Loading...
You are here:  Home  >  UNMIK Media Reports - Afternoon edition  >  Current Article

UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, November 25, 2020

By   /  25/11/2020  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, November 25, 2020

Albanian Language Media:

• COVID-19: 704 new cases, nine deaths (media)
• Hoti: Review of Kosovo’s diplomatic missions to be concluded soon (media)
• Osmani vows to overturn appointment of general consul in Prague (media)
• New consul says his appointment is lawful (media)
• Vetevendosje expects Osmani to annul Shala’s appointment in Prague (media)
• Beqaj: Change in Kosovo possible through Vetevendosje-Osmani cooperation (Koha)
• Kosovars find COVID-19 treatment an expensive affair (Prishtina Insight)

Serbian Language Media:

• Covid-19 in Serbian communities: Two more deaths, 62 newly infected and 15 cured (Kontakt plus radio)
• Meeting scheduled, main topic – urgent procurement of vaccines, announced Vucic (B92)
• Vucic: Serbia has no problem to find every missing person (RTS)
• Milorad Trifunovic passed away – coordinator of families of abducted and missing in Kosovo and Metohija (KoSSev)
• Tadic does not expect a change in US policy towards Kosovo (Danas)
• Thaci is aware of guilt, he avoids responsibility (Danas, Kosovo Online)

Opinion:

• Will Biden bail out ‘George Washington of Kosovo’? (Boston Herald)

International:

• Balkan Countries ‘Still Heavily Dependent on Russian Gas’ (Balkan Insight)
• Serbia’s Aleksandar Vucic bet big on Donald Trump, and lost. Now what? (euronews.com)
• War Victims Urged to Raise Voices at Kosovo Guerrillas’ Trials (Balkan Insight)

Humanitarian/Development:

• UNFPA: Premiere of “Broken Rib” on the Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (Kontakt plus radio)
• Hoti: Violence against women needs to be uprooted (KP/Telegrafi)
• U.S. Embassy: Every person deserves a life free from violence (media)
• Pandemic Disrupts Southeast Europe Labour Flows (Balkan Insight)
• Why culture makes smoking a hard habit for the Western Balkans to kick (Emerging Europe)

    Print       Email

Albanian Language Media:

  • COVID-19: 704 new cases, nine deaths (media)
  • Hoti: Review of Kosovo’s diplomatic missions to be concluded soon (media)
  • Osmani vows to overturn appointment of general consul in Prague (media)
  • New consul says his appointment is lawful (media)
  • Vetevendosje expects Osmani to annul Shala’s appointment in Prague (media)
  • Beqaj: Change in Kosovo possible through Vetevendosje-Osmani cooperation (Koha)
  • Kosovars find COVID-19 treatment an expensive affair (Prishtina Insight)

Serbian Language Media:

  • Covid-19 in Serbian communities: Two more deaths, 62 newly infected and 15 cured (Kontakt plus radio)
  • Meeting scheduled, main topic – urgent procurement of vaccines, announced Vucic (B92) 
  • Vucic: Serbia has no problem to find every missing person (RTS)
  • Milorad Trifunovic passed away – coordinator of families of abducted and missing in Kosovo and Metohija (KoSSev) 
  • Tadic does not expect a change in US policy towards Kosovo (Danas)
  • Thaci is aware of guilt, he avoids responsibility (Danas, Kosovo Online)

Opinion:

  • Will Biden bail out ‘George Washington of Kosovo’? (Boston Herald)

International:

  • Balkan Countries ‘Still Heavily Dependent on Russian Gas’ (Balkan Insight)
  • Serbia’s Aleksandar Vucic bet big on Donald Trump, and lost. Now what? (euronews.com)
  • War Victims Urged to Raise Voices at Kosovo Guerrillas’ Trials (Balkan Insight)

Humanitarian/Development:

  • UNFPA: Premiere of “Broken Rib” on the Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (Kontakt plus radio)
  • Hoti: Violence against women needs to be uprooted (KP/Telegrafi)
  • S. Embassy: Every person deserves a life free from violence (media)
  • Pandemic Disrupts Southeast Europe Labour Flows (Balkan Insight)
  • Why culture makes smoking a hard habit for the Western Balkans to kick (Emerging Europe)

 

 

 

Albanian Language Media 

 

COVID-19: 704 new cases, nine deaths (media)

704 new cases of COVID-19 and nine deaths have been recorded in the last 24 hours in Kosovo. 391 persons have meanwhile recovered from the virus.

