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Serbs to boycott Kosovo census

08. April 2011. | 11:05

Source: Tanjug

Kosovo Serb political representatives have agreed to boycott the census organized by the central government in Pristina.

Kosovo Serb political representatives have agreed to boycott the census organized by the central government in Pristina.

Serbia's State Secretary for Kosovo Oliver Ivanovic said Wednesday that the Kosovo Serbs should boycott the census because it lacked transparency and preparation.

"We are not going to invite the Serbs to take part in the census, which is being organized in a situation of an absolute lack of trust between the two ethnic communities. That is why we have been very reserved towards the census and insisted on it being conducted by the international community," Ivanovic told Tanjug.

He believes only a small number of Serbs are going to take part in the census.

"I think it will mostly be those who live south of the Ibar river, which is a great danger as well. I also believe those same people will take part in Serbia's census in October too. The very fact that we are going to have people recorded in two censuses shows that Pristina's records will not be relevant," he pointed out.

According to Ivanovic, it is a problem that no one knows whether the Serbs who fled to Serbia during the Kosovo war are going to be included in the census.

"Their property will be open to abuse in such a situation. That is why I think the Serbs shoud boycott the census and wait for the one organized by Serbia in October," he concluded.

Vice President of the Assembly of the Association of Kosovo Municipialities Marko Jaksic told Tanjug the Kosovo Serbs would obey the call from the Serbian government and boycott the census, since it would threaten Serbia's integrity.

"The other reason why Serbs should boycott the census is the 200,000 Serbs, that is two thirds of our people, who have left Kosovo. Until they return, there can be no census," Jaksic underlined.

Head of the Northern Kosovo Serb National Council Milan Ivanovic said the local Serbs are already boycotting the census.

Serb agreement to take part in the census would legitimize Kosovo Albanian institutions and ethnic cleansing, which is against UN Security Council Resolution 1244, Ivanovic noted, adding that the resolution calls for the return of all those banished from their homes.

There are going to be many abuses with the census, he claims, adding that Serbs should only take part in a census organized by Serbia.


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