Reconciliation between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo difficult but necessary, report
UNDP released Friday the Public Pulse
Analysis on Reconciliation and Coexistence in Kosovo exploring people’s
perceptions on inter-ethnic reconciliation process. The poll shows that the vast
majority of respondents (88 percent) believe that reconciliation is necessary
in Kosovo, while 85 percent of Kosovo’s non-majority non-Serbs and 79 percent
of Kosovo Albanians at least somewhat agree that reconciliation is possible in
Kosovo, less than half of Kosovo Serbs (47 percent) believe the same.
Public Pulse data collected in May 2019
shows that, when asked about tolerance and mutual acceptance in Kosovo, most
Kosovo Albanians (21.8%) consider that relations are tense, with some
improvements during recent past – similar perception was recorded among 26.7%
of Kosovo Serbs. According to UNDP’s Public Pulse most Kosovo Serbs (22.2%)
consider that relations are tense and will continue to be such – similar
perception was registered among 39.3% of Kosovo Albanians. Only 5.2% of Kosovo
Albanians and 1.4% of Kosovo Serbs consider that the relations between the two
ethnic groups in Kosovo are not tense at all, while 14.8% of Kosovo Albanians
and 11.0% of Kosovo Serbs consider that the relations between the two groups
are not so tense. Meanwhile, 12.6% of Kosovo Albanians and 36.2% of Kosovo
Serbs perceive that the relations are tense, despite considerable improvements
having been marked. According to results of the poll 41% of Kosovo Serbs
believe that the main reason these relations remain tense is the lack of effort
from Kosovo Albanians in terms of integrating Kosovo Serbs in society in
Kosovo, only 3% of Kosovo Albanians believe the same. Kosovo Albanians are more
likely to point to the influence of Belgrade (30%), attitude of Serb leaders
(24%), or unwillingness of Kosovo Serbs to be integrated in the Kosovo society
(26%) as the main causes of the tense inter-ethnic relations.
Maria Suokko, UNDP Resident Representative
addressing the media emphasized said that greater communication is needed to
understand and accept each-other. “Another obstacle which we need to help
overcome is the language barrier. Young people in Kosovo do not speak language
of each-other, and with English used as a common language, lack of
communication with each-others language is an obstacle,” she said.
Only 5.2% of Kosovo Albanians and 1.4% of
Kosovo Serbs consider that the relations between the two ethnic groups in
Kosovo are not tense at all, while 14.8% of Kosovo Albanians and 11.0% of Kosovo
Serbs consider that the relations between the two groups are not so tense.
Meanwhile, 12.6% of Kosovo Albanians and 36.2% of Kosovo Serbs perceive that
the relations are tense, despite considerable improvements having been marked.
Christina T. Davis, Director, Democratic
and Governance Office, for USAID Kosovo, considered as concerning the need of
international factor involvement in the reconciliation process. “We should work
to ensure opportunities for people from different ethnicities to come together
to address the common challenges and find common solutions, while seeing their
differences as a benefit and not an obstacle,” she said.
For the purposes of this study an opinion poll with a total of 451 Kosovan respondents and additional 12 focus groups were conducted during June-July 2019 carried out in seven multi-ethnic municipalities, namely: Prizren, Mitrovica South, Mitrovica North, Kamenica, Strpce, Gracanica, and Istog. /GazetaExpress/