The highest number of new cases is from the municipality of Prishtina (271). 

There are currently 14,127 active cases of coronavirus in Kosovo.

Hoti: Review of Kosovo’s diplomatic missions to be concluded soon (media)

Prime Minister of Kosovo Avdullah Hoti had a telephone conversation with Acting President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani.

Wishing her a speedy recovery from COVID-19, Hoti informed Osmani that the Government is soon expected to conclude the functional review of Kosovo’s diplomatic missions. “All necessary actions will be taken based on this analysis,” Hoti said.

He also said that the measures that will follow the review will ensure efficient functioning of Kosovo’s diplomatic missions and underlined that the composition of the missions should be in line with applicable legislation.

Hoti also said that there was no coordination with him regarding the recent appointment of a general consul in Prague and that he learnt about it through the media.

Osmani vows to overturn appointment of general consul in Prague (media)

Acting President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani has reacted on the news that Flakron Shala, the son of MP Haxhi Shala, has been appointed general consul in Prague, a move which is widely being seen as a ‘reward’ for MP Shala’s vote in favour of Avdullah Hoti government’s election in June. 

In a Facebook post, Osmani clarified that she was not the one to decree Shala’s appointment and that this was done so by her predecessor Hashim Thaci. “Despite my request, so far not a single document has been brought to me for review by the Government relating to the diplomatic service,” she said. 

“The General Consulate in Prague and the appointment of a General Consul there are in violation to every diplomatic and consular practice of democratic countries. There can be no General Consulate opened in the same city where we already have an Embassy. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. It is a wrong practice which we should set straight. Therefore those decrees will be overturned.”

Haxhi Shala, who was previously member of the Social Democratic Initiative (NISMA) and is now with the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), announced in June he was not going to vote for a new Kosovo government led by Hoti but changed his position when he had a late night visit from then President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci and AAK leader Ramush Haradinaj.

New consul says his appointment is lawful (media)

Flakron Shala, the son of MP Haxhi Shala who has been appointed general consul in Prague, reacted to reports that he is unqualified for the post and that his appointment is a ‘reward’ for his father’s vote in favour of Avdullah Hoti government’s election.

“I have been appointed to the post of General Consul of the Republic of Kosovo based on the law and the proposal of the MFA and a decree of the President of Kosovo,” Shala wrote on social media. 

He went on to explain that he is currently studying for a PhD at a university in Prague and that his working experience has enabled him to get the job.  “Being a son of an MP and of a former member of the KLA should not present an obstacle or trigger a public debate for any citizens of Kosovo in getting appointed to state posts, including myself.” 

Vetevendosje expects Osmani to annul Shala’s appointment in Prague (media)

Deputy Speaker of the Kosovo Assembly from the Vetevendosje Movement, Arberie Nagavci, has called on the acting President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani to reverse the appointment of Flakron Shala to the post of general consul in Prague.

“Diplomatic service is a reflection of the country and country’s interests. Political and party degradation of the foreign service deforms and seriously damages state interests in the international sphere,” Nagavci wrote on Facebook.

She added that Kosovo needs competent and professional diplomatic staff and not “appointment on party interests, family ties or as a reward to internal party service.”

Nagavci said it was clear that Shala’s appointment did not fulfill the legal criteria and that she expects Osmani to annul the decision. 

Beqaj: Change in Kosovo possible through Vetevendosje-Osmani cooperation (Koha)

Political analyst Belul Beqaj said that cooperation between the Vetevendosje Movement and the acting President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani is crucial for the beginning of change in Kosovo.

“The chances are for Vetevendosje to realise that it also made mistakes during its 50 days in power and correct them and use the opportunity for building a meaningful alternative and have Vjosa Osmani successfully join it. Osmani is demonstrating consistency, virtue, clear articulation of its political mission and vision. A combination between the Vetevendosje and the civic initiative signaled by Vjosa Osmani I think would be the main precondition for a change,” Beqaj told KTV.

Speaking about the current coalition Government of Kosovo, Beqaj said the partners are more interested for posts than they are for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. “There is an ongoing race as to who will become the next president. No one is interested in passing the economic recovery law, it is only being used for political marketing.”

Beqaj also commented on the recent developments regarding the Specialist Chambers upcoming trials against senior Kosovo leaders affiliated with the Kosovo Liberation Army saying that this is the end of an era of war commanders leading Kosovo.

