The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
A Sunday salvage
May 12, 2024
Advertisement
The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
Programs look to combat drunk driving
Alexia Serrata, JOUR 203 contributor • May 10, 2024
Advertisement
Junior Mary Stoiana reacts during Texas A&M’s match against Oklahoma at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Regional at Mitchell Tennis Center on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
No. 13 A&M upsets No. 5 Virginia in dominant fashion, 4-1
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • May 17, 2024

No. 13 Texas A&M women’s tennis met Virginia in the quarterfinal of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 17 at the Greenwood Tennis Center...

Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Assassination a setback to democracy

Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic was shot and killed earlier this month. The Serbian government has said that it suspects the assassination was done by snipers, two of whom were shot and killed last Thursday, according to The Associated Press. Djindjic helped oust then-Yugoslav President Slobadan Milosevic from power after the United States led a NATO attack on Serbia. Prime Minister Djindjic was leading Serbia to a peaceful and democratic future, and his untimely death is a huge setback to democracy in Serbia.
According to reports from CNN, the Serbian government suspects an underworld crime family called the “Zemun clan” in the murder of Djindjic. Crime boss Dusan Spasojevic, who has been linked to Milosevic, heads the Zemun clan. This link between the underworld and the past leader of Serbia reveals the former method of government rule. It was not by the people, nor was it for the people. Government rule was for the powerful and rich, and the assassination of Djindjic leaves the future of Serbian rule somewhat unclear.
More than 400 people have reportedly been detained in the investigation, according to CNN. The Serbian government, currently using an emergency system of rule, must not alienate democracy and civil rights, or Serbia could lose more than a prime minister as a result of the assassination.
Djindjic had proven himself an ally of the west by arresting and extraditing Milosevic to the U.N. war crimes tribunal. Serbian nationalists oppose extraditing Serbians to the tribunal, according to CNN. By extraditing war criminals and holding them accountable, Djindjic strengthened the rule of law in Serbia, and the world. His fair system of governing will be missed.
During the uprising against Milosevic in October of 2000, The Washington Post reported that Milorad Lukovic, head of the Red Berets, switched allegiance from Milosevic to Djindjic and his democratic supporters. The Red Berets were accused of many atrocities in the wars during the 1990s. Lukovic’s switch appeared to have helped the uprising against Milosevic end relatively bloodless with Milosevic’s removal. Coups such as this in Serbia rarely end bloodless.
Djindjic’s willingness to recommit himself to democracy by attacking the underworld proves what an adept leader he was. By not fighting Lukovic right away, Djindjic prevented bloodshed in the uprising and possibly secured the uprising’s success. As democracy stabilized, the strength and willingness to pursue the underworld was attained. Interior Minister Dusan Mihajlovic revealed that the government was set to crackdown on underworld crime syndicates. According to CNN, the crackdown could have been the motivating factor in Djindjic’s assassination.
Violence in Serbia has spurred several conflicts, two that eventually involved the United States. World War I began when Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian nationalist, assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary. Much later, the United States and NATO launched an air war against Serbia, led by Milosevic, to prevent a repeat of ethnic cleansing, this time in Kosovo. The air war proved to be a great success, but the next war in the region might not prove to be so easy and bloodless. It is because of the instability of the region that the United States and our allies should be ever vigilant and seek to keep democratic leaders such as Djindijic in power.
Democracy and reform is the legacy that Djindjic leaves. However, it is up to the Serbian people to continue the change to a full-fledged democracy that promotes peace and disowns violence as a political tool. The United States must help this fledgling democracy overcome the criminal underworld, which multiplies and festers in the open wound that is Serbia’s war-torn economy. The United States can help avert the fall of democracy, and a possible future military conflict, by giving aid and support to Serbia. A stable, peaceful and democratic Serbia will go a long way toward reaching peace in the Balkans region.
Prime Minister Djindjic led the fight for a democratic Serbia, and with his assassination, the United States must be wary of a return of violence as the main political tool in Serbia.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *