of Yugoslavia territory soon and Serb police will be back to protect Serb people in Kosovo.
All the best to Serbia and Yugoslavia!
Vlado, Bratislava, Slovak Republic,

Western officials calling for "forgiveness" don't know what they are asking, because they don't know what they've done. Any kind of intervention, violent or otherwise, does not change a conflict -- it only subjects it to new rules. The physical manifestations of conflict may mostly cease under the new rules, but the conflict itself does not cease. Now sensing this, the Western officials call for forgiveness -- a spiritual recourse, perhaps even supernatural intercession for their very earthly error.
It just so happens that forgiveness is needed, but it won't happen in anyone's heart merely because the peacekeepers request it. Remember, the old conflict persists. It's no surprise radical Kosovars love Nato and disobey the peacekeepers. Nato helped them in conflict. The peacekeepers hold them back. This hasn't changed anything essential, though it did of course render the great service of saving lives in the short-term.

Eriks, Latvia

Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said that in order to have forgiveness you need repentance, and repentance requires truth.

M Brereton, Australia

Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said that in order to have forgiveness you need repentance, and repentance requires truth.
The Serbs have shown no repentance for their actions this decade, and close their eyes to the truth. The ball is in their court. They need to repent the murders committed in their names. But all that is coming from Serbs is either denial or justification through equalisation e.g. "all sides were the same".
Any serious investigation shows this to be completely false. Only one side has planned a systematic mass murder of tens of thousands, and that is the Serbian side.
But either way history has shown people eventually forget. Look at what happened all over Europe after WW2, including this area. All that is needed is time.
M Brereton, Australia

The author of a book mentioned in The Economist said that the whole problem was caused by The Great Powers of the World since two World Wars and the cold war took place there. I wonder how come the author missed the thousand years before. Wasn't Milo trying to avenge some Serb defeat hundreds of years ago.
Eddie, USA

There will never be peace until the Serbian army returns to Kosovo. The west has no idea how dear Kosovo is to Serbs. Serbs will neither forget nor forgive the Albanians who are a reminder of 500 years of Muslim Ottoman rule.
Ivan Petrovic, Canada

Why should they forgive, what reasons have the Serbs given them for them to even consider forgiving.

Ali Khan, Pakistan
Why should they forgive, what reasons have the Serbs given them for them to even consider forgiving. Now the Serbs in Yugoslavia are going to cry to the rest of the world.
Ali Khan, Pakistan

The Bible calls on us to forgive those who transgress against us. Forgiveness on the part of the Kosovars, Albanians and Serbs is necessary in order to ensure peaceful coexistence. However, the quarrels in the Balkans go back thousands of years and will likely continue for at least as long.
Jeff, USA

Like Vietnam, Kosovo proves once again that it's a mistake to get involved other countries' civil wars. I think the minute the peacekeepers leave Kosovo the situation will revert right back to square one...unless we plan on occupying the country forever.
By the way, as many people are murdered in the US every year as are killed in Kosovo, so maybe we need a peacekeeping force in the US too. Don't everyone volunteer at once!!
Paul, USA

Anyone who expected the killing in Kosovo to stop hasn't read much history.
Richard T. Ketchum, USA

How can you possibly expect the Kosovar Albanian people to forgive the Serbs? The Albanians were driven from their homes, starved to death, terrorised, tortured and killed.

Moshe, NL
How can you possibly expect the Kosovar Albanian people to forgive the Serbs? The Albanians were driven from their homes, starved to death, terrorised, tortured and killed.
And for what? Because the Serbs think it's perfectly normal to take over a country (after the Yugoslav dictator died), prevent the Albanians from even speaking their own language, and pretty much making them second-class citizens in their own (part of the) country. Then, when the Albanians finally get enough of being pushed around, the Serbs send in their army and slaughter them. Moshe, NL

Serbs hate Milosevic, and what he has done to the country, but not as much as they hate the British and American leadership for destroying and occupying Serbia.

