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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, May 13, 2022

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Albanian Language Media:

• U.S. Department of State: Kosovo, Serbia set their own foreign policy priorities (media)
• CDU/CSU calls on German government to support Kosovo joining CoE (DW)
• Haxhiu: Vetting will be fully independent and monitored by US and EU (EO)
• Kurti visits Albanian-American Cultural Centre in Texas (media)
• “Demarcation will be closed after Djukanovic’s meetings in Kosovo” (Albanian Post)
• Rohde: Looking forward at seeing Kosovo as part of CoE (RTK)
• COVID-19: 21 new cases (media)

Serbian Language Media:

• Selakovic: Four states revoked recognition of Kosovo (Kosovo-online, Tanjug)
• State Department: Serbia and Kosovo choose their own foreign policy priorities (VoA, Politika)
• Selakovic reacts to Gervalla’s statement she hopes Serbia will support Pristina’s CoE membership bid (Kosovo-online)
• Petkovic to Osmani on violation of human rights in Kosovo (Kosovo-online)
• Dveri Movement, Patriotic Bloc: Serbia to urgently withdraw from Brussels Agreement (Danas)
• Petkovic met Lajcak in Brussels (RTS)
• Botsan-Kharchenko: I hope Serbia will not impose sanctions on Russia (Kosovo-online, RTV)
• EU spokesman calls Belgrade, Pristina to show restraint (N1)
• Brnabic signs cooperation agreement in Dubai (N1)
• US Ambassador to Serbia: Major changes in energy in the Balkans (NMagazin, Beta)
• Sarrazin, Rhode visit Visoki Decani Monastery (Kosovo-online)
• Kosovo’s FM Gervalla insists on mutual recognition (N1, Beta, AlJazeera)

International:

• Fact-Check: Serbia’s Vucic Talks Big on EU, Kosovo and Oil (BIRN)
• Do Western Balkan countries like Macron’s idea for a two-tier Europe? (euronews.com)
• How Online Violence Against Women Goes Unpunished (Balkan Insight)
• Top global official: Bosnian Serbs are trying to `secede’ (The Washington Post)

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Albanian Language Media:

  • U.S. Department of State: Kosovo, Serbia set their own foreign policy priorities (media)
  • CDU/CSU calls on German government to support Kosovo joining CoE (DW)
  • Haxhiu: Vetting will be fully independent and monitored by US and EU (EO)
  • Kurti visits Albanian-American Cultural Centre in Texas (media)
  • “Demarcation will be closed after Djukanovic’s meetings in Kosovo” (Albanian Post)
  • Rohde: Looking forward at seeing Kosovo as part of CoE (RTK)
  • COVID-19: 21 new cases (media)

Serbian Language Media:

  • Selakovic: Four states revoked recognition of Kosovo (Kosovo-online, Tanjug)
  • State Department: Serbia and Kosovo choose their own foreign policy priorities (VoA, Politika)
  • Selakovic reacts to Gervalla’s statement she hopes Serbia will support Pristina’s CoE membership bid (Kosovo-online)
  • Petkovic to Osmani on violation of human rights in Kosovo (Kosovo-online)
  • Dveri Movement, Patriotic Bloc: Serbia to urgently withdraw from Brussels Agreement (Danas)
  • Petkovic met Lajcak in Brussels (RTS)
  • Botsan-Kharchenko: I hope Serbia will not impose sanctions on Russia (Kosovo-online, RTV)
  • EU spokesman calls Belgrade, Pristina to show restraint (N1)
  • Brnabic signs cooperation agreement in Dubai (N1)
  • US Ambassador to Serbia: Major changes in energy in the Balkans (NMagazin, Beta)
  • Sarrazin, Rhode visit Visoki Decani Monastery (Kosovo-online)
  • Kosovo’s FM Gervalla insists on mutual recognition (N1, Beta, AlJazeera)

International:

  • Fact-Check: Serbia’s Vucic Talks Big on EU, Kosovo and Oil (BIRN)
  • Do Western Balkan countries like Macron’s idea for a two-tier Europe? (euronews.com)
  • How Online Violence Against Women Goes Unpunished (Balkan Insight)
  • Top global official: Bosnian Serbs are trying to `secede’ (The Washington Post)

 

 

 

Albanian Language Media  

 

U.S. Department of State: Kosovo, Serbia set their own foreign policy priorities (media)

Media report about a written response of a U.S. State Department spokesperson who was asked by VOA in Albanian about the statement of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic that Kosovo has breached the Washington Treaty by applying at the Council of Europe. The spokesperson said: “Kosovo and Serbia are sovereign countries that have the right to set their own foreign policy priorities”. He further noted that the moratorium was created to expand the space for dialogue and compromise between Kosovo and Serbia, “which we believe is in the strategic interest of both countries”. “We continue to believe that dialogue on the normalization of relations, under the auspices of the European Union, is crucial for both countries to unlock their European future. We call for their urgent, flexible and serious participation in this process,” he added.

