How to begin?

Is reconciliation and peace within reach for SERBIA and KOSOVO?

Reconciliation is defined as “the act of causing two people or groups to become friendly again after an argument or disagreement” by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Reconciliation is not a common feature in the Balkans and that applies to both Serbia and Kosovo. Even though history from around the world points out that reconciliation through compromises always gives a win-win result and is the only way to achieve friendly relations, these two political cultures do not seem to value or appreciate them.

Albeit there is a lack of experience regarding reconciliation and compromise, for some reason I have an inexplicable belief that the youth or the younger generation in Serbia and Kosovo can look at the current political situation with open minds. They are not so deeply infected by the negative load that the current and former generations have had in their political baggage.

In my opinion, the younger generation will approach the problems at hand with an open mind based on actual facts on the ground and with a perspective of their own and their descendants’ present and future needs. By having an unbiased attitude they will be able to find out the truth for themselves without being influenced by the political establishment of their respective governments.

This newfound knowledge will hopefully deliver them from the effects of constant suppression and fear their fathers were living under, thus enabling them to take a stand for the truth and to take steps towards appeasement.


Which elements weigh in when it comes to reconciliation and forgiveness?

Current and former activities initiated by the UNMIK, the EULEX and other authorities related to the process of reconciliation have had little if any impact. What are the elements that they seem to have missed? This initiative will focus on these shortcomings, primarily by identifying the essential parts of restoration that can potentially lead to reconciliation and forgiveness.


The first element is no doubt the importance of finding the still missing civilian victims, approximately 1650 people, probably buried in mass graves somewhere. The affected families have already been suffering way too long.


The second element is the coming forward of the perpetrators and possible witnesses to war crimes committed involving those 1650 persons still missing. The soldiers, police officers or others that committed or witnessed war crimes also suffer psychologically and physically from the impact of their actions. The orders given by their military and political leaders at the time led them to participate in war crimes.


The third element is the grave suffering of the younger generation in Serbia and Kosovo, because the political establishments in both countries have shown an incompetent leadership dealing with the situation after the war. The losers are the youth in Serbia and Kosovo that face limited access to jobs, travelling and education either at home or abroad mainly due to the political leaders’ inability to solve conflicts of interest.


How can we move on from today’s situation?   

The current situation has obviously come to a standstill; however, for the reconciliation process to be meaningful the truth about this unique time in history needs to be disclosed. This can only be done by approaching the events of 1999 in Kosovo from an impartial and politically neutral standpoint. All parties involved in the process need to have access to the same information about what actually took place, otherwise the process will fail.

The documentation you find on this web page shows the true nature of what happened. Around four hundred mass graves were registered in Kosovo after the war in 1999 and the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia reported these findings to the United Nations Security Council in November 1999. The victims were thousands of unarmed civilian children, women and men.

There are still more than 1600 civilian victims unaccounted for. The families of these victims have already suffered long enough not knowing what happened with their loved ones, not being in a position to close the mourning process. They have not been given the chance to put the loss of family members behind them and to move on by starting a new life.

In order to find the remaining victims in the suspected mass graves in Kosovo or Serbia we need cooperation from the soldiers, police officers and paramilitary personnel who – under order from superior officers and political leaders – committed the war crimes.

The perpetrators and witnesses to what happened are also in an agonizing situation. Due to the non-disclosure agreement in effect during wartime they have been struggling by themselves with the burden of their involvement. Not having been able to talk about their war experiences has resulted in psychological and physical strains.

The soldiers and police officers together with witnesses are the key people that can bring today’s stalemate to an end. We offer a place to turn to for those soldiers, police officers and others who have any information regarding these crimes against humanity. Your contact including the information you provide will be dealt with confidentially. If you are uncomfortable with contacting us directly, you can turn to a willing friend or a family member as a go between. Our goal is not to accuse or judge anyone, but rather to find the remaining victims of the war and thus build a foundation for finding out further facts about what happened in Kosovo. The road towards reconciliation and peace is built upon the knowledge of the truth.

The younger generation can make a difference by encouraging a discussion on how to solve the problem with the missing war victims. I am convinced that once the missing bodies are located a fundamental cornerstone will be put in place, which could serve as a starting point for upcoming reconciliation and peace talks.