“I think the issue has to do with individuals that are at the Specialist Chambers now and whether we like it or not, the positive aspect of this which I hope will come about is the conclusion of the career of that leadership which was in power until now the creation of a possibility to have a new leadership that is different, opposite to the one that was in place so far.” 

Kosovars find COVID-19 treatment an expensive affair (Prishtina Insight)

Shortages of essential drugs for COVID-19 and their skyrocketing prices are leaving many Kosovars with sick relatives in debt.

Sitting on a bench in the courtyard of the Infectious Diseases Clinic in Prishtina, the tiredness in Adem Shala’s eyes was evident. For eight days in a row, he has been taking breaks on those seats, accompanying his father, who has been hospitalized in the clinic since becoming infected with COVID-19.

“I feel like being hospitalized myself,” he says. 

The 43-year-old, from the municipality of Lipjan, who has been staying in and around the clinic all day long, says he has to buy the drugs his father needs, which the clinic’s medics have prescribed.

“I have to purchase most of the drugs myself, apart for some antibiotics, and then cover my own travel expenses and everything else,” he notes, adding that the expenses have topped 500 euros so far, over eight days.

In addition to paying for his father’s medication, his financial situation has been further damaged by the fact that he cannot work as a taxi driver – the only source of income for his family of five.

A few meters away, in the same courtyard, Greta Dervisholli, from Fushe Kosove, has the same dilemma.

Her grandmother is in the hospital, and she is worried because her health is now deteriorating, after 11 days.

“Her condition is serious today. But there are no free beds in the ICU ward; the doctors say they have no other choice because of the number of cases,” Dervisholli says.

Like Shala, she and her relatives are forced to sit in front of the clinic for hours a day, because they often have to go and get drugs for her grandmother.

“I have to buy most of the drugs myself. Whenever a doctor prescribes any drugs, and they’re not provided by the hospital, I have to buy them. Also, every time they change it, [the medication], I have to buy that myself as well,” Dervisholli says.

Dervisholli says her family spent about a thousand euros on drugs within a week, which included Remdisevir, whose price reached about 200 euros a packet in private pharmacies last week.

The shortage of drugs is confirmed by the clinic director, Lindita Ajazaj-Berisha. “It is true that we face shortages of medicines. We have cases when we are short for a few days – but in the meantime we do order supplies,” she told BIRN.

See more at: https://bit.ly/3l0IPvT

 

 

 

Serbian Language Media

 

Covid-19 in Serbian communities: Two more deaths, 62 newly infected and 15 cured (Kontakt plus radio)

The North Mitrovica Crisis Staff announced today that in Serbian communities in Kosovo, according to the latest data, two people died from the consequences caused by Covid-19, while 62 new cases of infection and 15 cures were recorded, reported Kontakt plus radio. 

The deceased are from North Mitrovica and Strpce.

Out of 161 processed samples, positive cases were recorded in the municipalities: North Mitrovica (20), Zvecan (11), Gracanica (8), Zubin Potok (7), Priluzje (7), Strpce (3), Gnjilane (2), Pec (2), Lipljan (1) and Kamenica (1).

Fifteen patients recovered – six from North Mitrovica, three from Zvecan, two each from Pec and Leposavic, and one each from Gnjilane and Suvo Grlo.

65 people were hospitalized in the North Mitrovica Health Center, and two patients are in the Nis Healt Center.

The measure of home isolation was determined to 731 people.

798 cases are currently active.

So far, a total of 1,178 people have recovered.

49 people died of Covid-19 in Serbian communities in Kosovo.

Meeting scheduled, main topic – urgent procurement of vaccines, announced Vucic (B92) 

President Aleksandar Vucic met today with the heads of the competent institutes and agencies; the only topic of discussion was the urgent purchase of vaccines.

“Urgent procurement of vaccines is the only topic of today’s meeting with representatives of the Institute of Virology, Vaccines and Serums ‘Torlak’, the Institute of Public Health of Serbia ‘Dr Milan Jovanovic Batut’, the Drug Agency and the RHIF,” Vucic said, along with photos from the meeting on the official account of “Buducnostsrbije” on Instagram.

The meeting was also attended by Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and Minister of Health Zlatibor Loncar.

