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Nenad Sebek in Belgrade
"Milosevic is not the only guilty party"
 real 28k

Natasha Dracovics, Belgrade, Yugoslavia
"It really feels great. We can't believe it has happened"
 real 28k

Jonathan Pendlebury, Belgrade, Serbia
"The young people are the future of this country."
 real 28k

Nevena from Novi Sad, Serbia
"Kostunica has a lot of love for this country."
 real 28k

Nenad Sebek in Belgrade
"Milosevic has no other idealism other that Milosevicism"
 real 28k

Andy October, Cape Town, South Africa
"The people of Belgrade should never let that feeling of empowerment die"
 real 28k

Friday, 13 October, 2000, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
What now for Yugoslavia?

The regime of Slobodan Milosevic has collapsed.

After a few hours of chaos and uncertainty on the streets of the capital, Belgrade, the opposition leader, Vojislav Kostunica, has declared himself the president of the country and Milosevic is in hiding.

So what now for Yugoslavia? What should the new government do with Milosevic, an indicted war criminal? How can the country be rebuilt after years of sanctions?

We discussed the dramatic events in Yugoslavia on Talking Point ON AIR. You can add your comments to the debate by e-mailing us.

Select the link below to watch Talking Point On Air

Read what you have said since the programme
Read your comments during the programme
Read what you said before we went ON AIR


Your comments since the programme

The Nato bombing has created the perfect environment for the World Bank and the IMF to move in and further indebt the country with loans dependant on "opening it up to the free market". This allows the big multinational companies to move in and drain Yugoslavia of all its resources. The best possible future for rebuilding Yugoslavia is with interest-free loans from Europe with the aim of integrating the Balkans into an expanded European Union (as long as that is what they want).
Chris Donnelly (English abroad), Melbourne, AU

We can't make it without help from the West

Sasa, YU
I think that we here, in YU have done a great job and a revolutionary one. But we can't make it without help from the West. I'm talking about economic help, which is the most important thing right now. Then we would need friendship from all of you.
Sasa, YU

Sanctions can be reapplied. Give this fledgling democracy every chance and lift all restrictions.
Gerry, Scotland

When the nationalist Haider got power, sanctions were put on Austria. When the nationalist Kostunica gets power, sanctions are lifted on Yugoslavia. Talk about a double standard. Let the sanctions be lifted when Yugoslavia hands over its war criminals to the Hague otherwise what was the point of having Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina co-operate with the Tribunal?
Chris Hanzek, Canada

President Kostunica is only just starting to run the Serbian government. Although it is worth celebrating the demise of Milosevic, it is also worth remembering that, as yet, we know little about Kostunica. Surely the only sensible time to lift sanctions will be when Serbia is stable and President Kostunica has shown that he can lead the country with the compassion his predecessor lacked.
Andrew Wasley, UK

Lifting the sanctions would still be much too premature; after all, V. Kostunica is another ardent Serbian nationalist who should prove what the West is praising him for. You must remember that Milosevic wasn't kicked out from power because he had been a tyrant, and had led Serbia through 4 wars, but because he had lost each of them. I agree, the Serbs may be tired of this kind of life, but rewarding them for what is still not clear. I remember how the citizens of Belgrade escorted with flowers their Army tanks on their devastating journey to Vukovar in 1991.These are still the same people.
Bruno, Croatia

Serbian people should feel freedom after all these years of international terror

Vladimir, San Diego, CA
I saw people writing things like NATO bombing "helped democracy". Of course that is not true. Now Kostunica is supposed to return Kosovo and establish peace in that Serbian part. I can see Albanians aren't happy about his statements of Kosovo and Hague, but Kosovo WAS and IS a part of Serbia and no one else but the Yugoslav people are going to decide about the destiny of Kosovo. Kostunica has to do this assignment. Serbian people should feel freedom after all these years of international terror, since we were punished for all wars and our neighbours were awarded for the same.
Vladimir, San Diego, CA

I just want to congratulate the western world, especially the United States and the CIA for bringing down a fascist state without any bloodshed of any Western soldiers. I know that Yugoslavia was a fascist state, with the worst criminal leading it.
Nick, Cambridge, Canada

Milosevic was an unloved tyrant who destroyed a great nation and built a criminal empire amidst the corpses and ruins. For all that he has done, a lifetime in some Western jail at the discretion of the Hague Tribunal would be no fitting punishment.
Pete, Newmarket, England

Yugoslavia should be offered the warmest possible reception by the world community

Yevgeni, Moscow, Russia
Yugoslavia should be offered the warmest possible reception by the world community. Pressure has to be minimised. Let the country settle down so that in several years time we will all have a better picture of who was right and wrong. If such a healthy climate is achieved, Yugoslavia will soon need no help from outside and will show its political and economic potential as a uniting centre of the Balkans, and not the core problem of the region.
Yevgeni, Moscow, Russia

