Kosovo women still seek justice 

Kosovar women who were victims of rape and violence during the 1998-1999 war with Serbia are only starting to receive compensation for their suffering.

Ana Maria Luca
Ana Maria Luca NewsMavens, Central & Eastern Europe
Source: Balkan Insight
Kosovo women still seek justice  - NewsMavens
Photo: UN Women/Flikr

Why this story matters:

A special focus group with war survivors from the village of Krusha e Madhe provided some insight into the thoughts and needs of Kosovar women, twenty years after the conflict.

War rapes are still a source of shame for the victims.

It is only now that the thousands of women who were raped during Kosovo's independence war are beginning to receive compensation. Many kept silent for two decades.

Kosovo's women also report being dissatisfied with the efforts of international missions -- like UNMIK, EULEX -- and of the domestic judiciary to punish war criminals.

But they also provide a lesson in resilience: these traumatized survivors, most of whom lost husbands, fathers and brothers to Serbian attacks, are not looking for justice for Albanians only. They seek justice for all, Serb or Albanian.

Details from the story:

  • In the village of Krusha e Madhe/Velika Krusa in western Kosovo, 241 men were killed in massacres in March 1999.
  • The women who survived rebuilt their burned-out houses with their own resources, raised fatherless children and continued to work their land themselves.
  • The new Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague is set to hear cases arising from an EU Special Investigative Task Force report.
  • The alleged crimes include killings, abductions, illegal detentions and sexual violence.
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