CDU/CSU calls on German government to support Kosovo joining CoE (DW)

Germany’s largest opposition parliamentary group, the CDU/CSU, has called on the German government to actively support Kosovo’s membership in the Council of Europe. 

In a press release, CDU MP, Michael Brand, said that “the application of the Republic of Kosovo for membership in the Council of Europe is a logical step”. Brand considers that “Kosovo in the recent past has made great progress in terms of rule of law and the fight against corruption and crime.”

Brand, who is also chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group for human rights, added that Kosovo is so far “the most pro-European country in the Balkans” and that over 90 percent of its population is in favour of EU and NATO integration. “Under the new government, the country is pursuing an absolutely pro-European and pro-western policy. The Government of Kosovo also very quickly joined all the West’s sanctions against Russia.”

Haxhiu: Vetting will be fully independent and monitored by US and EU (EO)

Kosovo’s Minister of Justice, Albulena Haxhiu, said today that the vetting process in the judiciary will be focused on the moral and professional integrity of judges and prosecutors. “The vetting will start at the highest structure and is envisaged to end in 5 years. We believe all issues have been addressed and we expect contribution from other stakeholders. I believe there is readiness to engage so that the people too can have respect for judges and prosecutors,” she said.

Haxhiu said the vetting process will be “fully independent and will be monitored by international partners, the European Union and the United States”. “The idea behind the vetting is for judges and prosecutors to have moral and professional integrity and for their wealth to be in compliance with the legislation in force … All opposition parties had included the vetting in their programs, but we need to be unified as far as reforms in the judiciary are concerned. We are holding continuous discussions with our international partners about the vetting and to convince them about reforms in the judiciary,” she added.

Kurti visits Albanian-American Cultural Centre in Texas (media)

During his visit to the United States,  Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti visited the Albanian-American Cultural Center in Texas, as part of the dialogue with the diaspora, a press release issued by the Government of Kosovo said. 

Kurti is reported to have expressed appreciation for the contribution of the American diaspora to Kosovo and noted that the diaspora is considered by his government as an essential part of Kosovo’s sustainable development. He also said that the initiative of dialogue with the diaspora is aimed at developing partnerships with the diaspora and deepening their cooperation with Kosovo institutions in the fields of education, investment and innovation.

“The Prime Minister stressed that the Government of the Republic of Kosovo is interested in establishing a close partnership with the diaspora, and welcomes all our compatriots, entrepreneurs from the diaspora, together with international partners, to invest in Kosovo,” the press release concluded.

“Demarcation will be closed after Djukanovic’s meetings in Kosovo” (Albanian Post)

Slobodan Vujicic, leader of the Kosovo Montenegrins’ Association, said he hopes the issue of the border demarcation between Kosovo and Montenegro will be closed following the meetings that Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic will have with Kosovo’s leaders during his stay in Kosovo on May 18-19. “We expect that after the meetings, Prishtina will finally accept the facts and close the demarcation issue … The demarcation between Montenegro and Kosovo has concluded without the possibility of being reviewed, but there are frequent statements by some Kosovo officials that the issue is not closed. Reviving this topic, which had a heavy burden on Kosovo society and was followed by violence on the streets and in the Assembly, is a dangerous provocation with futile objectives,” Vujicic said.

Rohde: Looking forward at seeing Kosovo as part of CoE (RTK)

German Ambassador to Kosovo Jorn Rohde stated that Kosovo belongs to the Council of Europe.

The German diplomat wrote on the social network “Twitter” distributing the article of Prime Minister Kurti, who announced yesterday that Gervalla has submitted the application to the EC.

“We look forward to seeing Kosovo as part of the Council of Europe family, who work together to promote human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Kosovo belongs to the Council of Europe. All the best for the membership bid,” Rohde wrote.

