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SECPlTY lN SOTH SEPBlA
A CLASH OF PERCEPTIONS?
SFCLP|7Y |N SOL7| SFP5|/
Mar||a Marov|c
F|||p E|dus
lvan Kost|c
THE BALKAN CENTPE FOP THE MlDDLE EAST
December 2012 | Be|grade
A group o authors

Pub||shers

Organ|zat|on or Secur|ty and Cooperat|on |n Europe
OSCE M|ss|on to Serb|a
Be|grade

The Ba|kan Centre or M|dd|e East
Be|grade
Des|gn
comma | commun|cat|ons des|gn
Trans|at|on |nto Eng||sh
Prevod||acka agenc||a Kuko||
D|sc|a|mer:
The v|ews here|n expressed are so|e|y o the authors
and do not necessar||y re|ect the o|c|a| pos|t|on o the
OSCE M|ss|on to Serb|a and the Swed|sh lnternat|ona|
Deve|opment Cooperat|on Agency.

Ba|kan Centre or M|dd|e East carr|ed out th|s research
rom Ju|y to November 2012, w|th the support o the
OSCE M|ss|on to Serb|a, w|th|n the pro|ect Cc|sc||oa|||
||e oemcc/a||za||c| o/ccess || ||e sec0/||, sec|c/ ||
Se/o|a, wh|ch was |nanc|a||y supported by the Swed|sh
lnternat|ona| Deve|opment Cooperat|on Agency.
Contents:
lntroduction ......................................................................................................5
1. Overview of literature and research problems ...........................................7
2. Analytical framework and research methodology ...................................11
3. Political and security context ....................................................................15
4. State discourse on security in South Serbia ...........................................19
5. Security discourse of the local community in South Serbia ...................27
6. Conclusion ................................................................................................37
7. Pecommendations ...................................................................................39
Bibliography ...................................................................................................43
Annex A ..........................................................................................................47
Annex B ..........................................................................................................49
Annex C ..........................................................................................................51
7 SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
lntroduct|on
Ater 5 October 2000, when the reg|me o S|obodan M||oev|c was overthrown, a proce-
ss o democrat|c trans|t|on began |n Serb|a. However, as soon as the new democrat|c go-
vernment was estab||shed, |t was put to the test. A|though the |rst con||cts were recorded
as ear|y as |n |ate 1999, the cr|s|s reached |ts c||max |n November 2000, when an armed
A|ban|an |nsurgency |ared up |n the Mun|c|pa||t|es o Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda.
1

Ater a decade o thwarted attempts to so|ve s|m||ar cha||enges by orce and w|thout the
consent o the |nternat|ona| commun|ty, democrat|c Serb|a apparent|y th|s t|me |earned
the |esson. ln March 2001, a cease-|re peace agreement was s|gned ater the |nternat|o-
na| commun|ty's strong d|p|omat|c med|at|on eorts. The agreement was accompan|ed by
a comprehens|ve p|an or the demob|||sat|on and rehab|||tat|on o rebe|s, |ntegrat|on o the
A|ban|an commun|ty |nto the Pepub||c o Serb|a and the econom|c deve|opment o South
Serb|a. More than a decade |ater, the secur|ty s|tuat|on |n South Serb|a |s s|gn||cant|y |m-
proved |n the ob|ect|ve sense. However, desp|te progress, |t has rema|ned rag||e w|th an
unquenched potent|a| or destab|||sat|on. ln 2012, the secur|ty s|tuat|on has deter|orated
and ater a ew years o ca|m, there has been a ser|es o success|ve armed attacks on the
po||ce checkpo|nt |n the v|||age o Dobros|n. Moreover, desp|te the resu|ts ach|eved w|th
ca|m|ng the s|tuat|on |n South Serb|a, th|s area |s st||| used as a tra|n|ng ground or compe-
t|ng |n the express|on o patr|ot|sm and nat|ona| ee||ngs. ln the A|ban|an v|||age o Lucane,
|n the Mun|c|pa||ty o Bu|anovac, a monument was erected to a||en army members and po-
||ce o|cers. Converse|y, tens|ons |ncreased ater the erect|on o the monument to the k|||ed
A|ban|an |ghters, members o the L|berat|on Army o Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda, |n
Preevo |n November 2012.
How |s the secur|ty s|tuat|on |n South Serb|a perce|ved by Be|grade and how |s |t seen by
the |oca| commun|ty? Are the percept|ons o the government and the |oca| commun|ty |n
con||ct or do they share a common |anguage wh|ch cou|d be a start|ng po|nt or bu||d|ng
a susta|nab|e and |nc|us|ve secur|ty po||cy or the Pepub||c o Serb|a? How do the gover-
nment and the |oca| commun|ty understand the causes o |nsecur|ty |n South Serb|a? What
can be done |n order or the pub||c po||c|es |n the Mun|c|pa||t|es o Preevo, Medveda and
Bu|anovac to contr|bute to the |mprovement o both state and human secur|ty w|th|n the ra-
mework o democrat|c governance? The purpose o th|s research |s to prov|de answers to
these quest|ons through a compar|son o the state percept|on o secur|ty |n South Serb|a
w|th the way |t |s seen and understood by the |oca| commun|ty.
1 The term South Serb|a w||| be used hereater to denote the Mun|c|pa||t|es o Preevo, Medveda and Bu|anovac.
8 A CLASH OF PERCEPTIONS?
Th|s paper |rst presents a summary o the ex|st|ng ||terature, d|scusses the research pro-
b|ems and presents the ma|or |nd|ngs o the research. The second sect|on cons|sts o
the ana|yt|ca| ramework and methodo|og|ca| approach to research. The th|rd sect|on |s
devoted to the po||t|ca| and secur|ty context o research. The ourth sect|on presents the
government's percept|on o secur|ty. The |th sect|on |s devoted to the |oca| commun|ty's
percept|on o secur|ty. The s|xth sect|on d|scusses the s|m||ar|t|es and d|erences that the
government and the |oca| commun|ty have |n the percept|on o secur|ty and prov|des recom-
mendat|ons or |mprov|ng the secur|ty po||cy o the Pepub||c o Serb|a toward South Serb|a.
9 SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
1. Overv|ew o ||terature
and research prob|ems
The prob|ems |n South Serb|a, wh|ch esca|ated |nto an armed con||ct |n 2000, have trad|t|o-
na||y attracted pub||c attent|on. Th|s |s con|rmed by a number o art|c|es on th|s top|c |n the
nat|ona| e|ectron|c and pr|nt med|a.
2
However, the nat|ona| academ|c commun|ty has shown
a|most no |nterest |n South Serb|a so ar.
3
Except|ons are a ew stud|es that have been pu-
b||shed |n sc|ent||c pub||cat|ons, as we|| as a sma|| number o stud|es that have been pro-
duced by the non-governmenta| sector sector or |nternat|ona| organ|sat|ons. ln contrast,
the |nternat|ona| product|on o academ|c stud|es and po||cy ana|yses on South Serb|a |s s||-
ght|y |arger, but |t |s st||| cons|derab|y beh|nd the vo|ume o ||terature regard|ng Kosovo. The
ma|or|ty o both nat|ona| and |nternat|ona| stud|es prov|de a genera| ana|ys|s o the po||t|ca|
and secur|ty s|tuat|on |n South Serb|a
4
and the poss|b|||ty o a sp||| over o the con||ct rom
Kosovo.
5
Other reports ocus on spec||c top|cs, such as human r|ghts,
6
h|gher educat|on,
7

mu|t|-ethn|c po||ce,
8
decentra||sat|on and protect|on o m|nor|t|es,
9
demography,
10
cross-
border d|sputes,
11
|nter-ethn|c re|at|ons,
12
|ntegrat|on,
13
and econom|c cha||enges.
14
Most
o these papers ana|yse the governmenta| po||cy and ocus on the e||te's perspect|ve, wh|-
|e on|y three stud|es ana|yse the percept|ons o the |oca| popu|at|on.
15
ln add|t|on, none o
these stud|es dea|s on|y w|th secur|ty percept|ons. The purpose o th|s paper |s to ||| th|s
gap |n the ex|st|ng ||terature by compar|ng the government's percept|on o secur|ty |n South
Serb|a w|th the percept|on o the |oca| commun|ty.
2 However, th|s number has a||en each year. Accord|ng to the med|a arch|ve Ebart, the number o art|c|es |n pr|nt med|a ment|on|ng
South Serb|a |s the o||ow|ng: 2003 - 881, 2004 - 525, 2005 737, 2006 - 902, 2007 706, 2008 542, 2009 - 559, 2010 423, 2011
353, 2012 (October) 235.
3 ln the Nat|ona| L|brary o Serb|a, where a|| ed|t|ons pub||shed |n Serb|a are depos|ted, the number o b|b||ograph|c un|ts w|th the key
words South Serb|a |s the o||ow|ng: 2000 0, 2002 0, 2003 1, 2004 - 0, 2005 - 0, 2006 - 1, 2007 - 1, 2008 0, 2009 0, 2010
0, 2011 2, 2012 0.
4 lCG 2003, 2006, 2007, 2010, Poss 2009, Thorogood 2006.
5 L|otta 2003
6 Fond za human|tarno pravo, 2003
7 lvoev|c and Lukov|c 2010
8 Stod|ek and Ze||ner 2010, Popov|c 2007
9 Huszka, 2007
10 Paduk| 2008
11 Brozov|c 2012
12 Bacev|c et. a|, 2011
13 Po||cy Center 2011
14 Mar|nkov|c and vukov|c 2007
15 Bacev|c e|. a|, 2011, Brozov|c 2011, M||osav||ev|c a| a|. 2011. None o these three stud|es addressed on|y the secur|ty percept|on but
a ar w|der c|rc|e o top|cs. However, |t |s poss|b|e to conc|ude rom a|| three o them that the |oca| commun|t|es |n the Mun|c|pa||t|es
o Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda cons|der that the key secur|ty threats are the excess|ve presence o the Pepub||c o Serb|a's se-
cur|ty orces (espec|a||y the Gendarmer|e un|ts) and econom|c prob|ems such as poverty and unemp|oyment.
: A CLASH OF PERCEPTIONS?
The a|m o th|s study |s to estab||sh the degree o convergence between the ways |n wh|-
ch South Serb|a |s treated w|th|n the o|c|a| secur|ty d|scourse on one hand and w|th|n the
|oca| commun|ty d|scourse on the other hand. The key research quest|on o th|s paper |s:
whether, how and why the nat|ona| and |oca| percept|ons o secur|ty are d|erent? The a|m
o th|s study |s not on|y to |dent|y, descr|be, exp|a|n and understand the poss|b|e d|scre-
pancy between the percept|ons o secur|ty by the state and the |oca| commun|ty, but a|so
to oer pract|ca| po||cy proposa|s that may reduce these d|erences.
Th|s quest|on |s |mportant or severa| reasons. F|rst|y, the po||t|ca| secur|ty o each state |s
based on |ts soc|o-po||t|ca| cohes|on and the state's capac|ty to prov|de pub||c goods to a||
|ts c|t|zens, |nc|ud|ng secur|ty. lt |s d||cu|t to |mprove soc|o-po||t|ca| cohes|on and |t |s a|-
most |mposs|b|e to prov|de pub||c goods | the state v|ews prob|ems |n one way and |ts c|-
t|zens v|ew them |n a d|erent way. The nat|ona| secur|ty po||cy toward South Serb|a w||| be
|eg|t|mate and ru|tu| |n so ar as |t respects the concerns o the |oca| popu|at|on, |nc|ud|ng
a|| ethn|c groups that ||ve |n th|s area.
Second|y, human secur|ty and secur|ty w|th|n the |oca| commun|ty cannot be ach|eved w|t-
hout re|y|ng on the state. A|though non-governmenta| organ|sat|ons, the economy and the
|nternat|ona| commun|ty are very |mportant actors |n enhanc|ng human secur|ty, the sta-
te |s st||| the key guarantor o the secur|ty o |ts popu|at|on. Hence, |t |s |n the |nterest o the
|oca| commun|ty that |ts concerns and ears become an |ntegra| part o the state's percep-
t|on and the bas|s or des|gn|ng a nat|ona| secur|ty po||cy. Th|rd|y and |na||y, th|s quest|on
|s |mportant a|so or the |nternat|ona| commun|ty. S|nce the armed con||ct |n the Western
Ba|kans term|nated |n 2001, a |ot o eort and resources have been |nvested |nto bu||-
d|ng peace |n the reg|on. G|ven the great m|||tary and po||t|ca| presence o the |nternat|o-
na| commun|ty, |t |s hard to |mag|ne a renewa| o armed con||ct |n the terr|tory o the ormer
Yugos|av|a. However, peace w||| not be susta|nab|e and the Western Ba|kans w||| not cea-
se to be a source o |nstab|||ty or the rest o Europe, as |ong as the states are weakened by
the |ow |eve| o soc|o-po||t|ca| cohes|on. States that are unab|e to prov|de secur|ty as a pu-
b||c good to a|| |ts c|t|zens are weak states.
; SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
Uvtgpivj qh uvcvg
The internal strength of a state is reflected in the level of its socio-politi-
cal cohesion as well as its ability to deliver public goods to its citizens. ln
terms of strength, it is possible to distinguish between uvtqpi. ygcm. hckngf
and eqnncrugf uvcvgu0 Uvtqpi states are those in which there is a high level
of citizens` identification with the political institutions that are fully capable
of delivering public goods. Ygcm states are those that, due to the unstable
economic or political situation, are not able to deliver public goods to all ci-
tizens, who in turn call into question its legitimacy, mainly in one part of its
territory. ln hckngf states, the government is unable to deliver basic public
goods, particularly security, to most of its citizens. Finally, eqnncrugf states
are those that exist only formally, through external recognition, while cha-
os and lawlessness rule within them. The state`s strength should be distin-
guished from the state`s power, which is reflected in its material, primarily
military, capabilities. States can be very powerful but weak inside, and vice
versa - there are many states that are very strong inside but not powerful.
16


The ma|n |nd|ng o th|s study |s that there |s a convergence o the state and |oca| secur|-
ty d|scourses when |t comes to the econom|c nature o the causes o |nsecur|ty |n the terr|-
tory o South Serb|a. Both the state and |oca| commun|ty see poverty, underdeve|opment
and unemp|oyment as undamenta| causes o secur|ty threats. Pegard|ng the percept|on o
threats and secur|ty po||cy |nstruments, the state and the |oca| popu|at|on have part|y con-
vergent and part|y d|vergent v|ews. F|rst|y, they have a s|m||ar percept|on o "sot" secur|ty
threats such as organ|sed cr|me, drug abuse and corrupt|on. However, the|r percept|on |s
d|erent |n terms o "hard" secur|ty threats. Wh||e the state cont|nues to perce|ve th|s reg|-
on as an area at r|sk o terror|sm and potent|a| armed rebe|||on, the |oca| popu|at|on gene-
ra||y be||eves that these threats be|ong to the past. Second|y, when |t comes to secur|ty po-
||cy |nstruments, both the state and |oca| commun|ty cons|der that those po||c|es wh|ch ha-
ve a pos|t|ve |mpact on econom|c and soc|o-po||t|ca| deve|opment contr|bute to the stab|||-
sat|on o secur|ty |n the reg|on. However, the|r percept|ons d|verge when |t comes to the m|-
||tar|sat|on o the reg|on. The state assumes that the |arge presence o Armed Forces and
Gendarmer|e |n the terr|tory o South Serb|a are essent|a| or secur|ty and econom|c deve-
|opment. ln contrast, the |oca| commun|ty, and |n part|cu|ar |ts A|ban|an part, be||eves that
excess|ve m|||tar|sat|on o the reg|on has an adverse |mpact on econom|c recovery, and
consequent|y on secur|ty.
16 See more on th|s top|c |n E|dus, 2012
33 SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
2. Ana|yt|ca| ramework and
research methodo|ogy
Secur|ty, |n the most genera| sense, |s the absence o threats to acqu|red va|ues. Accord|ng
to Arno|d Wo|ers "secur|ty |n an ob|ect|ve sense measures the absence o threats to acqu-
|red va|ues, |n a sub|ect|ve sense, the absence o ear that such va|ues w||| be attacked."
17

