Peace-Building in Kosovo – formerly in Yugoslavia

Lord Hylton

I cam back last week from Kosovo, after my third visit since 2010.  In 1999 there was much fighting between the Kosova Liberation Army and Serbian forces.  NATO air support enabled the KLA (Albanians) to win.  In 2004 there was renewed violence between hostile local communities.  As a result NATO troops have been guarding two world famous Serbian Orthodox monasteries at Pec and Decani.  The former is also the official seat of the Orthodox patriarch (archbishop), though he normally lives in Belgrade.

A small English voluntary organization called The Soul of Europe has been working with the monasteries and their immediate neighbours over the last four years.  I therefore greatly enjoyed observing a meeting in a hotel in Pec.  This brought together the mayor and the bishop responsible for the Orthodox patriarchate, also the Kosovan Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, the British Ambassador, representatives of official international bodies and members of local Albanian and Serb voluntary groups.  The Soul of Europe had commissioned a report from two of the latter. This gave details of current popular perceptions of the Patriarchate, its monastic community and historic churches.  It recommended methods for handling and improving relations between the parties.

We trust that these will soon make it possible for the NATO guards from KFOR to be removed.  Demilitarising the situation, while at the same time respecting the privacy of a religious community and providing access for visitors and pilgrims, would mark a return to norman relations of trust beween neighbours.

7 comments for “Peace-Building in Kosovo – formerly in Yugoslavia

  1. maude elwes
    11/10/2012 at 1:58 pm

    We, the people of this country need a little Peace-Buidling. That’s what you should be concentrating on. Us. Those who pay for this charade to function. Kosovo was another fake war intervention we were forced into against the better judgment of the astute who realise being bum kissers of the US is more than unwise.

    Ancient conflicts is not a matter we can put out of its misery. It is purely a clash of cultures. And until the realization of that reality is acknowledged, nothing can be put to rights.

  2. Petrit
    11/10/2012 at 9:31 pm

    Your visit to Kosovo and the contribution you are giving to inter-faith dialogue and healing of the wounds so Kosovo can move forward in its’ nationbuilding process, is much appreciated. We hope for Soul of Europe to continue with their noble work in integrating the local communities.

    • maude elwes
      12/10/2012 at 3:26 pm


      This British government wants separation from Europe and out of the EU. So, how does that make you feel? To know that the UK is not interested in keeping faith with the dreaded ‘Human Rights Act’ they have and of course their insistance on kilos instead of pounds and ounces? Have to rid ourselves of them. They are not democratic. They don’t require the public vote, in the same way our second chamber doesn’t ever require a public vote.

      Funny that!

      Here is the PBS report on this European war. And it is the channel Romney wants to rid the American people of. It is the only independent TV channel they have.

  3. jj
    11/10/2012 at 11:28 pm

    “We trust that these will soon make it possible for the NATO guards from KFOR to be removed.”

    But you wouldn’t be held responsible if your suggestion ends up harming the churches and monasteries or the religious within them. There is a long history of the Albanians looting, vandalizing and attacking these churches that goes back for many generations. Lip service from a few leaders and people doesn’t mean there are plenty opportunists waiting to steal or attack.
    There’s many other churches and monasteries throughout Kosovo which are still in destroyed condition or even obliterated and the people there don’t care to repair or rebuild them. I don’t think the people there have any genuine peace in their hearts for those of another ethnic group.
    Even a couple months ago a returnee couple in their 50’s was murdered and there are constant attacks and pressures, so I think your advice would put people and churches under threat.

  4. Twm O'r Nant
    12/10/2012 at 8:59 am

    Serbian chant is sensational. I listen to it regularly. I am equally glad to know that the guardianship of such fine musical traditions are to be resolved.

    One bass lead; numerous tenors in reply.

  5. MilesJSD
    13/10/2012 at 7:05 pm

    What methodology(s) are established, or in effective use, for ongoingly cooperatively resolving Needs & Hows ?

    How is any such ongoing first-resort and long-term methodology
    better than,
    or at least equal to,
    Method III Needs-&-Hows Recognition and
    Win-Win-Win Cooperative Problem Solving, Planning and Secure-Implementation ?

  6. MilesJSD
    16/10/2012 at 5:47 am

    raises a focus
    upon the neglect and even deliberately wanton destruction of churches in this Soul of Europe area;

    which needs to be widened to all of the religious and human-health-supportive* buildings and places all around the world.

    Just one instance of the under-use of such buildings occurs where I live in Plymouth, England, UK where,
    ‘ancient and modern’ wise
    (1) the Christian churches still cramp worshippers into straightline pews or rows of chairs where it is difficult to move let along flex one’s body or ‘kneel’ safely and properly’ whilst
    (2) the so-called modern ‘Life Centre’ also excludes sufficient room, equipment and (most abhorrently) major support and safe gentle-limbering programmes and leaderships
    For the vast majority of people who come with all sorts of hidden disabilities, impairments,
    and imbalanced body-emotion-mind-spirit (holisticly-distorted) habitualities.

    Note please that Mosques for Muslims allow full-body kneeling and back-bending
    perhaps even full-length prostrating
    which is surely much moreholisticly-healthy than cramped-up Christian churches and lack of easy-safe full-gody movements ?
    (I know ‘Islam’ in fact ‘dictates’ this forehead-to-ground kneeling, but that is perhaps a negative ‘control-dogma’ point , when we need to be gathering existing positives, if we are ever to improve our positives and reduce our negatives)
    * NB please “health-supportive” as quite distinct and separately-housed from “illness-curing”
    (I give over)

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