By Milos Mitrovic – Belgrade
The parade of young men dressed in green uniforms in Novi Pazar could be the prelude into new conflict escalation in Sandzak, the head of NGO Forum for Ethnic relations Dusan Janjic said today. Sandzak, in the south-west of Serbia, is an multi-ethnic region with significant Muslim population. Novi Pazar is its highest populated town and seat of Islamic community in Serbia.
The parade headed by mufti Muamer Zukorlic held on Thursday was a sign that the upcoming elections for the national councils of national minorities in Serbia would not be organized in calm atmosphere, Janjic told Beta news agency.
“Everyone who had the professional experience in Sandzak is aware that local citizens are afraid from the escalation of conflict between the different political groups among the Bosniaqs (Muslims), Janjic rendered adding that Serbian government does not recognize the real problems of minorities.
“This is the reason to be concerned because the government has no mechanism to resolve the crises as well as the ministry for minorities and inclusive policy; it (government) is relying on inherited politics of trading with the politicians from minority communities which is harmful to both minorities and Serbia”, Janjic said.
If nothing is changed, the number of parading “uniforms” from Bosniaq side, but also from Serbian via neo-fascist organizations would grow, he warned.
The march held in Novi Pazar “is an announcement of something that may be named as civil guard”, because the very same uniforms that have appeared on Thursday were used by Muslim militias during Second World War.
“And all this happens amid arresting of those in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo who recruits the people for the war in Iraq”, Janjic stressed.