Furthermore, last night, during a tour of the works on the construction of a new COVID-hospital in Batajnica, the president pointed out that the solution in the fight against coronavirus, along with mass testing, is the vaccine and that the state is trying to provide the first quantities in the next month.

“We are talking to all countries. We are part of COVAX, if the EU procures Pfizer, so we will, we do not ask how much it costs. If they procure Moderna, so will we. But we are also talking to our Chinese and Russian partners. And to the British, to Astra Zeneca… We are talking to everyone to see if we can get the vaccine as soon as possible,” Vucic said.

He reiterated that the state will do its best to provide at least a million doses by the end of the year, in the first place for health workers, who suffer terrible pressure, and then for the army and police.

Vucic: Serbia has no problem to find every missing person (RTS)

Radio Television of Serbia reported that the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic said last night that he requested entry into the territory of Kosovo after the Kosovo Minister of Foreign Affairs asked to come to Raska, but that it was agreed with the representatives of the European Union that those visits would not take place,  as well as not to talk about it in public.

“Now, in order to make a big story, as well as about that lie that I threatened them with the Nagorno-Karabakh scenario, even though they understood very well what I wanted to say, they said that Vucic was undesirable in Kosovo,” said Vucic. 

He told reporters in Belgrade that Kosovo Albanians, after mass graves were found near Raska, where the bodies of Albanians are believed to be, wanted to send the Minister of Foreign Affairs to Raska to, as he stated, “make some kind of political show”, reported RTS.

“We told them that it was absolutely inappropriate at the moment, but that if they wanted to, I would go north (Kosovo) first, and in seven days I would go digging in the vicinity of Gjakovica. Since they sent us a letter, we sent a letter to them,” Vucic said.

Next, as he said, an agreement was reached with the Europeans not to go anywhere, as well as not to talk about it in public, which the Albanians violated. 

“Then people from Europe called and said that we should agree that everything should settle down, that no one should go anywhere, but we agreed not to talk about it in public, so as not to upset the Serbian public, the Albanian public. We said that there were no problems, we had nothing to hide, we just wanted what we gave to others, we have the same.  And then they went public, how strong they are and smart, because they forbade me to enter,” said Vucic.

Asked to comment on Deutsche Welle’s allegations that none of the Serbian officials paid attention to the news about the discovery of a mass grave near Raska, nor to Pristina’s decision to ban Vucic from entering Kosovo because of that, Vucic said that he did not want to comment on the writing of some foreign media because, as he said , he was sometimes ashamed to read it.

Vucic said that he was proud of the fact that he was the president of a state that did not joke and had no problem finding everyone missing, and that he could say that no crime should go unpunished and hidden.

He added that the remains of 15 people were not excavated near Raska without the knowledge and approval of the Serbian authorities.

Vucic also explained that Belgrade in Brussels, when the topic of the missing was opened, said that they would advocate for the search for anyone’s remains because it is a civilizational achievement, but also that they asked for excavations to be carried out at five locations in Kosovo and especially in Metohija, where Belgrade believes that there are Serbs buried, so that Belgrade representatives would also attend the excavation, but the Albanians, as he stated, did not accept that.

Milorad Trifunovic passed away – coordinator of families of abducted and missing in Kosovo and Metohija (KoSSev) 

The coordinator of the families of the abducted and missing in Kosovo and Metohija, Milorad Trifunovic passed away today, reported portal KoSSev. 

This news was announced by the Resource Center for Missing Persons on Facebook. Trifunovic was one of the founders of the Center. 

The American ambassador to Kosovo, Philip Kosnett, was among the first to express his condolences to his family and colleagues on his Twitter account, with the message that his leadership and contribution to interethnic dialogue, reconciliation and transitional justice are a lasting example to Kosovo’s leaders.

“My deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of Milorad Trifunovic, one of the founders of the Resource Center for Missing Persons. His leadership and contribution to interethnic dialogue, reconciliation and transitional justice are a lasting example to current and future Kosovo leaders,” Kosnett wrote.

Trifunovic has been searching for his missing brother for 22 years.

Trifunovic has always been available to the media and extremely active when it comes to the issue of missing persons, and last year, together with his colleague from the Resource Center for Missing Persons Bajram Qerkini, was awarded the “White Peony” precisely for cooperation with the media, wrote portal KoSSev. 

“If it weren’t for you, the seventh force, journalists, little would have been heard about our problems or we would never have been heard,” Trifunovic said at the Cultural Center in Gracanica at the award ceremony of the Association of Journalists of Serbia (UNS) in Kosovo.

