Profiles of Kosova Albanians at Rambouillet peace talks

According to first name Albanian alphabetical order, following  are profiles of the membersof a 16-strong Albanian delegation to peace talks with the Serbian government in France, at Rambouillet, since February 6th

AZEM SYLA -  The only delegate member known primarily for military rather than political expertise.

BAJRAM KOSUMI - Former political prisoner, 38, considered to have the sharpest political brain in Kosova. He is leader of the Parliamentary Party of Kosova formerly headed by veteran leader Adem Demaçi until he became the KLA's general political  representative and froze his party membership.

BLERIM SHALA - Another independent, the 35-year-old editor-in-chief of the leading Albanian-language political weekly «Zëri» is a moderate, and along with Surroi one of the younger generation likely to provide future political leaders. U.S. Kosova envoy Chris Hill usually sees him when in town.

BUJAR BUKOSHI - The 51-year-old urologist is prime minister of Kosova Albanians' government, set up in 1991, whose main function has been to channel funds from the Albanian diaspora back into the province. He lives in Germany.

EDITA TAHIRI - LDK's foreign affairs specialist, a 43-year-old engineering graduate who speaks English.

FEHMI AGANI - A 66-year-old sociology professor, a member of the Kosova academy, he was one of five founder-members of the LDK, and coordinator of a previous team for peace negotiations that had several meetings with Western mediators. During the 1960s, called repeatedly for Kosova to become the seventh republic of the old Yugoslav federation. Close to Rugova, but respected by all political groups.

HASHIM THAÇI - Heads the political directorate of the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA), has a university degree and is known for his love of literature.

HYDAJET HYSENI - A 45-year-old journalist and former student leader during demonstrations over living conditions in 1981, which turned into anti-regime protests, and a former vice-president of the LDK, now a member of Qosja's LBD.

IBRAHIM RUGOVA - A 53-year-old Sorbonne-educated professor of Albanian literature with a big following in Kosova  and strong support from the West, particularly the United States. Known for his non-violent action for a decade-long campaign of passive resistance to Serbian rule involving the creation of parallel education and health systems after Belgrade stripped the province of its autonomy in 1989. Elected president in 1992 in elections branded illegal by Belgrade, he was reconfirmed in 1998. Heads the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK).

IDRIZ AJETI - A 72-year-old academic, regarded as Kosova's leading authority on Albanian literature and language.

JAKUP KRASNIQI - Spokesman for the KLA in Kosova, a former history professor and political prisoner who, like many KLA leaders, was once a member of the LDK.

MEHMET HAJRIZI - Secretary of the LBD, the 50-year-old teacher is a former LDK vice-president.

RAME BUJA - Once a member of the presidency of the LDK, also spent time in prison. He has a degree in Albanian literature and is viewed by Western diplomats as a relatively moderate member of the KLA political directorate.

REXHEP QOSJA - A 62-year-old writer and academic who heads the United Democratic Movement (LBD), an umbrella organisation grouping half a dozen parties which was founded last spring, has close links with the KLA and contains many disgruntled former LDK members.

VETON SURROI - Joining the delegation as an independent, non-party member, the 37-year-old son of a Yugoslav diplomat posted to Latin America was educated in U.S., Bolivia and Mexico and speaks excellent English. Publisher of Kosova's leading Albanian-language daily «Koha Ditore». Long a political activist, was founder member of the Parliamentary Party, formed the first trade unions in Kosova, active in human rights organizations.

XHAVIT HALITI - Also a member of the KLA political directorate, was an early member of the guerrilla group with close ties to the ethnic Albanian diaspora in Switzerland and Germany.


© Giovanni Armillotta, 1999