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

UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, October 14, 2021

By   /  14/10/2021  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, October 14, 2021

UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, October 14, 2021

Albanian Language Media:

• Kurti: We are combating multiethnic criminal groups (media)
• UK Embassy supports Kosovo Government in upholding rule of law (media)
• Stano: North of Kosovo is specific, unilateral actions damaging (G. Express)
• Police provide new details about anti-smuggling operation (media)
• Police union condemns attacks on police officers in the north (media)
• Mehaj, Escobar discuss security issues (Radio Free Europe)
• “Borrell cannot act like a police commander in Kosovo” (Paparaci)
• Former Montenegrin Foreign Minister reacts to Borrell’s remarks (Koha)
• Protesters throw smoke bomb in Albanian embassy yard in Belgrade (Paparaci)
• Bosnian journalist reveals Vucic’s plans for destabilisation (Gazeta Express)
• COVID-19: No deaths, 31 new cases (media)

Serbian Language Media:

• Covid-19: 18 new cases registered in Serbian areas (KoSSev)
• A new UNMIK report on the situation in Kosovo; Guterres calls for the implementation of existing agreements (RTS)
• Stano: North of Kosovo specific, unilateral actions detrimental (Tanjug, Kosovo-online)
• Selakovic at UN tomorrow to talk also about unilateral Pristina’s acts (Tanjug, Kosovo-online)
• Barricades in northern Kosovo removed, wounded Serb out of life danger (N1)
• Simic: It is peaceful this morning, but Serbs are afraid and angry (Kosovo-online)
• Citizens from northern Kosovo, Serbian List met President Vucic in Raska (KoSSev)
• NIN journalist: Action in Kosovo for Kurti to increase his chances ahead of elections (N1)
• Janjic, Sovrlic on latest crisis in Kosovo (N1)
• Initiative OPEN calls the EU’s more active involvement in resolving the increasingly frequent crisis situations in Kosovo (Radio Mitrovica sever, Kontakt plus radio, KoSSev)
• House of Rumena Ljubic, the only Serb woman in center of Pec, stoned (Radio KIM)
• Bancroft: Kosovo police action will create additional tensions between Kosovo institutions and Serbs (Kosovo Online)
• “After the recent vehicle plates war, now on table is a war against the smuggling goods” (Nova S, Newsmax Adria, KoSSev)
• Djuric to von Cramon: You should be ashamed (Kosovo-online)

Humanitarian/Development:

• Christian NGO’s child sponsorship program angers Kosovo parents (BIRN)

    Print       Email

Albanian Language Media:

  • Kurti: We are combating multiethnic criminal groups (media)
  • UK Embassy supports Kosovo Government in upholding rule of law (media)
  • Stano: North of Kosovo is specific, unilateral actions damaging (G. Express)
  • Police provide new details about anti-smuggling operation (media)
  • Police union condemns attacks on police officers in the north (media)
  • Mehaj, Escobar discuss security issues (Radio Free Europe)
  • “Borrell cannot act like a police commander in Kosovo” (Paparaci)
  • Former Montenegrin Foreign Minister reacts to Borrell’s remarks (Koha)
  • Protesters throw smoke bomb in Albanian embassy yard in Belgrade (Paparaci)
  • Bosnian journalist reveals Vucic’s plans for destabilisation (Gazeta Express)
  • COVID-19: No deaths, 31 new cases (media)

Serbian Language Media:

  • Covid-19: 18 new cases registered in Serbian areas (KoSSev)
  • A new UNMIK report on the situation in Kosovo; Guterres calls for the implementation of existing agreements (RTS)
  • Stano: North of Kosovo specific, unilateral actions detrimental (Tanjug, Kosovo-online)
  • Selakovic at UN tomorrow to talk also about unilateral Pristina’s acts (Tanjug, Kosovo-online)
  • Barricades in northern Kosovo removed, wounded Serb out of life danger (N1)
  • Simic: It is peaceful this morning, but Serbs are afraid and angry (Kosovo-online)
  • Citizens from northern Kosovo, Serbian List met President Vucic in Raska (KoSSev)
  • NIN journalist: Action in Kosovo for Kurti to increase his chances ahead of elections (N1)
  • Janjic, Sovrlic on latest crisis in Kosovo (N1)
  • Initiative OPEN calls the EU’s more active involvement in resolving the increasingly frequent crisis situations in Kosovo (Radio Mitrovica sever, Kontakt plus radio, KoSSev)
  • House of Rumena Ljubic, the only Serb woman in center of Pec, stoned (Radio KIM)
  • Bancroft: Kosovo police action will create additional tensions between Kosovo institutions and Serbs (Kosovo Online)
  • “After the recent vehicle plates war, now on table is a war against the smuggling goods” (Nova S, Newsmax Adria, KoSSev)
  • Djuric to von Cramon: You should be ashamed (Kosovo-online)

