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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, November 27, 2020

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Albanian Language Media:

• COVID-19: 764 new cases, 12 deaths (media)
• Hoti: There is no agreement with Serbia on Kosovo visits (media)
• Hoti denies resigning, urges parties to agree on president or election date (media)
• Gashi: There are reports PM Hoti has offered his resignation (Telegrafi)
• Haradinaj says it is unfair KLA leaders stand accused of war crimes (KP/Koha)
• Parliamentary committee to hear allegations against EULEX by former judge (media)
• CEC to enable COVID infected persons to vote from home (media)

Serbian Language Media:

• North Mitrovica Crisis Staff: 78 newly infected with Covid-19 and 17 cured (Kontakt plus radio)
• Gracanica Crisis Staff: 11 people tested positive for coronavirus (KiM radio)
• Petkovic: International representatives to protect Serbs from provocations and attacks (TV Most)
• A family robbed in Preoce village (KiM radio, RTV Gracanica, Kontakt plus radio)
• EU’s Lajčák briefs Bundestag and German MEPs on Belgrade-Pristina dialogue (Beta, N1)
• Shifts in the municipality of Gracanica, director of hospital Bratislav Lazic the new deputy president? (KiM radio)
• Pristina: Fire in a part of Pavilion “E” (KiM radio)
• Milena Ivanovic: I will go to Kosovo to ask for the truth about Oliver’s assassination (Kosovo Online)
• Books by Serbian publishers do not arrive in Kosovo for several years (RTK2)

International:

• Serbia Appoints French Activist to Head Diaspora Office (Balkan Insight)
• In Montenegro, Death of Outspoken Bishop has Political Ramifications (Balkan Insight)

Humanitarian/Development:

• Ivanusa: Georgia, Andorra and Luxembourg the only ones ahead of Serbia in terms of infected with coronavirus (B92, TV Prva)

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Albanian Language Media:

  • COVID-19: 764 new cases, 12 deaths (media)
  • Hoti: There is no agreement with Serbia on Kosovo visits (media)
  • Hoti denies resigning, urges parties to agree on president or election date (media)
  • Gashi: There are reports PM Hoti has offered his resignation (Telegrafi)
  • Haradinaj says it is unfair KLA leaders stand accused of war crimes (KP/Koha)
  • Parliamentary committee to hear allegations against EULEX by former judge (media)
  • CEC to enable COVID infected persons to vote from home (media)

Serbian Language Media:

  • North Mitrovica Crisis Staff: 78 newly infected with Covid-19 and 17 cured (Kontakt plus radio)
  • Gracanica Crisis Staff: 11 people tested positive for coronavirus (KiM radio)
  • Petkovic: International representatives to protect Serbs from provocations and attacks (TV Most)
  • A family robbed in Preoce village (KiM radio, RTV Gracanica, Kontakt plus radio)
  • EU’s Lajčák briefs Bundestag and German MEPs on Belgrade-Pristina dialogue (Beta, N1)
  • Shifts in the municipality of Gracanica, director of hospital Bratislav Lazic the new deputy president? (KiM radio)
  • Pristina: Fire in a part of Pavilion “E” (KiM radio)
  • Milena Ivanovic: I will go to Kosovo to ask for the truth about Oliver’s assassination (Kosovo Online)
  • Books by Serbian publishers do not arrive in Kosovo for several years (RTK2)

International:

  • Serbia Appoints French Activist to Head Diaspora Office (Balkan Insight)
  • In Montenegro, Death of Outspoken Bishop has Political Ramifications (Balkan Insight)

Humanitarian/Development:

  • Ivanusa: Georgia, Andorra and Luxembourg the only ones ahead of Serbia in terms of infected with coronavirus (B92, TV Prva)

 

 

 

Albanian Language Media 

 

COVID-19: 764 new cases, 12 deaths (media)

764 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths have been recorded in the last 24 hours in Kosovo. 584 persons have meanwhile recovered from the virus. 

The highest number of new cases is from the municipality of Prishtina (319). 

Hoti: There is no agreement with Serbia on Kosovo visits (media)

Prime Minister of Kosovo Avdullah Hoti said there is no gentlemen’s agreement between Kosovo and Serbia regarding visits of Serbian officials to Kosovo and that information suggesting otherwise are ‘untrue’.

