YUGOSLAVIA: REVIVED UNREST IN KOSOVO

Created: 3/23/1981

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

NEWS AND VIEWS

Yugoslavia: Revived Unrest in Kosovo

^Albanian nationalist demonstrations in Kosovolate last week provided clear evidence ofto stabilize the provinceear of It may be faced with another resurgence ofthis month during the first anniversary- of theoccupation. With the Yugoslav Party Congressin June, the leadership will be underat least to show some progress towardAlbanian problem.. The regime's record suggestswill continue to .v

'.^Demonstrations onarch took place in atlocations throughout thelthough led workers sIbo reportedly joined thePnstina, the provincial capital and the initiallast year's rioting, several hundred studentsthe University's student center. Yugoslav policea show of force, broke up the demonstration as themarched toward provincial government buildings-

- Host of the other demonstrationspeaceful but there were-reports of scattered violence. The mostincident took place in Podujevo, where violent rioting laut year approached armed rebellion. This time studentsrying to move to the center of Podujevo beat up two local-Albanian government and party functionaries who tried to atop them.

.For the most part, the demonstrators reiterated their now familiar demands that Kosovo have equalerbia and that those-imprisoned after last year's riots be released. .Numerous calls for unification withAlbania alsorowing pro-Tirajii^mtoti^tfj ment among Kosovo youth. The demonstrators this year

eligious tone by reportedly shouting Iranian leader Khomeini's name.

Approximatelyercent of Kosovo's population ia Muslim, though mostuJfmai rather thanaffinity with the Muslim community. The youth, the core of the demonstrators, are less attracted than their elders to the religious aspects of thair Muslim heritage, but tbeir appeal to religion may presage new efforts to find broadly unifying themes among all The introduction of pro-Khomeini chants,is likely to reinforce Yugoslav fears that Albanianperhaps their colleagues in Bosnia-Hercego-vina--may seek external support from the international Muslim community in their struggle for more autonomy from Belgrade.

Belgrade must be distressed that such well-organized and apparently coordinated demonstrations by Albanian nationalists occurred at all. Lest week's display of widespread discontent is indicative of Belgrade's failure to silence the most outspoken Albanian nationalist groups in the province and to convince Yugoslav Albanians in general that demands for republic status threatenunity and their own best interests.

The authorities, who claimed to have been surprised by the outbreak of violence last year, are no doubtby the security forces' inability to head off the deaoonstrations. Unless Yugoslav leaJ^ra make soma effort to solve the Kosovo problem in the next few months, they will be vulnerable to attacks from all sides at the upcoming party congress. The hardliners will point to the regime's impotence and urge increased repression while moderates will try toore draconian policy and open tha wayolitical solution.

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