Humanitarian/Development:

  • Christian NGO’s child sponsorship program angers Kosovo parents (BIRN)

 

 

 

Albanian Language Media  

 

Kurti: We are combating multiethnic criminal groups (media)

Kosovo Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, said today that in order to have stability and rule of law in Kosovo “there can be no stability for crime”. “We are combating multiethnic criminal groups, which include Albanians, Bosniaks and Serbs. We will combat them at any price. Yesterday morning there was an operation in four different municipalities in Kosovo: Peja, Prishtina, Mitrovica North and Mitrovica South, where different Albanian and Serb criminals were cooperating,” Kurti said in his address at a summit in Skopje, North Macedonia.

“In order to have institutional stability and rule of law, we are fighting corruption and organised crime which is multiethnic. Serb and Albanian criminals have very good cooperation between them. We want to fight them no matter what happens. I think it is wrong to give an ethnic and political dimension to the fight against corruption and organised crime. We, the countries of the Western Balkans, must cooperate against organised crime. The organised crime is much more integrated than we are.”

Montenegro’s Deputy Prime Minister, Dritan Abazovic, said that organised crime and corruption are the main problems faced by countries of the Western Balkans. “I want to add to what Prime Minister Kurti said. I think that corruption and organised crime generate a lot of negative things in the region. We need to understand that without fighting these factors in the region and in our countries, we cannot have professional and independent institutions that will create better living conditions for the people,” he said.

Kurti also said the integration of the Balkans market should be done by implementing the four fundamental freedoms. “We can further integrate our economies by implementing the four fundamental freedoms, by integrating in a joint market with the EU and with accession in the EU as a final objective. As a social democrat, I believe in the equality of men and women, for them to work, be trained and be successful. But we need to see all this as interconnected, because we cannot move forward if we ignore the events of the past, or if we ignore the current reality. Instead we need to work together, accept one another and address the challenges we face today,” Kurti said.

UK Embassy supports Kosovo Government in upholding rule of law (media)

The United Kingdom Embassy in Kosovo said in a Twitter post today that “acting against organised crime is in the interests of all citizens of Kosovo and we support the Kosovan Government in upholding the rule of law throughout Kosovo”. It further notes that “efforts to obstruct this action with violence, as well as the use of inflammatory rhetoric, only serves to aid those seeking to create divisions between communities in Kosovo. We are also concerned about reports of intimidation of journalists attempting to do their job and report the facts on the ground.  Journalists have the right to operate in a safe environment, and those who threaten this should be held accountable.”

Stano: North of Kosovo is specific, unilateral actions damaging (G. Express)

Peter Stano, spokesperson for the EU foriegn policy, spoke about the statement of the EU High Representative Josep Borrell on yesterday’s developments in the north of Kosovo saying his goal was not to point fingers at any side. 

“The context of what is happening in the north of Kosovo is linked to the broader issue between Kosovo and Serbia and concerns coordination if one side decides to do something in a part with specific attributes such as the north of Kosovo. The common practice is to have close coordination with the international community, KFOR and colleagues from the other side,” Stano said. 

“The situation in that part of Kosovo is unstable and everything done in that part of the territory should be taken into consideration. We said last time that any unilateral action needs to be avoided so as to prevent confrontations,” he added. 

Stano said that what happened yesterday is a result of certain actions which he said were not coordinated.

Police provide new details about anti-smuggling operation (media)

Kosovo Police issued a statement today providing new details about yesterday’s anti-smuggling operation in Prishtina, Peja, Mitrovica South and in the north. Police said that the Directorate of Organized Crime Investigation in cooperation with Kosovo Customs, assisted by various relevant police units, with an order issued by the courts have searched and raided the mentioned locations in order to combat smuggling.

“During the operation in several different locations, houses and premises, were found various goods  in the amounts of hundreds of thousands of euros which serve as material evidence. During the operation in Mitrovica North and Zvecan, a group of protesters attacked and obstructed police officers while they were performing their duties. Protesters blocked the roads with vehicles, used firearms, hand grenades, gas cylinders, shock bombs and other means, resulting in bodily injuries to ten police officers, who received medical treatment, and material damage was also caused to some official vehicles,” the statement notes.

