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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, July 13, 2020

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, July 13, 2020

Albanian Language Media:

• President Thaci arrives at the Special Court (RTK)
• Veseli: We will triumph in this battle as well (media)
• Haradinaj: I highly value Thaci’s readiness to respond to Specialist Chambers (RTK)
• Albanians protest in Hague (Koha)
• Kosovo Government announces new measures against coronavirus (media)
• Borrell considers Lajcak has done a good job (Koha)
• Police Director warns penalty measures for those who do not wear masks (media)
• Kurti accuses the government: They are filling the morg (RTK)
• Gucati and Kosnett discuss KLA veterans (RTK)
• Thaci’s lawyer, former U.S. senior official Pierre-Richard Prosper (RTK)

Serbian Language Media:

• 38 new cases of Covid-19 infection registered, one person passed away in Serb areas (Kosovo-online)
• Vucic: Belgrade-Pristina talks to resume on Thursday with new topics (media)
• Dacic: There is no readiness of Pristina for compromise (Prva TV)
• Dialogue on reset, but still paralyzed (DW)
• Vucic met Botsan-Kharchenko, discussed Kosovo and Metohija (Danas)
• “Consultations on new Serbian government to start as of Tuesday” (N1, FoNet)
• NGOs urged crisis headquarters to inform public on epidemic, unbiased cooperation with media outlets (KoSSev)
• Dr. Rasic: Increased number of patients with respiratory infections in Gracanica (RTK2, Radio kontakt plus)

International:

• ‘I believe in justice’ says Kosovo’s Thaci as he arrives at The Hague on war crime charges (Euronews)
• Kosovo-Serbia Deal Must Not Lead to Impunity for War Crimes: US Ex-Ambassador (Balkan Insight)

Humanitarian/Development:

• Kon on epidemiological situation in Serbia, possibility of new measures (B92, Prva TV)
• Temporary residence permits in Kosovo extended (Prishtina Insight)

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Albanian Language Media:

  • President Thaci arrives at the Special Court (RTK)
  • Veseli: We will triumph in this battle as well (media)
  • Haradinaj: I highly value Thaci’s readiness to respond to Specialist Chambers (RTK)
  • Albanians protest in Hague (Koha)
  • Kosovo Government announces new measures against coronavirus (media)
  • Borrell considers Lajcak has done a good job (Koha)
  • Police Director warns penalty measures for those who do not wear masks (media)
  • Kurti accuses the government: They are filling the morg (RTK)
  • Gucati and Kosnett discuss KLA veterans (RTK)
  • Thaci’s lawyer, former U.S. senior official Pierre-Richard Prosper (RTK)

Serbian Language Media:

  • 38 new cases of Covid-19 infection registered, one person passed away in Serb areas (Kosovo-online)
  • Vucic: Belgrade-Pristina talks to resume on Thursday with new topics (media)
  • Dacic: There is no readiness of Pristina for compromise (Prva TV)
  • Dialogue on reset, but still paralyzed (DW)
  • Vucic met Botsan-Kharchenko, discussed Kosovo and Metohija (Danas)
  • “Consultations on new Serbian government to start as of Tuesday” (N1, FoNet)
  • NGOs urged crisis headquarters to inform public on epidemic, unbiased cooperation with media outlets (KoSSev)
  • Rasic: Increased number of patients with respiratory infections in Gracanica (RTK2, Radio kontakt plus)

International:

  • ‘I believe in justice’ says Kosovo’s Thaci as he arrives at The Hague on war crime charges (Euronews)
  • Kosovo-Serbia Deal Must Not Lead to Impunity for War Crimes: US Ex-Ambassador (Balkan Insight)

Humanitarian/Development: 

  • Kon on epidemiological situation in Serbia, possibility of new measures (B92, Prva TV)
  • Temporary residence permits in Kosovo extended (Prishtina Insight)

 

 

Albanian Language Media

 

President Thaci arrives at the Special Court (RTK)

The President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci has arrived at the facilities of  the Specialized Chambers and the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office located in The Hague.

He spoke to the media very briefly, saying that this is a blotting of the Kosovo Liberation Army war and a kind of political propaganda at the crucial moments for Kosovo, at this stage of the dialogue with Serbia. 

He also said he would respond to the Specialized Chambers and Prosecutor to show his Veseli’s and his comrades-in-arms innocence.

