A statue of the former chief of OSCE Verification Mission to Kosovo, William Walker, was unveiled in the village of Racak, where 45 Albanian civilians were reportedly massacred by Serbian forces on January 15, 1999.
William Walker is already the second US politician to be honored with a lifetime statue in Kosovo. He was the first to report the tragic incident, which he called “a crime against humanity.”
His report became a major Casus belli for then US President Bill Clinton and served as a pretext for the 1999 NATO aggression against Federal Yugoslavia.
Serbians call William Walker “the director of the preface to NATO bombings of Yugoslavia.” A year after 1999 NATO aggression against Yugoslavia, Helena Ranta, a Finnish forensic expert who worked as part of the international commission investigating the Racak massacre, said that she had written her autopsy reports under strong pressure from William Walker and the Finnish Foreign Ministry.
She also said that that Walker would throw his pen at her demanding more graphic descriptions of “Serbian crimes.”
Helena Ranta presented the genuine results of her work in Racak in a report to the Hague Tribunal where she questioned some of the conclusions contained in Walker’s report, including about the “huge number” of bullets allegedly fired at the Albanian victims by their “Serbian executioners.” She also showed the original report from Racak, which said that the exhumed bodies were actually those of Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) fighters, not of innocent civilians.
Finnish journalist Ari Rusila later wrote that William Walker helped the KLA create a vivid picture of a massacre that could be used as a pretext for NATO bombings of Federal Yugoslavia. Based on the evidence provided by Helena Ranta, Rusila insisted that KLA members had dressed their fighters, killed in a shootout with Yugoslav forces, in civilian clothes and buried them in already prepared graves to make the whole thing look like a cold-blooded massacre of innocent civilians by the Yugoslavian military. William Walker’s effort was rewarded by Pristina with a lifetime statue, a gold medal and an honorary citizenship.
William Walker had earlier worked in Croatia as part of a mission overseeing the peaceful reintegration of parts of the already defunct Republic Serbian Krajina into Croatia following the end of the Croatian War.
Before that he had spent almost 40 years holding insignificant diplomatic positions in Latin and Central America. Between 1988 and 1992, he served as US ambassador to El Salvador. His later appointment as an envoy to Argentina was blocked by the US Senate. This is all that is known about the man who was tasked with handling or, rather, mishandling, a serious European problem!
The statue to William Walker in Racak is the latest in a series of monuments erected in Kosovo to foreign politicians who helped break the region away from Yugoslavia.
Several years ago they erected in downtown Pristina a six-meter statue of Bill Clinton who inaugurated the monument in person.