Police also say that in connection with the case, eight male suspects were escorted to the police, and after being interviewed and following a decision by the prosecutor, five Kosovar men were taken into custody, while the other three were released in due process. Another ten suspects are at large.

Police union condemns attacks on police officers in the north (media)

The Union of Kosovo Police said in a statement today that it strongly condemns the attacks against police officers in the north on Wednesday and called on institutions “to take measures against irresponsible people that injured the police officers while they were on duty”.

“The Kosovo Police is professional, and it works on the respect and enforcement of the law. The Union strongly condemns these attacks as well as any other attack against police officers. We call on the citizens to support the Kosovo Police in their work, and the fight against crime … We once again call on the competent authorities to take measures against the irresponsible persons that injured the police officers while they were on duty,” the statement notes.

Mehaj, Escobar discuss security issues (Radio Free Europe)

The partnership between Kosovo and the United States of America is increasingly stronger because it is based on common values, it was said at a meeting that Kosovo’s Minister of Defense, Armend Mehaj, had with Gabriel Escobar, US Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs and envoy for the Western Balkans.

Kosovo’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement that Mehaj and Escobar discussed current and potential challenges in security and the most efficient forms of management. “Both agreed that the achievements of the Ministry of Defense and the Kosovo Security Force so far as well as the vision for the future are in the service of peace, security, stability and prosperity in the region and beyond,” the statement notes.

Escobar commended Kosovo for its support to the NATO mission of evacuating refugees from Afghanistan and said that the Kosovo Security Force reached a significant achievement.

“Minister Mehaj informed Escobar about his vision and strategic objectives, as well as the priorities of the Government in the areas of security and defense and he received full support for their implementation,” the statement notes.

“Borrell cannot act like a police commander in Kosovo” (Paparaci)

Kosovo’s former Foreign Minister, Skender Hyseni, said today that EU High Representative Josep Borrell’s remarks against the Kosovo Police anti-smuggling operation are senseless. “The key question is whether Borrell has the credibility to be an impartial mediator in the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia. After his statement yesterday, this dilemma becomes even bigger. The question however should be asked by President Biden, President Macron, Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Johnson and senior EU officials, because Kosovo doesn’t have the power of influence or decision-making on this matter,” he said. 

Hyseni further argued that Borrell cannot act as a police commander or prosecutor in Kosovo. “By siding with crime with his statement yesterday, Borrell violated one of the fundamental values of the European Union for law and order. He must know that law enforcement authorities in Kosovo are sovereign and they don’t need anyone’s approval to combat crime in their territory, let alone Serbia’s approval which in fact is the main sponsor of criminality in that part of our country,” he said.

Former Montenegrin Foreign Minister reacts to Borrell’s remarks (Koha)

Montenegro’s former Foreign Minister, Miodrag Vlahovic, took to Twitter today to react to EU High Representative Josep Borrell’s statement on Wednesday in which he called the Kosovo Police operation in the north as unilateral and uncoordinated.

Vlahovic tweeted: “reading this tweet & comments, you can’t help but get the impression that the EU’s position is based on prejudices & false info – & not on accurate reports re. events in the north of Kosovo. (NATO reactions are quite different.) Not good for EU, even worse for the Balkans.” 

Protesters throw smoke bomb in Albanian embassy yard in Belgrade (Paparaci)

A group of protesters in Belgrade threw a smoke bomb in the yard of the Albanian Embassy in Belgrade on Wednesday evening, sources from the Albanian Government told the news website. The incident was reportedly motivated by tensions in the northern part of Kosovo on Wednesday when Kosovo police officers clashed with local Serbs who were opposing a police anti-smuggling operation. 

Bosnian journalist reveals Vucic’s plans for destabilisation (Gazeta Express)

Bosnian journalist and political commentator Jasmin Mujanovic said in a Twitter post on Wednesday that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic will continue to stoke tensions with Kosovo for the remainder of October. 

“Vucic will continue to stoke tensions w/ Kosovo for remainder of Oct, may even escalate from here. But it’s w/ eye twd next big play: ploy w/ Russia to scuttle the EUFOR mandate in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the UNSC in November. Dodik already laying the groundwork for a security crisis” Mujanovic said.

“As I said, the next act is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EUFOR mandate in Nov. Likely some more turbulence in Kosovo (& possibly Montenegro) until then, but Bosnia and Herzegovina is the next regional crisis. The international community and local actors have a few weeks to prepare a credible response, at best. Get it together.”