“Today I am here in respect of my dream and for what I have fought for, a free and independent Kosovo, based on equal rights and the rule of law. I am ready to face new challenges and win, for my son, for my family and for my country. No one can rewrite history, this is the price of freedom, I believe in peace, truth and justice. I believe in dialogue and good relations with neighboring countries, Kosovo is a success story and I am very proud. Kosovo’s destination is integration into the European Union, NATO and good relations with the United States,” Thaci said.

Veseli: We will triumph in this battle as well (media)

Kadri Veseli, leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) said Kosovo will triumph the battle at the Specialist Chambers.

“Kosovo will come out triumphant from this yet another battle, in which I will be again with my brother in arms, Hashim Thaci. Because, our liberation war was just, clean and triumphant. Therefore, yes, the sun will rise again,” Veseli wrote.  

Haradinaj: I highly value Thaci’s readiness to respond to Specialist Chambers (RTK)

Ramush Haradinaj, leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) stated that Albanians lead a clean and just war, in defense of their homes, dignity and fatherland.

“Under all circumstances, during the entire history, we have proved maturity, courage, hospitality and cooperation, and this is also proved by our readiness, although from the position of victim, to respond to the calls for justice, no matter how unjust they are,” Haradinaj wrote.

“I highly value President Thaci’s readiness to respond positively to the invitation for an interview by the Specialist Court. The war of the Albanian population, lined up alongside the KLA, was rightful. Its value, despite the efforts to harm it, will not be lost today, or ever. We have never avoided facing justice, whenever it was requested from us, regardless of our state positions, we have responded and we will respond.

There is no trial that can judge the struggle of a population to live as all the others, free, on their own land,” Haradinaj wrote. 

Albanians protest in The Hague (Koha)

A group of Albanians gathered in front of the headquarters of the Specialised Chambers in The Hague, where the President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci is expected to be interviewed by the prosecutors.

Koha Ditore’s journalist Augustin Palokaj informed that protesters are carrying banners with messages that recall Serbia’s crimes committed in Kosovo.

“We do not have heroes to sacrifice,” “We see there is no justice for everyone, but we did not believe there is no justice at all,” “This is racism,” “What should we tell the children of the missing parents by Milosevic’s regime?” “Where is justice for 20 thousand raped women in Kosovo by Serbian regime,” is written in some of the banners of the protesters.

The Special Court has raised charges against the President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci and PDK leader Kadri Veseli.

Kosovo Government announces new measures against coronavirus (media)

The Kosovo Government today announced a new set of measures aimed at preventing the further spread of COVID – 19. The new measures provide that in another four municipalities (Mitrovica South, Gjilan, Fushe Kosove and Shterpce) the movement will be restricted from 21:00 to 05:00 except for healthcare professionals and law enforcement authorities and for emergency cases. The citizens of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina that enter the territory of Kosovo are obliged to possess a COVID – 19 negative test no older than 72 hours. Wearing facemasks in public is mandatory for all citizens of Kosovo. Private and public kindergartens will be closed. Recreational, cultural and sports activities in closed facilities are no longer allowed. Religious ceremonies are also not allowed. 

Borrell considers Lajcak has done a good job (Koha)

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Josep Borrell, hopes on a significant step towards normalization of the relations between Kosovo and Serbia. He also praised the EU Special Envoy Miroslav Lajcak.

During his speech at the EU’s Council for Foreign Relations, Borrell reported to the EU Foreign Ministers about the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue.

“It is important to stress that the dialogue has resumed. The EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajcak has done a good job. We are sitting together, we will meet again on Thursday and I hope that it will be a significant step towards the normalization of the relations between Prishtina and Belgrade,” Borrell said. 

Police Director warns penalty measures for those who do not wear masks (media)

Kosovo Police General Director Rashit Qalaj warned today that they will undertake penalty measures for the citizens who do not respect preventive measures against Covid-19.

“Starting from tomorrow, Kosovo Police will start serious monitoring if the government measures are being respected. Together with inspectors, we will start informing, and after a few days, we will start undertaking penalty measures,” Qalaj said.

“I believe that together, we can make it, because it cannot go on like this. The mask has to be worn, to cover nose and mouth, and not to be kept in a pocket or hand,” he said.

He informed that working hours for police officers will increase to 12. Qalaj said there are 73 active cases with coronavirus among the police, while 224 members are in self-isolation.

Kurti accuses the government: They are filling the morg (RTK)

Albin Kurti, leader of the Vetevendosje Movement, criticized harshly through a video  Avdullah Hoti’s government for mismanaging the situation with Covid-19, saying that the complete failure cannot be covered by a state of emergency or the threat of its announcement. 