ln add|t|on to the ob|ect|ve and sub|ect|ve d|mens|ons, |t |s poss|b|e to cons|der the |ntersu-
b|ect|ve d|mens|on that reers to common percept|ons o secur|ty shared by a group o |n-
d|v|dua|s or |nst|tut|ons. Th|s paper w||| ana|yse those |ntersub|ect|ve percept|ons o secur|-
ty |n South Serb|a both rom the v|ewpo|nt o c|v|| servants and the |oca| commun|ty. Thus,
the sub|ect o th|s study w||| not be to estab||sh the ob|ect|ve secur|ty s|tuat|on |n South
Serb|a nor the sub|ect|ve percept|ons o part|cu|ar |nd|v|dua|s, but an |ntersub|ect|ve expe-
r|ence o secur|ty.
Why |s the research o |ntersub|ect|ve percept|on o secur|ty |mportant? F|rst|y, the enhan-
ced ob|ect|ve secur|ty |s not necessar||y accompan|ed by an |ntersub|ect|ve exper|ence o
enhanced secur|ty. For examp|e, desp|te a|| the parameters o a drast|c drop |n the |eve|
o v|o|ence, both between and w|th|n the countr|es at the g|oba| |eve|, th|s deve|opment |s
not necessar||y accompan|ed by a strong |ncrease |n the |ntersub|ect|ve sense o secur|-
ty. Second|y, the mere awareness that certa|n secur|ty measures are |n p|ace can |ncrea-
se the |ntersub|ect|ve sense o secur|ty |n sp|te o the|r |neect|veness.
18
F|na||y, the |ntersu-
b|ect|ve exper|ence o (|n)secur|ty |s an |ntegra| and |nseparab|e part o both the sub|ect|-
ve percept|on o certa|n |nd|v|dua|s and the "ob|ect|ve" secur|ty s|tuat|on. Because o a a|-
se or genu|ne exper|ence o vu|nerab|||ty, commun|t|es may resort to certa|n measures wh|-
ch become a part o the ob|ect|ve secur|ty s|tuat|on. For a|| these reasons, the research o
|ntersub|ect|ve percept|ons o secur|ty |s |n |tse| a re|evant research venture. Now, ater de-
|n|ng the concept o secur|ty to be used |n th|s paper, we shou|d d|st|ngu|sh between nat|-
ona| and human secur|ty.
Nat|ona| secur|ty |s the absence o threats to v|ta| nat|ona| va|ues. A|though states vary con-
s|derab|y |n terms o the va|ues they nurture, accord|ng to vo||n D|m|tr||ev|c there are a ew
un|versa| va|ues common to a|| countr|es w|th respect to nat|ona| secur|ty. These are: surv|-
va|, terr|tor|a| |ntegr|ty, po||t|ca| |ndependence and qua||ty o ||e.
19
Beore the end o the Co|d
War, the dom|nant way o th|nk|ng and pract|c|ng secur|ty used to be ocused on the con-
cept o nat|ona| secur|ty. ln the n|net|es, the n|ted Nat|ons proposed the o||ow|ng:
17 Wo|ers, 1954, 485.
18 Schne|er , 2003.
19 D|m|tr||ev|c, 1973, 20.
34 A CLASH OF PERCEPTIONS?
The concept o secur|ty must change rom an exc|us|ve stress on nat|ona| secur|ty to a
much greater stress on peop|e's secur|ty, rom secur|ty through armaments to secur|-
ty through human deve|opment, rom terr|tor|a| secur|ty to ood, emp|oyment and env|-
ronmenta| secur|ty.
20

ln ||ne w|th these recommendat|ons, over the o||ow|ng years, the concept o "human secu-
r|ty" has been deve|oped w|th|n the |nternat|ona| commun|ty and w|th|n certa|n academ|c
c|rc|es.
21
The reerence po|nt o th|s secur|ty concept |s not the state, but |nd|v|dua|s and
the|r needs.
22
Accord|ng to the genera| op|n|on, the state has trad|t|ona||y been concerned
pr|mar||y w|th the protect|on o nat|ona| secur|ty, wh||e |oca| commun|t|es, espec|a||y mu|t|-
ethn|c commun|t|es, are ma|n|y or|ented toward the protect|on o the commun|ty and |nd|-
v|dua|s. The a|m o th|s research |s to estab||sh emp|r|ca||y whether and to what extent th|s
|s true |n South Serb|a. lt w||| create po||cy-re|evant know|edge d|rect|y a|med at |ncreas|ng
soc|o-po||t|ca| cohes|on |n the Pepub||c o Serb|a and ach|ev|ng a more e|c|ent and mo-
re eect|ve prov|s|on o human and nat|ona| secur|ty w|th|n the ramework o democrat|c
governance. The research w||| resu|t |n a number o recommendat|ons on how |t |s poss|-
b|e to contr|bute to overcom|ng the d|vergence between the current secur|ty po||cy o the
Pepub||c o Serb|a on one hand and the needs and percept|ons o the |oca| popu|at|on |n
South Serb|a on the other.
The research was conducted |n two phases. The |rst phase cons|sted o rev|ew|ng acade-
m|c ||terature on th|s top|c, as we|| as other pr|mary and secondary sources, w|th the goa| o
abstract|ng the secur|ty percept|ons o both state and |oca| commun|t|es |n South Serb|a.
ln order to |dent|y the pub||c percept|on o secur|ty |n South Serb|a, we have ana|ysed po-
||cy documents o the Government o the Pepub||c o Serb|a, po||cy o government bod|-
es dea||ng w|th th|s |ssue, statements o m|||tary, po||ce and c|v|||an o|c|a|s as we|| as de-
bates |n the Nat|ona| Assemb|y o the Pepub||c o Serb|a (NAPS). We a|so ana|ysed the o-
||ow|ng documents: the Deence Wh|te Paper, the Nat|ona| Secur|ty Strategy (NSS), the
Deence Strategy, the Strategy o Mol Deve|opment, the Strategy or Combat|ng Organ|sed
Cr|me, the Strategy or the F|ght aga|nst Drugs and the Strategy or Long-term Econom|c
Deve|opment o South Serb|a - Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda. ln add|t|on, the |nst|tut|-
ona| deve|opment and the po||cy |ed by the Pepub||c o Serb|a toward South Serb|a |n the
past decade were a|so cons|dered. F|na||y, we a|so ana|ysed the med|a statements o the
representat|ves o state bod|es, as we|| as transcr|pts rom the NAPS sess|ons or the pe-
r|od 2000 - 2012.
23
ln regards to the secur|ty percept|on o the |oca| commun|ty, we have
ana|ysed the d|scourse o po||t|ca| representat|ves |n the three mun|c|pa||t|es, pub||c op|n|-
on po||s and academ|c stud|es that d|rect|y or |nd|rect|y dea| w|th th|s prob|em.
The second phase o the research |nc|uded qua||tat|ve emp|r|ca| research. The state's per-
cept|on o the secur|ty env|ronment |n South Serb|a was exam|ned through 11 |nterv|ews
he|d |n October and November 2012 w|th the representat|ves o the M|n|stry o the lnter|or,
the Coord|nat|on Body o the Government o the Pepub||c o Serb|a or the Mun|c|pa||t|es o
20 NDP, 1993
21 MacFar|ane and Khong, 2006
22 Par|s, 2001
23 The transcr|pts used are ava||ab|e to the pub||c |n an e|ectron|c ormat and cons|st o near|y 100,000 pages o text.
35 SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda (here|nater reerred to as the Coord|nat|on Body), the
Protector o C|t|zens' O|ce and the M|n|stry o Deence. ln regards to the percept|on o
the |oca| popu|at|on, th|s has been exam|ned through a comb|nat|on o group and |nd|v|-
dua| |nterv|ews. ln|t|a||y, |n August 2012 two ocus groups were he|d, one |n Bu|anovac w|-
th the part|c|pat|on o the c|t|zens rom Bu|anovac and Preevo Mun|c|pa||t|es, and anot-
her |n Medveda |n wh|ch the c|t|zens rom th|s mun|c|pa||ty part|c|pated. Each ocus group
cons|sted o 11 respondents who were se|ected to represent the ethn|c and gender struc-
ture o the |oca| popu|at|on. Ater th|s, 13 |nterv|ews were conducted w|th the representa-
t|ves o po||t|ca| part|es, the med|a and NGOs |n the Mun|c|pa||t|es o Preevo, Bu|anovac
and Medveda |n September.
37 SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
3. Po||t|ca| and secur|ty context
Ater the war |n Kosovo ended |n 1999, |ow-|ntens|ty con||cts have sp|||ed over |nto the terr|-
tory o Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda. Ater a br|e |u||, the A|ban|ans rom South Serb|a
once aga|n actua||sed the|r |ntent|on to annex the so-ca||ed Preevo va||ey to Kosovo, |n ||ne
w|th the |dea that was presented or the |rst t|me |n the uno|c|a| reerendum he|d |n 1992.
24

Igqitcrjkecn rqukvkqp
The Municipalities of Medveda, Preevo and Bujanovac are located in the
south of the Pepublic of Serbia, along the administrative line with Kosovo.
The Medveda Municipality (524 km
2
) is located in the Jablanica District,
and the Municipalities of Preevo (264 km
2
) and Bujanovac (461 km
2
) are
located in the Pcinja District. The surface area of these three municipalities
accounts for 1.6 per cent of the total territory of the Pepublic of Serbia (exc-
luding Kosovo), which is 77,453 km
2
. According to the 2002 Census, a to-
tal of 86,822 inhabitants lived in these three municipalities, which accounts
for 1.15 per cent of the total population (7,498,001).
25
The Municipalities
of Preevo and Bujanovac are the only two municipalities in the Pepublic
of Serbia with a majority Albanian population, while in the Municipality of
Medveda they constitute 26 per cent. These three municipalities are popu-
lated by 57,595 inhabitants of Albanian nationality, which is 93.5 per cent
of the total number (61.647 per cent) of Albanian citizens in the Pepublic of
Serbia according to the 2002 Census.
According to the 2011 Census, Preevo has 3,263 and Bujanovac 18,985
inhabitants. These figures do not reflect the actual demographic situati-
on in the two municipalities, primarily because the Albanian community
boycotted the census. The fact that confirms that the census boycott by
the Albanian population was successful" is that according to the 2002
Census, Preevo had 34,904 and Bujanovac 43,302 inhabitants, which
would mean that the Preevo population fell by as many as 31,838, and
Bujanovac population by 24,760 inhabitants.
26

24 ln the reerendum he|d on 1 March 1992, 97% o c|t|zens voted or "po||t|ca| and cu|tura| autonomy w|th the r|ght o annex|ng Kosovo".
25 A |arge part o the A|ban|an popu|at|on boycotted the |ast census conducted |n 2011. Thereore, the data rom th|s census |s not va-
||d or Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda and w||| not be used or th|s research.
26 Stat|st|ca| O|ce o the Pepub||c o Serb|a: http://webrzs.stat.gov.rs/WebS|te/userF||es/||e/Stanovn|stvo/DBP%2032272%20-%20
Popu|at|on%20Dashboard%20v16.sw, accessed on 23/11/2012.
38 A CLASH OF PERCEPTIONS?
The cr|s|s reached |ts peak |n November 2000 when a |ow-|ntens|ty con||ct deve|oped |n-
to an armed rebe|||on. The roots o th|s con||ct can certa|n|y be |ooked or |n the d|stant
past. However, the aggress|ve nat|ona||st po||cy o the M||oev|c reg|me, numerous v|o|at|-
ons o the human r|ghts o the A|ban|an m|nor|ty |n the n|net|es, the term|nat|on o the con-
||ct |n Kosovo by NATO |ntervent|on and the estab||shment o the |nternat|ona| protectorate
over Kosovo |n June 1999, had a dec|s|ve |mpact on th|s deve|opment.
27
Soon ater the end
o the NATO |ntervent|on, the d|ssat|s|ed A|ban|ans, |nsp|red by the success o the armed
strugg|e or se|-determ|nat|on, |n|t|ated an armed rebe|||on |n South Serb|a. The rea||sat|on
o th|s |dea was ac|||tated by the presence o |arge quant|t|es o weapons and a number o
exper|enced guerr|||a |ghters, veterans o the Kosovo L|berat|on Army (KLA), and the |ack
o contro| |n the Ground Saety Zone (GSZ), rom wh|ch the members o the L|berat|on Army
o Preevo, Medveda and Bu|anovac (LAPMB) cou|d eas||y organ|se attacks.
Tab|e 1 - Popu|at|on o the Mun|c|pa||t|es o Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda accord|ng to the 2002 Census
Serbs A|ban|ans Poma Tota|
Preevo 2,984 (8.55%) 31,098 (89.09%) 322 (0.92%) 34,404
Bu|anovac 14,782(34.14%) 23,681 (54.69%) 3,867 (8.93%) 42,330
Medveda 7,163 (66.57%) 2,816 (26.17%) 109 (1.0%) 10,088
Tota| 24, 929 (28,7%) 57, 595 (66,3%) 4,298 (4,9%) 86, 822
ln add|t|on, the upcom|ng democrat|c changes |n Be|grade, wh|ch began w|th M||oev|c's
deeat |n the pres|dent|a| e|ect|ons |n September 2000, |n the po||t|ca| sense, were an op-
portun|ty to |nc|ude the A|ban|an |ssue |n South Serb|a on the new government's agenda.
28