COVID-19: No deaths, 31 new cases (media)

No deaths from COVID-19 and 31 new cases with the virus were recorded in the last 24 hours in Kosovo. 150 persons recovered from the virus during this time.

There are 924 active cases with COVID-19 in Kosovo.

 

 

Serbian Language Media

 

Covid-19: 18 new cases registered in Serbian areas (KoSSev)

Out of 81 samples tested in the Serb-populated areas, 18 were positive for Covid-19, Crisis Committee of Mitrovica North announced, KoSSev portal reports.

The new cases were registered as follows: five each in Mitrovica North, Zvecan and Leposavic, two in Priluzje and one in Strpce.

Currently there are 131 active cases of Covid-19 in the Serbian areas in Kosovo, and 113 persons have completed two-week isolation period.

A total of 6.869 cases of Covid-19 were registered in the Serb-populated areas in Kosovo since the outbreak of the pandemic.

A total of 172 persons died due to Covid-19 related complications. 

A new UNMIK report on the situation in Kosovo; Guterres calls for the implementation of existing agreements (RTS)

In the latest report on the situation in Kosovo, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres welcomed the resumption of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and called for respect for existing agreements, in order to prevent a stalemate in the process that has lasted for many years, reported Radio Television of Serbia (RTS).

UNSG Antonio Guterres published the UNMIK report on the situation in Kosovo ahead of tomorrow’s session of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

The report covers UNMIK activities and the situation in Kosovo from March 16 to September 15, 2021.

In a report published on the UNSC website, Guterres called on the two sides to engage constructively and to implement existing agreements and prevent delays in the process, which has been going on for many years.

“Such an approach can give hope to the new generation for progress, overcoming obstacles to building trust and reconciliation, and creating ways to renew economic opportunities and cooperation,” Guterres said.

He expressed strong support for the full participation of the Belgrade and Pristina authorities in the activities of the Working Group for Missing Persons, saying that it was necessary to put aside differences in the process of clarifying the fate of the missing

He appealed to all institutions, in cooperation with civil society organizations and the local community, to provide a suitable environment for the safe, dignified and sustainable return of all internally displaced persons and returnees, and their reintegration into Kosovo society.

The report also reminds that the Court of Appeals in Pristina on August 24 confirmed the verdict of the Basic Court from December 2019, which sentenced Ivan Todosijevic, a member of the Kosovo Assembly, a representative of the Serbian List and a former Minister of Local Self-Government, to two years in prison for “incitement to national, racial, religious or ethnic hatred” based on his alleged denial of the 1999 massacre in the village of Racak.

Serbian List and Belgrade condemned such a verdict, noting that the Appeals Chamber, which consisted exclusively of Kosovo Albanian judges, violated the provisions of the First Agreement on the Principles of Normalization of Relations between Belgrade and Pristina, reached with the mediation of the EU, signed on April 19, 2013 and according to which the Court of Appeals is obliged to form chambers with the majority of judges Kosovo Serbs for all cases in municipalities with a majority Serb population

The claim was rejected by the Ministry of Justice in Pristina, which, despite the comments of the spokesperson of the European External Action Service, insisted that there were no violations.

The report also reminds that the main trial in the case of Oliver Ivanovic, a Kosovo Serb politician who was killed in North Mitrovica in January 2018, began on July 6 in the Special Department of the Basic Court in Pristina. During the trial, six defendants pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder as part of an organized criminal group.

It also recalled that the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic and the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, met for the first time on June 15 in Brussels, when the high-level dialogue process was officially renewed after a nine-month break.

This was followed by their second meeting in Brussels on 19 July, under the auspices of EU HR for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell and EU High Representative for Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue Miroslav Lajcak, at which official Belgrade insisted that Pristina meet its obligations under the First Agreement on the normalization of relations for the purpose of forming the Community of Serbian Municipalities.

Talks at the technical level were held in Brussels on September 7th and 8th, and the report said it did not result in significant progress, although the two sides reportedly agreed on some further steps on the issue of missing persons, as well as a new meeting in October.

By the way, the head of Serbian diplomacy, Nikola Selakovic will address tomorrow’s session of the UN Security Council in New York, and he will have the opportunity to talk about yesterday’s action in the north of the province, in which Pristina also used firearms, reported RTS. 

