41. Exodus
Written by Robert Nesta Marley
Performed by Eyesburn
From the CD Dog Life (Metropolis Records, Serbia 1998)



Open your eyes and look within:
Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?
We know where we’re going,
We know where we’re from.
We’re leaving Babylon,
We’re going to our Father’s land.

2, 3, 4: Exodus: movement of Jah people
(Movement of Jah people!) Send us another brother Moses!
(Movement of Jah people!) From across the Red Sea!
(Movement of Jah people!) Send us another brother Moses!
(Movement of Jah people!) From across the Red Sea!
(Movement of Jah people!)


One. ‘the victory of good over evil’

The Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh, U.S.A, September 23, 1980: Bob Marley performs Exodus for the last time during his final live performance. Also included in the set list are Redemption Song, and War: ‘…and we know we shall win, because we are confident, in the victory of good over evil, good over evil…’ [1]

Kosovo, March 1981: Police and Albanian demonstrators clash. Protests organised by Kosovar Albanian students seeking Republic status for Kosovo brutally contained by the centralist Yugoslav and Serbian governments.

Belgrade, 1985: Serbian brothers Jovan and Valdan Matic form the Del Arno Band, the first and for many years the only reggae band in the Balkans, and the group responsible for spreading reggae across eastern Europe. [2]

Belgrade, 1987: Senior Serbian Communist Party official Slobodan Milosevic begins his rise to power with an address to Kosovo Serbs, declaring no one would ‘beat them’ again.

Prominent intellectuals at the Serbian Academy issued their celebrated memorandum, which pushed for the expansion of Serbia to include the 2 million-strong Diaspora in the other Yugoslav republics, mainly Croatia and Bosnia. The memorandum was fuelled by a deep sense of historical grievance that Serbia had sacrificed itself for Yugoslavia, first in 1918 and then in 1945. Never again. This became Milosevic’s programme, the Greater Serbian manifesto requiring redrawing of borders and population transfers. [3]

Serbia 1997: Milosevic becomes Yugoslav president. Serbian musicians add their voices to the growing dissent: Eyesburn, formed in 1994, join the pre election tours ‘IT’S TIME’ and ‘USE IT (your brain)’ to end Milosevic’s rule. [4]

Kosovo 1998: Serb forces launch brutal crackdown after Kosovo Liberation Army rebels against Serbian rule.

The Hague, March 1999: Milosevic indicted for war crimes in Kosovo by Louise Arbour, the Canadian chief prosecutor. Arbour’s successor, the Swiss campaigner Carla Del Ponte extends the charge to include indictments on Croatia and Bosnia, in the latter case accusing him of genocide for his alleged collusion in the massacre of more than 7,000 Muslim males at Srebrenica in July 1995. [5]

The 1999 Kosovo crisis produced possibly the fastest mass exodus and rapid return of refugees in modern history as an estimated 860,000 ethnic Albanian Kosovars fled or were deported to neighbouring states within weeks and then returned just as quickly later in the year. It was also one of the most complex operations in UNHCR’s experience, with humanitarian considerations inextricably linked with global military and political developments, and the first exodus-return of ethnic Albanians followed by a second massive flight of 230,000 Serbs and Roma as the fortunes of war changed dramatically. [6]


Two. ‘Serbia is definitely not the promised land’

Belgrade, April 2000: ‘People’s army go to Serbia, a new promised land’, by Vesna Peric Zimonjic in Belgrade, The Independent (London), April 10, 2000.

CHINESE NATIONALS are arriving in Serbia in ever greater numbers, hoping to realise their dreams of prosperity in a country that recently has been depicted on billboards back home as the promised land.

But as more turn up each week, encouraged by rumours that the government of the Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic, is handing out citizenship, the Chinese Communists are forced to admit that Serbia today is far from a workers’ paradise.

‘This impoverished country can offer little to its own people, let alone us Chinese,’ says Meng, a cook who has lived in Serbia for some years. Things were more or less all right until a year ago, when the Nato air raids started. ‘Everything has fallen apart since then and business is bad.’