Tadic does not expect a change in US policy towards Kosovo (Danas)

SDS President and former Serbian President Boris Tadic said it was “infantile” to expect something to change on the Kosovo issue with the election of a new US president, writes Belgrade based Danas. 

“It does not depend on the man who is at the head of the state, but on what the strategic goals are,” Tadic told regional broadcaster N1 on Tuesday.

He explained that the United States is “continuing with the implementation of Kosovo’s independence”, and that it is “incredible to him what impression is being created in Serbia: that everything would go differently with Trump”.

However, Tadic expects a change “in a personal sense” – that relations between the presidents of Serbia and the United States will be worse.

He said that after the September signing of statements in Washington, “nothing will be forgotten, in the domain of politics”, i.e. about the promised relocation of the Serbian Embassy in Israel, to Jerusalem.

“Not only are we in trouble with the UN resolution on the Middle East conflict, but we have relativized Resolution 1244, so we are in trouble with the EU as well, and now we will be with the Biden administration,” said Tadic. 

“The EU warning is serious,” he continued, because it is “completely useless and incomprehensible for you to do something that is of special interest to a part of Israeli society, and to get Israel to recognize Kosovo’s independence – these are the absurdities of Vucic’s policy, and that agreement (from Washington) had good elements,” Tadic said.

Thaci is aware of guilt, he avoids responsibility (Danas, Kosovo Online)

Hashim Thaci is fully aware of his guilt and is trying in an unconvincing way to avoid responsibility for numerous committed crimes, according to daily Danas’ interlocutors – historian Bojan Djokic and Rada Trajkovic, president of the European Movement of Serbs from Kosovo.

Djokic and Trajkovic commented for Danas on the actions of the former President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, who in January 2020 in The Hague first admitted to the Prosecutors of the SPO that he was present at the location where the detainees were detained and abused, but then in  June this year, denied it all.

The public learned about Thaci’s move in a recently published document by which prosecutors asked a pre-trial judge at the end of July for permission to present additional evidence against him.

Historian Bojan Djokic believes that Thaci, by admitting that he was present at the location where the improvised KLA prison existed, “incriminated himself” and, ”probably at the urging of his legal team, requested a new meeting with the prosecutor, at which he unconvincingly and imaginatively denied his January statements”.

“He went so far as to deny that the KLA had an intelligence service and the General Staff. That is not true, because there are documents to the contrary. I view the whole episode with Thaci as an unconvincing and clumsy attempt by the accused to avoid the responsibility for numerous crimes,” Djokic points out.

Rada Trajkovic emphasizes that Thaci has lost his self-confidence lately.

“He is fully aware of his guilt and knows all the activities that led to the crime. I have known him for 20 years. Thaci is one of the very intelligent, dangerous and non-transparent people. He has one strategy for the court, one for friends, and he has a team of commissioners who would do everything for him, in the sense that they would liquidate the people he estimates could provide the most subtle information to The Hague. Personally, I know that there are documents in which he is the first suspect in organ trafficking,” Trajkovic points out.

Danas recalls that prosecutors submitted a transcript of Thaci’s hearing on January 13 and 14 this year.

“In that conversation, Thaci admitted, among other things, that he was present at the (redacted location) time of detention and abuse (redacted names of prisoners), and that he knew that (redacted names of prisoners) had been beaten,” the document reads, from which the confidentiality mark was removed on November 18.

In the same conversation, Thaci, according to prosecutors, also confirmed that the KLA General Staff had issued a statement.

However, Thaci denied all this in the next conversation with the prosecutors, held from July 13 to 16, which took place at the request of his defense counsel, after, in late April, Chief Prosecutor Jack Smith announced that he had filed an indictment against Thaci and others.

In that conversation, Thaci, as the prosecutors state, “gave a whole range of alleged clarifications” about the previous conversation.

 

Opinion

 

Will Biden bail out ‘George Washington of Kosovo’? (Boston Herald)

The man Joe Biden once hailed as “the George Washington of Kosovo” now sits in a detention cell in The Hague charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. Will  President Joe Biden, who has warm connections with Kosovo, help him out?

The man is Hashim Thaci, 52, the pro-American president of Kosovo, who resigned Nov. 5. He was then taken into custody and flown to The Hague, Netherlands, to stand trial before a special European Union sponsored court for actions during a short, nasty war. Thaci has denied all the charges.