COVID-19: 21 new cases (media)

21 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the last 24 hours in Kosovo. There are 351 active cases with COVID-19 in Kosovo.

 

 

 

Serbian Language Media

 

Selakovic: Four states revoked recognition of Kosovo (Kosovo-online, Tanjug)

Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Selakovic said today after the session of the Serbian National Security Council that four states revoked recognition of Kosovo, Kosovo-online portal reports.

Selakovic said he handed over to President Aleksandar Vucic the notes confirming the revocation of recognitions, and the National Security Council authorised President Vucic to decide at what moment he will reveal the names of states in question.

By this gesture, he said, Serbia wishes to give a chance to the Council of Europe member states not to launch proceedings to admit Kosovo. “By doing so, we want to demonstrate our readiness to talk and reach a solution through the dialogue, and in no way unilaterally”, Selakovic said.  

He also said that at least two major states intensively work against Serbia and extend support to Pristina to secure new recognitions and thwart Serbia’s de-recognition campaign.  

According to him, the Serbian Government will continue to intensively work on the derecognition campaign and will be guided by its state and national interests.   

“Serbia is in a very difficult situation, our state is exposed to horrific pressure to accept infringement of its territorial integrity, to accept trampling over international public law to our own detriment. The US Government made it clear it respects the Washington Agreement. By submitting a formal request to join the Council of Europe the so-called Kosovo demonstrated it does not respect the reached agreement and the word, as well as the stance of a state that was the host of that agreement and took part in it. Pristina clearly demonstrated it has no intention to reach any solution through the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, on the contrary it decided to act unilaterally once again”, Selakovic said. He added that “stormy and important days” are ahead of Serbia.

“President Vucic expects a visit from Michel (Charles) and important negotiations on the price of gas await us”, he said. 

State Department: Serbia and Kosovo choose their own foreign policy priorities (VoA, Politika)

“Kosovo and Serbia are sovereign countries that have the right to set their own foreign policy priorities,” a State Department spokesperson said in a written response to the Voice of America, referring to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s statement that Kosovo violated the Washington Treaty with the request to join the Council of Europe. 

With the agreement signed in September 2020, Serbia and Kosovo committed themselves in separate documents to economic cooperation, but also cooperation with the United States. Part of the agreement was a one-year moratorium on Kosovo refraining from applying for membership in international organisations, and Serbia refraining from a diplomatic campaign to withdraw recognition of Kosovo’s independence. The moratorium expired on September 4, 2021, wrote VoA.

“The moratorium was designed to expand the space for conversation and compromise between Kosovo and Serbia, which we believe is in the strategic interest of both countries,” the State Department said in a short response to a Voice of America inquiry.

“We continue to believe that the dialogue on the normalisation of relations, under the auspices of the European Union, is crucial for both countries to unlock their European future. We call for their urgent, flexible and serious participation in this process.”

Last September, on the eve of the anniversary of the Washington Accords, the State Department directly encouraged Kosovo and Serbia to continue to maintain a moratorium on issues that complicate progress in technical areas, recalled VoA.

After Kosovo FM Donika Gervalla-Schwartz submitted an official request for Kosovo’s membership in the CoE, Vucic told reporters in Belgrade on Thursday that Pristina had “brutally trampled” on the Washington agreement.

“After almost ten years of trampling on the Brussels agreement, they have now violated the Washington agreement, while neither they nor their mentors have ever respected Resolution 1244,” the President of Serbia emphasised. Due to Kosovo’s moves, Vucic scheduled a session of the country’s National Security Council for Friday.

Selakovic reacts to Gervalla’s statement she hopes Serbia will support Pristina’s CoE membership bid (Kosovo-online)

Serbian Foreign Affairs Minister Nikola Selakovic told the Kosovo-online portal that Serbia will support membership of Kosovo in the Council of Europe only when provinces and regions start becoming members of international institutions.

Selakovic made those remarks reacting to the statement of Kosovo Foreign Affairs Minister Donika Gervalla who was quoted earlier as saying she hopes that Serbia will support the request of Kosovo to become a member of the Council of Europe”.

“Regarding cynical and absurd remark of Pristina minister Donika Gervalla Schwarz that Belgrade will support membership of the so-called ‘Kosovo’ in Council of Europe I can only say that we shall think about such possibilities at the very moment when it becomes possible for the provinces and regions to join the Council of Europe”, Selakovic said.

He added that Pristina by its application to join the Council of Europe has once again “demonstrated irresponsibility and unilateral principle of their function as well as lack of honest intention to find a solution through the dialogue with Belgrade that would contribute to the stability and progress of the region”.

Selakovic warned that possible admission of Pristina in the Council of Europe would be in collision with the basic principles it rests upon, given that Pristina constantly violates the rights of Serbs in Kosovo. 

Petkovic to Osmani on violation of human rights in Kosovo (Kosovo-online)

“So-called Kosovo is embodiment of crime and corruption, brutal violation of the human rights, particularly that of the Serbs living in Kosovo and Metohija”, Office for KiM Director Petar Petkovic said in relation to Kosovo President Vjosa Osamni statement describing Kosovo as “embodiment of the values that Council of Europe rests upon”, Kosovo-online portal reports.

Petkovic noted that a high number of ethnically motivated incidents indicate violation of human rights in Kosovo, adding that 117 such incidents were recorded last year.

“Attacks against premises of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the fact that so-called Kosovo for more than six years refuses to respect the decision of its own court and returns the land to Visoki Decani Monastery bear witness to it”, Petkovic wrote on Twitter.

He also recalled that Pristina refused to establish a Community of Serb-majority Municipalities for nine years. “Those are not the values that the Council of Europe rests upon”, he added. 

Dveri Movement, Patriotic Bloc: Serbia to urgently withdraw from Brussels Agreement (Danas)

Serbian opposition Dveri Movement and Patriotic Bloc said today Pristina authorities wouldn’t have submitted a request for membership in Council of Europe without support of leading EU member states, adding that this situation has completely exposed the unsustainability of Serbia’s position in the negotiation process, Danas daily reports.

They said Serbia’s response to Pristina’s request must be immediate withdrawal from the Brussels Agreement and initiating the return of the negotiation process under auspices of the UN.

“Everything else is a betrayal of national interests and the surrender of Kosovo and Metohija and the Serbian people (…)”, they said in a statement.

Patriotic Bloc also opined it is obvious now that the implementation of the Brussels Agreement and participation in negotiations with Pristina under the auspices of the EU, whose convincing majority of members recognized Kosovo, lead to complete loss of sovereignty.

“It is clear that Priština would not have decided to take such a step without the support of the leading member states of the European Union, which, contrary to Resolution 1244 and with the sad fact that the Serbian authorities agreed, took the fate of Kosovo and Metohija into its own hands”, Dveri said.

“Serbia must not participate in the processes that generate the disintegration of its sovereignty in the area of Kosovo and Metohija and endanger vital national interests”, the statement concluded.

Petkovic met Lajcak in Brussels (RTS)

Office for Kosovo and Metohija Director, Petar Petkovic and Belgrade’s chief negotiator in technical dialogue with Pristina met in Brussels EU Special Representative for Belgrade-Pristina talks, Miroslav Lajcak, RTS reports.

Experts from the Belgrade delegation will join the meeting later, and the EU announced that today’s talks will focus on registration plates, energy and missing persons.

Kosovo-online later reported that the meeting between Lajcak and Belgrade delegation ended after three hours, and that Petkovic used the opportunity to sharply criticise “unilateral and unlawful act of Pristina to submit a request to join the Council of Europe, thus directly affecting the Brussels and Washington agreements”.

The portal also said that during the meeting Belgrade delegation insisted on establishment of the Community of Serb-majority Municipalities, issues pertaining to the supply of medications to the Serbian areas in Kosovo, freedom of movement and violation of the agreement in this area, official visits and return of internally displaced persons. 

Following the meeting with the Belgrade delegation, the EU mediators will meet the Pristina delegation, headed by Besnik Bislimi. Depending upon the results of bilateral talks with two delegations, a trilateral meeting may be held in the afternoon, RTS added. 

Botsan-Kharchenko: I hope Serbia will not impose sanctions on Russia (Kosovo-online, RTV)

Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Serbia, Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko told RTV that introduction of sanctions against Russia is perceived as a hostile act, adding he has a firm hope that Serbia will not impose sanctions on Russia, Kosovo-online portal reports. 