As an American with a Serbian wife, I've been watching the Balkan area and learning about Serbia with great enthusiasm. A hearty people with a rich history, I think this new chapter will be the most important ever in Serbian history. As smart as any, more resilient than most, the Serbian people will now thrive.
Ken, USA

Good Luck to the Yugoslav people on their new found freedom. You now truly have the ability to become a great nation!
Craven Moorehead, Melbourne, Australia

I think that the new government in place in Yugoslavia deserves the support of the international community and above all, its own people in and around Belgrade and the countryside including that of Montenegro. But in everything that the new government intends to do for rehabilitating the country, they must at all times take into consideration the desire of the Serbian people for a great change in their own community.
Wendell Glenn Cagape, Philippines

It is time that we finally take our place in Europe, like we did long before Milosevic. I know that Europe will accept us.
Vladimir Vojnovic, Novi Sad, Free Serbia

Handing over of indicted war criminals to the Hague tribunal is a vital first step in peaceful reconciliation

Michael Sim, Brussels Belgium
May I say the handing over of indicted war criminals to the Hague tribunal is a vital first step in peaceful reconciliation of ethnic tensions in the Balkans. What chance is there for a peaceful coexistence of ethnic Albanians, and Serbs in Kosovo, if confidence can not be given.
Four items come to mind:
1) Kosovo - Should have the right to choose whether it remains within the Serbo-Yugoslavian state
2) Milosevic and co must stand trial in Den Haag - It's the Croatia-Bosnia-Herzegovinan-Balkan inheritance
3) Serious thought must be placed in restructuring all tools of governance to rid them of the pernicious influence of the Milosevic regime
4) Then there's the issue of socio-economic reconstruction
Michael Sim, Brussels Belgium

Is it that ethnic cleansing will not be tolerated by the international community? Until that confidence is given, the Kosovar Albanians will continue to view the recent events in Serbia with suspicion, indifference and offering no confidence for the future.
Neville Thomas Adelaide, South Australia

It is disturbing to hear you entertaining the notion that it is up to Mr. Kostunica to turn Milosevic and his henchmen to The Hague tribunal. Mr. Kostunica co-authored a script called "Memorandum", published by the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences which spelled out goals for Milosevic to follow. It is up to the international community to see that Mr. Kostunica fulfils all the requirements established by them before Serbia can join the international community.
Frank Grahovac

Yugoslavia should be very careful that its new leader does not waive the right of its people to common justice. In South Africa the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was really a waiver commission: Tell your story and give up your claims against those who have harmed you. Slobodan, Radko and Radovan must stand trial in The Hague and not be subsumed into a new opposition.
Bill Louw, Zimbabwe

The diplomatic dilemma as I see it goes like this: can Mr. Kostunica deliver Milosevic to the Hague without eroding his own powerbase in Serbia? While on the other hand: can the West accept it if he doesn't? It seems we would have to maintain some sort of sanctions against a regime harbouring an indicted war criminal, while knowing this would equally erode the same power base, and perhaps the prospects for democracy in Yugoslavia.
Hans Westin Leeuwarden, the Netherlands

It is truly not the Presidents, Kings and Generals who make history. It is the common people in the street

Kebby Mainga, Zambia
The masses of the people have once again shown that there is nothing in this world as powerful as an idea whose time has come. Those who oppose the tide of change are always swept by it when it comes. It is truly not the Presidents, Kings and Generals who make history. It is the common people in the street.
Kebby Mainga, Zambia

Though the fall of Mr Milosevic is desirable, I fear that Mr Kostunica will not necessarily be a wonderful alternative. In many ways, Mr Kostunica's policies are similar to those of Mr Milosevic. For example, both agree that the separatist ideals in Kosovo should be repressed. His major criticism of Mr Milosevic is not that Mr Milosevic resorted to military force to suppress them but more so that he failed to do so. I suggest that the West is viewing Mr Kostunica through rose-coloured glasses, and will receive a rude awakening within the next 12 months.
Adam Walker Melbourne, Australia

Your comments during the programme

Kostunica must make sure that Milosevic and his cronies don't try to stage a comeback with the help of vested interests. But we also have to thank Russia for staying out of the way during the last two-week's events and allowing the people of Yugoslavia to decide for themselves.
Albert Devakaram, Chennai, India

Will the international community change it's stance on painful unresolved questions such as return of hundreds of thousands Serbian refugees to Kosovo and Metohija, Bosnia and Croatia and political solution in southern Serbian province without pressure for secession?
Danijela Spasic, Beograd, Serbia

I hope that President Voislav Kostunica makes this country a stable one.
Damir Jovanovic, Belgrade