Stano: North of Kosovo specific, unilateral actions detrimental (Tanjug, Kosovo-online)

EU Spokesperson Peter Stano said today the context of what has happened in northern Kosovo yesterday is not related only to the fight against corruption, crime and contraband, but is also part of a wider picture of relations between Belgrade and Pristina, where unilateral and uncoordinated actions have already proven to be extremely detrimantional and contrary to what the EU does on normalization of relations between the two sides, Tanjug news agency reports.

“If one side decides to do something like that on such specific territory as it is the north of Kosovo and if there are no appropriate agreements that may prevent authorities to carry out such actions, the usual practice is to closely coordinate with international community, with KFOR, but also to inform people so they are not caught by surprise and react the way they have reacted yesterday”, Stano said.

Asked by the media to elaborate on yesterday’s call of the EU High Representative Josep Borrell that “unilateral and uncoordinated” actions should stop and responding to a question “why and with whom Kosovo police should coordinate fight against smuggling”, Stano replied that “everybody knows there is a wider significance of what has happened in the northern Kosovo yesterday”.

He added the reaction of the EU High Representative can’t be narrowed down only to the fight against crime and smuggling, but to a wider symptomatic context, that repeats on this part of the Kosovo territory, and is a part of a wider context of what Serbia and Kosovo do in their efforts to finally reach mutually acceptable solution for normalization of relations.

He recalled the EU sent the same messages few days ago when there were problems regarding the crossings in the north of Kosovo, and underlined that all unilateral acts must be avoided in order not to “add fuel to the fire” when it comes to potential confrontations and tensions between Belgrade and Pristina.

“Such acts run contrary to what we are trying to do, and it is to ensure that problems both in the north of Kosovo and also other issues between Serbia and Kosovo are resolved in a coordinated manner within the platform of the EU-mediated dialogue”, he said.

He also said that no one in Brussel had questioned the message Borrell made in relation to the events in northern Kosovo yesterday. He made this remark responding to a question of the Albanian journalist, who said that NATO had a different view than the EU High Representative when it came to the action in the north yesterday.

At the end Stano concluded that what has happened yesterday, but also over the previous weeks in northern Kosovo only emphasises the need to continue the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and make swift progress in it. 

Selakovic at UN tomorrow to talk also about unilateral Pristina’s acts (Tanjug, Kosovo-online)

Serbian Foreign Affairs Minister Nikola Selakovic will have an opportunity to talk at the United Nations session on Kosovo in New York tomorrow also about yesterday’s police action in northern Kosovo, in which the police used firearms, Tanjug news agency reports.

A regular six-month report of the UN Secretary General on Kosovo will be presented in a session. 

The head of Serbian diplomacy will also warn of unilateral Prstina’s acts as the worst manner to resolve the disputes, as it contributes to creating the problems, rather than solving them. Selakovic will also say that Serbia insists on protection of the Serbian population in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as preserving peace and stability.

He will also voice concern over frequent attacks against the Serbs and their properties, as well as the Serbian Orhtodox Church, pointing out that since the beginning of the year 106 such ethnically motivated attacks took place in Kosovo.

Selakovic will stress the importance of continuous engagement of UNMIK in undiminished scope and with unchanged mandate. 

Barricades in northern Kosovo removed, wounded Serb out of life danger (N1)

Srecko Sofronijevic, a Serb wounded in the action of the Kosovo police in northern Kosovo yesterday is still placed at intensive care in Mitrovica North hospital, in difficult health condition, but he is out of life danger, N1 reports.

N1 reporter said following yesterday’s incidents the morning in northern Mitrovica was calm, while the barricades erected yesterday at local roads have been removed.

He also said the citizens voiced concerns over the future intrusions of the Kosovo special police units, adding everybody fear escalation of the violence.

Some of the citizens, N1 reporter talked to said this (the action) was a sort of Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s pre-electoral campaign, by which he wanted to send a message to his counsitinuences that no one is protected, also not the Serbs in northern Kosovo. 

Simic: It is peaceful this morning, but Serbs are afraid and angry (Kosovo-online)

Serbian List Vice President Igor Simic, said this morning it was peaceful in Serb areas in the north of Kosovo and Metohija, but that Serbs are scared, angry and seek protection from the state of Serbia because, as he said, they no longer can predict what awaits them and for which actions Pristina is ready, Kosovo-online reports.

Simic added that during yesterday’s incursion of heavily armed ROSU special units in Zvecan municipality and Mitrovica North, the lives of Serbs were most directly endangered.