Botsan-Kharchenko told “Pravi ugao” broadcast that sanctions are not a friendly act, but he doesn’t talk about Serbia in this regard, because for now, Serbia persistently and in a dignified manner as well as based on its national interests has not imposed sanctions on Russia. He added, he hopes the stance will remain the same, as one could see by the statements from the highest level in Belgrade. 

Speaking about the voting of Serbia at the United Nations, the Ambassador Botsan-Kharchenko said that the EU and Washington exert pressure and threaten Serbia, and that steps Serbia undertook were perceived as a consequence of that pressure. As he said, given the brotherly and strategic relations with Serbia, Russia understands that Belgrade is exposed to pressure. 

He stressed that the stance of Russia regarding Kosovo and Metohija remains unchanged, adding Moscow perceives Kosovo as a precedent, while Crimea, Donetck and Luhansk are different from Kosovo. 

Talking about gas supply, given that preparations about supply and prices were underway, he said there is no room to doubt that Russia will not take into consideration that Serbia is a friendly state, it has strategic relations with. 

“A friendly approach of Serbia not to impose sanctions on Russia will be taken into account, but also market conditions must be taken into account as well”, he said.

EU spokesman calls Belgrade, Pristina to show restraint (N1)

European Commission Spokesman Peter Stano called Belgrade and Pristina on Thursday to show restraint and not raise tensions, N1 reports.

Commenting on Pristina’s request to join the Council of Europe (CoE), he said Belgrade and Pristina should refrain from unilateral steps and messages which only serve to raise tensions. Stano refused to comment on statements by officials in Belgrade that Serbia would react sharply to Pristina’s move.

He said that the EU expects both sides to do everything possible to resolve all issues and reach a comprehensive legally binding agreement to normalise relations through the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.

Brnabic signs cooperation agreement in Dubai (N1)

Outgoing Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic signed a memorandum of understanding on exchanges of knowledge and cooperation on projects with officials in Dubai on Thursday, N1 reports.

A government press release said that Brnabic is meeting with UAE Finance Minister Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed Al Maktoum. She signed the memorandum with Minister of Cabinet Affairs Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, it said and added that the memorandum is “an important step forward in close bilateral relations between Serbia and the UAE.”

“The goal of the cooperation is the exchange of knowledge, but also the co-creation of projects. The umbrella Memorandum of Understanding covers nine areas, including digital economy, artificial intelligence, eGovernment, creative industries and science”, the press release said. The UAE has developed this type of cooperation with 11 countries.

See at: https://bit.ly/3Plrjmo

US Ambassador to Serbia: Major changes in energy in the Balkans (NMagazin, Beta)

The US Ambassador to Serbia, Christopher Hill, stated yesterday in Belgrade that “these days, these weeks, months” great changes could be expected in the energy sector both in the world and in the region of the Western Balkans, reported NMagazin, citing Beta news agency.

In a statement before the conference “Serbian-American Relations: Strategy for Energy Diversification” in the House of the National Assembly, Hill said that the topic of energy diversification was extremely important and added that “it was the right time” to discuss necessary steps.

“We will especially discuss what the United States can do to help Serbia in all this, and we will discuss further issues that are in the interest of our countries,” Hill announced.

Israeli Ambassador Jahel Vilan said that Serbia and Israel have strengthened cooperation in the field of energy in the past two to three years. “We will continue to strengthen the good relations between our two countries,” Vilan said.

Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Mining Zorana Mihajlovic said that energy diversification was a very important topic for Serbia, which would be able to get energy from other suppliers through interconnections.

“Energy stability is also political stability,” Mihajlovic said, adding that Serbia, as the central country of the Western Balkans, could ensure its energy independence.

Sarrazin, Rhode visit Visoki Decani Monastery (Kosovo-online)

German Special Envoy for the Western Balkans, Manuel Sarrazin and German Ambassador in Pristina, Jorn Rhode visited yesterday Serbian Orthodox Church Visoki Decani Monastery, where Abbot Sava Janjic shared with them concerns over protection of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo.

“Today @ManuelSarrazin the German Special Representative for Western #Balkans visited Dečani #Monastery. Fr. Sava shared with Mr. Sarrazin & @GermanAmbKOShis concerns on protection of the #Serbian #Orthodox #Church in #Kosovo and discussed improvement of life for all communities”, Monastery wrote in a post on Twitter yesterday.