Vucibatina Blagojevic, USA
After months of Nato's occupation of Kosovo, the number of killed Albanians is not more then 2000. Compare that to at least 10 thousand Serbs killed in the NATO offensive, and 200 thousand expelled right in front of the eyes of Nato, you can see who is the victim here.
Serbs hate Milosevic, and what he has done to the country, but not as much as they hate the British and American leadership for destroying and occupying Serbia.
Vucibatina Blagojevic, USA

I would never forgive the Serbs for what they did to the Kosovars, and I don't blame the Kosovars for what they did to the Serbs while and after they left the province. Just imagine how it must feel when you are innocent and neutral and then you get looted and fire bombed just because of your nationality. After seeing 'Warriors' on BBC 1 the other week it really made me think about how bad it really is!
Bob, UK

People who take revenge - who take an eye for an eye and a life for a life - are every bit as guilty as those who perpetrated the original act.

Andy Morton, Scotland
People who take revenge - who take an eye for an eye and a life for a life - are every bit as guilty as those who perpetrated the original act. One cannot ask Kosovars to forgive - that's a personal gift; but if they cannot accept the peace-keeping role of Nato then there is no purpose in Nato being in there.
We should withdraw immediately. If we do not then the blood of many innocent Serbs will be on our hands, because we are now morally responsible for what happens in that country. That's what intervention means. It isn't just firing smart bombs fighting battles. Peace has to be won as much as war - and we are finding that's a much longer, much more unpleasant proposition.
Andy Morton, Scotland

Putting myself in the shoes of the Kosovans I'd find it very very difficult to forgive and forget. As a practical matter I assume at a minimum I'd want the ethnic-Serbs out of Kosova. If I were an ethnic-Serb I'd get out of Kosovo. With time I also assume that, and as examples, as those of Irish descent can live with those of English descent and the Russians were able to allow Germans to live in East Germany, the ethnic- Kosovans and ethnic-Serbs will also also experience some reconciliation.
Lou Sheehan, USA

People who take revenge - who take an eye for an eye and a life for a life - are every bit as guilty as those who perpetuated the original act. One cannot ask Kosovans to forgive - that's a personal gift; but if they cannot accept the peace-keeping role of NATO then there is no purpose in NATO being in there. We should withdraw immediately. If we do not then the blood of many innocent Serbs will be on our hands, because we are now morally responsible for what happens in that country. That's what intervention means. It isn't just firing smart bombs fighting battles. Peace has to be won as much as war - and we are finding that's a much longer, much more unpleasant proposition.
Andy Morton, Scotland

Kosovo horrors will take a long time to really be discovered. The world has not yet seen what really Serbian regime has committed in there. Forgiveness is very difficult. It must be, but for the moment it is very hard to forgive those who left us without anything. Those who tried to live us without a nation, religion, home and what is far more important without a life. The killings of this kind do not call for a real forgiveness but they might call for a kind of tolerance. This is to show the world that we are not a nation who kills and commit such barbarity but a nation who wants to live in peace and dignity as the other nations in the big European family. We are free now and the aim of those who died for this freedom is being realised . They died for our freedom and we should be proud of them as they are heroes.
Naim Hassani, Kosova Albanian resident in UK

Northern Ireland has probably experienced less killings in its whole period of conflict, than Kosovo endured in months. I can't honestly expect anyone who may have seen loved ones murdered, tortured or raped to be forgiving in such a short period of time. The Serbs have no one to blame except themselves.
Someone, England

If you really want to have a new beginning you must forgive your old enemies. We need to preach forgiveness otherwise we might end up preaching "Genocide".
Tajudeen Isiaka, Nigeria

Revenge will be taken and no amount of intervention will stop that.

Barry Rain, UK
What is happening in Kosovo is no different from what happened all over Europe in the months after the end of WW2. Revenge will be taken and no amount of intervention will stop that.
Barry Rain, UK

Reconciliation in Kosovo requires the imposition of a situation of stability and safety; the creation of prosperity; the elimination and calling to account of the individuals who caused the strife and profited from it; and finally, time. If the forces of civilisation are prepared to invest what is needed in order to fulfil these requirements, there is hope. But it cannot be done on the cheap.
Peter, Netherlands

My people will have their revenge on the Serb butchers and no-one will stop them.
Hamed Omoes, Kosovar living in USA