Removing Milosevic from power was the most important step towards democracy in Serbia. The Serbs must now show the strength to face the truth and punish those responsible for the 13 years of tragedy in the Balkans before they can call their society a democratic one.
Sloboda Visinaterazije, Skopje, Macedonia

The whole world must learn from what the people of Serbia have done, right can overcome might

Conrad, London, UK
The whole world must learn from what the people of Serbia have done, right can overcome might! But all that glitters is not gold, the people of Serbia have shown that they are capable of deciding their own destiny without the globalising efforts of the EU and USA, but what will happen if they refuse to hand over Milosevic to the Hague? And what now of Serbia's other [forgotten] province, the once autonomous area of Vojvodina? There are many there who would also like autonomy from Serbia, I feel this is far from over, but my heart goes out to my family and friends in Yugoslavia at this time. My prayers are with them.
Conrad, London, UK

Will the international community change it's stance on painful unresolved questions such as return of hundreds of thousands Serbian refugees to Kosovo and Metohija, Bosnia and Croatia and political solution in southern Serbian province without pressure for secession?
Danijela Spasic, Beograd, Serbia

Congratulations! Serbia is finally free! Serbian's - take care of your country. No dictators anymore!
Reijo, Ylikiiminki, Finland

Your comments before we went ON AIR

I was inside the Parliament while it was on fire. I just had to see how does the heart of corruption burn.
Milan Gajisin, Novi Sad, Yugoslavia

I was waiting for this moment 13 years. Power to the people!
Goran, Novi Sad, Vojvodina

Will all the sanctions be lifted now? Will Yugoslavia receive the necessary help for rebuilding the country ruined by last year's bombing?

Vesna Pilipovic, Novi Sad, Yugoslavia
What now? - That is the question that should be answered by the west. Will all the sanctions be lifted now? Will Yugoslavia receive the necessary help for rebuilding the country ruined by last year's bombing? Will the truth about the Serbs, their victims and their role in the tragic Balkan conflicts and the pre-history of all these conflicts be revealed to the world?
While waiting hopefully for these crucial answers we are now celebrating the victory in the softest revolution against one of the hardest regimes and the inauguration of our new president we are so much proud of.
Vesna Pilipovic, Novi Sad, Yugoslavia

This was not a difficult mission, this was a mission impossible. Unarmed people against police, trying to take control of some key buildings without harming the police. Taking down this bloody regime and at the same time trying, if possible, to finish a job with no dead people on both sides...a very, very difficult situation and very bright, quick and honourable victory for Serbia... a historic day indeed!
Slobodan Popovic, Belgrade, Yugoslavia

Freedom, Freedom. As a Kosovar living in a Belgrade suburb, I feel now as a free man. THANK you United Kingdom, America. I hope the West will support free Kosovo even with Kostunica in power. Me and my wife Jebachicasrba Shmhiu called our son Tony (guess why!?).
Dojaja Samsrbiniu, Belgrade, Yugoslavia

Serbia is free. I just hope that the Europeans now see that Serbs are not evil. Free Serbia welcome to Europe.
Uros Zivkovic, Belgrade,Serbia

I can't stop these tears of happiness, they are falling all day

Alexandar, Belgrade, Free Serbia

It was about 5pm. The bells on St Marco`s church, located near our parliament and state television were ringing all time. This strong river of people was trying to liberate TV-Serbia, policemen were shooting, there was nerve gas everywere. But that didn't stop this brave people. We finally succeeded. Nobody died. We are free at last, this day is a happiest day in my hole life, I can't stop these tears of happiness, they are falling all day, and I like it.
Alexandar, Belgrade, Free Serbia

If it wasn't for the NATO bombing in Serbia, this would never happen today! Although the people of Kosova are sceptical about the Kostunica's attitude, I still hope that this is for the good of the Balkans and all the Ex-Yugoslavian countries. I hope that Serbian people will learn something from this; realise what they real borders are; and cut the roots of crime. Serbian people with Milosevic in power caused so much tragedy and unthinkable harm to the neighbouring countries that it will take time to recover, for all of us, and mostly for Serbia. But this could be the first step.
Enita Shala, Kosovo

Congratulations to Serbian people!

Nik, Prishtina, Kosova

Congratulations to Serbian people! I hope they will move forward and will be big enough to admit the crimes that most of their fellow citizens did to thousand people in Kosovo, Bosnia and Croatia. Otherwise just by changing the biggest criminal in Europe doesn't do much without changing the way they act and the way they think. All the best.
Nik, Prishtina, Kosova

There are no comments. We are the proof that life exists after death!
Duska, Novi Sad, Yugoslavia

Hello. It is 6.50 A.M and sun is up. First sunrise in new, free, democratic, beautifull Serbia. We hope that this is it, that we won and that no one ever will live like we did in past 13 years.
Igor Mitic & Ivan Lazic, Belgrade, Yugoslavia