Meanwhile, Sarrazin regarding the visit also wrote on Twitter it was “great to visit @DecaniMonastery yesterday and to talk to Father Sava. Cultural heritage of #Detschani is an important part of the multi-ethnic #Kosovo. Looking forward to coming back in future”.

Kosovo’s FM Gervalla insists on mutual recognition (N1, Beta, AlJazeera)

Kosovo Foreign Minister Donika Gervalla Schwartz said that progress could be achieved in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue only if Kosovo and Serbia recognize each other, reported N1, citing Al Jazeera Balkans.

“Kosovo should recognize Serbia and Serbia should recognize Kosovo as an independent state. Only then can we resolve all other issues bilaterally,” she told Al-Jazeera Balkans.

According to the foreign minister, progress is possible only if the two sides approach the dialogue seriously. “Everyone, even Serbia, knows that mutual recognition is at its center,” she added.

Gervalla Schwartz said that Pristina will sue “Serbia genocide”, adding that “the aggressor should approach the victim and apologize for crimes committed”, N1 cited. 

 

 

 

International 

 

Fact-Check: Serbia’s Vucic Talks Big on EU, Kosovo and Oil (BIRN)

BIRN takes a closer look at President Aleksandar Vucic’s statements on Serbia’s EU integration, Kosovo relations and energy policy, and finds them wanting.

In a two-hour speech and Q&A with journalists on May 6, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic spoke, among other things, about his country’s European Union integration, relations with Kosovo and the economic and energy sector fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The much-anticipated televised appearance followed a flurry of diplomatic activity aimed, apparently, at getting Serbia to align with Western sanctions on its fellow Orthodox ally over the Kremlin’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

It also followed President Vladimir Putin’s use of the Kosovo case to justify his recognition of the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent, a comparison that drew howls of betrayal even from pro-government, traditionally pro-Russian media in Serbia.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3wbr2Ll

Do Western Balkan countries like Macron’s idea for a two-tier Europe? (euronews.com)

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has pitched one of the biggest reforms to the EU structure in decades – the idea of a second tier of countries outside the bloc that share the bloc’s values and geography. 

He suggested post-Brexit Britain could be involved, as well as countries impacted or threatened by Russia’s invasion: Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.

But what about the countries of the Western Balkans? How did Macron’s words go down in a region that has seen long delays over EU membership.

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

How Online Violence Against Women Goes Unpunished (Balkan Insight)

Online gender-based violence is increasing in the Balkans. Building on the roots of patriarchal norms and using the blind spots of social media giants, it generates offline violence, discriminates against the vulnerable and prevents women and girls from actively taking part in public life, BIRN monitoring shows.

Although both men and women are victims of violence perpetrated through digital means, almost as a rule, online violence is not a gender-neutral crime. In the majority of cases, this violence is gender-based, mainly targeting women and girls.

Even when they have access to and use the Internet, women and girls all over the world have to think twice about what they say, how they say it and whom they interact with – as countless forms and manifestations of violence are lurking just around the corner online, as they are offline.

Arguably, even more, as the advance of technologies has made it possible for violence against women to evolve into forms that are not restrained by distance, borders or lack of physical contact. Nowadays, anyone can resort to violence and abuse from the comfort of their home, hiding behind the shield of a screen and an anonymous profile and, almost as a rule, suffering no consequences.

Read more at:https://bit.ly/38ocGxO

Top global official: Bosnian Serbs are trying to `secede’ (The Washington Post)

The top international official in Bosnia warned Wednesday that Bosnian Serbs are trying to “secede” and undermine the country’s sovereignty, and he urged the international community to safeguard the rights of all its people and uphold the peace agreement that ended Bosnia’s 1992-95 war.

High representative Christian Schmidt told the U.N. Security Council that 26 years after the Dayton peace agreement was signed Bosnia is “at a crossroads,” and what happens and how the international community reacts “will resonate throughout the western Balkans.”

He said the country remains “traumatized” by the war that left over 100,000 people dead, and “every single person who lived through it is still in one way or another wounded.”

The U.S.-brokered Dayton agreement established two separate entities in Bosnia — one run by Bosnia’s Serbs called Republika Srpska and another one dominated by the country’s Bosniaks, who are mostly Muslims, and Croats. The two entities are bound together by joint central institutions, and all important decisions must be backed by both.

Read more here: https://wapo.st/3syMaZE

 

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