USSR AND EASTERN EUROPE REVIEW

Created: 7/2/1981

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

USSR and Eastern Europe Review $0

AFTERMATH OP KOSOVO RIOTS IN YUGOSLAVIA

Two atonthn alter violence erupted among the Albanian population in Kosovo, Belgrade la still struggling to harness nationalistlc sentiments ia that province. The Yugoslav leadership haa acknowledged further instances of unrent and there are continuing reports of guerrilla activity by Albanians who fled Lo redoubts in the hilla. Ihe steps taken to dale to control the situation, whichidespread purge, the strengthening of the local security forces, and adjustments to the university system, are unlikely to ease Hie underlying problems in this economically backward area. Despite these rumblings of rationalism, there is oo immineot threat to the regime in Belgrade. The heated exchanges between Belgrade and Tirane have vergedreak In relations, hut it now appears that cooler heads will prevail and,ew revelation of Involvement by Albania in the Kosovothe Yugoslav* will stop short of severing ties.

While the violent demonstrations that took place in the province in late Karen and earlyave not been repeated, the situation there has not returned to normal. The Yugoslav authorities have described the localand security situation as "very complex" and cite continuing attempts by "hostile, counterrevolutionary elements" to destabilize the region. The authorities hove characterized tho internal instigators of. the unrestmall group of Albanian nationalists bent onYugoslavia andGreateriven the scope of the demonstrations, however, and the persistent unrest, it is likely that there is at least passive support for the nationalist slogansarge number of Kosovo's Albanians who resent the years of Serb domination.

The Yugoslav leaders have tried hard to findfor theexternal forces including Albania and hostile Albanian and Croatian emigres as well aa Kosovo'sthe regime has done little to

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resolve the province's fundamental problems: Serb-Albanianackward economy, resentment over the discrepancy in living standard*the southernlidrhcin ltjg.or.c.igh unesploy-ment tale Cor Kosovo university graduates. The Kosovo leadership has come under nervy attack from Belgrade foi inadequate vigilance in the face of nationalistand its inept handling of the demonstrations. The only specific action taken to date, however, hasidespread purge of the party membership, and officials connected with educational and cultural the media, and the work force. Presumably, Belgrade willloser eye on Kosovo. Itsand cultural programs will beoreexamination and ties between Albania and Kosovo will be controlled by Belgrade rather than by the provincial authorities.

The most prominent losci in the housecleaninghas been Hatuout Bakali, the former head of the Kosovo party, who resigned under fire in early Way. He was replaced by Veli Deva, an old-guard party leader, well respected by Kosovo's Albanians, who will reportedly run the province's affairstronger hand. Bakali is one of somearty functionaries to resign thus far in the wake of the unrest and further personnel changes are likely as the question of personal responsibility ofat both the local and federal level is examined. Late lastommentator for the Belgrade partyPolitika decried the lack of self-criticism of the Koeovo leadership and urged that much of that leadership be replaced.

Pristine University, ir the Kosovo capital, which has been pinpointed by Belgradeotbed of Albanian nationalism, was hit hard by the purges. The rector and vice rector reluctantly resigned in early June androfessors have been suspended. Steps are also being taken to pare down the large student populationore manageable site and to screen new students in hopes of weeding out potential troublemakers. Textbooks will also be reviewed to eliminate those originating in Tirane which had slipped into the curriculum and which, from thepoint of view, might be considered subversive.

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province

Although widespread, implementation of the purges has been inconsistent and there has been passiveto the process, probably due to resentment on the part of the local Albanian" at bu*hand federal interference in Kosovo. While warning that the "enemy" has not been defeated, there appears toecentby provincial leaders to decmphasize the negative aspects of the purge and instead play up the progress made toward political stabilization. This may be an ef-to boost the sagging morale of thc Albanians in the

Continuing Yugoslav official concern was evidenced by the announcement by Interior Minister Herljevic in early June that Kosovo's security service would be beefed up byersons to the militia and doubling theof state security workers in the area. In the same statement, Herljevic acknowledged two incidents of armed clashes in the province since the early April riots.

Herljevic has, no doubt, been called upon to explain to his peers how the security situation in Kosovo wasto deteriorate to the point it did. In an effort to shift blame, he has pointed an accusing finger at the provincial leaders in Kosovo for letting down their guard and underestimating the threat of subversion fromelements. He also put much of the blame on external enemies and singled out Tirane. Herljevic has good reason to be defensive about the failures of the fcleral security apparatus in light of police brutality and theof the service during the riots. To counteract this image, it is likely that harsh sentences will be handed out at the impending trials in Kosovo of those who were allegedly responsible for the disturbances in the spring. Official figures for total arrests have listed the number of criminal prosecutions pendingnd misdemeanor offenses.

Yugoslav authorities have publicly admitted to an increasing assertiveness on the part of the Albanian minority in Macedonia and Montenegro that borderacedonian party official said recently that conditions similar to those which pertained in Kosovo before the disturbances also exist In Macedonia, and he called for greater vigilance and concrete political action. he said, "has the duty to sweep in front of his own

houee." In late May, five Albanian nationalists in SKopje, the Macedonian capital, received sentences ranging from seven to thirteenalf years for membership in an illegal organization which sought toGreater Albania." There have been repotls in both republics of instances of "nationalistic excesses* such as theof anti-Yugoslav slogans and the wearing of Albanian national costumes.

Tirane's vocal support for tho Albanian nationalists has ledharp deterioration ot relations with Belgrade remains highly suspicious of Albanian Government complicity in the Kosovo disturbancesolemic ensued between the two capitals which peaked at the end of May when the Yugoslav Embassy in Tirane was bombed. In the past few weeks, the press attacks have abated somewhat, perhaps because they have not produced any evidence that the Albanian leadership played an active role in the unrest in Kosovo or in the bombing.

Recent high-level statements, including those byparty Presidium members Stane Dolane and Milos Minic--the latter, one of the chief foreign policyreiterated Belgrade's desire for good relations with Tirane and, unless evidence of Albanian involvement is uncovered, Belgrade is unlikely to break diplomatic ties. Bothare well aware of the adverse effect this would have on stability in the Balkans, and the possibility that Moscow would quickly take advantageat development.

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