“The Government respects the agreement for free movement. However, every request for visit is analysed by relevant institutions before approved or refused,” Hoti wrote on Facebook.

Telegrafi writes that some media reported that Kosovo and Serbia reached a gentlemen’s agreement to suspend mutual visits for as long as exhumations at suspected mass grave sites continue. This was also confirmed by EU foreign policy spokesperson Peter Stano.

Hoti denies resigning, urges parties to agree on president or election date (media)

Prime Minister of Kosovo Avdullah Hoti has rejected reports that he has resigned his post.

“The Office of the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Mr. Avdullah Hoti, informs the public that the information that is circulating in the media about the resignation of the Prime Minister is untrue,” a statement issued by the Government reads.

According to the statement, Hoti has underlined that parliamentary parties have two options: to find a solution to the issue of the President or to agree on an election date. “But, in no context has he mentioned resignation as an option.”

“Prime Minister Hoti has shown readiness and commitment to provide solutions to all issues raised, unlocking even the complex processes that the country has gone through, such as the decision to continue the dialogue with principles, reaching an agreement on September 4 in Washington, drafting emergency and economic recovery package and concrete measures in Covid-19 pandemic management.”

Gashi: There are reports PM Hoti has offered his resignation (Telegrafi)

Political commentator Astrit Gashi said in an interview with RTV Dukagjini that the next two weeks will be crucial in determining whether Kosovo will head to fresh elections. 

Gashi said the discontent between coalition partners is growing. “There are reports Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti has mentioned his resignation as an option. He is ready to step down,” Gashi said.

“Coalition partners are unhappy with the government, the opposition is also unhappy and puts pressure to head to elections opposition to head to elections so these are all things filling up the cup in the geopolitical sense and these will inevitably lead the country towards a political disentanglement and elections,” Gashi added.

Haradinaj says it is unfair KLA leaders stand accused of war crimes (KP/Koha)

Leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) Ramush Haradinaj commented on the Specialist Chambers’ continued mandate and the war crimes allegations against senior officials of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). 

In a visit to Rahovec, Haradinaj said it was unfair for KLA leaders are standing accused of war crimes and that Kosovo has once tackled charges of war crimes alleged to have been committed by the KLA. He underlined that the KLA led a just liberation war.

He said all political forces in Kosovo should stand in support of KLA fighters. “They are citizens of Kosovo, our fellow countrymen, citizens of this country, institutional leaders, political, and also leaders of the KLA once. We should support them as the parliament has decided, we have the law for support, we should implement it and I am convinced we will.”

Parliamentary committee to hear allegations against EULEX by former judge (media)

Kosovo Assembly’s Committee on Legislation, Mandates, Immunities, Rules of procedure of the Assembly and Oversight of the Anti-Corruption Agency has voted in favour of hearing the testimony of Malcolm Simmons, former EULEX judge, who says has witnessed ‘wrongdoings’ on the part of the EU rule of law mission.

The proposal to have Simmons report to the committee was presented by the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) MP Donika Kadaj-Bujupi who said that the hearing should take place as soon as possible. 

Abelard Tahiri from the Democratic Party of Kosovo said Simmons’ request to brief the Assembly should be treated very seriously at the earliest convenience while Dimal Basha from the Vetevendosje Movement said they are ready to hear what the former judge has to say.

At the same time, Shkemb Manaj from the Democratic League of Kosovo opposed the proposal saying that if there is anywhere Simmons has to testify it should be before EU authorities since he worked for its rule of law mission.

CEC to enable COVID infected persons to vote from home (media)

The Central Election Commission (CEC) has announced it will enable persons infected by COVID-19 to vote from their homes in upcoming mayoral elections in Podujeve and Mitrovica North.

The CEC will send mobile teams to the homes of the people that are quarantining because of COVID-19 as part of voting arrangements announced today.

 

 

 

Serbian Language Media

 

North Mitrovica Crisis Staff: 78 newly infected with Covid-19 and 17 cured (Kontakt plus radio)

The North Mitrovica Crisis Staff announced today that according to the latest data, 78 new cases of infection and 17 cures have been recorded in Serbian communities in Kosovo, reported Kontakt plus radio. 

