return. "We're making slow progress," said Capt. Torry Brennan, 30, of Indialantic, Fla., who commands atank company headquartered at the bottle factory.Musli Sherifi, 39, an Albanian and technical director at the bottling plant, recalls that Serbs and Albanianshave worked together in the past. But when Mr. Milosevic took autonomy away from Kosovo in 1989,many Albanians lost their jobs, including Mr. Sherifi, who also worked at the bottling plant then. Hereturned to the plant just a few months ago.
Prisoners of fear
About a month ago, Klokot was the site of a mortar attack that killed or injured several Serbs. In somecommunities, Serbs are afraid to leave their homes. Mistrust is deeply rooted.U.S. Army 1st Lt. James Dickinson, 31, of Texarkana, a physician's assistant, said Serbs are reluctant toseek help at a civilian hospital in the Kosovo city of Gnjilane that is now open."Serbs are terrified to go there," he said. "They think they won't get good medical care or they'll go in thereand they won't come back out."Similarly, many Albanians are vehemently opposed to the idea that the Milosevic regime should ever haveinfluence over them again and are unlikely to soon forget the atrocities committed during the ethniccleansing.Such fears and hostility shape Kosovo's political climate and feed a hunger for independence amongKosovar Albanians. Experts say that sentiment may create difficulties for peacekeepers who mustsupport a stated U.N. objective that the province should enjoy substantial autonomy but remain a part of theYugoslav Republic.Leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army have pushed for an independent Kosovo. The KLA, a militantgroup formed by ethnic Albanians dissatisfied with a nonviolent independence movement, provided thecatalyst for Mr. Milosevic's increasingly oppressive measures in Kosovo by attacking Serb police stationsand civilians.The KLA, in fact if not in name, remains a force to be reckoned with. Leaders of the KLA reluctantlyaccepted the concept of a civilian "Kosovo Protection Corps" that is purportedly responsible for nonmilitary duties such as disaster relief. It recently was formed after the KLA formally disbanded as amilitary force.The KLA leadership argued unsuccessfully against limitations on how many of the corps members can bearmed, and for camouflaged uniforms instead of monotone olive drab. Instead of a demilitarizedorganization, some experts believe that KLA leaders wanted the nucleus for a new Kosovo army.Peacekeepers have been placed in the awkward position of promoting democratic expression, so long as itdoes not lead to independence. And they are, perhaps, swimming against the tide of public opinion in their efforts to make Kosovo a multiethnic state.
The perils of peace
From the geopolitical perspective, however, many experts warn of the perils that would accompanyindependence for Kosovo, or a lack of resolve in promoting multiethnicity."You could have, perhaps, the Croats and Serbs in Bosnia interested in asserting some sort of independence. . . and then you have a very nervous Muslim population," said Gary Dempsey, a foreign policy analyst atthe Cato Institute.