Unofficially, the number of Chinese in Serbia is put at some 100,000, and there are reports that about 40,000 of them are due to be granted Yugoslav citizenship soon. That would enable them to buy real estate and vote in the elections. After the rumours about citizenship for the Chinese started spreading in Serbia’s independent media, China’s embassy issued a mild denial, saying that ‘many people are here as tourists or visiting relatives’.

The Chinese started coming to Serbia in 1996, after President Milosevic paid an official visit to China. Many Serbs also believe that the well known obsession with China of his powerful wife, Mira Markovic, added to the process. Both are promoting China as Serbia’s only friend at a time when European and US sanctions are still in force. It is widely believed that China is where the private fortunes of Belgrade’s super- rich have been stashed away.

A Belgrade radio station has a programme in Cantonese once a week; and the central police station, where foreigners have to register, has instructions written in both Serbian and Chinese. Meanwhile, in the Belgrade suburb of Novi Beograd, Block 70 houses a huge shopping centre with stocks of cheap Chinese goods. They are sold in shops, but also in hundreds of cardboard boxes.

Shop windows are decorated with Chinese characters and local restaurant menus are in Chinese. Next to the mall, the high rises in Block 70 are rented to thousands of Chinese families, who live a ghetto-like existence.

The Chinese speak some Serbian, and use it when plying their trade. Business is not good, they complain. One man, who gave his name only as Liu, said: ‘Serbia is definitely not the promised land.’ [7]

Belgrade, October 2000: Milosevic resigns after mass demonstrations and the storming of parliament after he is accused of rigging the presidential elections against Vojislav Kostunica.

The Hague, 29 October 2001: The following is a summary of the indictment of President Slobodan Milosevic and other officials on war crimes charges relating to the war in Croatia and the Yugoslav province of Kosovo:

Kosovo: Introduction


The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, pursuant to her authority under Article 18 of the Statute of the Tribunal, charges



At all times relevant to this indictment, a state of armed conflict existed in Kosovo in the FRY.

All acts and omissions charged as crimes against humanity were part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against the Kosovo Albanian civilian population of Kosovo in the FRY.

Each of the accused is individually responsible for the crimes alleged against him in this indictment, pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Tribunal Statute. Individual criminal responsibility includes committing, planning, instigating, ordering or aiding and abetting in the planning, preparation or execution of any crimes referred to in Articles 2 to 5 of the Tribunal Statute.


Beginning in January 1999 and continuing to the date of this indictment, Slobodan MILOSEVIC, Milan MILUTINOVIC, Nikola SAINOVIC, Dragoljub OJDANIC, and Vlajko STOJILJKOVIC planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted in a campaign of terror and violence directed at Kosovo Albanian civilians living in Kosovo in the FRY. The campaign of terror and violence directed at the Kosovo Albanian population was executed by forces of the FRY and Serbia acting at the direction, with the encouragement, or with the support of Slobodan MILOSEVIC, Milan MILUTINOVIC, Nikola SAINOVIC, Dragoljub OJDANIC, and Vlajko STOJILJKOVIC.

The operations targeting the Kosovo Albanians were undertaken with the objective of removing a substantial portion of the Kosovo Albanian population from Kosovo in an effort to ensure continued Serbian control over the province.

To achieve this objective, the forces of the FRY and Serbia, acting in concert, have engaged in well-planned and co-ordinated operations as described in paragraphs 92 through 98 below.

The forces of the FRY and Serbia, have in a systematic manner, forcibly expelled and internally displaced hundreds of thousands of Kosovo Albanians from their homes across the entire province of Kosovo.

To facilitate these expulsions and displacements, the forces of the FRY and Serbia have intentionally created an atmosphere of fear and oppression through the use of force, threats of force, and acts of violence. Throughout Kosovo, the forces of the FRY and Serbia have looted and pillaged the personal and commercial property belonging to Kosovo Albanians forced from their homes.