Out of 207 processed samples, positive cases were recorded in the municipalities: North Mitrovica (26), Gracanica (12), Zubin Potok (10), Gnjilane (8), Leposavic (7), Pec (6), Priluzje (4), Zvecan (4) and Kosovska Kamenica (1).

17 patients were recovered, in Gnjilane (5), Priluzje (3), North Mitrovica (3), Zvecan (2), Zubin Potok (2), Leposavic (1), Kosovska Kamenica (1) and Prizren (1).

55 people were hospitalized in the North Mitrovica Health Center, and one in the Nis Health center. 

The measure of home isolation was determined for 830 people and 886 cases are currently active.

Kontakt plus radio reported that 53 people died.  

Gracanica Crisis Staff: 11 people tested positive for coronavirus (KiM radio)

Gracanica municipality information service announced today that in the last 24 hours, 11 newly diagnosed persons with coronavirus have been registered on the territory of this municipality. 

The announcement adds that currently 54 patients are on hospital treatment, while the total number of positive for coronavirus on the territory of the municipality of Gracanica is 205, reported KiM radio. 

The Crisis Staff appeals to the locals “to stop all kinds of social activities, private celebrations and larger family gatherings”.

It was also emphasized that the health care system was burdened and that the sudden increase in the number of infected people represents a great pressure on the work of health care workers.

Petkovic: International representatives to protect Serbs from provocations and attacks (TV Most)

Following the robbery of Simic family in Preoce village, Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Petar Petkovic expressed great concern for the security of Serbs in the central part of Kosovo where “intimidation campaigns of our people have been going on in recent days”. 

“I demand from the international representatives in Kosovo and Metohija to urgently and inevitably take measures so that the Serbian people south of the Ibar would be protected from provocations and attacks by extremists”. 

“In the context of the latest extremist statements of the so-called Minister of Foreign Affairs of self-proclaimed Kosovo, Melliza Haradinaj, it is clear that we are also quite justifiably talking about the existence of political inspirers of incidents in Gracanica and its surroundings”. 

“It is unbelievable that it is necessary to explain and prove to someone in the 21st century that attacks on a peaceful people, their symbols, identity and property are an anti-civilization gesture that must be responded to decisively and without delay.” 

“Serbia will continue to extinguish the flames of hatred and conflict that Albanian extremists in Kosovo and Metohija are trying to inflame using the power of reason and arguments”. 

“While they are setting on fire the Serbian flag in the centre of Gracanica, Albanian MPs in the Serbian Parliament wave the Albanian flag protesting the alleged endangerment and disenfranchisement of their compatriots, and that image most eloquently describes who is really endangered in the region and who is a threat to peace and stability.”

“The strength of Serbia is in responsibility and restraint, and we will continue to fight using all means for peace and chance for the region in which we live to have a better future,” Petkovic said, reported Zvecan based TV Most.

A family robbed in Preoce village (KiM radio, RTV Gracanica, Kontakt plus radio)

KiM radio reported that a family was robbed last night in Preoce village during curfew. According to RTV Gracanica, the thieves broke into the house of the Simic family, from where they took all the family jewelry.

According to T.S., the robbery occurred between 6 and 8:30 p.m. when no one was in the house for a short time. Upon their return, they found overturned furniture and scattered things. It is stated that the thieves took all the jewelry from the house, reported KiM radio. 

The case was reported to the police, and the robbery happened during the ban on movement, which is in force on the territory of the Municipality of Gracanica from 7 to 5 in the morning.

The director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Petar Petkovic reacted and expressed concern for the safety of Serbs in central Kosovo where, as he said, an intimidation campaign was underway in recent days . 

“I demand from the international representatives in Kosovo and Metohija to urgently and inevitably take measures so that the Serbian people south of the Ibar would be protected from provocations and attacks by extremists,” Petkovic stated in a written statement to the media.

EU’s Lajčák briefs Bundestag and German MEPs on Belgrade-Pristina dialogue (Beta, N1)

The European Union’s special envoy for the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue on the normalisation of relations Miroslav Lajčák tweeted on Thursday he had informed the members of the Bundestag and the German MEPs about the current state and further steps in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.

He added he “highly appreciated their interest and support.

The dialogue resumed last summer when several meetings were held between Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Avdulah Hoti.

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

Shifts in the municipality of Gracanica, director of hospital Bratislav Lazic the new deputy president? (KiM radio)

The vice president of the Municipality of Gracanica Sasa Danic was replaced yesterday, RTV KiM learned in municipal circles. 