Itqwpf Uchgv{ qpg
The Ground Safety Zone (GSZ) was established by the Military Technical
Agreement signed between KFOP and the Federal Pepublic of Yugoslavia
(FPY) on 9 June 1999. The GSZ was a 5 km strip along the administrati-
ve line between Kosovo and FPY. Only lightly armed police forces were
allowed to enter this zone. The agreement on the return of Yugoslav forces
into the GSZ was signed by the representatives of the Yugoslav Army and
KFOP in Merdare on 12 March 2001.
The cr|s|s deepened |n November 2000, when LAPMB |ntens||ed attacks on the secur|ty
orces o FP Yugos|av|a and Serb|a. The con||ct was ended by the s|gn|ng o two separate
cease|re agreements on 12 March 2001, one between Serb|a and KFOP representat|ves |n
27 A good source that prov|des an |ns|ght |nto the approach o M||osev|c's government to the A|ban|ans |n South Serb|a |s the
Human|tar|an Law Centre's report ent|t|ed /|oa||a|s || Se/o|a - |/ee.c, 50/a|c.ac a|o Veo.eoa, pub||shed |n 2003. On page 12,
there |s a comprehens|ve overv|ew o human and m|nor|ty r|ghts v|o|at|ons by 2000.
28 When M||oev|c conceded the e|ect|on resu|ts ater mass demonstrat|ons on 5th October, the un|ted oppos|t|on coa||t|on DOS
(Democrat|c Oppos|t|on o Serb|a) estab||shed a trans|t|ona| government, wh|ch |nc|uded the members o M||osev|c's party, wh|ch
|asted unt|| the par||amentary e|ect|ons, schedu|ed or 23 December 2000. ln the trans|t|ona| government, DOS took contro| o the
M|n|stry o the lnter|or. As expected, the e|ect|ons brought a conv|nc|ng v|ctory or DOS and the|r takeover o power on a|| |eve|s o pu-
b||c adm|n|strat|on.
39 SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
Merdare and the other between the LAPMB and a NATO spec|a| envoy |n Koncu||. The |m-
p|ementat|on o the agreement was spec||ed |n the |/c/amme /c/ a |eace/0| Pesc|0||c| c/
||e C/|s|s || ||e V0||c|oa||||es c/ |/ee.c, 50/a|c.ac a|o Veo.eoa, wh|ch was des|gned, |n
the name o the Government o Serb|a, by |ts Deputy Pr|me M|n|ster Nebo|a Cov|c.
29
The
key e|ements o the "Cov|c P|an" were: d|sso|ut|on, d|sarmament and amnesty o LAPMB
members, w|thdrawa| o m|||tary and po||ce orces engaged or emergency s|tuat|ons, re-
turn o reugees, bu||d|ng o mu|t|-ethn|c |nst|tut|ons w|th respect or human r|ghts and eco-
nom|c rev|ta||sat|on o the reg|on.
30
The secur|ty aspects o the p|an were |mp|emented re-
|at|ve|y qu|ck|y, wh|ch brought v|s|b|e resu|ts |n terms o stab|||sat|on o the secur|ty s|tuat|-
on. However, other e|ements, those re|ated to the |ntegrat|on o A|ban|ans |n a|| state struc-
tures and econom|c deve|opment o these mun|c|pa||t|es, |s st||| be|ng |mp|emented, twe|ve
years |ater, w|th more or |ess success.
31
ln add|t|on to |mp|ement|ng the "Cov|c P|an" and
estab||sh|ng the Coord|nat|on Body |n December 2000, some pos|t|ve steps were made
towards the better |ntegrat|on o the A|ban|an popu|at|on, such as amend|ng the |aw on |o-
ca| e|ect|ons, s|gn|ng the pr|nc|p|es or creat|ng a mu|t|-ethn|c po||ce orce and orm|ng the
A|ban|an M|nor|ty Nat|ona| Counc||.
Desp|te the great success ach|eved |n end|ng the armed rebe|||on, th|s area has rema|-
ned a source o |nstab|||ty, wh|ch |s |nd|cated by the cont|nued presence o a |arge number
o the Pepub||c o Serb|a's secur|ty orces and the armed |nc|dents that have been occu-
rr|ng sporad|ca||y s|nce 2001.
32
The |nc|dents usua||y |nc|ude attacks on the secur|ty or-
ces w|th |rearms or exp|os|ves, but a|so the excess|ve use o orce by the Gendarmer|e
dur|ng the search or depr|vat|on o ||berty o A|ban|ans, se|zure o |arge amounts o wea-
pons |et over rom the t|me o armed rebe|||on and murders.
33
ln 2002 and 2003, there we-
re severa| |nc|dents that threatened to erupt |nto a renewed con||ct. S|nce 2005, the armed
attacks have been reduced and the tens|ons have been expressed ma|n|y po||t|ca||y. Thus,
or examp|e, the murder o an A|ban|an teenager by the Serb|an Armed Forces |n the bor-
der area |n 2005 tr|ggered mass protests by the |oca| A|ban|an popu|at|on and the arrest o
the "Gn|||ane group" |n 2008 |n Preevo. The A|ban|ans reacted s|m||ar|y |n May 2012, when
|n the m|dst o the e|ect|on campa|gn, severa| A|ban|ans were arrested or a||eged war cr|-
mes comm|tted |n 2001 a|though some o them were the amnest|ed ormer members o
the LAPMB.
34
Neverthe|ess, the ethn|c A|ban|an part|es part|c|pate |n |oca| e|ect|ons and |n
|oca| government, and s|nce 2007 one representat|ve o A|ban|ans rom South Serb|a has
29 The SPS MP, vo||s|av ee||, was among the |oudest |n par||ament |n cr|t|c|s|ng the work o the Coord|nat|on Body and the secur|ty s|-
tuat|on |n South Serb|a. "But there, |n Bu|anovac and Preevo, where Sh|ptar terror|sts entered, there you have surrendered and so|d
the terr|tory, and now Cov|c |s mak|ng a deta||ed p|an on how to hand over the author|ty to Sh|ptar terror|sts, to make |t |ega| |n terms
o our Const|tut|on and our |aws." The Nat|ona| Assemb|y, 2001, 5cc| 9, 206.
30 Cov|c 2001.
31 ln order to stab|||se the s|tuat|on, mu|t|-ethn|c po||ce un|ts were ormed. The members o the A|ban|an commun|ty were gradua||y |n-
c|uded |n the work o the |oca| author|t|es, the Coord|nat|on Body and other state bod|es. The|r number |s st||| not su|c|ent|y repre-
sented |n pub||c compan|es, wh|ch emp|oy more Serbs than A|ban|ans. The econom|c s|tuat|on |n these mun|c|pa||t|es |s st||| very un-
avourab|e desp|te the cons|derab|e |nanc|a| |nvestment by the Government o the Pepub||c o Serb|a and ore|gn donors.
32 no|c|a| |normat|on |s that the number o spec|a| orces, |.e. the Gendarmer|e, |s est|mated at 500 members stat|oned |n the
barracks, Brozov|c 2012.18. The ana|ys|s o med|a reports on armed |nc|dents and attacks on state symbo|s, state |nst|tut|ons, |oca|
|eaders and c|t|zens shows that the|r number has decreased over the years. n||ke |n 2003 and 2005, when the number o armed |n-
c|dents exceeded 10, |n the per|od 2008 2012, the med|a has recorded rom 1 to 3 |nc|dents per year |n Bu|anovac and Preevo,
wh||e |n 2011 no |nc|dents were recorded. ln 2012, severa| armed attacks on the po||ce checkpo|nt |n Dobros|n were recorded.
33 A SPS MP, Dragan Tom|c, |n h|s address to the Nat|ona| Assemb|y po|nted to "10 years o cont|nuous v|o|ence, |nc|ud|ng murders
and ev|ct|ons, threats and b|ackma||s, and now we have three mun|c|pa||t|es down there |n South Serb|a, Bu|anovac, Preevo and
Medveda, w|th a mass em|grat|on o Serbs" and comp|a|ned that the state a||ed to take adequate measures to prevent and stop |t.
The Nat|ona| Assemb|y. 2002, 5cc| , 72.
34 The arrested A|ban|ans were soon re|eased rom detent|on and they were not |nd|cted.
3: A CLASH OF PERCEPTIONS?
been |n the NAPS. However, the deter|orat|ng secur|ty s|tuat|on |n northern Kosovo |n 2011
worsened the po||t|ca| and secur|ty s|tuat|on |n South Serb|a. The strongest proo o the
A|ban|an popu|at|on's d|ssat|sact|on w|th the current s|tuat|on |s the new dec|arat|on that
was adopted by a|| A|ban|an counc|||ors |n the mun|c|pa| assemb||es o Preevo, Bu|anovac
and Medveda |n ear|y March 2012.
35
ln th|s dec|arat|on, the A|ban|ans comp|a|n about d|s-
cr|m|nat|on, a||ure to |mp|ement the "Cov|c P|an" and the |ne|c|ency o the Coord|nat|on
Body, they a|so reer to the needs o the |oca| A|ban|an popu|at|on or cu|tura|, re||g|ous and
po||t|ca| autonomy, wh|ch are c|ear|y expressed |n the 1992 reerendum. Moreover, there
were repeated armed attacks aga|nst the secur|ty orces |n South Serb|a |n 2012. Th|s pr|-
mar||y reers to three armed attacks on the po||ce checkpo|nt |n the v|||age o Dobros|n ne-
ar Bu|anovac |n May, June and October 2012.
36
F|na||y, |n m|d-November the veterans o
the LAPMB erected a monument to the a||en |ghters o th|s organ|sat|on |n the centre o
Preevo. Th|s ra|sed tens|ons |n Be|grade and susp|c|ons towards the A|ban|ans |n South
Serb|a, on the eve o the A|ban|an nat|ona| ho||day F|ag Day on 28 November.
The po||t|ca| and secur|ty s|tuat|on |n the Mun|c|pa||t|es o Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda
|s c|ose|y ||nked w|th the deve|opments |n Kosovo. Accord|ng|y, the A|ban|an po||t|c|ans
rom South Serb|a have repeated|y requested the exchange o terr|tor|es |n response to the
proposed |dea o the part|t|on o Kosovo.
37
The|r demand |s to un|te the three mun|c|pa||t|-
es w|th Kosovo | the north o Kosovo, |nhab|ted ma|n|y by a Serb|an popu|at|on, |s annexed
to Serb|a.
The unreso|ved prob|em o the border between Serb|a and Kosovo has produced a num-
ber o pract|ca| prob|ems or the |oca| popu|at|on, espec|a||y w|th regard to the reedom o
movement.
38
Bes|des occas|ona| tens|on at the rhetor|ca| |eve| and the unreso|ved status o
Kosovo, the secur|ty s|tuat|on |n these mun|c|pa||t|es |s a|so comp||cated by the|r geograp-
h|ca| pos|t|on. A sect|on o Corr|dor 10 passes through the Mun|c|pa||ty o Preevo, wh|-
ch a|so part|y borders Macedon|a, mak|ng |t an |mportant route or the d|str|but|on o dru-
gs, human tra|ck|ng, |||ega| m|grat|on and other orms o cr|m|na| act|v|ty. One branch o
the so-ca||ed Ba|kan route passes through these terr|tor|es, wh|ch |s the d|str|but|on route
or hero|n and other drugs rom Aghan|stan to Western Europe.
39
F|na||y, the Mun|c|pa||t|es
o Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda are amongst the |east econom|ca||y deve|oped parts
o Serb|a, character|sed by h|gh unemp|oyment rates. A|| th|s makes the terr|tory o South
Serb|a a very rag||e area |n terms o secur|ty.
35 Th|s dec|arat|on |s based on the ||a|/c/m /c/ ||e Soec|a| S|a|0s c/ ||e |/ee.c va||e, adopted by the A|ban|an counc|||ors o the mu-
n|c|pa| assemb||es o Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda |n January 2006. The p|atorm requ|red, among other th|ngs, the decentra||-
sat|on and dem|||tar|sat|on o South Serb|a. l these requ|rements were not to be respected, the po||cy o the A|ban|an commun|ty wo-
u|d be ad|usted to the resu|ts o the 1992 reerendum on wh|ch the A|ban|ans rom Preevo va||ey voted or annex|ng Kosovo. See:
|/ee.c va||e, || ||e ||oeoe|oe|| |csc.c, Danas, 14 January 2006.
36 The A|ban|an organ|sat|on Movement or the L|berat|on c|a|med respons|b|||ty or the |rst and the most severe attack that occurred |n
May.
37 ln regards to Kosovo, the A|ban|an po||t|c|ans |nvoke the pr|nc|p|e o the |nv|o|ab|||ty o borders. However, they be||eve that |n the s|tu-
at|on o the part|t|on|ng o Kosovo, the pr|nc|p|e o rec|proc|ty shou|d app|y.
38 Brozov|c 2012.
39 Strategy or the F|ght aga|nst Drugs |n the Pepub||c o Serb|a 2009-2013, p. 2.
3; SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
4. State d|scourse on secur|ty
|n South Serb|a
The purpose o th|s sect|on |s to de||neate the contours o the state secur|ty d|scourse on
South Serb|a. The centra| ax|s o th|s d|scourse |s a common understand|ng that the secu-
r|ty s|tuat|on has |mproved s|gn||cant|y over the |ast ten years. lt |s be|ng po|nted out that
an armed rebe|||on was successu||y ended |n the Mun|c|pa||t|es o Preevo, Bu|anovac and
Medveda and that the number o armed |nc|dents has decreased rad|ca||y. However, asse-
ssments o the current secur|ty s|tuat|on vary to a great extent and depend on who presents
them and |n what context. At the |eve| o po||t|ca| d|scourse, there |s a not|ceab|e d|eren-
ce between the government and the oppos|t|on. Wh||e the government usua||y presents the
secur|ty s|tuat|on as avourab|e or sens|t|ve at worst, the oppos|t|on presents |t as ar more
prob|emat|c.
40
However, the |nterv|ew revea|s the add|t|ona| comp|ex|ty o the s|tuat|on and
con|rms the o|d ru|e o bureaucrat|c po||t|cs that "where you stand depends on where you
s|t." The assessments o a "avourab|e and stab|e" secur|ty s|tuat|on are at one end o the
spectrum and they are presented by the representat|ves o the Coord|nat|on Body, as we-
|| as the po||ce stat|ons |n Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda. The assessments o a "ten-
se and unstab|e" s|tuat|on are at the other end o the spectrum and they are presented by
the representat|ves o the Cr|m|na| lnvest|gat|on D|rectorate (ClD), the Gendarmer|e and
the Coord|nat|on D|rectorate or Kosovo and Metoh||a. Between these two extremes, there
are the representat|ves o the Border Po||ce that assess the secur|ty s|tuat|on as "comp||-
cated". Desp|te these d|erences, |t |s poss|b|e to conc|ude, based on the ana|ysed mate-
r|a|, that South Serb|a |s treated |n the state d|scourse as an area w|th the potent|a| or de-
stab|||sat|on desp|te the trend o pac||cat|on. The key secur|ty threats and cha||enges |n the
Mun|c|pa||t|es o Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda are armed reoe|||c|, |e//c/|sm/e|/em|-
sm and c/a||seo c/|me. lt |s |mportant to note that these three threats are oten presented
as a|most |nseparab|e parts o a s|ng|e comp|ex o |ssues ar|s|ng rom the 0|||a|e/a| oec|a-
/a||c| c/ |csc.cs ||oeoe|oe|ce and ||e ecc|cm|c 0|oe/oe.e|come|| c/ Sc0|| Se/o|a.
41
40 The MPs rom the ranks o the oppos|t|on part|es, espec|a||y the SPS, ma|n|y po|nted to the danger o "Sh|ptar terror|sm" and extre-
m|sm, and expressed the|r concern about the potent|a| separat|sm and d|srupt|on o v|ta| commun|cat|on ||nes |n the south (Nat|ona|
Assemb|y. 2002. 5cc| , 149-150.)
41 The order |n wh|ch these secur|ty cha||enges, r|sks and threats are presented |n th|s report does not a|ways and necessar||y corres-
pond to the percept|on o a|| stakeho|ders |n the nat|ona| secur|ty sector.
42 A CLASH OF PERCEPTIONS?
(1)
The Pepub||c o Serb|a treats an a/meo /eoe|||c| as a ma|or potent|a| threat |n the terr|tory
o South Serb|a. ln a|| key po||cy documents that |dent|y threats to nat|ona| secur|ty, such
as the Nat|ona| Secur|ty Strategy, the Deence Strategy and the Wh|te Paper, the threat o
armed rebe|||on |s h|gh on the ||st o threats to nat|ona| secur|ty |n Serb|a, |mmed|ate|y o-
||ow|ng the un||atera| dec|arat|on o Kosovo's |ndependence. The truth |s that ne|ther o these
documents exp||c|t|y states that th|s threat |s most acute |n the terr|tory o the Mun|c|pa||t|es
o Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda. Moreover, the government representat|ves d|d not
character|se the armed |nc|dents that occurred |n the per|od 2001 2012 as acts o armed
rebe|||on, but as acts o terror|sm.
42
The reason or qua||y|ng the armed |nc|dents as terro-
r|sm, rather than armed rebe|||on, certa|n|y ||es |n the act that s|nce 2001, when the Koncu||
Agreement was s|gned, there have been no |ntense and protracted con||cts between the
state secur|ty orces and the un|ormed rebe| un|ts. Dur|ng the |nterv|ew, none o the respon-
dents exp||c|t|y po|nted to an armed rebe|||on as be|ng the most prom|nent threat |n South
Serb|a. For examp|e, Dragan utanovac, M|n|ster o Deence |n the per|od 2007 2012, sa|d
that "we, |n the deence system and the M|n|stry o Deence, have not seen the so-ca||ed m|-
||tary threats, endanger|ng the secur|ty o South Serb|a. Hence, the act|v|t|es o the M|n|stry
o Deence and the Serb|an Armed Forces have not been ocused on prevent|ng these thre-
ats, but pr|mar||y on the deve|opment o c|v||-m|||tary re|at|ons and bu||d|ng the author|ty and
con|dence |n the Serb|an Armed Forces o a|| those who ||ve |n that terr|tory."
43

However, desp|te a|| o the aorement|oned, |t |s |ust||ab|e or severa| reasons to assume
that the threat o armed rebe|||on |s st||| seen as the greatest potent|a| threat |n the terr|tory
o South Serb|a. F|rst|y, the on|y armed rebe|||on that has occurred s|nce 2000 to date |n the
terr|tory o the Pepub||c o Serb|a was |n the terr|tory o these three mun|c|pa||t|es. The en-
t|re po||cy o the Pepub||c o Serb|a toward th|s area |s marked by the memory o th|s con-
||ct. The |nst|tut|ona| ramework o th|s po||cy, pr|mar||y the Coord|nat|on Body, was der|ved
prec|se|y rom the eorts to carry out the post-con||ct reconstruct|on o the area and to pre-
vent the outbreak o new armed rebe|||on. Asked whether the armed rebe|||on ment|oned |n
the Nat|ona| Secur|ty Strategy and the Deence Strategy reerred to South Serb|a, Dragan
utanovac sa|d: "The strateg|c approach ana|yses the secur|ty s|tuat|on both through the
past and uture perspect|ve. There need not be an exact |nd|cator or someone to cons|der
someth|ng strateg|ca||y [...] but they certa|n|y knew where the neura|g|c po|nt was and pro-
bab|y do not th|nk that an armed rebe|||on |s expected to happen |n umad||a."
44

Second|y, the pub||c author|t|es be||eve that the attacks |n th|s terr|tory are sporad|ca||y per-
ormed by the groups that were |nvo|ved |n the armed rebe|||on |n 2000 and 2001 and who-
se base |s now |n Kosovo. The representat|ves o the ClD and the Gendarmer|e empha-
s|se |n the |nterv|ews that the terror|st and separat|st groups operat|ng rom the terr|tory
42 The on|y except|ons to th|s were the representat|ves o the oppos|t|on part|es, pr|mar||y the SPS, wh|ch ca||ed these acts an armed
rebe|||on |n the NAPS. See the transcr|pts o the Nat|ona| Assemb|y sess|ons, or examp|e the Nat|ona| Assemb|y. 2001. 5cc| 9, 206,
Nat|ona| Assemb|y. 2002. 5cc| , 149-150.
43 lnterv|ew conducted on 18 September 2012.
44 lnterv|ew conducted on 18 September 2012.
43 SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
o Kosovo and Macedon|a st||| have a huge potent|a| or reg|ona| |nstab|||ty.
45
Th|rd|y, the
presence o secur|ty orces has |ncreased |n the terr|tory o South Serb|a. The |argest m|||-
tary base |n Serb|a ("South") has been bu||t near Bu|anovac, and the Gendarmer|e un|ts ha-
ve been dep|oyed a|ong the adm|n|strat|ve ||ne. A|| o th|s supports the thes|s that even tho-
ugh the r|sk o the outbreak o armed rebe|||on |n South Serb|a |s not exp||c|t|y d|scussed,
the concern |s bu||t |nto the |nst|tut|ona| oundat|ons o state po||cy or the reg|on and con-
st|tutes "background know|edge" and the oundat|on on wh|ch a number o other secur|ty
d|scourses and pract|ces have been bu||t.
(2)
The second b|ggest threat |n the terr|tory o South Serb|a, presented |n the state secur|ty
d|scourse, |s |e//c/|sm/e|/em|sm. Th|s |s a h|gh|y-ranked threat |n a|| strateg|c documents,
pos|t|oned |mmed|ate|y ater that o an armed rebe|||on. The terr|tory o South Serb|a |s not
spec||ca||y ment|oned |n these documents, as |s the case w|th armed rebe|||on. However,
based on the ana|ys|s o the med|a statements o pub||c author|t|es representat|ves and the
ana|ys|s o par||amentary debates and pub||shed |nterv|ews, |t |s c|ear that the Mun|c|pa||t|es
o Preevo and Bu|anovac are cons|dered as areas that are most exposed to the r|sk o
terror|sm |n the Pepub||c o Serb|a. The government representat|ves |ust|y the presence
o the Gendarmer|e |n th|s area because o ex|st|ng terror|st threats. For examp|e, ater the
|nc|dent that occurred |n summer 2009, when an exp|os|ve dev|ce was thrown at a bu||-
d|ng most|y |nhab|ted by the members o the Serb|an Armed Forces and po||ce o|cers |n
Preevo, and the attack on the Gendarmer|e patro| |n the surround|ngs o Bu|anovac, the
M|n|ster o the lnter|or lv|ca Dac|c sa|d that there was a need or spec|a| un|ts unt|| the s|tu-
at|on was stab|||sed.
46
Th|s was con|rmed by the Gendarmer|e Commander Brat|s|av D|k|c
who |n August 2009 sa|d: "We are not threaten|ng anyone, we care about the saety o c|-
t|zens |n th|s area and our presence |s necessary, wh|ch |s supported by the act that there
were terror|st attacks |n the past. Our presence |s needed even more than beore."
47