Policemen, soldiers, and military officers have used wholesale searches, threats of force, and acts of violence to rob Kosovo Albanians of money and valuables, and in a systematic manner, authorities at FRY border posts have stolen personal vehicles and other property from Kosovo Albanians being deported from the province. Throughout Kosovo, the forces of the FRY and Serbia have engaged in a systematic campaign of destruction of property owned by Kosovo Albanian civilians […] As Kosovo Albanians have been forced from their homes and directed towards Kosovo’s borders, they have been subjected to demands to surrender identity documents at selected points en route to border crossings and at border crossings into Albania and Macedonia.

These actions have been undertaken in order to erase any record of the deported Kosovo Albanians’ presence in Kosovo and to deny them the right to return to their homes. Beginning on or about 1 January 1999 and continuing until the date of this indictment, the forces of the FRY and Serbia, acting at the direction, with the encouragement, or with the support of Slobodan MILOSEVIC, Milan MILUTINOVIC, Nikola SAINOVIC, Dragoljub OJDANIC, and Vlajko STOJILJKOVIC have perpetrated the actions set forth in paragraphs 92 through 96, which have resulted in the forced deportation of approximately 740,000 Kosovo Albanian civilians.’ [8]

Kosovo, March 2004: Worst clashes between Serbs and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo since 1999 after violence erupts in divided town of Mitrovica. Nato sends reinforcements.

Since the conflict of 1999, approximately 10,000 displaced persons of ethnic minority communities have gradually returned to their place of origin or concentrated in other villages and towns within Kosovo, awaiting their eventual homecoming. Over 220,000 minorities living in Serbia-Montenegro had been waiting for reintegration in Kosovo when the violent uprising of March 17, 2004 struck in Mitrovica, northern Kosovo. Three days of riots displaced more than 4,000 minority members, mostly Serbs, as well as some Roma and Ashkaelia, whose homes were damaged or destroyed. [9]

The Hague, 10 March 2006: Mirjana Markovic, Mrs. Slobodan Milosevic visits her husband in his prison cell at the Hague where he is on trial for war crimes. He tells her, ‘Sleep well my darling. I’ll call you as soon as I wake up in the morning.’ On March 11 Milosevic is found dead in his cell. [10]

Belgrade, Mar 13 2006: ‘He left a legacy of more than 200,000 dead in Bosnia and 2 million people (half the population) homeless. He ethnically cleansed more than 800,000 Albanians from their homes in Kosovo. He had political opponents and former friends and colleagues in Belgrade murdered. In Bosnia, he triggered the worst crisis in transatlantic relations before the Iraq war and left the United Nations and the European Union looking spineless and humiliated, their foreign policymaking and peacekeeping credibility in tatters.

- Obituary: Slobodan Milosevic – Ruthless manipulator of Serbian nationalism who became the most dangerous man in Europe, by Ian Traynor, The Guardian, 13 March 2006. [11]



[1] Viva Les Bootlegs

[2] http://www.delarnoband.com/

[3] Obituary: Slobodan Milosevic – Ruthless manipulator of Serbian nationalism who became the most dangerous man in Europe, by Ian Traynor, The Guardian, 13 March 2006, http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2006/mar/13/guardianobituaries.warcrimes

[4] http://www.eyesburnmusic.com/biography.php

[5] Traynor

[6] The Balkans: Kosova www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/balkans-country?country=kosovo

[7] People’s army go to Serbia, a new promised land – by Vesna Peric Zimonjic in Belgrade, The Independent, April 10, 2000

[8] BBC, Monday, 29 October, 2001, 13:09 GMT. Milosevic Indictment: Text

[9]: The Balkans: Kosova www.unhcr.org/cgibin/texis/vtx/balkanscountry?country=kosovo

[10] Sleep well, my darling’: Milosevic’s last words to his wife 13 Mar 2006 Belgrade (AFP)

[11] Traynor



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