Although in the end he wished a speedy recovery to the LDK leader Isa Musta and all those infected, Kurti said that the LDK-led government will be remembered as the weakest and most vicious of the post-war period.

He said the Minister of Health, Armend Zemaj is threatening the citizens whom he has already declared disobedient and undisciplined.

Gucati and Kosnett discuss KLA veterans (RTK)

Hysni Gucati, head of the KLA War Veterans Organisation had a virtual meeting with the U.S Ambassador to Kosovo Philip Kosnett. They discussed the current situation in Kosovo and about the KLA war veterans.  

“I once again express my appreciation to the Ambassador for his sincerity and for the support of the United States of America to Kosovo,” Gucati wrote on his Facebook profile.

 Thaci’s lawyer, former U.S. senior official Pierre-Richard Prosper (RTK)

Pierre-Richard Prosper (born September 19, 1963) is an American lawyer, prosecutor and former government official. He served as the second United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005.

He graduated from Boston College and Pepperdine University School of Law. Prosper was a Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, California.

From 1996 to late 1998, Prosper served as a war crimes prosecutor for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. He was appointed lead trial attorney and prosecuted Prosecutor vs. Jean-Paul Akayesu, the first-ever case of genocide under the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. In the 14-month trial, he won additional life-sentence convictions for crimes against humanity and broke new ground in international law by convincing the Tribunal to recognize rape committed in time of conflict as an act of genocide and a crime against humanity.

Prosper served at the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. State Department. Prosper was nominated by President George W. Bush on May 16, 2001 to become the second U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues. After being confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he was sworn in on July 13, 2001. He served until late 2005. As the President’s envoy and senior diplomat, Prosper traveled worldwide conducting diplomatic negotiations and consultations with heads of state, foreign ministers, and senior government officials from over 60 different countries. He also engaged foreign parliaments and multilateral and international organizations to build support for US policies. He regularly visited conflict zones in efforts to secure peace, stability, and the rule of law. In this capacity, Ambassador Prosper formulated and coordinated US policy responses to atrocities and attacks against civilians throughout the world. He reported directly to US Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice and advised the President of the United States, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, White House Counsel and other senior US government officials. Ambassador Prosper was elected to the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Currently, Prosper holds the position of Partner in the Los Angeles office of Arent Fox LLP, where he has handled several high-profile cases. 

See at: https://bit.ly/2DuGXLA

 

 

Serbian Language Media

 

38 new cases of Covid-19 infection registered, one person passed away in Serb areas (Kosovo-online)

38 new cases of Covid-19 infection were registered in the Serb-populated areas over the last 24 hours, epidemiologist Aleksandar Antonijevic said today in a press conference, Kosovo-online portal reports. One person has passed away, and the deceased person was from Zubin Potok. 

On Saturday, Antonijevic also said that two persons have passed away due to Covid-19 infection. The deceased persons were from Zvecan and Priluzje.  

According to Antonijevic, since the outbreak of the pandemic total of 2.435 persons have been tested, and out of this number 413 persons tested positive.

Over the last three weeks only, 285 persons have tested positive which is twice more compared to the first three months of the pandemic.

Out of 38 new registered cases, 11 are in Mitrovica North, while the total number of infected persons there since the beginning of the pandemic was 147. Smaller number of infected persons is in Zvecan with 62 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, including the two new cases. The highest number of persons with severe health conditions was registered in Leposavic, where the total number since the beginning of the pandemic was 93, with nine new registered cases while one person has been cured. The smallest number of infected cases is in Zubin Potok, with a total of 47 persons infected, Antonijevic explained.    

He also said the number of infected cases in central Kosovo increased for 12 over the last 24-hours, bringing the total number of infected cases in the Serb-areas south of the Ibar River to 64.

Currently, 82 persons are staying at the Health-Clinical Center in Mitrovica North, three are in Belgrade, two in Kragujevac and one in Nis. At the same time, the remaining 197 infected persons are staying in a house-isolation.

Antonijevic once again appealed to the citizens to adhere to preventive measures, including wearing face masks, keeping physical distance and hygiene.

He emphasized in particular that members of a close family or persons sharing the household with a person infected with Covid-19 must remain in a house-isolation for 14 days. Also, people with the symptoms waiting to be tested must stay at home and mustn’t walk around freely. He also urged those experiencing any symptoms to contact the nearest health house.