“What happened yesterday is unacceptable and impermissible. There was shooting at family houses where there were pregnant women with babies, mothers. Our people are scared, but also angry, this can no longer be tolerated, we can no longer predict what awaits Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, even in the worst-case scenarios”, Simic told TV Prva.

He stated that, only a few days after ROSU units withdrew from Jarinje and Brnjak and implementation of the signed agreement began, armed special forces again invaded Serbs under the pretext of carrying out an action in the “”fight” against plasma biscuits, Coca-Cola and Fanta”.

Simic said that inspections with long barrels are not carried out anywhere in the world and that protesters, unlike Pristina presented Serbian people, are not to be smashed with rifle bullets.

“Yesterday, we did not see special forces with shields smashing protesters, we saw tons of tear gas, shock bombs and use of firearms on barehand people”, Simic said.

He emphasized that Serbs are determined to stay and survive in Kosovo and Metohija, and that they asked President Aleksandar Vucic and other state structures for only one answer: whether the state will stand up for the protection of its bare-handed people or not.

“In any case, we have to find a way to defend our families and houses, but we expect the support of our state and all structures, because this is unbearable”, Simic said.

He underlined that, as far as the Serb people are concerned, the situation is calm and Serbs desperately need peace, but, as he says, Pristina also needs to stop unilateral actions and sending heavily armed special forces that “undermine peace and cause instability”.

Citizens from northern Kosovo, Serbian List met President Vucic in Raska (KoSSev)

“Should they start carrying our children and us out of our Kosovo in coffins for you to stand behind us and protect us; If you intend to defend and protect us, we ask you to do so; Stand by your people until it is too late, so that there is no Storm, there is no pogrom and we don’t start carrying our children out in coffins“, – a group of citizens from the north of Kosovo told the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, during the meeting in Raska yesterday, KoSSev portal reports.

Vucic met representatives of Kosovo Serbs, following the action of the Kosovo police in the north of Kosovo, during which new conflicts broke out between special police units and the citizens.

The meeting was also attended by the Serbian Minister of Internal Affairs, Aleksandar Vulin, the Minister of Defense, Nebojsa Stefanovic, and Office for Kosovo and Metohija Director Petar Petkovic. They met with Serbian List officials, including officials at central and local level, as well as a group of citizens from the north who came with them to Raska.

Although Vucic initially said that the meeting should not be filmed, Serbian List leadership insisted on it. Vucic said that he accepted their wish and request, noting however that he would not be able to reveal everything he knows and that he would discuss it at a smaller gathering without the presence of cameras.

Read more at: https://bit.ly/3p50sQG

NIN journalist: Action in Kosovo for Kurti to increase his chances ahead of elections (N1)

Journalist of reputable Serbian weekly NIN Zoran Preradovic told N1 today that the action of Kosovo police in northern part of Mitrovica and Zvecan, which Kosovo Minister of Internal Affairs Xhelal Svecla termed as intended against smuggling, was carried out so the Prime Minister Albin Kurti would “increase some of his chances ahead of local elections on Sunday, which as far as I am aware, do not stand that great for him”.

He added “smuggling was an endemic phenomenon in Kosovo and everybody knows it”. He also agreed with remarks of journalist Milivoje Mihajlovic who said that “any normal police would carry out action against smuggling with ‘white gloves’”, respectively “when you arrest smugglers you do not bring along long barrels and armoured vehicles”.

Commenting on the message of the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to the Serbs in Kosovo to protect their people and he will stand by them if the violence occurs, Preradovic said if he were a Serb from Kosovo he would not have too much confidence in what he heard from the president.

He believes that “at some point, Vucic will find himself in a situation to choose between his own shame – to leave all those people to sometimes capricious or politically calculated moves by Pristina or to step forward, and then we will find out the price of his political head.”

“I’m sure he’ll let them go”, he added. 

Janjic, Sovrlic on latest crisis in Kosovo (N1)

Analyst Dusan Janjic from the Forum for Inter-ethnic Relations told Novi Dan broadcast at N1 the very moment helicopters were flown over, and military vehicles “Lazar” and “Milos” brought to the streets, the crisis over Kosovo became a security crisis that has nothing to do with political crisis.

Talking about the latest actions of the Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti in northern Kosovo, Janjic said he agrees with the comments of influential people in politics that it was “about amateurs playing security marketing”. He also assessed that the crisis in Kosovo will not lead to wider conflicts on the ground.

