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UNMIK Media Observer, January 18, 2021

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• COVID – 19: 353 new cases, five deaths (media)
• Hoti: We have secured €40 million for vaccines coming in February (media)
• “Positions were close on President before indictments were published” (media)
• Hoxhaj to Kurti: You are hiding from a public debate (media)
• Krasniqi: I will represent the survivors of sexual violence from the war (media)
• COMFKOR lists key threats against security (Koha)
• Waiting to leave (Prishtina Insight)

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  • COVID – 19: 353 new cases, five deaths (media)
  • Hoti: We have secured €40 million for vaccines coming in February (media)
  • “Positions were close on President before indictments were published” (media)
  • Hoxhaj to Kurti: You are hiding from a public debate (media)
  • Krasniqi: I will represent the survivors of sexual violence from the war (media)
  • COMFKOR lists key threats against security (Koha)
  • Waiting to leave (Prishtina Insight)

COVID – 19: 353 new cases, five deaths (media)

353 new cases of COVID – 19 and five deaths from the virus were recorded in the last 24 hours in Kosovo. 279 persons recovered from the virus during this time.

Hoti: We have secured €40 million for vaccines coming in February (media)

Kosovo’s outgoing Prime Minister, Avdullah Hoti, said in a Facebook post on Sunday that the government has secured €40 million for the anti COVID 19 vaccines that will come in February. According to Hoti, Kosovo will get 1,8 million vaccines. “We have also prepared the immunization strategy, with prioritisation in vaccines, starting with the healthcare workers, people with chronic illnesses and the elderly,” Hoti said.

“Positions were close on President before indictments were published” (media)

Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) senior official Daut Haradinaj said in an interview with Kanal 10 on Sunday that this party will not support Vjosa Osmani’s candidacy for the post of Kosovo President. AAK leader Ramush Haradinaj is also a candidate for the President post.

Haradinaj also said that positions between the political parties were close on the President post but that “this was ruined when the former KLA leaders were summoned to The Hague”.

“We were close, we had almost finalised the agreement. Positions were close on electing the President of Kosovo. But the summons from the Hague court ruined the system. There were details on the election and the required votes in parliament,” Haradinaj added.

Hoxhaj to Kurti: You are hiding from a public debate (media)

Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) Acting Leader and candidate for Prime Minister, Enver Hoxhaj, said on Sunday that Vetevendosje Movement (VV) leader and candidate for PM, Albin Kurti, is avoiding a public debate. “I challenged our main political opponent, Albin Kurti, to present and debate his program with us. He rejected this of course. He is hiding. He is avoiding comparisons. He never misses a chance to ignore the citizens of Kosovo. He has no respect for our democracy or for the election process,” Hoxhaj argued.

Krasniqi: I will represent the survivors of sexual violence from the war (media)

Vasfije Krasniqi – Goodman, the first woman to speak openly about the horror she experienced during the last war in Kosovo, will run for MP in the Vetevendosje Movement’s ticket in the February parliamentary elections. Krasniqi said in a Facebook post that she is running for an MP post in order to represent even more actively the survivors of sexual violence from the war. She also said that representing this category will be a great challenge as it requires spiritual and emotional strength but that she will do it with her greatest commitment.

COMFKOR lists key threats against security (Koha)

KFOR Commander Franco Federici said in a front-page interview with Koha Ditore that the main threats against security in Kosovo are organised crime, unemployment, illegal economic activities and the ethnic-based rhetoric. He said that for the time being there are no indications that the security situation may change for bad.

Asked to comment on the situation in Mitrovica and the Ibar Bridge which links the two municipalities, Federici said any issue related to the bridge must be treated with caution by the municipalities. “In this respect, KFOR has built a much better cooperation between the two municipalities,” he said.

Waiting to leave (Prishtina Insight)

Around ten percent of Kosovo’s population emigrated in the second half of the 2010s, and migration is still on the mind of many young people across the country.

It is almost impossible to hang out in Kosovo and not hear talk of people wanting to leave the country – and often not for the first time.

Arben Bytyci, a 27-year-old from the town of Suhareka in southwestern Kosovo, is one of many that has made a number of previous attempts to migrate. He sees no future for himself in Kosovo and wants to leave for a better life.

Bytyci’s mind was made up in 2016, when he quit his studies to focus on finding opportunities abroad. Possibilities to travel illegally to Austria and Slovenia had arisen earlier in his life, and he now regrets not leaving then.

“I had the chance to leave but I was not ready,” Bytyci tells Prishtina Insight. “I was young and immature, I was full of fear.”

The reasons for Bytyci seeking to leave the country are not solely financial, and he cites the precariousness of his work and the lack of labour rights in Kosovo. “I work on the black market in the construction industry from time to time,” he says. “I have no insurance, no pension savings or anything else.”

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