He also said that 60 samples will be sent for testing in Kraljevo today, and results are expected tomorrow afternoon. 

Vucic: Belgrade-Pristina talks to resume on Thursday with new topics (media)

New topics for the continuation of talks between Belgrade and Pristina have been agreed on and the meeting that will take place in Brussels on Thursday, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said Sunday, N1 reported.

Vucic, who was taking part in a video-conference between the EU, the official Belgrade and Pristina, stated that the dialogue under the auspice of the EU is resuming after a 20-month break.

“We agreed on the topics for the Thursday meeting in Brussels,” Vucic wrote on his Instagram profile “Future of Serbia”.

The topics of Thursday’s meeting would include internally displaced persons, missing persons and economy, Kosovo-online portal reported.

“I expect difficult talks on Thursday. I would now live more in Brussels than in Belgrade, but I am not looking forward to it. I have Pavlov’s reflex there, I feel nausea, because nothing nice has happened there”, he said.

Asked if a negotiation process put at the forefront rivalry between Europe and US, Vucic responded positively.

“It is such a strong rivalry, do not ask me about it. If I could only hide somewhere behind some rock, so none of them can step over me”, he added. 

Earlier, the Serbian President held bilateral consultations with EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borell and EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and other regional issues Miroslav Lajcak.

Meanwhile, speaking live for Belgrade-based TV Pink Vucic said the Kosovo situation is almost hopeless, adding that “a hard battle is coming” in the negotiations with Pristina. He added Belgrade’s goal is to lose as little as possible in the dialogue with Pristina. “The goal is to get something, lose as little as we have to and get some of what was lost between 2000 and 2008”, he said.

Vucic refused to discuss Belgrade’s negotiating position claiming that could harm Serbia’s interests in Europe and the world. According to Vucic, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel showed great interest in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue for geo-political reasons and because “they know that a frozen conflict can’t be maintained indefinitely”.

“Conflicts and wars are not in anyone’s interest”, Vucic underlined.

Dacic: There is no readiness of Pristina for compromise (Prva TV)

Serbian Foreign Affairs Minister Ivica Dacic told Belgrade-based Prva TV he would like a compromise between Belgrade and Pristina to happen as soon as possible, adding he considers that there is no readiness on the Pristina side for it.

He also said that in the talks so far the issue of political solution was not on the agenda, and that during the time when dialogue was in some sort of “clinical death” they wanted to achieve a lasting solution, which cannot happen without a proposal.

“If the starting point of Pristina is that territorial integrity of Kosovo is inviolable, then our starting point would be that Serbia’s is territorially inviolable as well”, Dacic said.  

He added, it comes to him, same as to President Vucic, to withdraw the signature of Brussels agreement, however Serbia can’t do so because it was a serious state. He noted they signed this agreement exclusively because of the Community of Serb-majority Municipalities, and still so many years have passed and nothing came out of it, and no one talks about it any longer.

“Pristina goes step by step, using the system of blocking the door. Then you move further, and no one even remembers what the starting point was”, Dacic said.

Asked if the fact that President Vucic is invited to the meetings to discuss Belgrade-Pristina dialogue at the peak of the pandemic means that someone is in a hurry, Dacic responded some are in milder hurry, while some would love this to end as soon as possible.

“I would like if the compromise is reached as soon as possible, but I think there is no readiness for it. They want us to recognize them, and this topic was never on the agenda of the talks”, Dacic noted.

He said they dealt with the topics of Community of Serb-majority Municipalities, energetic systems, postal services and administrative crossings. 

Dialogue on reset, but still paralyzed (DW)

Dialogue of Serbia and Kosovo under EU’s auspices did get a new impetus, however connoisseurs of the situation from Belgrade have no major expectations, saying everything returns to the starting point, DW reports.

Maximalist demands voiced by Pristina in Paris came as no surprise to Belgrade. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic termed those demands as impossible, unrealistic and unacceptable, while Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti said the dialogue could continue only based on these principles and goals.

Meanwhile, EU High Representative and a chief mediator in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue Josep Borrel said in video-conference on Sunday this was about continuation of the process aiming at reaching final, comprehensive and legally-binding agreement on normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina that would address all the open issues. EU’s special envoy Miroslav Lajcak assessed that the dialogue between Belgrade and Pritsna has returned onto the right track.

“The dialogue is on reset in a certain way, however at the same time it got paralyzed with such Pristina’s maximalist demands”, journalist Milivoje Mihajlovic told DW.