N1 journalist Sanja Sovrlic said the escalation happened yesterday in Kosovo and that even if the police action was legitimate and directed against smuggling, it was excessive as the citizens were endangered.  

Janjic recalled “games” ahead of the Kosovo elections and politicians inciting the crisis, adding there are also on the Serbian side “gendarmerie, army and clear messages – you go ahead and we are protecting you”.

He noted that inflammatory statements from the Serbian side contributed to the escalation but also the fact that “Pristina was provoking systematically”.

“It is impossible to carry out action three, four days prior to the election, when the main political task related to removing barricades has not been completed. All messages from outside, and in particular from Washington referred to de-escalation, demilitarization, and on the contrary – there was militarization, security crisis and dangerous moments in which control is easy to lose (…)”, Janjic said.

Sanja Sovrlic said it was difficult to confirm if the information provided by Pristina about action against smuggling was accurate.

“If it was against smuggling, I do not know why there was such a violence. It seems to me that there was an escalation, the fact is that the boy had a gunshot wound and was in life-threatening condition, that there were serious conflicts and reaction by the police”, Sovrlic said.

She also pointed out “there was a trend of taking photos in northern Kosovo” among Kosovo Albanian politicians, which is seen as a suitable ground for political points, especially “if you can’t do something in Pristina”.

She also recalled that Kurti won on promises of the fight against crime and the fight for employment, but it seems the expectations of the citizens in Kosovo have been betrayed.

“The north of Kosovo is a good place to gain political points”, she added.

Initiative OPEN calls the EU’s more active involvement in resolving the increasingly frequent crisis situations in Kosovo (Radio Mitrovica sever, Kontakt plus radio, KoSSev)

A statement from a group of civil society and media organizations within the OPEN Initiative, submitted to the media, strongly condemned the use of excessive force by the special police forces of the Government of Kosovo in Serb municipalities in northern Kosovo, as well as their engagement in tasks under local police forces.

“Such actions of the Government of Kosovo do not contribute to the normalization of relations and reconciliation but encourage confrontation and further ethnic polarization. In an unstable security environment, following recent tensions over the use of license plates, such actions can easily lead to open conflict of unimaginable proportions. We also condemn the use of special police units during the election campaign because it leads to the radicalization of the electorate and the disruption of the election process, “reads the press release.

The OPEN initiative calls on Pristina and Belgrade to return to the negotiation process in Brussels, where it is only possible to find a solution to the accumulated problems. Unilateral acts undermine the legal, institutional and security mechanisms created during the dialogue in Brussels and are therefore unacceptable.

The OPEN initiative calls for the European Union to become more actively involved in resolving the increasingly frequent crisis situations in Kosovo and to create mechanisms that would lead to the strengthening of trust between the negotiating parties. We also call on KFOR to provide peace and security in northern Kosovo and on the Quint countries to respond urgently to the latest incidents.

House of Rumena Ljubic, the only Serb woman in center of Pec, stoned (Radio KIM)

The house of retired teacher, Rumena Ljubic, the only Serb woman living in the center of Pec was stoned on Tuesday afternoon, Radio KIM reports citing Radio Gorazdevac.

Material damage was caused and the case was reported to the police. Police said it has opened an investigation. The prosecutor initiated the case “as destruction or damage to the property”.

Bancroft: Kosovo police action will create additional tensions between Kosovo institutions and Serbs (Kosovo Online)

Diplomat and writer Ian Bancroft estimated that yesterday’s action by Kosovo police and customs officers in North Mitrovica and Zvecan, carried out just days before the local elections, would create additional tensions between Kosovo institutions and the Serb community, reported Kosovo Online.

Bancroft wrote on Twitter that he was especially worried that the police action was not carried out in the early morning hours, when “the suspects are in bed, and the streets are not full of people who deal with their daily lives”.

“It seems reckless and devoid of explanation,” Bancroft said.

“After the recent vehicle plates war, now on table is a war against the smuggling goods” (Nova S, Newsmax Adria, KoSSev)

“Pristina’s attempt to ‘implement the law’ of the Republic of Kosovo on the entire territory ended today with the severe wounding of a Serb from Zvecan,” said Goran Dimitrijevic in the introduction to the Newsmax Adria show “Review of the Day”.

