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New Zealand Green Party Statements

Peace Movement Aotearoa

PO Box 9314, Wellington. Tel (04) 382 8129, fax (04) 382 8173,

Issued 30 March, 1999

The Green Party has backed Labour leader Helen Clark's criticism of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. "The air attack has been counter-productive," said Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke. "It has only encouraged Serb extremism. The real losers have been Kosovo's Albanians, who are now fleeing before the "ethnic cleansers". "There is no way bombing can stop Milosevic's killers, who only need small arms to terrorise a largely defenceless population.

"New Zealand should stop being a cheerleader for NATO. We have an international responsibility to push for new negotiations, most crucially involving the Russians. "The UN, sidelined by NATO, should be brought back into the picture. The UN facilitated last year's Kosovo ceasefire, and the introduction of OSCE observers. "It will not be easy to re-establish trust between the Serb and Albanian communities in Kosovo. But it is more likely to happen through UN peacemaking than NATO air raids," said Mr Locke.

4 April 1999


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.

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