The |nterv|ewed Mol representat|ves see the A|ban|an groups, wh|ch are strong|y connec-
ted w|th organ|sed cr|me groups, as sources o terror|st threats |n South Serb|a. Accord|ng
to the|r op|n|on, these groups operate unh|ndered |n Kosovo and Macedon|a and |nc|u-
de some ormer members o the KLA and LAPMB. The |nterv|ewed persons deem that the
|ack o adequate |ega| mechan|sms |n the terr|tory o Kosovo, among other th|ngs, enab|e
them to operate ree|y. They be||eve that the terror|st acts carr|ed out by these groups are
oten mot|vated by terr|tor|a| and separat|st asp|rat|ons. ln add|t|on, they th|nk that the go-
a|s o some o these attacks are the |ntroduct|on o d|sc|p||ne w|th|n the A|ban|an commu-
n|ty, cr|m|na| act|v|ty and |mpact on the po||t|ca| dynam|cs |n South Serb|a or the re|at|ons
between Be|grade and Pr|t|na. A representat|ve o the Gendarmer|e sees the terror|st acts
|n Dobros|n |n 2012 as a "warm up" or someth|ng much more ser|ous that |s be|ng prepa-
45 lnterv|ews conducted on 5 and 6 November 2012.
46 http://www.b||c.rs/vest|/Po||t|ka/104404/Dac|c-razgovarao-sa-a|bansk|m-||der|ma-sa-|uga-Srb||e/pr|nt Accessed on 23 November
2012.
47 http://www.nas|ov|.net/2009-08-09/rts/zandarmer||a-cuva-m|r-na-|ugu-srb||e/1272631 Accessed on 21 November 2012.
44 A CLASH OF PERCEPTIONS?
red. ln add|t|on, the representat|ves o the M|n|stry o the lnter|or cons|der the expans|on o
the Wahhab| movement |n South Serb|a part|cu|ar|y a|arm|ng, accord|ng to the|r est|mates,
|t has been spread|ng rom Saud| Arab|a v|a Kosovo. The Mol sta members |n charge o
the |ght aga|nst terror|sm be||eve that th|s phenomenon, wh|ch was a|most non-ex|stent |n
South Serb|a unt|| 1999, has been |arge|y expanded |n recent years.
48

(3)
O/a||seo c/|me |s seen by state o|c|a|s as the th|rd greatest danger threaten|ng nat|ona|
secur|ty |n the terr|tory o South Serb|a. A|though a|| strateg|c documents de|ne th|s thre-
at as one o the most dangerous, |t |s not exp||c|t|y connected w|th South Serb|a |n these
documents. However, cross-read|ng o the key strateg|es c|ear|y |nd|cates that th|s area |s
seen as threatened by organ|sed cr|me. For examp|e, the Nat|ona| Secur|ty Strategy states:
"Organ|sed cr|me |n the terr|tory o the Pepub||c o Serb|a man|ests part|cu|ar|y |n the orm
o ||||c|t drug trade, tra|ck|ng |n human be|ngs and |||ega| m|grat|on [...]."
49
The Strategy or
the F|ght aga|nst Drugs |n the Pepub||c o Serb|a |n the per|od 2009 2013 |s even mo-
re exp||c|t and states that "geo-strateg|c pos|t|on o the Pepub||c o Serb|a and |ts |ocat|on
on the |nternat|ona| drug route that connects the East w|th the West (the Ba|kan route) con-
tr|butes to the s|tuat|on where a |arge amount o drugs pass through, but are a|so kept |n
our country."
50
The Strategy or Combat|ng Organ|sed Cr|me a|so po|nts to the pos|t|on o
Serb|a: "[...] over a number o years the "Ba|kan route" has been used or smugg||ng Aro-
As|an c|t|zens, as we|| as persons o A|ban|an and Turk|sh nat|ona||ty, to E countr|es."
51

A|though these mun|c|pa||t|es are not exp||c|t|y named |n these strateg|es, they are |mp||c|t|y
|nc|uded because one branch o the so-ca||ed Ba|kan route passes through th|s terr|tory.
The |nterv|ews a|so con|rmed that organ|sed cr|me |s treated as one o the greatest threats to
secur|ty |n South Serb|a. For examp|e, ormer M|n|ster utanovac says: "as much as the S||k
Poad was a good th|ng or trade, |t was a bad th|ng because o the deve|opment o organ|-
sed cr|me. Hence, a|| bad th|ngs that used to come rom the East to the West were pass|ng
|n part|cu|ar through th|s part o ormer Yugos|av|a and Serb|a, and l th|nk that |t |s, |n act, the
bas|c and the ma|n threat rom wh|ch other threats are stemm|ng."
52
The |nterv|ewed Mol re-
presentat|ves a|so be||eve that the area o Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda |s a very |mpor-
tant branch o the "Ba|kan route", wh|ch |s a route o |||ega| m|grat|on, human tra|ck|ng, dru-
gs, arms and exp|os|ves. Accord|ng to a representat|ve o the Border Po||ce (BPD), the num-
ber o |||ega| border cross|ngs, espec|a||y rom Macedon|a, has drast|ca||y |ncreased |n recent
years. These are ma|n|y m|grants o Aro-As|an or|g|n, most|y Aghans and Pak|stan|s. Th|s
prob|em began to |ntens|y |n 2001 ater S |ntervent|on |n Aghan|stan.
53
ln some cases, |n-
48 lnterv|ews conducted |n November 2012.
49 Nat|ona| Secur|ty Strategy, p. 8.
50 Strategy or the F|ght aga|nst Drugs |n the Pepub||c o Serb|a, 2009-2013, p. 2.
51 Strategy or Combat|ng Organ|sed Cr|me, p. 5.
52 lnterv|ew conducted on 18 September 2012.
53 Dur|ng the |rst ten months o 2012, most|y c|t|zens o Aghan|stan (3730) and Pak|stan (2488) were reg|stered ater d|scovered |||ega|
cross|ngs. They are o||owed by the nat|ona|s o A|ger|a (845), Soma||a (426), Syr|a (323), Bang|adesh (256) and other countr|es. The
Mol sta members be||eve that the Arab Spr|ng |n 2010 a|so contr|buted to th|s prob|em and expect soon a ar greater |n|ux o |mm|-
grants rom Syr|a.
45 SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
ternat|ona| terror|sts have been d|scovered |n these channe|s.
54
Some we|| organ|sed groups
o |oca| c|t|zens, wh|ch are very d||cu|t to |dent|y, a|so he|p |||ega| |mm|grants cross over the
terr|tory o the Pepub||c o Serb|a. l||ega| |ogg|ng |s a prob|em that |s part|cu|ar|y acute a|ong
the adm|n|strat|ve ||ne, espec|a||y |n the Mun|c|pa||ty o Medveda. The |nterv|ewed Mol repre-
sentat|ves ee| that the destruct|on o orests has |ed to a d|sastrous s|tuat|on.
The Deputy Head o BPD descr|bed the secur|ty s|tuat|on as "comp||cated." A part|cu|ar pro-
b|em |s that ne|ghbour|ng Macedon|a, rom where most |||ega| m|grants come, does not con-
tro| |ts border |n the best way and does not |mp|ement the Peadm|ss|on Agreement. On the
other hand, a |ot o pressure |s be|ng exerted on Serb|a rom Hungary to accept |||ega| |mm|-
grants who have entered the terr|tory o the E rom Serb|a.
55
Accord|ng to h|m, the b|ggest
pressure rom |||ega| m|grants |s |n the str|p be|ow Preevo, near M|ratovac. The|r cross|ng
|s ac|||tated by the act that the |oca| peop|e |n th|s terr|tory do not ee| that e|ther Serb|a or
Macedon|a |s the|r own country. Another prob|em |s the so-ca||ed bogus asy|um seekers who
come ma|n|y rom South Serb|a. They are most|y members o the A|ban|an and Poma nat|-
ona| m|nor|ty who, because o the|r d||cu|t econom|c s|tuat|on, abuse the v|sa-ree trave| to
the E and seek asy|um |n E countr|es. Due to th|s prob|em, some E member states ha-
ve threatened to cance| the v|sa-ree reg|me or the c|t|zens o the Pepub||c o Serb|a | th|s
|ssue |s not reso|ved.
(4)
7|e 0|||a|e/a| oec|a/a||c| c/ |csc.cs ||oeoe|oe|ce and |ts 0|/esc|.eo s|a|0s are seen |n
the state d|scourse as c|rcumstances conduc|ve to |nsecur|ty |n South Serb|a. A|though |t
may seem paradox|ca|, both state-bu||d|ng |n Kosovo and |nsu|c|ent deve|opment o |ts
|nst|tut|ons are perce|ved as sources o threats. The secess|on o Kosovo |s cons|dered a
threat to the terr|tor|a| |ntegr|ty and sovere|gnty o the Pepub||c o Serb|a. For examp|e, a||
three strateg|es deve|oped by the M|n|stry o Deence state that the b|ggest secur|ty threat
|s the |||ega| and/or unconst|tut|ona| dec|arat|on o the |ndependence o Kosovo, and that
the most |mportant nat|ona| |nterest |s the preservat|on o the terr|tor|a| |ntegr|ty and sove-
re|gnty o Serb|a. Th|s threat does not reer on|y to Kosovo but a|so to the terr|tory o South
Serb|a where there |s a r|sk o the sp||| over o secess|on|st tendenc|es. The o||ow|ng |s sta-
ted |n the Nat|ona| Secur|ty Strategy:
Separat|st eorts o one part o the A|ban|an nat|ona| m|nor|ty |n Kosovo and Metoh||a,
wh|ch cu|m|nated |n the |||ega| un||atera| dec|arat|on o Kosovo's |ndependence, are a d|-
rect threat to the terr|tor|a| |ntegr|ty o the Pepub||c o Serb|a and one o the most ser|ous
secur|ty cha||enges |n the reg|on. Such eorts may encourage the spread o separat|st
|deas and thus become a actor o destab|||sat|on |n other parts o the Pepub||c o Serb|a
and the w|der reg|on.
56

54 The most recent |s the case o A|dan Tamak, a member o the Kurd|sh Hezbo||ah, who was arrested |n May 2011 at the Horgos bor-
der cross|ng.
55 lnterv|ew conducted on 5 November 2012.
56 Nat|ona| Secur|ty Strategy, p.9.
46 A CLASH OF PERCEPTIONS?
lt |s cons|dered that th|s sp||| over |s made eas|er by the act that the Kosovo |nst|tut|ons
are weak and po||t|ca| cu|ture undemocrat|c. Accord|ng to the Nat|ona| Secur|ty Strategy:
S|ow deve|opment o democrat|c |nst|tut|ons and democrat|c po||t|ca| cu|ture and re|at|-
ons |n Kosovo and Metoh||a, d|sregard o bas|c human r|ghts, den|a| o reedom o mo-
vement, expans|on o organ|sed cr|me, usurpat|on and destruct|on o pr|vate proper-
ty and cu|tura|-h|stor|ca| her|tage and the d||cu|t process o return o reugees and |nter-
na||y d|sp|aced persons, as we|| as other secur|ty prob|ems that have reg|ona| d|mens|-
ons, turn th|s reg|on |nto the ma|n source o |nstab|||ty |n the Pepub||c o Serb|a.
57

The South Serb|a mun|c|pa||t|es are part|cu|ar|y exposed to the potent|a| sp|||over o |nse-
cur|t|es rom Kosovo. The reason or th|s ear |s the ex|stence o the Ground Secur|ty Zone
and the act that th|s area |s |nhab|ted by an ethn|c A|ban|an popu|at|on that soc|a||y, po||-
t|ca||y and econom|ca||y grav|tates towards Kosovo.
58
Speak|ng about the s|tuat|on |n the
GSZ |n August 2011, the then M|n|ster o Deence Dragan utanovac sa|d: "A|| the t|me we
are say|ng that the s|tuat|on |n South Serb|a |s stab|e, but that |t can become exp|os|ve |n
a very short per|od o t|me. There |s no m|||tary threat, but there are extrem|sts whom we
can hear today |n Pr|t|na."
59
The M|n|ster o the lnter|or lv|ca Dac|c spoke a|ong a s|m||ar
ve|n about the sp||| over o threats rom Kosovo to South Serb|a: "Serb|a |s aced w|th rea|
orms o |nterna| terror|st threats, through pers|stent attempts to sp||| over certa|n act|v|t|es
o A|ban|an extrem|st and terror|st groups rom Kosovo and Metoh||a |nto South Serb|a."
60

The MSA D|rector Svetko Kovac a|so sa|d beore the Par||amentary Comm|ttee or Deence
and Secur|ty |n 2010 that "the b|ggest threat to nat|ona| secur|ty was the dec|arat|on o
Kosovo's |ndependence and part|cu|ar|y the act|v|t|es o "cr|m|na| and terror|st groups, wh|-
ch move a|ong the adm|n|strat|ve border w|th Kosovo and Metoh||a."
61
The r|sk o the sp|-
|| over o sot secur|ty threats, espec|a||y smugg||ng drugs, human tra|ck|ng, veh|c|es, we-
apons and exc|se goods rom Kosovo to South Serb|a was recogn|sed |n the Strategy o
Combat|ng Organ|sed Cr|me.
62
The |nterv|ewed Mol representat|ves a|so assessed that a
|arge number o secur|ty threats, wh|ch d|st|ngu|shed South Serb|a rom the rest o the co-
untry, came rom Kosovo.
(5)
F|na||y, the state perce|ves the |nsecur|ty |n South Serb|a |arge|y as a resu|t o the ecc|cm|c
0|oe/oe.e|come|| c/ ||e /e|c| and ||e |c. |e.e| c/ scc|a| |||e/a||c|. The ormer M|n|ster
o Deence utanovac con|rms th|s w|th the o||ow|ng words: "l am a|so one o those pe-
op|e who th|nk that the source o a|| m|sortune, advers|ty, tens|ons and so on, ||es |n the
57 Nat|ona| Secur|ty Strategy, p. 8.
58 Accord|ng to some data, about 20,000 A|ban|ans moved rom the Ground Secur|ty Zone dur|ng and |mmed|ate|y ater the war. http://
reeserb.home.xs4a||.n|/comments/2001/a16042001.htm| Accessed on 19 December 2012.
59 http://www.beta.rs/deau|t.asp?t|p~art|c|e&kategor||a~vest|dana&|da~2557512&|d~&|me~ Accessed on 13 August 2012.
60 http://www.danas.rs/danasrs/hron|ka/dac|c_srb|||_pret|_unutrasn||_teror|zam.3.htm|?news_|d~218665 Accessed on 12 August 2012
and http://www.b||c.rs/vest|/Po||t|ka/104404/Dac|c-razgovarao-sa-a|bansk|m-||der|ma-sa-|uga-Srb||e/pr|nt Accessed on 12 August
2012
61 http://www.b||c.rs/vest|/Po||t|ka/192820/Kovac-Bezbednosna-s|tuac||a-stab||na-Kosovo-na|veca-pretn|a Accessed on 18 November
2012.
62 Strategy o Combat|ng Organ|sed Cr|me, p. 3.
47 SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
econom|c s|tuat|on. nortunate|y, we have not succeeded |n |mprov|ng the econom|c s|tu-
at|on, not on|y |n South Serb|a, but a|so |n some other mun|c|pa||t|es. l th|nk that |t |s a type
o so|| that |s ert||e or sow|ng var|ous orms o ev|| that can esca|ate tomorrow."
63
The sta-
te po||cy towards South Serb|a s|nce the adopt|on o the "Cov|c P|an", has ocused on the
econom|c deve|opment o the reg|on as a prerequ|s|te or peace. ln the past 11 years, th|s
component o state po||cy has become |ncreas|ng|y |mportant, wh|ch |s best re|ected |n
the Coord|nat|on Body. Th|s body was |rst estab||shed as an umbre||a |nst|tut|on or the co-
ord|nat|on o |o|nt secur|ty orces and over t|me |t has begun to assume an |ncreas|ng|y |m-
portant econom|c ro|e. Moreover, |n 2007 the Government o the Pepub||c o Serb|a adop-
ted the S|/a|e, /c/ De.e|come|| c/ Sc0|| Se/o|a w|th a ocus on the three mun|c|pa||t|es
that are the sub|ect o th|s research. Th|s document a|so presents the v|ew that econom|c
deve|opment |s a prerequ|s|te or stab|||ty: "The |mp|ementat|on o the Strategy w||| ensure
the econom|c stab|||ty and prosper|ty o these mun|c|pa||t|es and the |mprovement o ||v|ng
standards, wh|ch are the bas|c prerequ|s|tes or |mprov|ng the stab|||ty |n South Serb|a."
64