We've been on the streets all day and we've just got back home having witnessed one of the most moving days in our lives. The spirit amongst the people was amazing - united as one, determined to achieve their goal. We fought off tear gas, and then watched as first the parliament building was stormed and then as the state tv building was stormed. We watched as police came out, throwing down their batons and ripping off their badges, holding up three fingers - the Serbian people's salute. We watched as the army drove through the streets, sitting on top of their armoured personnel carriers, drinking beer, waving to the crowd, and shaking hands with passers-by.
Jonathan, Matt, Charlotte & Biljana, Belgrade

The streets of Belgrade during the past night were streets with the taste of FREEDOM

Vladan, Novi Sad, YU
The streets of Belgrade during the past night were streets with the taste of FREEDOM and, I can tell you, it tastes good. Now, when all is set to be normal, the people of Yugoslavia should be strong enough to support our president Dr Kostinuca in his efforts to accomplish what he thinks is best for us. And again, THANK YOU KOSTINUCA!
Vladan, Novi Sad, YU

We are FREE, at last. The feeling is great, but there is one thing that bothers me still. I am afraid that the West will give us the wrong kind of help again, as they did by bombing us, and start to impose new conditions for the lifting of sanctions. Please, do not do that, let us live normally. If we are guilty of anything, 10 years of suffering was enough. And God knows that we suffered.
Dragana, Novi Sad, Yugoslvia

The most amazing thing is that tear gas which was constantly thrown into the crowd, didn't scare away us and without a fear we stood in a front line because of the awareness how the stakes are high.
Vojin Simic, Serbia

The streets of Belgrade tonight are full of people. We are witnessing a new dawn in Serbia. BELGRADE WILL NOT SLEEP TONIGHT. And PLEASE don't help us. We are sick and tired of you 'helping' us! Thank you very much.
Sneza, Serbia

We are free now. Thank you Kostunica.
Marko, Yugoslavia

I was born in Yugoslavia and I have lived there for 27 years. Four months ago I moved to the United States. For many years, since I was 18 years old boy, I was waiting for this moment of freedom. Now I am happy and sad because I am not on the streets of Belgrade. The sad Yugoslav story should be a warning for the people; what can happen to them if the wrong person gains power. After so many years of terror and pain, years of middle age, I hope and think there would be a renaissance in this part of Europe.
Milonja Bjelic, Yugoslavia

This is a new beginning for us and we hope that Europe and whole world will support us

Sandra, Yugoslavia, Novi Sad
My parents were in Belgrade today. We're all celebrating our victory and we've heard that Milosevic has gone somewhere - we don't know where. This is so great and I don't know how to explain my feelings. This is a new beginning for us and we hope that Europe and whole world will support us. MILOSEVIC and CO. GOODBYE!
Sandra, Yugoslavia, Novi Sad

I told you "Leave us alone" and Serbian people will resolve our "problem". Now it's done. Just remember, Serbian people will not forget your "help" by bombing us. I really hope that God will pay to you the same way.
V. Nikolic, Nis, Serbia, Yugoslavia

This is my new life, I am a new men,.. and now I am finally alive! Big thanks to all peoples in BELGRADE!
Branislav Cirkovic, Yugoslavia

My mother is Croat, my father is Serb, I spent almost all my life in Bosnia, graduated in Belgrade (by the way, Belgrade is still the only metropolis in this part of the world). I was in Bosnia 1992; I was in Belgrade last year when NATO bombed us on behalf of "Democracy, Human Rights and other Money dependent things". I must say that I fully support Kostunica because he is not planning to co-operate with the Hague Tribunal because that is political and not low institution. Also
Aleksandra Inic, Pristina, Kosovo, Serbia, Yugoslavia

People from all over the city who came into the Belgrade is angry and thirsty. Many of them are tired. First in Kraljevo people punch their way through the police and went to Belgrade. But I think that people from Cacak started first and entered to the Parliament of Yugoslavia. There are people from Nis, Kragujevac, Arandjelovac. Demonstrators don't go away. They are here and don't go home until Milosevic goes away. There are many people hurt, around 15, and one girl is dead. People are in revolt and we have waited a long time. Regard from Yugoslavia
Jelena, Yugoslavia

This is my new life,.. I am a new man,... and now I am finally alive!!! Big thanks to all peoples in BELGRADE!!!
Branislav Cirkovic, Yugoslavia

It's unbelievable, though not unexpected that Mr Milosevic didn't get the message of the people by now. He should step down "in dignity", otherwise he's bound to join Ceaucescu. People are sick and tired of him and his like. We need a change and we need it now.
Dejan, Nis/ Serbia