Thaci allegedly committed those crimes when he commanded the fierce-fighting Kosovo Liberation Army guerrilla uprising against Serbia in 1998-2000, which the U.S. supported. Back then he was viewed as a hero standing for freedom and against tyranny.

His enemies, especially the Serbs, warned that a Kosovo detached from Serbia would eventually unite with neighboring Albania to form a “greater” Albania. That has not happened and may not happen now that Thaci, who favored it, has been damaged.

See more at: https://bit.ly/3pZwzzb

 

 

International

 

Balkan Countries ‘Still Heavily Dependent on Russian Gas’ (Balkan Insight)

The US ambassador to Skopje told the Macedonian Energy Forum 2020 that diversification of energy supplies is necessary to ensure that countries like North Macedonia are less susceptible to potential Russian political pressure.

Countries in the Balkan region are still heavily dependent on Russian gas, making them vulnerable to pressure from Moscow, the US ambassador to Skopje, Kate Byrnes, warned during the Macedonian Energy Forum 2020 on Monday.

“In 2014, a study found North Macedonia to be one of the five European countries to be most vulnerable to a shut-off of Russian natural gas, due to its complete dependence on Gazprom. Unfortunately, not much is changed since then, and other countries in the region are still heavily dependent on Russian gas and thus vulnerable to coercion,” Byrnes told the forum in Skopje.

The energy cooperation projects that North Macedonia is implementing together with Greece were lauded by both domestic and foreign representatives at the Forum, with both highlighting the importance of such projects in creating a more diversified energy sector in the region.

“The government has expressed its strong commitment to build a gas interconnector with Greece and that is a step in the right direction. We urge both countries to move quickly to overcome any barriers to this deal,” Byrnes said.

“North Macedonia’s strategic location and connection to Greece via pipeline would open opportunities to transport natural gas to Kosovo, Albania and Serbia, allowing those markets to benefit from low cost natural gas,” she added.

See more at:https://bit.ly/2J7JyOC

Serbia’s Aleksandar Vucic bet big on Donald Trump, and lost. Now what? (euronews.com)

The fallout from the US election of November 8, 2016 was substantial, and many emotional responses across the globe hovered between anger and denial. But in Belgrade it was not grief that the Serbian political elite felt as Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton to the White House, it was joy.

“The perception was that the unthinkable had happened,” said Jasmin Mujanovic, a political scientist and co-host of the podcast Sarajevo Calling.

“An American president had been elected who was himself a nationalist and a chauvinist and a xenophobe, [and] had run on a platform of seemingly wanting to upend and subvert, in its entirety, American foreign policy. They really thought: ‘This is a guy we could reach out to’.”

Four years later, on September 4, 2020, that expectation paid off. Serbia’s president, Aleksandar Vucic, was at the White House signing deals with Kosovan Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti that would see the two nations – which fought a war in 1998 – restore economic ties, stopping short of forcing Serbia to recognise Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008.

It was a win for Belgrade, which has been pressured for two decades to accept an independent Kosovo, not least by the European Union, which has made it a condition of Serbia’s joining of the bloc. Trump, and his envoy Richard Grenell, did not require Vucic to cross that Rubicon. Vucic got the pomp and ceremony of a White House peace deal, but without the peace.

See more at: https://bit.ly/3fBoY59

War Victims Urged to Raise Voices at Kosovo Guerrillas’ Trials (Balkan Insight)

In a pioneering scheme, victims of alleged wartime crimes are being offered the opportunity to play a role in the upcoming trials in The Hague of former Kosovo Liberation Army guerrillas including ex-President Hashim Thaci.

“The voices of the victims are indispensable to justice.”

These were the words of the president of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, Ekaterina Trendafilova, when she called on victims of crimes allegedly committed by four former Kosovo Liberation Army guerrillas who have since become senior politicians to participate in their war crimes case at the Hague-based court.

Her call came as the indictment was confirmed charging Kosovo’s recently-resigned President Hashim Thaci, the former leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, Kadri Veseli, the former head of the Vetevendosje Movement opposition party’s MPs in parliament, Rexhep Selimi, and the national council chairman of the Social Democratic Initiative (NISMA) party, Jakup Krasniqi, with a series of war crimes and crimes against humanity. They have all since pleaded not guilty.

