Without the consent of the local Orthodox Church, whose fate now lies in the hands of local police. What could possibly go wrong under the new “protection” (read: “dhimmitude”) arrangement? The article gives some indication to what has happened already, but chalks it up to strictly ethnic rivalries. And nothing else.
“Kosovo: Serb monasteries ‘at risk’ as NATO exits,” from AdnKronos International, August 6 (thanks to Twostellas):
Belgrade, 6 Aug. (AKI) – Serbian government and police officials on Friday voiced concern over Kosovo police taking over the protection of medieval monasteries from NATO soldiers in Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia two years ago.
Serbian monasteries in Kosovo, some of which are listed by UNESCO as world cultural heritage, have been under the protection NATO contingent (KFOR) since 2004, when many were burned or damaged by ethnic Albanian demonstrators.
As NATO has been cutting its 10,000-strong presence in Kosovo, it started turning over the protection of monasteries to Kosovo police (KPS) on Thursday. Serbian minister for Kosovo, Goran Bogdanovic, said the decision would not help the security situation in the area.
“It will breed more uncertainty and mistrust among Kosovo Serbs,” Bogdanovic was quoted as saying by Belgrade media. The move will only encourage Pristina “to keep making unilateral moves” in an attempt to present the situation in Kosovo in a better light before the world, he added.
About 100,000 Serbs remain in Kosovo, among some 1.7 million ethnic Albanians. More than 200,000 Serbs have fled Kosovo after NATO bombing pushed Serbian forces out of the province, which was put under United Nations control in 1999.
Belgrade and Kosovo Serbs oppose independence and Serbia is fighting a diplomatic battle to keep the region under its control.
Serbian Orthodox Church Kosovo bishop Teodosije told media the removal of KFOR soldiers from monasteries “will put in danger both the holy sites and the clergy”. He regretted that the decision was made without the consent of the Church.