It took real courage for the Serbian people to rid themselves of a much-hated tyrant, with all the instruments of power at his disposal. So first of all, the Serbs should be allowed their moment of triumph; And the West, which justifiably did everything in it's power to thwart a despot, deserves some credit too. Whether Kostunica is pro-West or not is secondary to the regaining of democracy. It will take Serbia some time to recover from its wilderness years, but the corner has finally been turned.
Simon, E. Grinstead / UK

Good Luck to the Yugoslav people on their new found freedom. You now truly have the ability to become a great nation!
Craven Moorehead, Melbourne Australia

Glory to God for freedom in Serbia

Luke Goodseeker, N.Z.
Glory to God for freedom in Serbia. Peace and joy to the people of the Balkans. Milosevic and his people used murder. Pray to God to restore peace liberty and democracy to the Balkans. Democracy is not enough alone. But God upholds democracy for people, so trust God for good for Serbia and the Balkan countries. Truly today there is more hope than yesterday.
Luke Goodseeker, N.Z.

The end of Milosevic's reign of horror has happened in the very best way it could: by the decision and action of the Serbian people. But there is a note of caution. In a country so used to being subjects not citizens, to following orders from fear, rebuilding a strong civic society and accompanying free institutions will be a tough task and one not to complacent about. The people must take care not simply to assent to any ruler just because it is the alternative to Milosevic.
Laura Davies, Oxford, UK

As a career journalist I am delighted my Yugoslav colleagues are again able to practice their craft devoid of corruption and do their job in the context of their ethical code. This can only further the cause of democracy and freedom of the people.
Gary Parkes, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Could the West once do something for people in Serbia. I am sceptical. Give us please time to settle, give us time to show what this government is going to do, to show their face. Putting the pressure to hand over Milosevic now is wrong, dangerous and can provoke more unrest in Yugoslavia.
Sergije Jovanovic,

Kostunica came to power through the use of a mob

Samyak Sharma, Nepal
Kostunica came to power through the use of a mob and the euphoria is not going to last long. Do you still remember Yelstin? You hailed him as the greatest democrat of Russia. Where is Russia now? Did the world become a better place to live after the fall of the Soviet Union? Western countries are systematically destroying nations with ideas incompatible to their market oriented societies. First Soviet Union, then Iraq and now Yugoslavia. Who is next target? Cuba?
Samyak Sharma, Nepal

I am very happy for the Serbs taking their destiny in their own hands and getting rid of one of their worst enemies. But we must not forget it was the Serbs themselves who put him into power and let him stay there for so many years.
sladica, netherlands

In spite of the comments expressed by many that we need to be cautious about Kostunica and his brand of nationalism, we should be clear that it only equates to strong patriotism and not oppressive majoritarianism. Given the precarious political status quo in the Balkans over the past 100 years, why is such patriotism considered to be either a surprise or to be condemned?
Moma Mandic, London, UK

I believe that justice was served. Democracy has reared its head and now has a voice in Yugoslavia. The people are to be applauded for standing up for what they believe in, for this is a god given right! Sometimes drastic measures are needed to secure the majority of the people's beliefs and in this case right to a productive life.
scott, usa

We must not forget the peoples of Bosnia or Kosovo, this is as much a success for them as it is for the people of Serbia

Neil Fellowes, Great Yarmouth, United Kingdom
My thoughts go out to the people of Yugoslavia as a whole. We must not forget the peoples of Bosnia or Kosovo, this is as much a success for them as it is for the people of Serbia. But, success it is and now the future has to be the prime consideration. To the people of the Balkans, please don't judge the Western World too harshly, we may, at times, act without broader consideration, but it is the will of the free society that democracy, and the basic need for freedom, should be enjoyed by all. Welcome to your free world, and long may you all enjoy that which we, in the Western World, have enjoyed for so many years.
Neil Fellowes, Great Yarmouth, United Kingdom

A wise man once said: You can fool a lot of people some of the time, but you can't fool the same people all the time. That's true. When a majority of a people in democratic elections have given the victory to one person, the looser can't pretend to be the winner. The people of Yugoslavia have chosen their leader as we in other democratic countries vote on our own leaders. Congratulation to the people of Yugoslavia for the democratic victory - you choosed freedom and you gain freedom.
Inger E, Gothenburg Sweden

Don't let Mr. Milosevic get away with the crimes he did to Serbian people; send him to The Haque to be tried as others were. I read an article saying Mr. Milosevic should be tried in in Serbia. Forget it.
H. van Veen, Christchurch

The Serbian people have committed crimes under the leadership of Milosevic. Serbians in the last one and a half decade seemed to be quite ready to go and murder other nationalities and what is strange, be proud of it. They have been quite ready to murder and then masquerade as heroes. If Serbians won't get up, look in the mirror and be ready to make a step away from their moronic self-adoration, then they haven't done much more than swapping leader. Congratulations for getting rid of their pharaoh, but why did they need another eleven years after all the other East European countries..?
Evans, Sydney AUS

The gloating among Western politicians I find rather nauseating.