Victims of their alleged crimes “may now apply to participate in the proceedings if they can demonstrate that they personally suffered harm, including physical, mental or material harm, as a direct result of alleged crimes contained in the confirmed indictment”, the Kosovo Specialist Chambers said in a statement earlier this month.

See more at: https://bit.ly/3pZ6mAN

 

 

Humanitarian/Development

 

UNFPA: Premiere of “Broken Rib” on the Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (Kontakt plus radio)

On the occasion of November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, within the UNFPA project “Prevention and Elimination of Gender-Based Violence, through Cooperation with Religious Organizations”, drama artists Tamara Tomanovic and Janko Cekic performed the play “Polomljeno rebro” (Broken Rib).

The play was set with the goal to portray the problem of violence against women, especially in the period of isolation, and to actualized and prevent it.

The play in the form of a film will be premiered on the YouTube channel tonight at 8 p.m.: https://bit.ly/3m5GEsc

The play “Broken Rib” talks about the essential ignorance of love and shameless identification of its fairy tenderness with the bestial demonstration of the power of the stronger over the weaker, about killing masculinity in a man, and about the saintly patience of a woman who believes that love will change the abuser until  when she decides to bring the most important decision at the right moment, overwhelmed by prayer and the conviction that she is guarded by a legion of the archangel’s army, and with one phone call she ends the life she had.  

By deciding to ask for help, she “breaks arm” which broke her rib. Which broke her, which broke him, himself.  She reports violence, which is the only, right and healthy choice.

UNFPA invites the audience to watch this stage work, designed to raise awareness that absolutely every woman can be a victim, that it is not shameful, that institutions and every member of society are obliged to react.

Hoti: Violence against women needs to be uprooted (KP/Telegrafi)

Prime Minister of Kosovo Avdullah Hoti said on the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women that in addition to one million euros allocated by the Government of Kosovo for the cause, another one million will be provided to support efforts to end gender-based violence.

“Violence against women is a phenomenon that needs to be uprooted. It is our institutional and moral obligation to have an equal society as support for women empowerment is the noblest cause,” said Hoti today at a conference in Pristina organised as part of the campaign of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.

U.S. Embassy: Every person deserves a life free from violence (media)

On the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women, the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a 17 percent increase in reported cases of gender-based violence in Kosovo. 

“Every woman, every girl, every person, deserves a life free from violence,” the Embassy said in a Twitter post and called on the Government of Kosovo, the private sector and the civil society to take immediate steps to protect the vulnerable and thoroughly investigate and prosecute all cases of gender-based violence.

Pandemic Disrupts Southeast Europe Labour Flows (Balkan Insight)

The coronavirus pandemic is interrupting the flow of Southeast European workers to EU countries, threatening the region’s economy and harming living standards.

Elvir Tosic, a 40-year-old construction worker from the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica, is one of hundreds of thousands of foreign workers from Southeast Europe who have lost their jobs and been forced to return home, as the pandemic continues to bring more travel restrictions, economic hardship and unemployment across all of Europe.

After working for five months on a construction site near Munich in Germany, Tosic was laid off soon after COVID-19 hit Europe in March. “When the pandemic started, my boss told me he had to cut expenses. I tried to find another job, but because of the health measures it was hard, so I had to return home,” Tosic told BIRN.

This major interruption in the usual labour flows has been felt across Southeast Europe – the source of millions of foreign workers who have made the move from east to west, year after year. The loss of employment opportunities abroad is threatening already poor living standards in Ukraine and Western Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia – which have been regular exporters of labour to Western Europe for decades.

See more at: https://bit.ly/3q3ot94

Why culture makes smoking a hard habit for the Western Balkans to kick (Emerging Europe)

Smoking in the Western Balkans is bucking the European trend, with the number of people consuming tobacco on the rise. Entrenched cultural norms, a lack of coherent government policy, and lax laws are to blame.

For most western Europeans, the days (and nights) of smoke-filled restaurants, bars and clubs have long gone. Furthermore, the number of people who smoke has fallen considerably over the past two decades, the result of a series of public health measures aimed at gently nudging smokers to kick the habit.

In the Balkans, the fall has been much less pronounced, for both legal and cultural reasons. Indeed, according to some sources, there are countries in the Balkans where the number of people smoking has actually been increasing, such as Montenegro.

See more at:https://bit.ly/3fxfg3E

 

    Print       Email

You might also like...

UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, January 15, 2021

Read More →