Kosovo's tragedy is not in the killings and deaths of innocent Kosovars and Serb civilians but in damn lies of the US, British and other NATO governments about their real goals in this conflict. A complete inability of these same governments to deal with Russia and the horror of Chechnya only demonstrates once again the travesty of foreign policy of the West, lack of political consistency and morality - all at the same time when 18 year-old Russians chase and kill Chechen civilians.
Alex, USA

I can't see how can two communities live side by side in the near future. It is very early days and you are asking too much too soon, from the people who have suffered horrific atrocities. As a Kosovar who have lived in UK since 1991 I can almost guarantee you that the people in UK would've behaved in the similar fashion if not worst. I can still hear some bitterness from some Brits, directed towards the French and Germans for the wars that have happened at least 50 years ago. It is in the human nature whether we like it or not. People are failing to notice that on the 28th of November when a Serb was killed by a mob of Albanians in Pristina there were at least 3 other Albanians killed elsewhere in Kosova. Now, why is the killing of an elderly serb worst crime than the killing of 2 and wounding of 12 other Albanians by a machine-gun tooting Albanian. Simply there is no law and order and plenty of guns about. Take away police, courts and army from Britain for just a few days and see what happens.
Arianit C., UK

Why NATO thought bombing the former Yugoslavia would solve anything in the long term, only God knows. There would not be as many problems as there are now, if the hypocrites of the West had just showed some restrain
Matthew, England

Your reporting on this matter has been disgraceful. You are completely pro-Albanian. Statements by yourselves and people such as Bill Clinton that it is difficult for the Albanians to forgive what the Serbs did, do nothing than stir up racial hatred against the Serbs and other non-ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. The Albanians in the decade before 1989 had substantial autonomy. During this period they forced vast numbers of non-Albanians to vacate the province. During the course of last year thousands of non-Albanians were driven from their homes and hundreds murdered by the KLA.

Not all the Serbs in Kosovo committed atrocities, in fact it was a very small minority. In fact, the number of Albanians killed by Serbian Paramilitary forces and other mercenaries probably amount to less than those killed by Albanian terrorists and NATO bombs. None of the people kidnapped by Albanian Terrorists before the recent bombardment have been heard from since. Little concern is being shown by the West towards the plight of those kidnapped since the NATO occupation of the province. Even less towards those killed and the more than 750,000 refugees of all so-called ethnic group presently sheltering as refugees within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - thousands of whom will undoubtedly die this winter as a result of the bombardment and the Serbian Government's refusal to bow to Western conditions for so-called aid.

Most people in Yugoslavia, including Kosovo, do not care under which form of Government they live as long as they are allowed to live in peace and security.

Basically, outsiders should withdraw from the region and mind their own business. Unfortunately, Yugoslavia is of too much strategic importance to allow that. However, People, such as yourselves, must stop encouraging ethnic hatred and paint a fairer and more objective picture of the situation. The majority of Serbs are not demons, nor are the majority of Albanians saints. They are 2 heavily mingled population drawn asunder by different languages.
J.D. Knight, UK

I totally agree with Neil. It is too early for the Kosovans to forgive what Milosovic did to them. Revenge is a natural reaction. Why are the allied forces not protecting the Serbs in Kosovo? Why aren't they removing the thousands of unexploded cluster bombs in the region?
Bob, England

It's very easy to sit here and preach forgiveness when all the forgiveness talked about for centuries has failed to materialise in the troubled region. There are few options to break the cycle of atrocities and revenge especially as it dominates thinking in the Balkans. Instead of pontificating the West should take a look at itself and its moral hypocrisy and false superiority.
James, UK

We supposedly bombed Yugoslavia to stop atrocities committed against Albanians in Kosovo. They now repay this "humanitarian" act by murdering, kidnapping and forcibly evicting the Serbian minority. If the Allies had behaved in this way after the fall of Germany at the end of WW2 there would not be a German left on this planet today. I have yet to see or hear a single Western politician condemning these actions. These are not revenge attacks. They are organised acts of genocide, EXACTLY what NATO accused the Serbs of committing and KFOR is standing by and allowing it to happen. It is disgusting.
Neil, UK

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06 Dec 99 | Europe
Horrors of Kosovo revealed
12 Nov 99 | Europe
Q & A: Counting Kosovo's dead
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