- Due to the abundance of misfortunate circumstances surrounding us;
the conflicts and bloodshed we seem to have found ourselves in the midst of;
due to application of force in the form of air raids, we, AEGEE Beograd,
feel obliged to react by putting forward our stand.
Nobody is suffering the consequences of this conflict to the extent
that the people living here do, whether they are Serbian or Albanian. As is
always the case, those affected most are the innocent ones - they lose their
lives and the lives of those dearest to them, lose all they have. Thousands
of people - again, both Serbian and Albanian - remain homeless, scattered
around Serbia, Montenegro and Albania, forced to seek sanctuary, and live on
humanitarian aid arriving from Belgrade. The area bearing consequences is
certainly much wider than Kosovo itself.
Many people throughout Serbia lost their loved ones. Some fell prey
to the cruising missiles, some were taken hostages by terrorists, and were
never recovered. Nevertheless, these same people are willing to do all they
can to help all those in need.
Conflicts and anguish are surely the most disastrous reasons that
the people in this region became entangled in dreadful economic and
political crises, and on the verge of material existence. For, while the
innocent are paying the debts, the state elite is sitting in the lap of
luxury - on their account.
It seems futile and needless to explain the uselessness of bloody
clashes on the threshold of the 21st century, but, we have already come to
that, they should be ceased immediately, and that is clear. However, it
would be paradoxical to do so by the demonstration of force. At a time when
diplomacy is the basic means of 'warfare' in Europe, any application of
force deserves harsh condemnation.
Realizing the decision to strike from air on the territory of a
sovereign state, such as is FR Yugoslavia represents a direct breach of the
charter of the UN; nothing else but aggression merely for the purpose of
asserting power and testing the latest military contraptions, and all under
the disguise of the supposed aspiration for the negotiations to begin.
Precisely for this reason, the desire of the 'diplomats' from
certain European countries to apply force is absolutely unjustifiable. For,
as it always turns out, those who pay are only the inculpable ones. Even
more hardships, bloodshed, more casualties and shattered homes, new
processions of refugees and the devastated land - will be the outcome of the
'demonstration of might' and 'solution of the humanitarian catastrophe by
the means of the latest rocket-systems'.
On the other hand, the military intervention of the NATO forces will
only assist Milosevic in his final blow to this little seed of democracy and
freedom we managed to preserve (particularly the media) as well as in
winning over the majority of people again. The blame for the accumulated
economic and social problems will be imposed on the West, whereas we know
that they stem from Milosevic's refusal to begin the reformative process of
democratization and privatization. At the same time, the state media will
easily be able to spread hatred and 'europhobia' among the common people.
In addition to this, Milosevic will take advantage of the country's
jeopardized position and the threat of war to 'purify' the state, above all
from the free media, and to deal with all those having different opinions.
Among those would be NGOs', Yugoslavia's AEGEE included. The military
intervention would be a cover-up for the formal introduction of a permanent
totalitarian regime. With everything mentioned above, we would end up with
another Iraq, which would be not only a tragedy for the people of this
country, but also a enduring source of instability in the region.
The only way of preventing these catastrophical consequences lies in
mediation, discussion, diplomacy and exertion of serious political pressure
on BOTH sides to start negotiations, unconditionally, and as soon as
possible, in order to solve the most urgent problems (such as avoiding the
humanitarian catastrophe, which is the most commonly cited reason for the
NATO intervention). For - power induces nothing but torment and suffering!
Due to everything stated here, we request that AEGEE Europe come out
with an official statement and give its vote against the military
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