Dan||e|a Nenad|c rom the Coord|nat|on Body's O|ce exp|a|ns th|s change as o||ows:
The Coord|nat|on Body, |.e. the Coord|nat|on Body's O|ce, does not pr|mar||y dea| w|-
th secur|ty |n the way |t d|d |n the per|od |mmed|ate|y ater the con||ct |n South Serb|a.
We dea| w|th secur|ty |n a comp|ete|y d|erent way, we use that term "sot" secur|ty and
we str|ve to avo|d new potent|a| con||cts and to ass|st |n bu||d|ng a soc|ety |n Preevo,
Bu|anovac and Medveda |n wh|ch the members o a|| m|nor|ty commun|t|es, or more pre-
c|se|y a|| the commun|t|es ||v|ng |n South Serb|a, w||| be ab|e to ree|y en|oy a|| the|r c|v||
r|ghts.
65

ln add|t|on to these po||c|es a|med at the econom|c deve|opment o South Serb|a, a ser|-
es o measures have been taken w|th the purpose o enhanc|ng soc|a| |ntegrat|on |n th|s
terr|tory and promot|ng human secur|ty. Thus, or examp|e, the 2007 Law on Loca| Se|-
Government env|saged the estab||shment o Mun|c|pa| Secur|ty Counc||s and Counc||s or
lnterethn|c Pe|at|ons.
66
Accord|ng to the Heads o the Po||ce Stat|ons |n Preevo, Bu|anovac
and Medveda, the Mun|c|pa| Secur|ty Counc||s have proven to be a very useu| channe|
o commun|cat|on w|th the |oca| popu|at|on.
67
The work|ng groups organ|sed w|th|n these
Counc||s enab|ed the state representat|ves to |dent|y, together w|th the |oca| commun|ty,
cha||enges to human secur|ty and the measures requ|red or the|r e||m|nat|on. The work|ng
groups organ|sed w|th|n the ramework o these Counc||s to dea| w|th domest|c v|o|ence,
youth saety, drug abuse, tra|c saety, corrupt|on, |nterethn|c tens|ons and other |mportant
top|cs, contr|buted to the deve|opment o secur|ty po||c|es that are ta||ored to the needs o
the |oca| popu|at|on. For examp|e, accord|ng to Gendarmer|e representat|ves, the c|t|zens
used the Mun|c|pa| Secur|ty Counc||s to comp|a|n about the way the Gendarmer|e moved
through popu|ated p|aces. Ater that, the Gendarmer|e |eadersh|p made a dec|s|on to |ower
and cover the|r gun barre|s when pass|ng through a popu|ated p|ace and a|so to s|ow down
63 lnterv|ew conducted on 18 September 2012.
64 Strategy or the Long-term Econom|c Deve|opment o South Serb|a - Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda 2007.
65 lnterv|ew conducted on 5 October 2012.
66 A good source o |normat|on on the Mun|c|pa| Secur|ty Counc||s |s the G0|oeocc| c| |cca| Sec0/||, Cc0|c||s, BCSP 2011, and the
Cc0|c||s /c/ |||e/e||||c Pe|a||c|s mcoe| oec|s|c| c| ||e es|ao||s|me|| a|o ||e /0|e occ|, OSCE M|ss|on to Serb|a 2009, |s a good
source o |normat|on on the Counc||s or lnterethn|c Pe|at|ons.
67 lnterv|ews conducted on 2 November 2012.
48 A CLASH OF PERCEPTIONS?
the|r veh|c|es.
68
ln add|t|on, accord|ng to the Gendarmer|e representat|ve, due to numerous
remarks by the |oca| commun|ty, th|s un|t dec|ded to w|thdraw rom the town o Bu|anovac
and transer out o the sett|ement.
69
Moreover, the Law on the Nat|ona| Counc||s o Nat|ona| M|nor|t|es was adopted |n 2009
w|th the a|m to empower m|nor|ty commun|t|es and to prov|de them w|th too|s that wou|d
a||ow them to exerc|se the|r m|nor|ty r|ghts |n cu|ture, educat|on and the use o the|r mot-
her tongue.
70
ln 2011, Protector o C|t|zens o|ces were opened |n Bu|anovac, Preevo and
Medveda |n order to a||ow the c|t|zens o these commun|t|es to access the mechan|sms
or the exerc|s|ng o human r|ghts, accord|ng to the Protector o C|t|zens Saa Jankov|c.
71

The Serb|an Armed Forces a|so began to change the|r approach |n th|s terr|tory through
the |mprovement o c|v||-m|||tary re|at|ons and ra|s|ng commun|ty con|dence |n the Serb|an
Armed Forces. To th|s end, the O|ce or C|v||-M|||tary Pe|at|ons was opened |n vran|e |n
2007 |n order to "[...] he|p the Serb|an Armed Forces |n |mprov|ng commun|cat|on w|th
the c|v|||an structures |n South Serb|a."
72
Dur|ng the |nterv|ew, ormer M|n|ster o Deence
utanovac exp|a|ned the approach to the deve|opment o c|v||-m|||tary re|at|ons |n th|s way:
"So, |t |s South Serb|a, where there |s the A|ban|an ma|or|ty popu|at|on |n one part [...] whe-
re we p|aced a spec|a| emphas|s on c|v||-m|||tary cooperat|on and restor|ng con|dence |n
the Serb|an Armed Forces, because what happened |n the n|net|es comp|ete|y destroyed
that re|at|onsh|p [...]."
73
F|na||y, the Army oered some o |ts capac|t|es to the |oca| popu|a-
t|on. lt opened |ts sport |e|ds to the |oca| ootba|| c|ubs, as we|| as the m|||tary hosp|ta|s or
med|ca| exam|nat|on o c|v|||ans, wh||e |ts med|ca| doctors were sent to prov|de serv|ces |n
the remote v|||ages o the GSZ.
68 lnterv|ew conducted on 5 November 2012.
69 The Gendarmer|e command operat|ons centre |s |ocated |n P|stovac, e|ght k||ometres north o Bu|anovac.
70 http://www.pravaman||na.rs/|ndex.php/sr_Y/ostvar|van|e-prava/man||nska-samouprava/nac|ona|n|-sa vet|-nac|ona|n|h-man||na
Accessed on 25 November 2012.
71 http://www.ombudsman.rs/|ndex.php/|ang-sr_Y/2011-12-25-10-17-15/1605-2011-12-06-19-16-33 Accessed on 25 November
2012.
72 Statement o Zoran Jet|c, State Secretary |n the M|n|stry o Deence on the occas|on o the open|ng o the O|ce. http://www.mod.
gov.rs/nov|_|at.php?act|on~u||news&showcomments~1&|d~504 Accessed on 25 November 2012.
73 lnterv|ew conducted on 18 September 2012.
49 SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
5. Secur|ty d|scourse
o the |oca| commun|ty
|n South Serb|a
Based on secondary sources and |e|d research, th|s sect|on w||| present the secur|ty d|sco-
urse o the |oca| commun|ty |n the Mun|c|pa||t|es o Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda. A||
representat|ves o the |oca| commun|ty be||eve that the secur|ty s|tuat|on has |mproved s|-
gn||cant|y over the past ten years. Th|s part|cu|ar|y reers to the |nterethn|c re|at|ons, wh|ch
are much better now. The Mayor o Bu|anovac Mun|c|pa||ty Nag|p Ar|| says: "ln 2002, you
cou|d rare|y |nd a bar where a Serb and an A|ban|an had a coee together, and now you
can see that at any g|ven moment, |n every bar, you can't even te|| whether the bar owner |s
an A|ban|an or a Serb."
74
Desp|te not be|ng separated any more |n pub||c spaces, members
o the two commun|t|es rare|y soc|a||se w|th each other: "There |s no soc|a||sat|on ater work
or |t |s very rare. There are no home v|s|ts or r|endsh|p among them," says N|ko|a Laz|c, a
|ourna||st w|th the week|y vran|ske.
75
There |s st||| m|strust between the two commun|t|es.
An |mportant |nd|ng |s that there are s|m||ar|t|es but a|so d|erences |n the percept|ons o
secur|ty by the Serb|an and the A|ban|an popu|at|on |n South Serb|a. The s|m||ar|t|es are pr|-
mar||y re|ated to the percept|on o econom|c underdeve|opment and the d|spute between
Be|grade and Pr|t|na over Kosovo. Both commun|t|es be||eve that these two cha||enges
are the ma|n generators o |nsecur|ty. On the other hand, members o the Serb|an commu-
n|ty, understandab|y, have ar more con|dence |n state |nst|tut|ons and do not see them as
someone e|se's or as be|ng threaten|ng. Thus, or examp|e, Sto|anca Ars|c, the represen-
tat|ve o Serbs and v|ce-Pres|dent o the Bu|anovac Mun|c|pa||ty, stresses that the re|at|on-
sh|p between the Army, wh|ch |s stat|oned |n the Ground Saety Zone, and the c|t|zens |s
at a h|gh |eve|. He a|so be||eves that the presence o the Gendarmer|e |s very |mportant or
combat|ng organ|sed cr|me, wh||e the |ncreased presence o the armed orces and po||ce
contr|butes |arge|y to the secur|ty o the reg|on. Other c|t|zens o Serb|an nat|ona||ty |n South
Serb|a have a s|m||ar op|n|on.
76

lt shou|d a|so be ment|oned that there are d|erences |n the secur|ty d|scourse used by the
A|ban|ans rom Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda. As a ru|e, the A|ban|ans rom Preevo
ee| most threatened by the state, those rom Bu|anovac a ||tt|e |ess, wh||e the A|ban|ans
74 lnterv|ew conducted on 11 September 2012.
75 lnterv|ew conducted on 10 September 2012.
76 lnterv|ew conducted on 12 September 2012.
4: A CLASH OF PERCEPTIONS?
rom Medveda comp|a|n |east about pub||c author|t|es.
77
Th|s s|tuat|on |s obv|ous|y |n d|rect
corre|at|on w|th the |eve| w|th the percentage o A|ban|an popu|at|on |n these mun|c|pa||t|-
es. lt |s necessary to bear |n m|nd the d|erences |n the d|scourse o the po||t|ca| e||te on
one hand and the c|t|zens on the other. ln act, the representat|ves o the A|ban|an po||t|ca|
part|es oten assess the |nsecur|ty o the|r commun|ty, through the med|a and statements,
to be worse than what we were to|d dur|ng the |e|d research.
78
On the other hand, the ord|-
nary peop|e |n the ocus groups and the |nterv|ewed representat|ves o NGOs and the me-
d|a, desp|te numerous concerns, wh|ch w||| be d|scussed be|ow, cons|der that the |eve| o
|nsecur|ty, d|scr|m|nat|on and |nterethn|c tens|ons |s much |ower.
The secur|ty assessments o the |nterv|ewed |oca| commun|ty representat|ves vary rom
"very stab|e", through "sat|sactory" and "so||d but not perect", to "the same as |n the rest
o Serb|a." On|y |n one |nterv|ew were we to|d that the secur|ty s|tuat|on |n Preevo and
Bu|anovac cou|d be character|sed as a "state o emergency" due to the |arge presence
o the Gendarmer|e and the way |n wh|ch |t |s perce|ved among the A|ban|an popu|at|on.
However, th|s does not mean that the |oca| commun|ty be||eves that there are no secur|ty
cha||enges at a||.
On the bas|s o a|| ana|ysed mater|a|, |t |s poss|b|e to |dent|y our key groups o secur|ty
cha||enges aced by the |oca| commun|ty |n South Serb|a. These are: ecc|cm|c 0|oe/oe-
.e|come||, a||e|, .ea| a|o ||e//ec||.e c.e/|me||, scc|e|a| ||sec0/||, and ||e 0|/esc|.eo
s|a|0s c/ |csc.c.
(1)
The b|ggest prob|em aced by the |oca| commun|ty |n South Serb|a |s the ecc|cm|c 0|-
oe/oe.e|come|| o the reg|on, and |n part|cu|ar the h|gh rate o unemp|oyment. Desp|te
the act that Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda do not be|ong to the poorest mun|c|pa||t|-
es |n Serb|a accord|ng to the|r average earn|ngs, the unemp|oyment rate |s very h|gh.
79
The
most recent o|c|a| |gures show that the unemp|oyment rate |n Preevo |s 56 per cent, |n
Medveda 47 per cent and |n Bu|anovac 43 per cent.
80
The percept|on o the |oca| popu|a-
t|on |s that the unemp|oyment rate |s even h|gher and ranges between 60 and 70 per cent.
Due to the d||cu|t econom|c s|tuat|on, they are orced to be |nvo|ved |n the grey economy,
wh|ch |s pena||sed by the state. One o the respondents |n the ocus group exp|a|ned |t w|th
the o||ow|ng words: "And why doesn't the state he|p us? [...] lt's not my au|t that l don't ha-
ve a |ob. l wanna work [...] l wanna do any |ob! But there |s no any, no |ob and that's |t [...]
So what now? l manage somehow, but the state takes rom me the ||tt|e money l have to |n-
77 Bacev|c, et a|. 2011, 36.
78 The dec|arat|ons adopted by the |oca| A|ban|an po||t|c|ans |n 2006 and 2012 ment|on the adverse pos|t|on o the|r commun|ty and m|-
||tar|sat|on o the reg|on as proo that ||tt|e has changed |n South Serb|a.
79 Accord|ng to the |atest data o the Stat|st|ca| O|ce o the Pepub||c o Serb|a rom June 2012, the average earn|ngs |n Serb|a were
42,335 PSD. The average earn|ngs |n Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda amount to 41,408 PSD, 34,569 PDS and 40,032 PSD res-
pect|ve|y. Source: http://webrzs.stat.gov.rs/WebS|te/repos|tory/documents/00/00/74/37/zp14072012.pd Accessed on 19 November
2012.
80 http://www.presson||ne.rs/|no/po||t|ka/stankov|c-zapostav||en-|ug-srb||e Accessed on 19 November 2012. The Nat|ona| Assemb|y
deput|es oten ment|on the econom|c underdeve|opment and unemp|oyment |n the three mun|c|pa||t|es o South Serb|a as a ser|ous
secur|ty cha||enge. See, e.g.: Nat|ona| Assemb|y. 2008. Book 5, 176, Nat|ona| Assemb|y. 2010. 5cc| 22.7.
4; SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
vest |n some trade, to surv|ve, and does not |et me work [...] ls |t a|r?" Above a||, the |ntro-
duct|on o a 20 euro ee per veh|c|e or cross|ng the adm|n|strat|ve ||ne between Serb|a and
Kosovo has part|cu|ar|y worsened the econom|c s|tuat|on. Free passage across the bor-
der |s a||owed or a week upon the payment o th|s ee, wh|ch means that an amount o e|-
ghty euros must be pa|d or cross|ng the border dur|ng a one month per|od, wh|ch |s a hu-
ge amount or the c|t|zens o th|s reg|on.
A|so, the |oca| commun|ty po|nts out that a prob|em |s the state's |nsu|c|ent |nvestment
|n the reg|on. Dur|ng the |nterv|ews, a|most a|| |nterv|ewees recogn|sed the government's
eorts toward the |mprovement o bas|c |nrastructure over the past decade. However, they
be||eve that no unds were |nvested |n the promot|on o emp|oyment and a|so that ore|gn
|nvestment |s |ack|ng. ln add|t|on, we were oten to|d that the government's act|ons actu-
a||y prevented the reg|on's econom|c recovery, espec|a||y the keep|ng o a |arge number o
gendarmes and m|||tary personne|. The Mayor o Bu|anovac Nag|p Ar|| says, or examp|e,
that the presence o "|arge secur|ty orces negat|ve|y aects the deve|opment o the eco-
nomy, s|nce no one, no western |nvestor |s ready to |nvest |n the economy o Bu|anovac
ater see|ng so many spec|a| orces o both the Gendarmer|e and the Army."
81
We sho-
u|d part|cu|ar|y emphas|se the extreme|y bad econom|c s|tuat|on o the Poma popu|at|-
on |n Bu|anovac. The Poma sett|ement |n Bu|anovac |acks bas|c |nrastructure. The streets
are unpaved, the sett|ement |s exposed to requent |ood|ng, and a huge prob|em w|th the
sewage threatens the hea|th o sett|ement's res|dents. The best examp|e |s the |aund|ce
ep|dem|c wh|ch broke out our years ago. Most o the sett|ement res|dents ||ve on ch||d
a||owance and soc|a| ass|stance.
The |oca| popu|at|on states that the ma|n consequences o the poor econom|c s|tuat|on
are d|strust towards the state and a h|gh |eve| o m|grat|on to the |arger c|t|es |n Serb|a,
Western Europe and to Kosovo. The Pres|dent o the Preevo Mun|c|pa||ty, Pagm| Mustaa,
c|a|ms that "there are p|enty o peop|e who dec|de to |eave the|r homes orever. Th|s eco-
nom|c s|tuat|on |s unbearab|e. Over seventy per cent o hea|thy and capab|e c|t|zens o the
Mun|c|pa||ty o Preevo do not work, they are unemp|oyed. A|so, as a resu|t o the absence
o econom|c prospects, peop|e are |eav|ng these three mun|c|pa||t|es."
82
Accord|ng to h|m,
the |nd|erence o the author|t|es |n Be|grade to |mprove the econom|c s|tuat|on |n the so-
uth has been premed|tated |n order to get "the terr|tor|es w|thout an armed con||ct, w|tho-
ut persecut|on, w|th |rearms as occurred |n the n|net|es."
83
Pam|z Sa||m|, represent|ng an
assoc|at|on o Poma |n Bu|anovac, descr|bes |t as o||ows: "[...] the b|ggest threat |s that
peop|e w||| s|mp|y |eave th|s town. Th|s |s the b|ggest threat we ace [...] but |t |s not a se-
cur|ty threat, |t |s an econom|c threat. See, peop|e s|mp|y cannot surv|ve."
84
Some |nterv|-
ewees even be||eve that desp|te the |mproved secur|ty s|tuat|on, the econom|c s|tuat|on has
worsened over the |ast 11 years. For examp|e, the v|ce-Pres|dent o Medveda Mun|c|pa||ty
F|or|m Sah|t| says: "Secur|ty |s much better now than ten years ago. But the econom|c s|tu-
at|on |s the same, perhaps even worse [...] Because ten years ago we had many more |n-
hab|tants than we have today."
85