“After the recent vehicle plates war, now there is on the table a war against the smuggling of goods. Whatever it is, the question is whether it is more necessary for Kurti to raise his rating before Sunday’s local elections or for President Vucic to be ready to blame all his predecessors and Western powers who are bothered by a strong Serbia, to remind Kosovo Serbs that it is much better for them now than before. and that he is their key protector who will stand by them and promise them victory, even though the Serbian army and police left Kosovo a long time ago. But it sounds good when there is a talk about their possible return, not Jovanjica. And the whole of Serbia pays the price, as before. The president is proud of the army’s strength and the military industry, and Kurti brags about the fight against corruption. The citizens of Serbia, Kosovo and Metohija see their environment less and less as a good place to live. If we add the judiciary that works for the powerful and rich and not for the citizens, the pandemic and manipulations regarding the number of dead, and the endless scandals that are covered up, it is clear that we have never been better, right?” concluded Dimitrijevic.

”As it was announced, as part of the action against the smugglers of goods, the Kosovo police raided the northern part of Mitrovica. This time, a Serb from Zvecan was seriously injured. Kosovo’s Prime Minister Kurti has local elections on Sunday, and he promised to fight crime and control the entire territory. The President of Serbia immediately warns that Belgrade is ready to help in the resistance of the Kosovo Serbs, no weapons were mentioned, but that is exactly what was meant. Both in front of the representatives of the Kosovo Serbs and in front of the lined-up gendarmerie, which later sang wholeheartedly about going straight to Kosovo. And in Serbia, the elections are not far away, and the president promised everything, and today he promised victory in Kosovo,” summarized the report of Jasmina Dobrilovic for the Newsmax Adria programme, reported KoSSev.

Djuric to von Cramon: You should be ashamed (Kosovo-online)

Serbian Ambassador to US, Marko Djuric took it on Twitter to react to EP Rapporteur on Kosovo Viola von Cramon’s remarks regarding yesterday’s police action in the north, Kosovo-online portal reports.

“You must be the most irresponsible German politician”, Djuric wrote at the beginning of his post.

“The belief that storming Serb majority areas with assault rifles under a false pretense of enforcing a crazy ban on Serbian pharmaceutical or food products four days before an election is a normal police operation is… either naive or ill-meaning.

And, we know for a fact that you are not naive.

An innocent man was shot in the back yesterday, and an elderly woman died as a result of what you describe as a “police action”.  

You should be ashamed of yourself”, Djuric added on Twitter.

Von Cramon reacting to the EU High Representative Josep Borrell post yesterday that unilateral and uncoordinated actions that endanger stability are unacceptable wrote – “Please criticize countries where #RuleOfLaw is not implemented. #EU should support countries fighting  #OrganizedCrime & #corruption. State institutions doing their job deserve our full respect. #EU-facilitated Dialogue is not about daily police operations”.

 

 

Humanitarian/Development

 

Christian NGO’s child sponsorship program angers Kosovo parents (BIRN)

World Vision’s sponsorship program children in Kosovo has sparked claims of religious indoctrination and abuse of confidential data – all of which the organisation denies.

When Haxhere Gashi enrolled her nine-year-old daughter in a child sponsorship program in 2018, she never imagined that after three years her participation would end in suspicion and recrimination.

Three years ago, World Vision, an evangelical Christian organisation that has sponsored children all over the world since the 1950s, launched a program to support children in the Kosovo municipality of Lipjan.

The NGO and the local government signed a cooperation agreement containing several points.

The project involved collecting data on some 3,000 children in need, aged 3 to 12, from about 30 villages in the Lipjan area.

Under the terms of the program, the donors send letters to sponsored children, in most cases Americans.

But three years on, some parents began to suspect that World Vision was misusing their children’s data.

While they were told that the data was being taken only for World Vision’s internal use, parents claim that photos of their children with descriptions that have religious content were published on the website without their permission.

Haxhere Gashi told BIRN that when she realized that her daughter was receiving letters with Christian messages about Jesus, she did not allow her to continue the program.

“When she received a postcard, we did not give it to her because I thought that the bad content would have a negative effect on her,” she says.

“The content is completely religious and more or less says: ‘Hello. How are you? Are you OK? Jesus loves you and I love you.’ It does not have a date, nor anything else, only the name of my daughter and his signature [the sponsor’s] if it was a real signature,” Gashi said.

She is not the only parent concerned about the use of her children’s data.

Veton Gajtani, from the village of Janjevo, parent of one of the children enrolled in the World Vision program, says that the publication of photos and videos of children with religious content was unacceptable, and he never gave his approval for it.

Read full article at: https://bit.ly/3vivea0

 

    Print       Email

You might also like...

UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, December 7, 2021

Read More →