- Attitudes of Serb community in Kosovo (RTK2)
- RIDEA calls for investigating those responsible for war crimes (RTK)
- Excavation for mass grave in Prishtinë/Pristina to continue on Wednesday (TV21)
- More reactions to recent KIA appointments (KTV)
Attitudes of Serb community in Kosovo
For the fifth consecutive year, NGO Aktiv presents the results of a survey on the interests, attitudes and problems of Serb community in Kosovo. This year’s survey shows that as many as 92% of respondents believe that the economic and political situation are not in favour of Serb community.
Research in all Serb-majority communities shows that governments in Prishtinë/Pristina and Belgrade must find their way to those responsible for the situation in Kosovo, said the Executive Director of NGO Aktiv from Mitrovica/Mitrovicë North:
“92% of respondents consider that the general trends in Kosovo are not in favour and are not encouraging for the Serb community in Kosovo. 50% of all respondents consider that the effects of current political processes are the greatest danger both to theirs and to the safety of their families. This is a rising trend compared to the previous years. 41.6% of respondents stressed that unemployment and poor economic situation are the biggest problems that Serb community in Kosovo is facing,” said Miodrag Milicevic.
The survey was conducted on a sample of 540 respondents, from July 15 to September 5 this year, and the qualitative part of the survey includes four groups, from Mitrovica/Mitrovicë North, Leposavic/Leposaviq, Gracanica/Graçanicë and Strpce/Shtërpcë.
According to Isak Vorgucic, Director of RTV Kim, the analyses reflect the real situation.
“Often we don’t think about it on a daily basis, but once it is put on paper and thought about, it can be scary at certain moments. What I really cannot comprehend is the lack of freedom of expression, that is every fourth Serb in Kosovo does not feel free to express their political views,” Vorgucic said.
The data of negative trend of migration from Kosovo are alarming. 55.3% of respondents indicated that they did not see themselves in Kosovo in the next five years, although more than two thirds of the respondents had university degree. 75.6% of respondents said they did not feel free to express their political views.
“To me, these results are devastating. When it comes to the socio-political situation in Serbian areas, this is not a surprise; we at the Media Centre are conducting similar surveys on a weekly basis at the “Slobodno Srspki” show through polls, with fewer people, and with Serbs south and north of Ibar and with Albanians, the results are actually similar, so in my opinion this is a very objective research and I congratulate on that,” said Budimir Nicic, Director of Media Centre in Caglavica.
The survey was conducted within the project Trend Analysis – Public Opinion Survey in the Serb Community in Kosovo, implemented by the NGO Aktiv with the financial support of the Kosovo Foundation for Open Society.
RIDEA calls for investigating those responsible for war crimes
The Research Institute of Development and European Affairs (RIDEA) has presented the research “Reconciliation process between Albanians and Serbs in the context of the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue final agreement”.
Shpend Voca of RIDEA presented the report as well as a range of recommendations about a possible agreement between Kosovo and Serbia.
He said that regarding prosecution of those who are responsible for crimes in Kosovo, hardly any progress has been made, not to say that it has failed.
“Concerning current situation about war damage and crimes, there is some destructivity. This is about statements that deny crimes. From this research we have compiled a range of recommendations about a possible agreement between Kosovo and Serbia,” he said.
He says that reconciliation process lies on two pillars: dealing with the past, and looking towards the future.
“A successful reconciliation process requires addressing war damages and its consequences. The reconciliation process is not available if the victim does not accept forgiveness, even when the aggressor asks for it. Legal investigation into those who are responsible for war and dealing with high profile cases is needed,” he added.
According to him, prosecution and punishment of those responsible for war has failed, by not addressing sufferings of the victims.
“Kosovo should make request for admitting responsibility by the state of Serbia for its role during the war, request for apologizing to victims, request for speeding up the missing persons’ issue, and request for war damage reparation,” Ekonomia Online reported.
He added that Kosovo should make a request for Serbia to step up efforts for shedding light on war crimes, and for the EU to have a monitoring role in this process.
Excavation for mass grave in Prishtinë/Pristina to continue on Wednesday
Relevant authorities in Kosovo halted works for a suspected mass grave with mortal remains of persons who went missing during the last war. Excavation at the campus of University of Prishtina in the capital began on Tuesday.
Chairperson of the Government Commission for Missing Persons Prenk Gjetaj stated to Radio Free Europe that the Kosovo Police War Crime Unit, along with the Prosecution Office and the Forensic Institute, so far have not found any mortal remains. He announced that the excavation at this location would continue on Wednesday.
This excavation followed reports from some citizens that at that location there might be a mass grave from the war period of 1999 in Kosovo. There are about 1,600 missing persons from that war.
More reactions to recent KIA appointments
Appointment of Kreshnik Gashi as Director of the Kosovo Intelligence Agency (KIA) and Burim Ramadani as KIA Chief Inspector is considered a violation of the Constitution and of the Law on KIA.
Although Kreshnik Gashi was an associate of Hashim Thaçi and Burim Ramadani was part of AAK, Haradinaj said he exercised his powers.
Moreover, he made a superlative evaluation about Ramadani.
Vetëvendosje has been outspoken against the appointments at KIA.
According to Vetëvendosje, appointment of former subordinates of President Hashim Thaçi and incumbent Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj as Heads of KIA is a political bargain.
Nuredin Ibishi, a security expert and a former LDK MP, has qualified those appointments as exclusively political, unconstitutional, and illegal.
Ehat Miftaraj, a lawyer, also believes that appointment of Gashi and Ramadani at KIA senior positions is illegal.
The appointment of Kreshnik Gashi as Head of KIA followed resignation of the KIA director Shpend Maxhuni, who has not made known the reasons of his resignation.