81 September 11 September 2012.
82 lnterv|ew conducted on 11 September 2012.
83 lnterv|ew conducted on 11 September 2012.
84 lnterv|ew conducted on 12 September 2012.
85 lnterv|ew conducted on 13 September 2012.
52 A CLASH OF PERCEPTIONS?
(2)
Another ma|or prob|em that the c|t|zens o A|ban|an nat|ona||ty rom South Serb|a ace |s
a| a||e|, .ea| a|o ||e//|c|e|| s|a|e. The b|ggest prob|em |ndeed |s that many A|ban|ans do
not u||y perce|ve Serb|a as the|r country. The s|tuat|on has certa|n|y |mproved compared
to 2001 when the armed con||ct broke out. The Pres|dent o the A|ban|an Nat|ona| M|nor|ty
Counc|| |n Serb|a Ga||p Beq|r| open|y says "we are not as threatened by the state as we we-
re dur|ng M||oev|c's era."
86
Meanwh||e, the A|ban|ans have "accepted Serb|a as the|r rea-
||ty", accord|ng to the v|ce-Pres|dent o Medveda Mun|c|pa||ty F|or|m Sah|t|.
87
However, the
A|ban|ans cont|nue to ee| a||enated rom Be|grade, wh|ch stems rom the |ow |eve| o the-
|r |ntegrat|on |nto the state, the|r percept|on o be|ng d|scr|m|nated aga|nst, but a|so the
preva|ence o certa|n phenomena, such as corrupt|on and nepot|sm. The A|ban|ans be-
||eve that, desp|te the many advances that have been made |n recent years, they are st|-
|| not |nc|uded |n the work o state bod|es |n the best way. Desp|te the act that the percen-
tage o A|ban|ans emp|oyed |n the po||ce orces o Preevo and Bu|anovac |s h|gher than
a decade ago, |t |s cons|dered that |t st||| does not u||y correspond to the percentage ra-
t|o o the Serb|an and A|ban|an popu|at|ons |n these mun|c|pa||t|es. Accord|ng to the state-
ment o Avd| Ba|ram|, Head o the po||ce stat|on |n Preevo, the stat|on emp|oys 60 per cent
A|ban|ans, 30 per cent Serbs and 10 per cent Poma and Goran|.
88
Accord|ng to Dragan
ve||ckov|c, Head o the po||ce stat|on |n Bu|anovac, that stat|on emp|oys about 60 per cent
Serbs and 40 per cent A|ban|ans.
89
Furthermore, there |s the prob|em o the under-repre-
sentat|on o A|ban|ans |n the h|gher po||ce structures, or examp|e, at the po||ce stat|on |n
vran|e. The prob|em o the under-representat|on o A|ban|ans |s part|cu|ar|y acute |n the
Gendarmer|e.
90
The ocus group part|c|pants were asked: "Why |s the Gendarmer|e not
mu|t|-ethn|c ||ke the po||ce?" They po|nted out that s|nce they were not |nc|uded |n the work
o the Gendarmer|e, they cou|d not ee| |t was "the|rs", and they e|t d|scomort or even ear
|n |ts presence. Ha|red|n Hyda, Pres|dent o the Mun|c|pa| Assemb|y o Bu|anovac exp|a|ns:
Everyone shou|d understand that th|s presence creates some d|scomort. l'm not say|ng
|nsecur|ty, but d|scomort. Because th|s presence makes peop|e wonder why they are
present, whether someth|ng |s go|ng to happen [...], or examp|e, when you see three
or our armoured veh|c|es o the Gendarmer|e, mov|ng 10 or 20 k||ometres an hour, and
then you see these masked peop|e, you ee| d|scomort. Anyone ee|s that way, not on-
|y the A|ban|ans but a|so the Serbs, each person who sees that |s rem|nded o Northern
lre|and.
91

The prob|em |s descr|bed s|m||ar|y by the Pres|dent o Preevo Mun|c|pa||ty Mustaa Pagm|.
"These Gendarmer|e ormat|ons are spec|a| un|ts and do not commun|cate w|th anyone.
Ne|ther w|th the |oca| se|-government, nor w|th the po||ce stat|on, the |oca| po||ce, the c|-
t|zens, anyone. and when they move through the popu|ated p|aces |n the Mun|c|pa||ty
86 lnterv|ew conducted on 13 September 2012.
87 lnterv|ew conducted on 13 September 2012.
88 lnterv|ew conducted on 2 September 2012.
89 lnterv|ew conducted on 2 September 2012.
90 Brozov|c 2012, 19.
91 lnterv|ew conducted on 12 September 2012.
53 SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
o Preevo, they use the|r armoured veh|c|es, they are u||y armed and masked, a|ways po-
|nt|ng the|r guns, automat|c r||es toward the c|t|zens."
92
W|th respect to the patro|||ng o
the Gendarmer|e un|ts |n the popu|ated p|aces, the respondents |n the ocus groups, not
on|y Serbs but a|so A|ban|ans, had more understand|ng or the reasons o the|r presence
a|ong the adm|n|strat|ve ||ne and |n the Ground Secur|ty Zone. However, the A|ban|an res-
pondents emphas|sed that the way the Gendarmer|e perorms |ts tasks |n the popu|ated
p|aces d|sturbs them. They gave the o||ow|ng examp|es: wear|ng ba|ac|avas over the a-
ce wh|ch |nt|m|date the popu|at|on, patro|||ng through popu|ated p|aces w|th e|evated gun
barre|s and the check|ng o c|t|zens' |dent||cat|on documents. One o the ocus group par-
t|c|pants exp|a|ned |t |n these words:
l'm wa|k|ng w|th a r|end |n the street, |n broad day||ght, |n the c|ty, and they (the
Gendarmer|e) go past |n those armoured veh|c|es w|th a mach|ne gun on the top, and
there |s a gendarme beh|nd the mach|ne gun, wear|ng a ba|ac|ava, and as we go down
the street he po|nts the mach|ne gun at us and as |ong as we go on, he turns the mac-
h|ne gun toward us and a|ms at us...
Accord|ng to the |nterpretat|on o some |nterv|ewees, the Gendarmer|e checks the |dent|-
|cat|on documents o o|der women, who are |n the company o the|r husbands and ch||-
dren, on|y to hum|||ate the|r husbands and scare the|r ch||dren. An examp|e that con|rms
the thes|s o the Gendarmer|e's arrogant behav|our |s the arrest o the A|ban|ans suspected
o terror|sm and war cr|mes |n ear|y May |n the m|dst o the e|ect|on campa|gn. A|| o them
were re|eased on 30 May and the suspects have never been |nd|cted.
93
The A|ban|an re-
presentat|ve |n the Nat|ona| Assemb|y o the Pepub||c o Serb|a, P|za Ha||m|, descr|bed the
arrest as the ma|nta|n|ng o a "cont|nuous state o terror" aga|nst the A|ban|an m|nor|ty.
94

ln the other |nterv|ew that Ha||m| gave ater the arrest o e|ght A|ban|ans, he stressed that
the co|nc|dence between the arrest and the pres|dent|a|, par||amentary and |oca| e|ect|ons
was not acc|denta|, but that |t was a "po||t|ca| game" and |nvo|ved scor|ng "cheap po||t|ca|
po|nts" two days beore the e|ect|ons.
95
An |nterv|ewee rom the NGO sector |n Bu|anovac
exp|a|ns these events |n the o||ow|ng way: "We||, |t was ||ke a mov|e, so to say, a typ|ca|
Amer|can mov|e, screened beore the e|ect|on so that peop|e wou|d vote |n ||ne w|th the-
|r nat|ona||st or|entat|on. And by that |og|c, we shou|d a|| deend ourse|ves because a|| the
A|ban|ans are terror|sts [...]"
96
Most A|ban|ans are not |nc||ned to be||eve that the prosecut|-
on and the Mol "acc|denta||y" made the overs|ght.
The |oca| popu|at|on a|so h|gh||ghts the under-representat|on o ethn|c A|ban|ans |n the |ud|-
c|ary. On|y our A|ban|ans work as |udges and a|| o them are emp|oyed |n the Bas|c Court |n
vran|e. ln add|t|on, there are no |udges o A|ban|an nat|ona||ty |n the H|gher Courts |n vran|e
and Leskovac, the Appe||ate Court |n N| and the Supreme Court o Serb|a, wh|ch on|y de-
92 lnterv|ew conducted on 11 September 2012.
93 N|k|c, Zarko. Sc//, /c/ |a.|| a//es|eo ,c0, /||e/, 6 November 2012
94 "Ha||m|: ///es| |s ||e cc||||0a||c| c/ s|a|e |e//c/, http://ba|kans.a||azeera.net/maka|e/ha||m|-hapsen|e-|e-nastavak-drzavnog-terora
Accessed on 14 October 2012.
95 E|ght peop|e arrested |n South Serb|a, |ve or war cr|mes, accessed on 19 October 2012, http://www.rtv.rs/sr_|at/hron|ka/na-|ugu-sr-
b||e-uhapseno-osam-osoba-pet-zbog-ratn|h-z|oc|na_316990.htm| Accessed on 14 November 2012.
96 lnterv|ew w|th Pagm| Mustaa, Human P|ghts Comm|ttee - Bu|anovac, conducted on 10 September 2012.
54 A CLASH OF PERCEPTIONS?
creases con|dence |n the |ust|ce system among the A|ban|an popu|at|on.
97
Moreover, a||
the representat|ves o |oca| author|t|es |nterv|ewed w|th|n the |e|d research, noted that |t
was a b|g m|stake to transer the courts rom Preevo and Bu|anovac to vran|e ater the
2010 |ud|c|ary reorm. The consequence o th|s dec|s|on |s that the res|dents o the three
mun|c|pa||t|es must trave| dozens o k||ometres to the Mun|c|pa| Court |n vran|e |ust to obta-
|n a s|mp|e cert||cate.
There |s d|strust towards other state |nst|tut|ons as we||, espec|a||y among the A|ban|ans
but a|so among the Serb|an popu|at|on. N|ko|a Laz|c, a |ourna||st w|th the week|y vran|ske,
exp|a|ns |t th|s way:" The peop|e here have a part|cu|ar m|strust toward state |nst|tut|ons,
such as prosecut|on, courts, the |ud|c|ary, tax adm|n|strat|on, customs, and |t |s common
to both Serbs and A|ban|ans."
98
The representat|ves o the A|ban|an commun|ty have pe-
r|od|ca||y part|c|pated and boycotted the work o the Coord|nat|on Body. Moreover, the |o-
ca| popu|at|on comp|a|ns that the emp|oyees |n the Coord|nat|on Body are not we|| acqua-
|nted w|th the rea| s|tuat|on |n the |e|d.
99
Accord|ng to the |nterpretat|on o the ocus group
part|c|pants, the Coord|nat|on Body has not brought anyth|ng good to the South or ten ye-
ars. They perce|ve th|s body as a k|nd o a||enated bureaucrat|c mechan|sm that serves or
mak|ng the |nd|v|dua|s |n that body more r|ch. They a|so c|a|m that the c|t|zens do not be-
ne|t rom any o the pro|ects that the Coord|nat|on Body organ|ses and say honest|y that
they are ed up w|th sem|nars, workshops, etc. They stress that the Coord|nat|on Body, |
there |s any good w|||, shou|d he|p these mun|c|pa||t|es |n terms o econom|c deve|opment,
and above a||, they shou|d e||m|nate the corrupt|on |n the|r own ranks. F|na||y, even when
th|s body |s aware o the prob|ems, |t seems that the government has no |nterest |n so|v|ng
them. lt |s be||eved that |t serves on|y as an |nst|tut|on that d|str|butes money to the southern
mun|c|pa||t|es and ac|||tates commun|cat|on between the |oca| commun|ty and the state,
but |t has no rea| po||t|ca| author|ty. ln June, P|za Ha||m| ca||ed or cons|derat|on as to whet-
her |t makes sense to cont|nue the ex|stence o the Coord|nat|on Body because, accord|ng
to h|m, even ater the reconstruct|on o the Coord|nat|on Body |n 2009, the A|ban|ans have
not part|c|pated any more |n |ts work.
100