Rene von Rentzell, Germany
I am happy for the Yugoslav people that they have finally deposed Milosevic. But the gloating among Western politicians I find rather nauseating. It was our illegal bombing of Yugoslavia and support of the racist KLA that gave Milosevic so much undeserved support. Had the West not so brutally interfered in the affairs of an independent country, Milosevic would have long gone.
Rene von Rentzell, Germany

What is (was) the substantial difference between S. Milosevic, F. Tudjman, A. Isetbegovic, and the worst of them Hasim Taci?
Branislav Jovanovic, Belgrade, Yugoslavia

Well, finally Milosevic is out of power, and the Serbian people can share the space of former Yugoslavia with their fellow peoples. I would like to ask the Albanians on this forum to stop pushing their agenda and if they truly want democracy join the rest of their country in celebration. Abandon the goals of an ethnically pure state as the Croats and Serbs already have.
samuel jenkins, San Franciso, USA

Why is Kostunica considered a nationalist? Is it because he stands up for his country and his people? Is it because he stands up to hard standards imposed by the West? Well what leader would not stand up for his nation? It is interesting how when a Briton sings "Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the World", those songs are considered to be patriotic, but when a Serbian demonstrator even waves a Serbian flag, it is considered to be "nationalistic".
Nikola Cobic, Serbian in London

Today they have freedom, but at what cost?

Gavin Brown, London, UK

It was great yesterday to see the Serbian people on the streets ousting the Milosevic regime yesterday, but they should have no faith in Kostinuca and his allies. It seems he has already lined up deals with the IMF to allow western multinationals to 'rebuild' Serbia. The role of the IMF is now well known and I fear that their intervention could bring as much, if not more, misery to the Serbian people than Milosevic or the NATO bombers. Today they have freedom, but at what cost? The Serbian workers should stay on the streets and form a workers government that can organise their society for need not profit.
Gavin Brown, London, UK

It is the Serbian people who have the first claim of justice on Milosevic

A Dawes, Peterbrough, UK

I notice you refer to Milosevic as an "indicted war criminal". Of course he is, but so are Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and a host of other Nato leaders for whom you do not use that epithet. They have all been legally indicted by Belgrade District Court. As for what the new government should do with Milosevic, I think it should put him on trial and punish him for his crimes. It should certainly not hand him over to that kangaroo court in the Hague which refuses to charge the war criminals of Nato. It is the Serbian people who have the first claim of justice on Milosevic.
A Dawes, Peterbrough, UK

Whilst rejoicing in the demise of a despotic demagogue overwhelmed by a popular uprising, I wonder why did it take so long to do something about it. If there is overwhelming opposition to the evil Milosevic perpetrated on Serbia where were the people when he was laying waste to Kosovo, Bosnia and Sarajevo. Is it because he is no longer a winner that the people turn against him? As to the bombing of Serbia I agree it was reprehensible. However I have yet to hear what else could have been done to stop the Serbs in Kosova. If NATO had not bombed could we have left the fate of the Kosovan Albanians to the care of the Serbs? Do me a favour! Perhaps NATO should have bombed in 1990 and saved us all a lot of trouble.
GRAEME, West Kilbride, Scotland

The emerging leaders/new order has a responsibility to restore the rule of law and majority in their own country first. Secondly they owe a responsibility to the international community to bring the war criminals to justice without fear or favour. It is very important for the new leadership to establish their country's credibility in the eyes of the international community. Milosovic, Mladic and Karadic should be brought to justice, if the truth about the atrocities is told the people to Serbia will understand
Shah M. Afzal, Glenside, USA

A decade of terror will now end for the Balkans

Yogesh Chhikara, New York, USA

Kudos to the Serbians for their massive uprising against the criminal dictator. Yugoslavia gets a new president now, a fresh start to democracy and friendship with the international community. A decade of terror will end now for the Balkans. And this should comparatively stabilise the situation there. Also, the coming together of Russia and the west is good development after last year's strong disagreements. Once again, best wishes to the liberated people of Serbia. Long Live Freedom!
Yogesh Chhikara, New York, USA

Congratulations to the Serbian people on this historic event. You have achieved what NATO failed to accomplish, and for that you deserve to hold your heads up high and be proud of yourselves. I only hope that Russia does not offer Milosevic a safe passage out of the country. Leave him holed up in his bunker where he belongs. We all know what happened to Hitler at the end of WW II when he was in exactly the same situation.
Alex, Glasgow, Scotland

Now the countries who ruthlessly bombed Yugoslavia should do all out effort to maintain democracy and help building the country.
Ashish, USA

Congratulations to the Serbians for rising up and taking back their own destiny. If more nations had your courage, there would be greater freedom across the world! But you simply MUST do to secure the victory: 1) Win the army over 2) Find and capture Milosevic before he can cause any more trouble. I wish you all the best in your new freedom and look forwards to seeing a new Serbia, strong yet ant peace with both itself and the world.
Steve Blunden, UK

