Natasa Kandic (left) and the Humanitarian Law Center draw praise from The Economist’s Tim Judah, who notes that the weekend’s fifth anniversary of Kosovo’s declaration of independence also provides a prelude to the resumption of European Union (EU) sponsored talks between Dacic and Kosovo premier Hashim Thaci.
“Both prime ministers have been accused in their respective countries of treachery. Even so, they have decided to try to strike a historic deal,” Judah writes:
If they can, it will boost the theory that only hardliners in such situations can do business together. Mr Dacic used to be the spokesman of Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian leader who went to war with NATO over Kosovo in 1999. Mr Thaci was the political head of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) guerrillas who took on the Serbs in the war that began in 1998.
At this crucial juncture, it is worth recalling the human suffering that brought them to this point. The Humanitarian Law Center in Kosovo and Serbia has been working for years to compile an exact list of everyone who died as a result of the war within Kosovo’s borders and to give an account of how each person died…….According to Natasa Kandic (pictured above), founder of the HLC and director of the book project, just having a list of names is not enough.
“For history and for future generations it is important to know what happened to people.” The Kosovo Memory Book [a project funded by the National Endowment for Democracy] is unique because Serbs and Albanians are in one book together, as are KLA fighters, Serbian police and soldiers.
“What is shocking about so many of the stories is their sheer banality, which makes them all the more tragic,’ Judah observes:
Tahir Krasniqi, born in 1967, was a farmer with two children:
“He disappeared on 2 June 1998. Since then all trace of him has been lost. To this day, the Krasniqi family knows nothing of what happened to him. His disappearance is entered on the ICRC list of missing persons under BLG-802615-01.”