ln regards to the A|ban|an Nat|ona| M|nor|ty Counc||, |t has provoked con||cts |n the A|ban|an
po||t|ca| scene. One group be||eved that the Nat|ona| Counc|| was on|y an |nstrument or
the Be|grade author|t|es to show the European n|on that the r|ghts o nat|ona| m|nor|t|es
|n Serb|a were be|ng respected. The other group expressed the oppos|te op|n|on and su-
pported part|c|pat|on |n the estab||shment o the Counc||.
101
Accord|ng to one |nterv|ewee,
the key con||ct |n South Serb|a takes p|ace between the ma|or|ty o decent and c|v|||sed pe-
op|e who want to ||ve and work |n peace and the "structures that have emerged rom var|o-
us wars and have not been ab|e to transorm and |nd the|r p|ace |n soc|ety. They are at the-
97 Strategy or lntegrat|on o the A|ban|an M|nor|ty |n Serb|a proposa|, http://www.po||cycenter.|no/Dokument|/Strateg||a%20za%20|n-
tegrac||u%20a|banske%20man||ne%20pred|og.pd Accessed on 14 October 2012.
98 lnterv|ew conducted on 10 September 2012.
99 Brozov|c, Zorana. 2012, p. 16.
100 D|ssc|.e ||e Ccc/o||a||c| 5co,, http://www.b92.net/|no/vest|/|ndex.php?yyyy~2011&mm~06&dd~13&nav_category~12&nav_
|d~518496 Accessed on 19 October 2012.
101 Accord|ng to a survey o TransCon||ct, the vast ma|or|ty o even 89.40 per cent o A|ban|ans are aware o the ex|stence o the Nat|ona|
Counc||. However, the survey has a|so showed that two-th|rds o the A|ban|an popu|at|on are not exact|y am|||ar w|th the respons|b|-
||t|es and unct|ons o the Counc||, S0/.e, c/ V||c/||, P|||s c/ /|oa||a|s a|o ||e /|oa||a| Na||c|a| V||c/||, Cc0|c||, http://www.tran-
scon||ct.com/programmes/|nst|tut|ons/nmc-serb|a/a|ban|an-nmc/anketa-o-man||nsk|m-prav|ma-a|banaca-|-nac|ona|nom-savetu-a|-
banske-nac|ona|ne-man||ne/ Accessed on 14 October 2012.
55 SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
|r best when they |sh |n troub|ed waters or |n a state o emergency [...] th|s norma| s|tuat|-
on does not su|t them. They wou|d ||ke to a|ways have a s|tuat|on |n wh|ch they can present
themse|ves as |mportant |gures work|ng or nat|ona| |nterests."
F|na||y, both Serb|an and A|ban|an commun|t|es be||eve that the state |s too weak to pro-
tect them rom cr|me and corrupt|on. Peop|e be||eve that these phenomena have aected
both the po||t|ca| and econom|c structures, and that the author|t|es are not ab|e to so|ve
these |ssues. Accord|ng to the percept|ons o the |oca| popu|at|on, the prob|ems |n South
Serb|a are more acute than |n the rest o the country, due to |ts spec||c geograph|ca| po-
s|t|on, prox|m|ty to three borders, prox|m|ty to Kosovo, Corr|dor 10 and the "Ba|kan route".
Because o a|| th|s, the other |nterv|ewee be||eves that "[...] th|s area |s somewhat spec||c,
some |aws o the street and darkness ru|e here, and |t |s a prob|em." The ocus group par-
t|c|pants presented s|m||ar op|n|ons and comp|a|ned that a|| the part|es work|ng |n these
two mun|c|pa||t|es b|ackma||ed peop|e by oer|ng them a |ob | they became party mem-
bers and | they were po||t|ca||y act|ve. Due to po||t|c|sat|on, the |oca| |nst|tut|ons have be-
come part|san bod|es where br|bery and corrupt|on ru|e, accord|ng to them. ln regards to
the work o the pub||c serv|ces, |t |s po|nted out that they are ava||ab|e to everyone. The on|y
prob|ems w|th these serv|ces are nepot|sm and party-based act|ons, but our |nter|ocutors
po|nt out that th|s prob|em ex|sts at a|| |eve|s. These are the words o a ocus group part|c|-
pant: "lt |s a|| br|bery and corrupt|on [...] Everyth|ng |s done through connect|ons and | you
become a party member, everyth|ng can be done [...] you cannot even get a scho|arsh|p
or ch||dren w|thout some connect|ons, and | you go through some connect|ons, they |m-
med|ate|y orce you to |o|n a party."
The |oca| popu|at|on has the most pos|t|ve att|tude towards the o||ow|ng |nst|tut|ons: the |o-
ca| so-ca||ed "mu|t|-ethn|c" po||ce, the Mun|c|pa| Secur|ty Counc||s and the Serb|an Armed
Forces. The att|tude o the |oca| popu|at|on towards the |oca| po||ce |s genera||y pos|t|ve.
One o the |nd|cators |s that the A|ban|an popu|at|on more requent|y reports domest|c v|o-
|ence, wh|ch ear||er never used to be the case.
102
The Mun|c|pa| Secur|ty Counc||s are a|so
perce|ved very pos|t|ve|y. The ocus group part|c|pants po|nted out that the counc||s were
|mp|ement|ng d|st|nct|ve pro|ects and exp||c|t|y pra|sed the|r work and resu|ts. They be||eve
that |t |s good that the secur|ty counc||s cons|st o |mportant |nd|v|dua|s and o|c|a|s |n the
mun|c|pa||t|es. Ha|red|n Hyda, who cha|rs the Secur|ty Counc|| |n Bu|anovac, a|so says that
"the Mun|c|pa| Secur|ty Counc|| rea||y works [...] the unct|on o the Secur|ty Counc|| |s we||
conce|ved because |t gathers |n one p|ace a|| the re|evant peop|e who are respons|b|e w|t-
h|n the|r competences."
103
F|na||y, the Army a|so has a good reputat|on among the |oca| po-
pu|at|on. N|ko|a Laz|c to|d us: "The Army |s very popu|ar here as |t |s |n the who|e o Serb|a.
Genera| M||osav S|mov|c, who |arge|y opened the Army to the peop|e, has been here or a
|ong t|me as commander o the garr|son |n vran|e and o the who|e Br|gade."
104
Not on|y the
Serbs, but a|so the A|ban|ans, state that the Army has estab||shed an exce||ent re|at|onsh|p
w|th the |oca| commun|ty and g|ve examp|es o Army personne| v|s|t|ng the v|||ages and
measur|ng peop|e's b|ood pressure, d|str|but|ng med|cat|ons, c|ear|ng snow and the ||ke.
102 lnterv|ew conducted w|th the Heads o Po||ce Stat|ons |n Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda he|d on 2 November 2012.
103 lnterv|ew conducted on 12 September 2012.
104 lnterv|ew conducted on 10 September 2012.
56 A CLASH OF PERCEPTIONS?
(3)
The th|rd cha||enge addressed |n the secur|ty d|scourse o the |oca| commun|ty |s soc|e-
ta| |nsecur|ty. Soc|eta| secur|ty |s "the ab|||ty o a soc|ety to pers|st |n |ts essent|a| charac-
ter under chang|ng cond|t|ons and poss|b|e or actua| threats."
105
Members o the A|ban|an
commun|ty |n South Serb|a ment|on a number o soc|a| secur|ty cha||enges they encoun-
ter. The |rst |ssue re|ates to the use o nat|ona| symbo|s. The regu|at|ons o the Pepub||c o
Serb|a proh|b|t the use o other countr|es' nat|ona| symbo|s dur|ng cu|tura| events, ce|ebra-
t|on o nat|ona| ho||days and sports compet|t|ons. The A|ban|ans rom Preevo, Bu|anovac
and Medveda usua||y use the A|ban|an |ag and the A|ban|an anthem or such purposes,
wh|ch, |n add|t|on to v|o|at|ng state regu|at|ons, provokes the Serb|an popu|at|on.
106
lt was
repeated|y stated that a so|ut|on acceptab|e to both part|es had to be ound. ln the case o
Sandzak, th|s prob|em was so|ved by |ntroduc|ng a "Sandzak |ag". The representat|ves o
the A|ban|an m|nor|ty |n Serb|a have not shown a w||||ngness to overcome th|s prob|em |n
any way, but |ns|st on us|ng the A|ban|an symbo|s.
ln regards to the r|ght to use the A|ban|an |anguage, there are pos|t|ve deve|opments, but
the representat|ves o the A|ban|an m|nor|ty st||| comp|a|n that |t |s not ent|re|y |mp|emented
as guaranteed by |aw.
107
The most obv|ous examp|e o the v|o|at|on o the r|ght to use the
|anguage occurred dur|ng the 2011 Census when the census orms were not b|||ngua|, and
the A|ban|an part|es ca||ed or a boycott o the census. However, careu| read|ng o the sta-
tements o the A|ban|an representat|ves revea| that the "essent|a|" reason or the census
boycott was the |nab|||ty o be|ng ab|e to reg|ster the A|ban|an popu|at|on that over the |ast
ten years has been ||v|ng temporar||y |n Kosovo and a|so the reg|strat|on o asy|um seekers,
who are current|y |n Western European countr|es.
108

The second prob|em reers to educat|on. Present|y, h|gher educat|on |n the A|ban|an |an-
guage |n Serb|a |s carr|ed out on|y |n two departments: |n Medveda, at the branch o the
n|vers|ty o N| and |n Bu|anovac, at the branch o the Facu|ty o Econom|cs |n Subot|ca.
ln regards to pr|mary and secondary educat|on, there |s the prob|em o textbooks |n the
A|ban|an |anguage, wh|ch come e|ther rom Kosovo or A|ban|a.
109
As the Pepub||c o Serb|a
does not recogn|se the Pepub||c o Kosovo, |t does not recogn|se the textbooks that come
rom there. Accord|ng to A|ban|an representat|ves, th|s |eads to a somewhat absurd s|tua-
t|on because even dur|ng the ru|e o S|obodan M||oev|c |n the n|net|es, the A|ban|ans had
textbooks |n the A|ban|an |anguage.
110
When some textbooks are perm|tted, such as the
pr|mer rom A|ban|a, they undergo ma|or changes.
111
F|na||y, access to educat|on or Poma
ch||dren |s very ||m|ted due to the very bad econom|c s|tuat|on o that commun|ty. There are
105 Wver et. a| 1993, 23.
106 The Nat|ona| Assemb|y has d|scussed on severa| occas|ons the d|sp|ay|ng o the A|ban|an |ag |n South Serb|a. See: Nat|ona|
Assemb|y. 2010. Book 35, 153-154.
107 http://www.|uznevest|.com/lnterv|u/Beograd-|-Pr|st|na-pro|zvode-prob|eme.sr.htm| Accessed on 15 October 2012
108 "A|ban|ans boycott the Census, http://www.rts.rs/page/stor|es/sr/story/125/Dru%C5%A1tvo/950246/A|banc|bo|kotu|upop|s.htm|
Accessed on 15 October 2012.
109 The Member o Par||ament P|za Ha||m| spoke about the |ack o textbooks |n the A|ban|an |anguage |n the Nat|ona| Assemb|y. See:
Nat|ona| Assemb|y. 2011. Book 11, 86.
110 5e|/aoe a|o |/||||a o/co0ce o/co|ems, http://www.|uznevest|.com/lnterv|u/Beograd-|-Pr|st|na-pro|zvode-prob|eme.sr.htm|,
Accessed on 16 October 2012.
111 The A|ban|an pr|mer that was a||owed |n the |ast schoo| year, 2011/2012, was s|gn||cant|y mod||ed. For examp|e, "the beaut|u| c|ty
o Pr|t|na" was rep|aced |n the pr|mer w|th "the beaut|u| c|ty o N|" and accompan|ed w|th a photo o the Sku|| Tower.
57 SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
no textbooks or c|asses |n the Poma |anguage, and or that reason 99 per cent o Poma
attend Serb|an schoo|s. ln add|t|on, the conversat|on w|th |oca| commun|ty representat|ves
|et the |mpress|on that the teachers d|scr|m|nate aga|nst Poma ch||dren. The representat|-
ves o the Poma commun|ty say that |n the Pr|mary Schoo| Branko Pad|cev|c, where Poma
ch||dren are the ma|or|ty, many o them repeat grades, wh||e none o the ch||dren o Serb|an
nat|ona||ty have repeated a grade.
112
The prob|em |s a|so h|gher educat|on, because even |
there are scho|arsh|ps or h|gher educat|on or Poma ch||dren, the Poma |n Bu|anovac ha-
ve a prob|em w|th access|ng the re|evant |normat|on.
113