The director of the Clinical Hospital Center “Pristina” in Gracanica, Bratislav Lazic, will be appointed instead of Danic. 

The president of the municipality Srdjan Popovic previously replaced two directors of municipal departments.

Danic did not want to confirm or deny the news about the shift for RTV KiM. He briefly said that everything would be found out on Monday.

Danic’s dismissal came after two directors of municipal departments were previously dismissed within a week.

First, the director of the Administration Department was replaced last week, then the director of the Inspection Department. New Director of the Administration is Milos Aritonovic, and Jelena Stojanovic, the director of the Inspection department. KiM radio reported that so far they have not been able to find out reasons behind these shifts.

Pristina: Fire in a part of Pavilion “E” (KiM radio)

The Ministry for Communities and Returns announced that a fire broke out around midnight in the part of Pavilion “E”, which is located across the University Library in Pristina, reported KiM radio. 

The statement reads that the fire broke out near the apartment of the late Draginja Stamenkovic, and the shed burned where the tenants store things. The tenants say that only thanks to the quick intervention of the Fire Service, greater damage was prevented.

Representatives of the Ministry of Communities and Returns visited the tenants early this morning and talked to Leposava Stojanovic, who lives there, and other tenants, it was said in the announcement. The police conducted an investigation. 

KiM radio recalled that there was a lot of public talk in recent days about the families of Pavilion “E” who have lived there since 1973 based on the decision of the then authorities, and who recently received a decision from the City of Pristina to move out from their apartments by December 1, so that underground parking space could be built. 

“Minister for Communities and Returns Dalibor Jevtic, in cooperation with the mayor of Pristina, Shpend Ahmeti, is working on finding a permanent solution with which these families would agree,” the statement concluded.

Milena Ivanovic: I will go to Kosovo to ask for the truth about Oliver’s assassination (Kosovo Online)

Kosovo Online reported that the widow of the assassinated Serbian politician Oliver Ivanovic, Milena Ivanovic decided to use her legal right and officially request access to the indictment and all the documents collected during the pretrial and investigative proceedings. Her decision came after the information that the trial was returned to beginning with a partially amended indictment. 

Milena Ivanovic told portal Kosovo Online that she was only interested in the truth and that she would fight for it no matter what the price. When asked about the third trial on December 2, she told the portal that she was more and more concerned, and with great doubts that there was a sincere intention to uncover who shot Ivanovic. 

-The fact that Silvana is now accused of directly participating in the murder is really a precedent, and this “change” is actually the most eye-catching and creates an image of a show trial in which several parties are obviously involved, said Milena Ivanovic.

She told the portal that in an agreement with lawyers from Pristina and Belgrade, she decided to use her legal right and officially request insight to the indictment and all the files collected in the investigation and the pretrial. 

“I just want to see everything, read everything, have insight into everything. I don’t want to miss anything and maybe make a mistake. I have a moral obligation and responsibility. Towards Oliver primarily, Bogdan, but myself as well. 

Asked by Kosovo online whether she would be worried about safety, she replied: 

“I was in Kosovo a couple of times after Oliver’s murder, but I certainly didn’t stay for a long time. It is not easy to. Emotions are mixed. I have everything in Kosovo. Family, childhood, whole life. Oliver’s life was left there. But I’m not afraid. I have decided. I have my mission and my goal. It is my right and obligation to seek the truth, but also not to allow it to be forgotten. If it’s forgotten, Oliver will perish forever. I know that many want just that. But as long as I’m alive, so will Oliver be. I guarantee it. And I don’t care what anyone will say, whether they will condemn or crucify me, say that I am Oliver’s mistress or that I was planted by the service, that I was paid to remain silent, that I betrayed my Oliver and my child. I am only interested in the truth and I will fight for it no matter what the price, because the truth has no price. It doesn’t.” 

Books by Serbian publishers do not arrive in Kosovo for several years (RTK2)

Books by Serbian publishers have not been arriving in Kosovo for several years, which makes the work of Serbian libraries and schools very difficult, but also students of colleges, faculties, writers are in unenviable positions and all lovers of the written word, reported RTK2.

