Thousands of citizens gathered in Reçak, Kosovo to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the massacre committed by the Serbian army.
It was an act of horror that raised international awareness of Serbia's crimes against the people of Kosovo.
Near the Reçak Memorial, the President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, paid tribute to the victims, accompanied by the President of Albania, Ilir Meta.
Thaçi said that Kosovo still wants to continue investigating not only the Recak massacre, but all of the crimes that occurred during the war. The president expressed dissatisfaction with international justice.
"International justice hasn’t yet solved the cases of massacres in Kosovo, it has also silenced the rape of 20,000 women…Our journey is Euro-Atlantic, we must consolidate the state," the Kosovo’s President said.
Thaçi accused Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic of saying he has a similar mentality to Slobodan Milosevic in trying to deny crimes committed by Serbia in Reçak.
"It is a behavior of Slobodan Milosevic's mentality, but this behavior came as a result of the international silence on the Reçak massacre, it was a push and courage of the Serbian authorities to deny the crimes in the Racak massacre," the president said.
While President Meta said the Reçak massacre showed that freedom and dignity always triumphed over genocide and human barbarism.
“This and other massacres in Kosovo with a concrete plan for ethnic cleansing have shown that human freedom and dignity always triumph over genocide and human barbarism. Today is the time not only to remember but also to insist that justice follows through to the end,” he said.
Meta commented that "Any attempt to deny this massacre and other massacres comes at the risk of recurring violence, and we must stand united towards European values," said.
In addition to the many citizens in Reçak, the head of Vetëvendosje, Albin Kurti and the acting Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj also paid homage.
The former head of the OSCE mission in Kosovo and the man who went public 21 years ago, sounding the alarm about Serbian crimes in Kosovo, Ambassador William Walker, said that Reçak symbolizes all that happened in Kosovo during the war.
“I'm very pleased that every year more people from Kosovo come to see what Reçak is, and what it represents. I am not happy about what happened here, but I am glad that more attention is being paid to this place because it represents what happened throughout Kosovo,” he said.
Twenty-five unarmed Albanians were killed and massacred in Reçak 21 years ago, including one woman.
At a meeting on January 17th 1999 with the Serbian government, Walker was declared a "persona non-grata", giving him an ultimatum of 48-hours to leave Yugoslavia.
The massacre sparked successive reactions from the international community that proposed a conference on Kosovo which eventually resulted with NATO intervention.