No one really knows what this new leader will be like

F Arnold, Bristol, England

I am extremely happy that Milosevic is gone but no one really knows what this new leader will be like. It is important that we all remain vigilant and that the people of Serbia do not hesitate in doing to Kostunica, what they have done to Milosevic. Hopefully, the Russians will guarantee order in Serbia, perhaps through a small force - Russians are rather welcome in Serbia, especially after the Kosovo crisis - until democratic control is fully established and secured.
F. Arnold, Bristol, England

My thought for all the people of Yugoslavia is this: make a cast-iron resolution today to put behind you the hatred of others you have built up over much of your lives. I know your hatred is based on genuine reasons, such as terrible things that have happened to your family, friends and neighbours, but there will never again be such an opportunity to put this behind you. If you don't take the opportunity, all of the suffering will be for nothing.
Mike, Manchester, UK

The problem was not so much Milosevic himself but the Serbian psyche

Tahir Nawab, NY, USA

If the UN or the NATO countries expect a dramatic change they are in for a rude awakening. Vojislav Kostunica comes from the same stock as Milosevic. He harbours the same nationalist and racist attitudes which sadly so, reflect the general attitude of most Serbs. The only reason he is looked upon with hope by the West is because he was elected by democratic vote. That is not to say that democracy is always the panacea and or the miraculous cure for all that ails a nation. Time and time again the West has been proved wrong about applying such false assumptions to every situation and every country, as their democratic expectations are rewarded by corruption, nationalism, mayhem and murder- and almost always of the minorities. The problem was not so much Milosevic himself but the Serbian psyche, which remains deplorably racist and murderous in its outlook.
Tahir Nawab, NY, USA

Well done, Serbia! Shame the whole thing didn't happen back in 1991, but better late then never. Enjoy yourself now, because really difficult work is till in front of you. Like dealing openly and honestly with the last 13 years. Milosevic is defeated, sure - but I'm not so convinced that mentality which made him possible in a first place is not there any more.
Dean, London, UK

At last, Serbia is free of Milosevic. It is true that we do not know what Kostunica is like but we know the people of Serbia have shown that they will not tolerate anyone else like Milosevic riding roughshod over their wishes and well being again. Well done to them. Now probably an air of normality can reign.
Kevin Hogan, Birmingham, England

As a Yugoslav (non-Serb) living abroad it seems to me the Yugoslav people seems over joyous with Mr Kostunica raise to power. He says " we will not let the west intervene and we will not hand any Serbs to Hague". Does he then justify what we have done us a nation to our neighbours and accepts no responsibility for it. Can he really give Yugoslavia a fresh start and a new beginning or is he no better than his predecessor? I think before we can live in peace and with clear conscious we must repay the deeds we owe or else we will never be truly FREE.
Kemal Radic, Pristina (in London)

It's your day and I am pleased to be able to share in it with you

Andy O, Cape Town, South Africa
To the people of Yugoslavia who paid witness to the sunrise this morning - Don't ever forget that feeling... the joy of having taken back your country and the empowerment which passed through every bone in your bodies. Don't ever forget the tears that filled your eyes at the news that you are once more a part of humanity. It's the rare and privileged few who will carry that feeling with them to their graves. I know that feeling - the night I saw the old South African flag come down and the new flag go up. But then criminals set in and took advantage of the freedoms. Now we fight our second battle to free our country of crime. Don't allow this to happen to you. Bless this day and remember the feeling and emotion which filled you today. It's your day and I am pleased to be able to share in it with you. God Bless!
Andy O, Cape Town, South Africa

Serbia has rid herself of Milosevic. I have a feeling though that rebuilding this nation will prove to be much more difficult.
Alexis Morphis, Nicosia, Cyprus

This guy has been in power since 1986 - when he took over the Serbian communist party and ruined the whole idea of socialistic Yugoslavia. He's finally finished. Congratulations, Serbia.
Marko, Maribor, Slovenia

The evil that has been done to Croats, Bosnians, Kosovars, etc, wasn't done by Milosevic alone. The people of Serbia have a responsibility to admit their evil and make restitution. The West should not help Serbia until this is done.
Josip Sabelja, New York, USA

Democracy is going to be restored in Yugoslavia

Albert P'Rayan, Kigali, Rwanda
It is good news that the opposition party headed by Kostinuka has control over the situation. The role of the International Community at this moment is to help find a solution to the ethnic problem in Yugoslavia and help the citizens of the country breathe the oxygen of freedom and experience non-violence. I'm sure Kostinuka will be very successful in his efforts to bring peace to the country. Democracy is going to be restored in Yugoslavia.
Albert P'Rayan, Kigali, Rwanda