The Kosovo Customs states that reciprocal measures are in force towards Serbia, which did not allow books from Kosovo to be delivered to schools in Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac. 

The library in Gracanica has not received new titles in the last six years, although the Ministry of Culture of Serbia allocates a certain amount of money every year for the titles of Serbian publishers.

“For the past 6 years, we have had a big problem with the delivery of books from central Serbia to our users. Initially, these were reciprocal measures applied by customs officers at the crossing to printed books arriving in Serbian. They don’t know even which reciprocity. The problem is that no distinction is made between textbooks and publications,” said Brankica Kostic, director of the library in Gracanica.

Kosovo Customs confirmed that reciprocal measures against Serbia are still in force.

“We had a problem a few years ago because books from Kosovo could not be transferred to Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja because the Serbian side returned them. Then the Ministry of Science decided that every book that enters from Serbia to Kosovo must obtain a license through the ministry. If the Serbian side does not allow the transfer of books, then we do not allow the same,” said Adriatik Stavileci, spokesman for Kosovo Customs, reported RTK2.

Writer Zarko Milenkovic believes that the fact that books in the Serbian language have not been arriving in Kosovo for years is an international scandal.

“The very act of banning books from entering one territory is a kind of fascist act. Books are banned only where the single-mindedness governs, and where you want to impose on someone a story that will be unique, that will not be touched,” said Milenkovic.

Although we sent an e-mail with questions about the import of publications from Serbia to the Ministry of Trade of Kosovo, we did not receive an answer until the publication of this text, RTK2 wrote.

 

 

International

 

Serbia Appoints French Activist to Head Diaspora Office (Balkan Insight)

Serbia has made Arnaud Gouillon – a far-right French national famous in Serbia for his advocacy for the Kosovo Serbs – new director of the Office for Cooperation with the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region.

The Serbian government has appointed a French national, Arnaud Gouillon, head of the organisation Solidarité Kosovo – known for his far-right views and humanitarian activities among Kosovo’s Serbian minority – to head its Office for Cooperation with the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region.

See more at: https://bit.ly/36dBC7o

In Montenegro, Death of Outspoken Bishop has Political Ramifications (Balkan Insight)

Will Metropolitan Amfilohije’s successor manage to maintain the political influence of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, while standing up to Belgrade?

The death of the Serbian Orthodox Church’s most senior bishop in Montenegro threatens to diminish the Church’s considerable political influence in the tiny Adriatic state, just weeks after it played a key role in ending three decades of rule by the Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS.

It also presents the Church’s Belgrade leadership with an opportunity to elect a successor more in sync with Serbian state policy under President Aleksandar Vucic, analysts say.

Metropolitan Amfilohije Radovic died on October 30 of complications from COVID-19. He was 82 years old.

For three decades, Amfilohije led the powerful Serbian Orthodox Church, SPC, in Montenegro, through the bloody collapse of federal Yugoslavia, years of deteriorating relations between Podgorica and Belgrade and a 2006 referendum that saw Montenegro end almost a century of a state union with Serbia.

For much of the last year of his life, he was at the head of bitter mass protests against a disputed law on religious freedom, whipping up resentment of the DPS that played a major part in its fall from power in an August election. Amfilohije’s death robs the Montenegrin branch of the SPC of a charismatic leader rivalled in longevity and power only by the current president of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic.

Whoever takes his place will struggle to wield such influence.

See more at: https://bit.ly/3mf6w4K

 

 

 

Humanitarian/Development

 

Ivanusa: Georgia, Andorra and Luxembourg the only ones ahead Serbia in terms of infected with coronavirus (B92, TV Prva)

Head of the WHO office in Serbia, Marijan Ivanusa, stated that Serbia is among the leading countries in terms of the number of people infected with coronavirus.  

As he said in the morning program of TV Prva, only Georgia, Andorra and Luxembourg are ahead of Serbia. .

According to Ivanusa, the situation is serious, but it remains to be seen whether the tougher measures will yield results.

As he said, the measures do not yield optimal results, but that is better than not having them at all.

Ivanusa also estimated that the epidemiological situation will not improve until mid-December.

“We will see in a week what results the measures will give. Slovenia has implemented stricter measures, but the numbers are not much better. They have reached flattening of the curve and expansion has stopped, but the numbers are not significantly better, i.e. they have not started to decrease,” he concluded.

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