Kosovo Debacle: NZ Should Stop Backing NATO

The Greens want the government to stop backing the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

“The bombing has made things worse for the people of Kosovo,” said Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke.

“It has removed any restraint on Milosevic, allowing him to massively increase the ‘ethnic cleansing’. Rather than put internal pressure on the Serbian ruler, the bombing has united the Serbian opposition behind him.

Before the bombing, the presence of OSCE observers and the world media made it impossible for the Serbs to remove ethnic Albanians from the bigger towns in Kosovo.

“The exit of the observers when bombing was threatened, and the expulsion of the media after it began, gave Serb security forces free reign to terrorise Albanians.

“Unfortunately, NATO is so locked into a military solution that its only response to the debacle has been to step up the bombing.

A whole new approach is required. New Zealand should stop backing NATO and work with those seeking a negotiated solution.

“This means talking with Russia, Greece and the UN to achieve a Serbian pullback, a political settlement and the introduction of peacekeeping forces.

“There is no time to be lost. The genie will be much harder to put back in the bottle if Milocevic is able to clear Kosovo of most ethnic Albanians,” said Mr Locke.