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UNMIK Headlines 11 April

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• Thaci: Threatening statements return us to the past (Gazeta Express)
• UNMIK chief: Hate speech is unacceptable (RTK)
• AAK: Daut Haradinaj’s remarks taken out of context (Koha)
• Thaci: Coalition government is in no mood for new elections (TV Dukagjini)
• Limaj: We have reasons for motion of no confidence (Epoka e Re)
• Gecaj: Initiative to bring down the government is entertainment (Zeri)
• Bajrami: We’ll wait for the army until the end of the year (TV Dukagjini)
• Mustafa to gather his party on elections and demarcation (RTK)
• Montenegro concerned with visa liberalization for Kosovo (Kosova Sot)
• Splits within Serbian List are impacting Kosovo’s state agenda (Koha)
• Special court indictments by the end of the year (Zeri)
• Council of Europe official issues memorandum following Kosovo visit (media)

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Headlines – 11.04.2017

  • Thaci: Threatening statements return us to the past (Gazeta Express)
  • UNMIK chief: Hate speech is unacceptable (RTK)
  • AAK: Daut Haradinaj’s remarks taken out of context (Koha)
  • Thaci: Coalition government is in no mood for new elections (TVDukagjini)
  • Limaj: We have reasons for motion of no confidence (Epoka e Re)
  • Gecaj: Initiative to bring down the government is entertainment (Zeri)
  • Bajrami: We’ll wait for the army until the end of the year (TVDukagjini)
  • Mustafa to gather his party on elections and demarcation (RTK)
  • Montenegro concerned with visa liberalization for Kosovo (Kosova Sot)
  • Splits within Serbian List are impacting Kosovo’s state agenda (Koha)
  • Special court indictments by the end of the year (Zeri)
  • Council of Europe official issues memorandum following Kosovo visit (media)

Thaci: Threatening statements return us to the past (Gazeta Express)

The President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, took to Facebook to react to the statement of the Kosovo Assembly MP from the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), Daut Haradinaj, who threatened with war if his brother, Ramush Haradinaj would be extradited to Serbia. “To Kosovo institutions and people, threatening announcements towards other non-Albanian ethnicities incite rage, hatred and revenge, returning us back to the bitter past. Furthermore, they block the dialogue for normalization of relations, put in question the necessary reconciliation and Kosovo’s European and multiethnic perspective. We have not allowed such a thing to happen during the war and will not allow for it to happen now, because nobody wants it,” Thaci wrote.

UNMIK chief: Hate speech is unacceptable (RTK)

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of UNMIK, Zahir Tanin, reacted to a statement by MP, Daut Haradinaj, who argued that Ramush Haradinaj’s eventual extradition to Serbia would lead Kosovo to war. Without mentioning Haradinaj’s name, Tanin requested in his statement investigation of, the incident and that appropriate action be taken in accordance with Kosovo law. “This weekend’s statement by a senior Kosovo Parliamentarian, using hate speech to threaten ethnic cleansing, is unacceptable, and a cause for serious concern. I call on all responsible leaders to condemn this statement, and on the judicial authorities to undertake the necessary investigation of this incident and take appropriate action in accordance with Kosovo law,” Tanin said.

AAK: Daut Haradinaj’s remarks taken out of context (Koha)

The Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) issued a statement on Monday saying that recent remarks by AAK MP Daut Haradinaj were taken out of context. AAK said Haradinaj’s remarks “were not a call for ethnic cleansing, as presented by certain media, but rather an alarm about Serbia’s provocations against Kosovo”. The AAK statement noted: “for all those that do not know, we remind you that Ramush Haradinaj has protected civilian population and children in Kosovo. Ramush Haradinaj has protected Serbian churches in Kosovo. He has protected the Serb civilian population even during peace time by creating programs for the integration of Serbs in Kosovo institutions. He was the first to openly oppose religious extremism. And it is now that some people and some circles, within and out of Kosovo, are willing to provoke yet another dangerous situation in Kosovo by isolating Ramush Haradinaj. Together with our MPs we stand committed for a legal and just state, where all citizens, regardless of their ethnic background, have equal rights.”

Thaci: Coalition government is in no mood for new elections (TVDukagjini)

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci told TV Dukagjini on Monday that early parliamentary elections could happen only if the ruling coalition comes to such an agreement. Commenting on NISMA’s initiative to collect MP’s signatures for a motion of no confidence against the government, Thaci said he does not believe there is any mood for new elections. Thaci also said that the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities will be established in line with the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo.