5th October is my birthday and I got the best present. Good bye history, hello tomorrow
Zoran, Banjaluka, Bosnia

What now for Yugoslavia? That is a good question. I hope that Serbians realise that hate and wars lead nowhere. Maybe it is too late, after what happened in Bosnia and Kosova but, better late than never. I hope that Serbians now understand that every human being has the right to fight for a better life and respect it. In the case of Kosovo, they have to respect the will of Albanians for independence.
Merita, Prishtina, Kosovo

This is a first step in the right direction. The Serbian people however, should have a collective guilt. They have systematically committed and supported despicable crimes against humanity for which Milosevic cannot be held solely responsible. The Serbs must admit their crimes to themselves and to the world, find and punish the perpetrators and try to help the victims. The bridges wiped out by Nato are not the only ones that the Serbs need to re-build.
Mark, Vienna, Austria

People, please WAIT! Who knows Kostinuca? Do you?

Daniel, Budapest, Hungary
People, please WAIT! Who knows Kostinuca? Do you? I have the feeling, that he might be a bigger nationalist than Milosevic - we have to wait and see. He dislikes Nato - no wonder - and he will not give Milosevic to the Hague. What now for Bosnia and Kosovo? Questions, questions and more questions will need to to be answered.
Daniel, Budapest, Hungary

All Serbs around the world, whether they be in America, Asia, Europe or the South Pacific finally have a reason to celebrate!!! Today we are ALL united, because now we can freely say we are SERBIAN. Long live SERBIA !!!
Lilly, Sydney, Australia

Congratulations, people of Yugoslavia! I'm so happy to see the end of Milosevic's rule, so glad to know that Yugoslavia is now free. I was afraid that if Milosevic stayed in power, there would be a war with Montenegro or civil war inside Serbia. It's wonderful to see this bloodless victory of freedom. Congratulations, Serbs! You just restored my faith in humankind. Now you will rebuild your beautiful country. It's just the beginning of a good future.
Alexej, Russian/ Singapore

Today we are witnessing a happy ending to a sad film. And tomorrow, we will start to rebuild our country.

Srdjan, Serbia, in the US
DO YOU WESTERNERS KNOW HOW GOOD FREEDOM FEELS? No, because you were born with it, you take it for granted. But, for the people of Serbia this feeling is completely new. AND IT IS GREAT! Did you ask yourself how a dictatorship like that of Slobodan Milosevic can end without violence, in a single day? How is that possible? It is because the people of Serbia is tired and weary, it has been suffocated for the past thirteen years but it is now finally breathing. And everybody feels this way, which is why Milosevic's regime fell apart like a house of cards. The police did not protect him, and the army turned around and went back to the barracks when they were called to intervene. Today we are witnessing a happy ending to a sad film. And tomorrow, we will start to rebuild our country.
Srdjan, Serbia, in the US

Finally the President of Yugoslavia will stop continuing to create wars on the Balkan. Now it's time for peace in Europe.
Mario, Croatia

The Milosevic regime is over, thanks to the strength and unity of my people and my new President Kostunica.

Snezana , USA
An American born Serb raised in a prominent Serbian Orthodox household, I was shocked and outraged over what was happening to my country since Milosevic stepped up to power. I have been listening to your broadcast through the internet while at work.

The Milosevic regime is over, thanks to the strength and unity of my people and my new President Kostunica.
Snezana , USA

We left Yugoslavia because of his regime, suffered here for 6 years, and now, he's going! Praise God. We could even return now...
Zeljko, South Africa

CONGRATULATIONS to the people of Serbia on their terrific personal courage today. Now, if the USA can stop cynically meddling in the region maybe Slavic Europe can gradually be rebuilt and integrated economically with Scandinavian, Germanic and Romantic Europe.
Luke, (Poland) Canada

This is a perfect example of democracy-at-work

Peter Bolton, UK in US
This is a perfect example of democracy-at-work. As for the next move, the miners, Milosevic last hope, can't hold out for much longer as the only group which supports Milosevic. This revolution will become Serbia-wide. Whether that is a good thing or not, I am doubtful-this revolution is how I imagine the Russian and Chinese Revolutions of 1917 and 1949 to have been. And they were both Communist.
Peter Bolton, UK in US

I hope his reign of terror does end, but it seems whenever one of these despots are deposed, another one in some other country takes their place on the world stage.
John G, Abilene, Texas

As a Serb living abroad I must say that the only way to eliminate Milosevic is through brute force and strength He will gladly sacrifice the blood of his people for another day in the White Palace. The US and NATO have helped him stay strong with their stupid bombings and weak interventions that have been used as rallying cries for Milosevic and his supporters. The only way he will leave Belgrade is in a casket and the people of Serbia long ago stopped caring about who is running them into the ground.
Marko, USA

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