According to him the upcoming dialogue in Brussels on July 16, will not bring about any major breakthroughs, since as he said, negotiation’s position of Pristina has changed.

“Aleksandar Vucic could also say – we have the Constitution and respect for Serbia’s territorial integrity as per UN SC Resolution 1244. Somehow, it returned to the starting point, and if it remains as such it suspends everything that was achieved in several-year long talks in Brussels”, he added.

“Dialogue has received new impetus only, but we have returned several steps backwards. Serbia is expecting formation of the new government, the political situation in Pristina is unstable, new elections in the US are nearing, and it is the only place to exert some pressure Pristina would accept – therefore I see no potential for some fast progress”, Mihajlovic noted.

Igor Novakovic from ISAC fund told DW it is hard to tell if there is a hope that Pristina would soften some of its hard stances which would at the end bring about some compromise.

“The issue of border correction, according to public opinion surveys, is unpopular in Pristina. I think even if some compromise solution was reached, and it won’t be easy to reach – and if this was border correction, the question remains if Pristina negotiators could “sell it” to their public (…)”, Novakovic said.

According to him, although the dialogue looks like a “fruitless” job sometimes, because everybody remains entrenched in their own position, Novakovic pointed out that “certain progress had been achieved.” President Vucic had drawn attention that nothing was done regarding establishment of the Community of Serb-majority Municipalities over the last seven years.

“This was something that was met with a very strong resistance in the Kosovo public”, Novakovic explained, adding that according to some surveys this idea was even less popular than the idea of division of Kosovo and land swap. The question is how much Kosovo authorities are able to explain to their citizens it was not about the Republic of Srpska in Kosovo and that it would not hamper Kosovo security.

Mihajlovic also opined the hope to reach a compromise is thin because Belgrade would not accept demand to recognize Kosovo independence.

According to him, more serious dialogue could be expected next year when everything settles down. “When I say this I mean that the political situation in Pristina gets stabilized, that it gets stabilized in Serbia as well, because here we also have some protests that represent some sort of pressure on negotiators about Kosovo”, he said.  

 Vucic met Botsan-Kharchenko, discussed Kosovo and Metohija (Danas)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met today with the Russian Ambassador to Serbia, Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko, Danas daily reports.

Vucic asked Botsan-Kharchenko to convey a gratitude to the Russian President Vladimir Putin for the warm hospitality extended to him during his visit to Moscow on the Victory Day.

The two officials discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation, situation in the Western Balkans, with a special focus on Kosovo and Metohija, the daily added. President Vucic informed Ambassador Botsan-Kharchenko about continuation of Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. 

“Consultations on new Serbian government to start as of Tuesday” (N1, FoNet)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and leader of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) said today he would commence talks on forming the new government as of Tuesday, FoNet news agency reported.

He headed SNS’ list in the June 21 general elections in Serbia, scoring a sweeping victory, securing an absolute majority in the Parliament and could form a new cabinet without any of two other parties that crossed the reduced threshold of three percent, and several minority political organizations which had mandates based on a natural threshold.

However, Vucic said he would try to include as many other parties as possible into the government.

On Tuesday, he will talk to the representatives of the Party of Democratic Action from Sandzak and the Albanian Democratic Alternative. The next day, Vucic will meet Muamer Zukorlic, the head of the Party for Justice and Reconciliation and Istvan Pastor, the leader of the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians.

Next Friday, Vucic will talk with Aleksandar Sapic, the leader of the Serbian Patriotic Alliance, while on July 20, he will meet Ivica Dacic, the head of Vucic long-time coalition partner, the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS). The last meeting is scheduled for July 21, a month after the elections were held, with his SNS leadership.  

NGOs urged crisis headquarters to inform public on epidemic, unbiased cooperation with media outlets (KoSSev)

Representatives of Serbian civil society and independent media in Kosovo urged the Crisis Headquarters in Gracanica and officials at the Clinical-Hospital Centre in Pristina situated in Gracanica to inform the public of the epidemiological situation in Serb communities in central Kosovo, and for the Crisis Centre in the north of Kosovo to end their practice of selectivity when informing media outlets, KoSSev portal reported.

The Kosovo Serb CSOs and certain media outlets, including the KoSSev portal, pointed out that it is worrying that officials say nothing or are selective in their choice of media with whom they share information as the number of infections in Gracanica municipality and the number of citizens with high temperatures who present themselves on a daily basis to doctors at the infectious diseases department at the Clinic in Laplje Selo rises.