Limaj: We have reasons for motion of no confidence (Epoka e Re)

In a front-page interview to the paper, NISMA leader Fatmir Limaj, called on MPs from the ruling coalition to support the motion of no confidence against the government. Limaj said this week they will start consultations with ruling coalition MPs on the matter and that some of them have already expressed their discontent with the current government and have called for early parliamentary elections.

Gecaj: Initiative to bring down the government is entertainment (Zeri)

Bajram Gecaj, advisor to Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa, said on Monday that NISMA’s initiative for a motion of no confidence against the government is a constitutional, legal and democratic right. “It is good that they have finally come to their senses and have decided to leave the streets and follow the institutional path. They will certainly not achieve their objective, but if this gives them any pleasure then they should entertain,” Gecaj said.

Bajrami: We’ll wait for the army until the end of the year (TVDukagjini)

Kosovo’s Minister of Education, who comes from the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), Arsim Bajrami, told TV Dukagjini that Kosovo has to wait for the international community to put pressure on the Serbian List and Belgrade so that Kosovo can create its army through constitutional changes. “We have to wait a bit in order to reach this consent among international stakeholders, so that we can create our army through constitutional amendments. I think this process should not be delayed further than this year. This year should bring an end to the patience and waiting for the creation of the army,” Bajrami said. Commenting on the possibility of early general elections, Bajrami said that this would only happen if the coalition partners want it to happen. He also argued that even the motion of no confidence initiated by the opposition would not necessarily lead to early elections.

Mustafa to gather his party on elections and demarcation (RTK)

The Prime Minister of Kosovo and leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), Isa Mustafa, has called for a meeting of the General Council of his party. RTK has published Mustafa’s invitation which foresees discussions on preparations for local elections in Kosovo, LDK’s political position vis-à-vis the visa liberalisation process and  border demarcation with Montenegro. The meeting is to be held on 12 April at 16:00 hours. ​

Montenegro concerned with lack of visa liberalization for Kosovo (Kosova Sot)

Montenegrin officials want a quick resolution of the border demarcation with Kosovo and say that this issue cannot threaten the good relations between the two countries, the paper reports on page two. Montenegro’s President, Filip Vujanovic, told Voice of America that the ratification of the border demarcation agreement is in the interest of the citizens of Kosovo because this is a requirement for visa liberalization.

Splits within Serbian List are impacting Kosovo’s state agenda (Koha)

The paper reports on its front page that recent splits within the Serbian List has made communication more difficult for Kosovo institutions with the Serb community. “The internal situation in the Serbian List has also impacted the state agenda. Both camps within the Serbian List are now refraining from actions that can be interpreted as something that goes against the interests of Kosovo Serbs. The northern municipalities are hesitant to make decisions that are needed for the formation of the Association [Community of Serb-majority municipalities]. For the same reasons, Serbs are hesitant to join the debate on the army. The Prime Minister [Isa Mustafa] meanwhile believes that Jablanovic is a more constructive partner than Simic,” an unnamed source told the paper.

Special court indictments by the end of the year (Zeri)

The paper reports on its front page that the Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office are expected to file first indictments for Kosovo Liberation Army alleged crimes at the end of the year. This was confirmed by Charles Smith, who is the only U.S. judge among 19 special court judges. Smith said he would not travel to The Hague until the end of the year as he predicts it will take that long for the prosecutor to file the indictments. Smith also said he expects it would take at least four years for the Specialist Chambers to complete their work.

Council of Europe official issues memorandum following Kosovo visit (media)

Several media report that Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks issued a memorandum on Monday following his Kosovo visit in February. Muiznieks said Kosovo, with a predominantly ethnic Albanian population and an ethnic Serb minority, needs “to change course and build a just and cohesive society” by prosecuting wartime crimes, promoting inter-ethnic tolerance, caring about displaced persons and clarifying 13 murders and disappearances of journalists in the years after the war. “Major conditions for achieving this are to prosecute and effectively sanction all persons involved in wartime crimes, clarify the fate of all missing persons, provide war victims with adequate reparation and facilitate the voluntary return of displaced persons,” Muiznieks said. A special court, Kosovo Specialist Chambers, has been created in The Hague, Netherlands, with international judges from European Union member countries, the United States and Canada to prosecute ethnic Albanian rebels for crimes during and immediately after Kosovo’s war for independence. He urged Kosovo to ensure an “effective protection and support to witnesses in the context of wartime criminal proceedings”. The Commissioner called for more efforts to foster reconciliation, especially in establishing new teaching methods in the education system which promote inter-ethnic tolerance and respect. “All schools’ textbooks and teaching material containing elements of nationalism and prejudice should be revised,” he said.

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