The act that un|vers|ty d|p|omas bear|ng the NMlK stamp are not recogn|sed |n Serb|a
have add|t|ona||y worsened the emp|oyment opportun|t|es or A|ban|ans.
114
The pro-
b|em o d|p|omas has been overcome through the med|at|on o the European n|vers|ty
Assoc|at|on, wh|ch w||| cert|y these d|p|omas w|th |ts stamp or the purpose o the|r reco-
gn|t|on.
115
The popu|at|on o South Serb|a hopes that th|s so|ut|on w|||, |n the uture, ac|||ta-
te the emp|oyment o A|ban|ans and Serbs who have acqu|red educat|on at un|vers|t|es |n
Kosovo.
116
The A|ban|an representat|ves a|so be||eve that |nanc|a| a|d or the scho|arsh|ps
o A|ban|an students must a|so be granted to those A|ban|an students who w|sh to study |n
the A|ban|an |anguage at un|vers|t|es |n Kosovo, Macedon|a and A|ban|a, wh|ch do not ex|st
|n the A|ban|an |anguage |n the Pepub||c o Serb|a.
(4)
The ourth secur|ty cha||enge recogn|sed by the |oca| commun|ty |s the 0|/esc|.eo s|a|0s
c/ |csc.c. Both Serbs and A|ban|ans c|a|m that th|s prob|em generates many o the other
cha||enges they ace, w|thout hav|ng an |n|uence on |ts so|ut|on. The Pres|dent o Bu|anovac
Mun|c|pa||ty Ha|red|n Hyda says: "The greatest threat to the Mun|c|pa||ty o Bu|anovac |s
that we are b|ame|ess |n the re|at|ons between Serb|a and Kosovo. Thereore, we are v|c-
t|ms o the re|at|onsh|p between the two governments, and that |s the on|y ma|or threat [...]
because we do not part|c|pate |n these d|scuss|ons, or these events or these verba| due|s
[...]."
117
Occas|ona||y, the |deas o the part|t|on and demarcat|on o Kosovo are |aunched
rom Be|grade. As a response to th|s message, the representat|ves o the A|ban|an po||t|ca|
part|es |n South Serb|a demand that the Mun|c|pa||t|es o Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda
be annexed to Kosovo. A|| o th|s |s a constant source o uncerta|nty or the c|t|zens o both
Serb|an and A|ban|an nat|ona||ty. lt can very oten be heard that the A|ban|ans rom South
Serb|a are the "hostages" o the re|at|ons between Be|grade and Pr|t|na. Dur|ng a d|scu-
ss|on |n the NASP, the representat|ves o the A|ban|an commun|ty put orward the o||ow|ng:
112 lnterv|ew conducted on 12 September 2012.
113 lb|d
114 The Pepub||c o Serb|a does not recogn|se d|p|omas rom Kosovo because o the unreso|ved status o Kosovo. A|so, the word "ad-
d|t|ona||y" |s used because most A|ban|ans ment|on that d|scr|m|nat|on on the grounds o ethn|c or|g|n |s the |rst reason that |t |s d|-
|cu|t or them to |nd a |ob.
115 The agreement on the pr|nc|p|es was reached on 2 Ju|y, and the |na| agreement on 21 November 2011. The |rst set o over 70 d|p|o-
mas was cert||ed on 26 June 2012. lt rema|ns an open quest|on as to whether they w||| be recogn|sed |n Serb|a and whether peop|e
w||| be ab|e to get a |ob. Ma|azogu and B|eber, 2012, 14.
116 The |ssue o d|p|oma recogn|t|on a|so concerns the Serbs who have comp|eted stud|es |n Kosovo, s|nce the Serbs who comp|eted
stud|es at the n|vers|ty |n Kosovska M|trov|ca cannot |nd a |ob w|th|n Kosovo |nst|tut|ons.
117 lnterv|ew conducted on 12 September 2012.
"l am conv|nced that the stab|||sat|on o the s|tuat|on |n Kosovo |s a very |mportant th|ng or
the A|ban|ans o Preevo va||ey, because |t |s a prerequ|s|te or them to stop be|ng hosta-
ges o the |nto|erab|e s|tuat|on |n Kosovo, to |na||y move towards a better ||e and or the en-
t|re env|ronment to be ab|e to exper|ence th|s."
118
Ord|nary c|t|zens have a s|m||ar op|n|on.
One o the ocus group part|c|pants says: "Noth|ng can be better unt|| the |ssue o Kosovo's
status |s so|ved [...] be||eve me, unt|| that |s reso|ved, noth|ng w||| be better." F|na||y, some
A|ban|ans rom the |oca| commun|ty |n South Serb|a cons|der that the A|ban|ans |n South
Serb|a shou|d be treated ||ke Northern Kosovo |s treated by Pr|t|na. The Pres|dent o the
A|ban|an Nat|ona| M|nor|ty Counc|| Ga||p Beq|r| c|ar||es "[...] we are comm|tted to the pr|n-
c|p|e o rec|proc|ty. We do not request the chang|ng o borders, we do not ask or anyth|ng
more but to get a|| the r|ghts here |n the Mun|c|pa||t|es o Bu|anovac, Preevo and Medveda
that were g|ven to the Serbs |n Kosovo".
119
Th|s app||es to a w|de range o r|ghts that not
on|y Serb|an, but a|| the mun|c|pa||t|es |n Kosovo, were g|ven through the Aht|saar| p|an.
118 Nat|ona| Assemb|y. 2007. 5cc| 3, 62.
119 lnterv|ew conducted on 13 September 2012.
59 SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
6. Conc|us|on
The research |ed to severa| key |nd|ngs. F|rst|y, |t seems that certa|n representat|ves o the
state and the |oca| commun|ty oten perce|ve the secur|ty s|tuat|on |n South Serb|a as mu-
ch worse than |t actua||y |s, rom the ob|ect|ve perspect|ve, |t |s ar more stab|e today than
a decade ago. Second|y, there are over|aps and d|erences between the state and the
|oca| d|scourses on secur|ty threats. Both d|scourses stress the econom|c underdeve|o-
pment and the unreso|ved status o Kosovo as key generators o |nsecur|ty |n South Serb|a.
However, when |t comes to spec||c secur|ty cha||enges, |t appears that the state and the |o-
ca| commun|ty have d|erent agendas. The state and |ts secur|ty apparatus are very ocu-
sed on the prevent|on o terror|sm and organ|sed cr|me. On the other hand, the |oca| co-
mmun|ty |s most concerned w|th the state's weakness, |neect|veness and a||enat|on rom
the |oca| commun|ty.
Th|rd|y, the research has shown that the secur|ty po||cy percept|ons o the state and the |o-
ca| commun|ty are part|y the same, but a|so d|verge to a certa|n extent. The|r op|n|ons d|-
verge regard|ng the ro|e o the secur|ty sector |n the stab|||sat|on o the s|tuat|on |n South
Serb|a. On one hand, the state representat|ves be||eve that the presence o the Armed
Forces and the Gendarmer|e has contr|buted to stab|||ty and econom|c deve|opment |n
South Serb|a. ln contrast, the A|ban|an ma|or|ty |n part|cu|ar be||eves that the strong presen-
ce o the secur|ty orces h|nders econom|c deve|opment and consequent|y the secur|ty sta-
b|||sat|on o the reg|on. The state and the |oca| commun|ty perce|ve |n the same way those
secur|ty po||c|es that were a|med at econom|c deve|opment, soc|a| |ntegrat|on and the en-
hancement o human secur|ty. For examp|e, both the state and the |oca| commun|ty be||e-
ve that the Mun|c|pa| Secur|ty Counc||s are exce||ent channe|s o commun|cat|on that have
produced great resu|ts |n |mprov|ng the secur|ty s|tuat|on at the |oca| |eve|.
Fourth|y, the research has |nd|cated that there are d|erences w|th|n the state d|scourse.
Secur|ty percept|ons vary w|th|n the state, depend|ng on the |nst|tut|on and even the orga-
n|sat|ona| un|t. For examp|e, the d|erences |n the percept|on o secur|ty have been no-
ted between the members o the Gendarmer|e, who are pr|mar||y |nvo|ved |n the |ght aga-
|nst terror|sm and organ|sed cr|me and perce|ve the s|tuat|on ar more dramat|ca||y, and
the |oca| po||ce orces, wh|ch have a much broader agenda and see the secur|ty s|tuat|on
|n South Serb|a as avourab|e. One a|so gets the |mpress|on that the po||ce o|cers who
work |n Be|grade perce|ve the secur|ty s|tuat|on |n South Serb|a as more prob|emat|c than
the po||ce o|cers who work |n these southern mun|c|pa||t|es. F|th|y, the research has reve-
a|ed the d|erences w|th|n the |oca| secur|ty d|scourse, between the Serbs, A|ban|ans and
Poma, between the po||t|ca| e||tes and ord|nary c|t|zens, as we|| as between the res|dents
o Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda. A|| the aorement|oned groups agree that the s|tu-
at|on |n terms o phys|ca| secur|ty has been |mproved a |ot over recent years, but that the
5: A CLASH OF PERCEPTIONS?
|ntegrat|on o m|nor|t|es and econom|c deve|opment are not at a sat|sactory |eve|. The po||-
t|ca| representat|ves o the A|ban|ans present the prob|em o d|scr|m|nat|on as be|ng much
more acute than the ord|nary c|t|zens do. Both groups cr|t|c|se the state or the manner |n
wh|ch the Gendarmer|e operates |n South Serb|a. F|na||y, the c|t|zens o both A|ban|an and
Serb|an ethn|c|ty |n Medveda ee| saer and have the most con|dence |n the state, wh||e the
c|t|zens o Preevo have the |east con|dence.
5; SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
7. Pecommendat|ons:
Pecommendat|ons or the Government o the Pepub||c o Serb|a
1. The Government o the Pepub||c o Serb|a shou|d cont|nue cooperat|on w|th |nternat|-
ona| organ|sat|ons and |nst|tut|ons that work act|ve|y |n South Serb|a and wh|ch have
contr|buted s|gn||cant|y to the stab|||sat|on o the s|tuat|on |n that terr|tory.
2. The Government o the Pepub||c o Serb|a shou|d work on ac|||tat|ng trade and the
movement o peop|e between Kosovo and Centra| Serb|a.
3. The Government o the Pepub||c o Serb|a shou|d |nc|ude representat|ves o the
A|ban|an commun|ty |n South Serb|a |n the work o the Serb|an European lntegrat|on
O|ce.
4. The Government o the Pepub||c o Serb|a shou|d open an E |normat|on centre |n
South Serb|a |n order to better |norm the popu|at|on about the |mpact o E access|-
on on the ||ves o the|r commun|t|es.
5. Pepub||c o Serb|a budget unds shou|d be a||ocated to strengthen the A|ban|an
Language Department o the Facu|ty o Ph||o|ogy, n|vers|ty o Be|grade. ln add|t|on,
the deve|opment o mu|t|d|sc|p||nary "A|ban|an Stud|es" shou|d be encouraged and
unds shou|d be a||ocated to scho|arsh|ps or students who wou|d be |nterested |n the-
se stud|es and the study o the A|ban|an |anguage.
6. The Government o the Pepub||c o Serb|a shou|d |n|t|ate a d|a|ogue w|th the |oca| co-
mmun|ty |n order to |nd a comprom|se on mark|ng the con||ct |n South Serb|a.
7. The Government o the Pepub||c o Serb|a shou|d cons|der the poss|b|||ty o return|ng
|ur|sd|ct|on to the |oca| court |n Bu|anovac.
62 A CLASH OF PERCEPTIONS?
Pecommendat|ons or the Serb|an Government's Coord|nat|on Body
or the Mun|c|pa||t|es o Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda
1. The Coord|nat|on Body's |n|uence and |mportance w|th|n the Government o the
Pepub||c o Serb|a shou|d be enhanced.
2. The Coord|nat|on Body shou|d |ncrease the v|s|b|||ty o |ts work |n the |e|d.
3. ln a||ocat|ng resources, the Coord|nat|on Body shou|d take |nto account the conc|us|-
ons, recommendat|ons and |n|t|at|ves o the Mun|c|pa| Secur|ty Counc||s.
4. The Coord|nat|on Body shou|d deve|op programmes or empower|ng c|v|| soc|ety at
the |oca| |eve|.
5. The Coord|nat|on Body shou|d cont|nue and |ntens|y |ts eorts, and |nvest more reso-
urces |nto the deve|opment o a new generat|on o po||t|ca| e||tes at the |oca| |eve| thro-
ugh ||nk|ng them w|th Be|grade.
6. Ethn|c representat|on |n the Coord|nat|on Body and the Coord|nat|on Body's O|ce
shou|d be |ncreased. Th|s |nst|tut|on shou|d a|so avour |ob cand|dates who speak the
A|ban|an |anguage.
Pecommendat|ons or the Serb|an M|n|stry o the lnter|or
1. The urther deve|opment o tra|n|ng programmes or po||ce o|cers o A|ban|an nat|o-
na||ty |n the vocat|ona| schoo|s |n Be|grade shou|d be worked on.
2. Ethn|c representat|on |n the ranks o the Border Po||ce shou|d be |ncreased.
3. Po||ce o|cers o A|ban|an nat|ona||ty and peop|e be|ong|ng to the A|ban|an nat|ona|
m|nor|ty shou|d be encouraged to app|y to the Gendarmer|e compet|t|ons.
4. The Gendarmer|e shou|d be |nvo|ved |n the work o the Mun|c|pa| Secur|ty Counc||s.
The Gendarmer|e shou|d estab||sh better channe|s o commun|cat|on w|th the |oca| com-
mun|ty, |n order to exp|a|n |ts act|ons to the popu|at|on, mak|ng |t more understanda-
b|e or them. Th|s espec|a||y app||es to wear|ng masks and dr|v|ng s|ow|y through po-
pu|ated p|aces.
5. The po||cy o reduc|ng the presence o the Gendarmer|e un|ts |n popu|ated p|aces, as
much as poss|b|e, shou|d cont|nue.
6. The act|ons o the Gendarmer|e |n popu|ated p|aces that may cause antagon|sm o the
|oca| popu|at|on shou|d be m|n|m|sed. Th|s reers to the cons|stent |mp|ementat|on o
63 SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
the command to |ower and cover gun barre|s when pass|ng through popu|ated p|aces
but a|so to other measures that can reduce tens|ons between the |oca| popu|at|on and
the Gendarmer|e un|ts.
7. When perorm|ng secur|ty operat|ons |n South Serb|a, med|a sensat|ona||sm shou|d be
avo|ded.
Pecommendat|ons or the Serb|an Armed Forces
1. The Army shou|d cont|nue w|th the good pract|ce o c|v||-m|||tary cooperat|on and the
open|ng o m|||tary capac|ty or the |oca| popu|at|on.
2. The Army shou|d encourage A|ban|an nat|ona| m|nor|ty members to study at the
M|||tary Academy.
Pecommendat|ons or the |nternat|ona| commun|ty
1. lt |s necessary to support the deve|opment o c|v|| soc|ety and |ts connect|ons w|th the
c|v|| soc|ety organ|sat|ons rom other parts o Serb|a.
2. Educat|on and network|ng o youth |eaders rom South Serb|a shou|d be supported.
3. lt |s necessary to support med|a tra|n|ng a|med at better |normed, more ob|ect|ve and
|ess sensat|ona| report|ng on South Serb|a.
4. Support the greater |nvo|vement o c|v|| soc|ety |n South Serb|a |n the pub||c overs|ght
o the secur|ty sector through educat|ona| and research pro|ects.
Pecommendat|ons or the |oca| commun|ty
1. Po||t|ca| orces, representat|ves o ethn|c commun|t|es at the |oca| |eve|, shou|d |ncre-
ase the|r eorts to ach|eve consensus and un|te around common |nterests and pro-
b|ems aced by a|| the commun|t|es |n order to |o|n orces |n putt|ng pressure on the
centra| government to support the deve|opment o the reg|on.
2. Pepresentat|ves o the |oca| A|ban|an commun|ty shou|d be construct|ve |n the|r coo-
perat|on w|th the Coord|nat|on Body and the A|ban|an Nat|ona| M|nor|ty Counc||.
65 SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
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69 SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
Annex A
About the respondents
lnterv|ews conducted
1. Pagm| Mustaa, Human P|ghts Comm|ttee Bu|anovac, 10 September 2012
2. N|ko|a Laz|c, |ourna||st w|th the week|y vran|ske, 10 September 2012
3. Pagm| Mustaa, Pres|dent o Preevo Mun|c|pa||ty, 11 September 2012
4. Dr|ton Sa||hu, Ed|tor o the web porta| Presheva.com, 11 September 2012
5. Abdu||a Ahmed|, Coord|nator o the O|ce o the Youth ln|t|at|ve or Human P|ghts |n
Preevo, 11 September 2012
6. Nag|p Ar||, Pres|dent o Bu|anovac Mun|c|pa||ty, 11 September 2012
7. Nexhat Beh|u||, Coord|nator o the O|ce or Loca| Econom|c Deve|opment o Bu|anovac
Mun|c|pa||ty, 12 September 2012
8. Ha|red|n Hyda, Pres|dent o the Mun|c|pa| Assemb|y o Bu|anovac and Cha|rman o
the Secur|ty Counc|| o Bu|anovac Mun|c|pa||ty, 12 September 2012
9. Sto|anca Ars|c, v|ce-Pres|dent o Bu|anovac Mun|c|pa||ty, 12 September 2012
10. Pam|z Sa||m|, Pres|dent o the Assoc|at|on o Poma |n Bu|anovac, 12 September 2012
11. Ga||p Beq|r|, Pres|dent o the A|ban|an Nat|ona| M|nor|ty Counc||, 13 September 2012
12. S|obodan Drakov|c, Pres|dent o Medveda Mun|c|pa||ty, 13 September 2012
13. F|or|m Sah|t|, v|ce-Pres|dent o Medveda Mun|c|pa||ty, 13 September 2012
14. Dan||e|a Nenad|c, D|rector o the O|ce o the PS Government's Coord|nat|on Body or
the Mun|c|pa||t|es Preevo, Bu|anovac and Medveda, 5 October 2012
15. Dragan utanovac, ormer M|n|ster o Deence o the Pepub||c o Serb|a, 18 September
2012
16. O|ce o the Protector o C|t|zens |n Bu|anovac, Preevo and Medveda wr|tten res-
ponses, 17 September 2012
17. Bogdan Kosanov|c, Ass|stant Manager o the Serb|an Mol's Coord|nat|on D|rectorate
or Kosovo and Metoh||a, 2 November 2012
18. Dragan ve||ckov|c, Head o the po||ce stat|on |n Bu|anovac, 2 November 2012
19. Avd| Ba|ram|, Head o the po||ce stat|on |n Preevo, 2 November 2012
20. Zoran Ande||c, Head o the po||ce stat|on |n Medveda, 2 November 2012
21. vaskov|c Zoran, Ass|stant Head o the Border Po||ce D|rectorate, 5 November 2012
22. S|obodan ur|c, Head o Gendarmer|e lnte|||gence n|t, 5 November 2012
23. Pados|av |nov|c, Head o the Department or Mon|tor|ng and lnvest|gat|ng Terror|sm,
Cr|m|na| lnvest|gat|on D|rectorate, 6 November 2012
24. Ana ur|c, Department or lnternat|ona| Cooperat|on , Cr|m|na| lnvest|gat|on D|rectorate,
5 November 2012
6; SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
Annex B
About the researchers
F|||p E|dus
|s a Sen|or Lecturer at the Facu|ty o Po||t|ca| Sc|ences, n|vers|ty o Be|grade. He acqu|red
h|s Master's Degree at London Schoo| o Econom|cs and Po||t|ca| Sc|ences (LSE), and at
the Po||t|ca| Sc|ences lnst|tute |n Par|s (Sc|ences po Par|s), and deended h|s PhD Thes|s |n
the |e|d o |nternat|ona| secur|ty at the Facu|ty o Po||t|ca| Sc|ences, n|vers|ty o Be|grade.
ln the per|od January 2007 March 2009, he was the Execut|ve D|rector o the Centre or
C|v||-M|||tary Pe|at|ons and the Deputy D|rector o the Be|grade Schoo| o Secur|ty Stud|es,
and present|y he |s a member o the Execut|ve Board o the Be|grade Centre or Secur|ty
Po||cy. He co-cha|rs the Peg|ona| Stab|||ty |n South East Europe Study Group (PSSEE) o
the PP Consort|um o Deence Academ|es and Secur|ty Stud|es lnst|tutes. He |s the ed|tor
o the Journa| o Peg|ona| Secur|ty. He |s the author and ed|tor o severa| books and sc|en-
t||c papers |n nat|ona| and |nternat|ona| pub||cat|ons |n the |e|d o European |ntegrat|on, |n-
ternat|ona| re|at|ons and secur|ty stud|es.
lvan E. Kost|c
|s a PhD student at the Facu|ty o Po||t|ca| Sc|ences, n|vers|ty o Be|grade, Department
o Cu|tura| and Med|a Stud|es. He graduated rom the Facu|ty o Ph||o|ogy, Department
o Or|enta| Stud|es Arab|c Language and L|terature. ln the same Department, he deen-
ded h|s Master Thes|s ent|t|ed /soec|s c/ |s|am|c Pe/c/m|sm || '9|| a|o 20|| Ce||0/|es and
comp|eted h|s master stud|es at the ls|am and C|v|||sat|on Study Group. He |s one o the
ounders o the Be|grade-based Ba|kan Centre or the M|dd|e East. He |s the author o nu-
merous art|c|es and a ore|gn aa|rs commentator on the M|dd|e East and ls|am or the |ea-
d|ng med|a out|ets |n the country and the reg|on. S|nce 2011, he has been a |ecturer at the
Facu|ty or Med|a and Commun|cat|ons or the courses 7|e V|oo|e Fas| C0||0/e a|o ||s|c/,
a|o O/|e||a||sm a|o Occ|oe||a||sm. He |s a member o the ed|tor|a| board o the re||g|o-
us sc|ence magaz|ne Kom. The |e|ds o h|s sc|ent||c work are: ls|am |n Europe and |n the
Ba|kans, the h|story o the Ba|kan Mus||ms, the re|at|onsh|p between contemporary soc|a|
theor|es and ls|am, contemporary ls|am|c thought and reorm|sm w|th|n ls|am.
72 A CLASH OF PERCEPTIONS?
Mar||a Marov|c
|s a researcher and author |n the Ba|kan Centre or the M|dd|e East. She acqu|red her
Master's Degree |n lnternat|ona| Secur|ty at Georgetown n|vers|ty |n Wash|ngton, DC, SA.
She comp|eted undergraduate stud|es at the n|vers|ty o Be|grade, Facu|ty o Ph||o|ogy,
Department o Arab|c Language and L|terature. She worked or the OSCE M|ss|on to Serb|a
on the |mp|ementat|on o po||ce reorm support programmes, |nc|ud|ng her engagement |n
the OSCE O|ce |n Bu|anovac. She |s a ore|gn aa|rs commentator on the M|dd|e East or
A| Jazeera Ba|kans. She |s the author o severa| pub||cat|ons on the top|c o secur|ty sector
reorm and the M|dd|e East.
Other team members
Other team members who part|c|pated |n the research are M||o Be|c, Sen|or Lecturer at
the Facu|ty o Po||t|ca| Sc|ences, n|vers|ty o Be|grade, and Marko Kovacev|c, Teach|ng
Ass|stant at the Facu|ty o Po||t|ca| Sc|ences. M||o Be|c he|d ocus groups |n Bu|anovac
and Medveda. Marko Kovacev|c ana|ysed the d|scourse on the percept|on o threats |n
South Serb|a |n the debates o the Nat|ona| Assemb|y o the Pepub||c o Serb|a.
73 SECUPlTY lN SOUTH SEPBlA
Annex C
About the Ba|kan Centre or the M|dd|e East
The Ba|kan Centre or the M|dd|e East |s a non-governmenta| organ|sat|on estab||shed |n
2010 |n Be|grade w|th the a|m o |mprov|ng the understand|ng o the deep h|stor|ca|, cu|tu-
ra|, re||g|ous and po||t|ca| |ntertw|nement o the soc|et|es and states |n the Ba|kans and the
M|dd|e East.
The Ba|kan Centre or the M|dd|e East advocates the c|v|||zed harmon|sat|on o Europe and
the M|dd|e East, and perce|ves the Ba|kans as a meet|ng p|ace w|th the strong potent|a| to
become a br|dge o cooperat|on and mutua| understand|ng between the West and the East
|n the 21st century. ln order to ach|eve th|s goa|, the Ba|kan Centre or the M|dd|e East per-
orms research, educat|ona| and pub||sh|ng act|v|t|es, |ndependent|y or |n cooperat|on w|th
other |nst|tut|ons and |nd|v|dua|s rom Serb|a and abroad.
The Ba|kan Centre or the M|dd|e East has been work|ng on gather|ng and network|ng or-
gan|sat|ons and young researchers rom post-Yugos|av countr|es who study M|dd|e East
and Ottoman cu|ture, wh|ch has |et a b|g mark on the Western Ba|kans dur|ng the |ve-cen-
tur|es o Ottoman ru|e.
A|most a year ater |ts oundat|on, the Centre has managed to br|ng together young sc|en-
t|sts and researchers rom d|verse soc|a| |e|ds, such as: po||t|ca| sc|ence, or|enta| stud|es,
secur|ty stud|es, soc|o|ogy, anthropo|ogy and ||ngu|st|cs.

Related Interests