They also warned about the Crisis Centres’ behaviour towards journalists from the north of Kosovo:

“Likewise, the Crisis Centres in the north of Kosovo are highly selective in terms of the media that they chose to provide information related to the pandemic. When they organise press conferences, they do not invite all media news teams and likewise do not send them information related to the pandemic. Government officials who are members of these Crisis Centres do not respond to calls and questions from media outlets when journalists attempt to seek out answers.”

See at: https://bit.ly/2OkHX7f

Dr. Rasic: Increased number of patients with respiratory infections in Gracanica (RTK2, Radio kontakt plus)

Internal medicine specialist at the Health House in Gracanica, Sinisa Ristic told RTK2 that over the last ten days the number of patients with respiratory infections and temperature had increased.

He told RTK 2 that all patients were examined at the Covid-ambulance and then based on findings, epidemiological questionnaires and laboratory tests referred to further treatment.

“Until now we had more than 50 patients with such symptoms. Patients we doubted could be infected with Covid-19 were sent for further diagnosis at the Infectious Disease Clinic in Laplje Selo. For the time being we have eight positive cases, and they are placed at Infective Clinic in isolation, same as members of their families”. Rasic said.  

In case of complicated health conditions, patients are transferred to central Serbia for further treatment. 

Meanwhile, Crisis Headquarters of Gracanica municipality said that 11 new cases of Covid-19 infection cases were registered in the territory of this municipality, bringing the total number of infected persons to 24. Out of this number four persons are hospitalized, Radio KIM reports.  

 

 

International

 

‘I believe in justice’ says Kosovo’s Thaci as he arrives at The Hague on war crime charges (Euronews)

Kosovo President Hasim Thaci on Monday appeared at The Hague to be interviewed by a special international prosecutor after his recent indictment on war crimes charges.

The leader has denied responsibility for war crimes, but on Wednesday said that he would go to the special chamber to be questioned by prosecutors.

See at: https://bit.ly/32c8Y4Z

Kosovo-Serbia Deal Must Not Lead to Impunity for War Crimes: US Ex-Ambassador (Balkan Insight)

As Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti prepared to resume the stalled dialogue between Serbia and its former province, and the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide was commemorated, a veteran of international justice in the Western Balkans, Clint Williamson, said that sustainable peace in the former Yugoslavia will be difficult to achieve without accountability for war crimes.

“We cannot allow that any peace process undermines efforts toward accountability,” former prosecutor Williamson told a discussion entitled ‘International Efforts on Justice and Accountability in the Balkans: 1990s-Present’, organised by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and the McCain Institute at Arizona State University in the US earlier this month.

See at: https://bit.ly/2WeLKav

 

 

Humanitarian/Development

 

Kon on epidemiological situation in Serbia, possibility of new measures (B92, Prva TV)

Epidemiologist Predrag Kon announced that there is a possibility of introducing emergency measures in Serbia, if the tendency of growing numbers of infected continues, B92 reports.

He told Belgrade-based TV Prva that the situation would be especially epidemiologically bad if we face the situation of one patient per 1.000 inhabitants.

“The whole strategy relied on the fact that the virus would weaken during the summer and spread more slowly. We in Belgrade have a worse situation than in April. We had those celebrations and those places of super-transmission of the virus, then it doesn’t matter which season we are in. We will have those super-carriers. We have to understand that the virus is a very serious enemy”, Dr Kon said.

He said that all places that are crowded should be avoided.

“We have entered a situation when wearing masks indoors ensures that there is no transmission of the virus, which includes shopping malls, public transport… you cannot always control the social distance,” epidemiologist Predrag Kon said.

See at: https://bit.ly/327h9zA

Temporary residence permits in Kosovo extended (Prishtina Insight)

Foreigners living in Kosovo whose residence permits expired after 24 March will be able to extend their legal residence through simplified procedures, Shaban Guda, the Director of the Border Department of the Kosovo Police has told BIRN.

For those who have been unable to reapply for their temporary residence permit as a result of the closure of public institutions in March, said Guda, their residence cards will continue to be valid.

According to the decision which was taken from previous Kurti led government, those with ID cards that expired after 24 March will be able to cross Kosovo borders provided they present identity documents necessary for border crossings, such as a passport or ID card. However, it is still necessary for individuals whose permits have expired to apply for continued residence if they wish to re-enter Kosovo.

See at: https://bit.ly/2Zq5jPo

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