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Why are Serbs leaving the KSF? (Deutsche Welle)

By   /  09/07/2018  /  No Comments

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The Kosovo government and international representatives in Kosovo are concerned with the “intimidation” of Serb members of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF). According to Kosovo Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj, Serbia’s pressure and intimidation is forcing Serbs to leave the force. Over 20 KSF members from the Gjilan region have collectively submitted request to be demobilized from the force citing pressure from Belgrade, Haradinaj said after the meeting of the Kosovo Security Council. “There are reports in the media about attacks with firearms and explosive devices that threaten the lives of Serb KSF members. Such attacks have taken place in the north in the past, then there were reports about other threats too, and just recently we had several Serbs from a region of Kosovo, which is not in the north, submit requests for demobilization,” Haradinaj said. “Most of them cite direct pressure from Belgrade authorities”. “Pressure is made in different ways, be it during their travel to Serbia, they are stopped and interviewed, threats against them and their families, including mechanisms of parallel institutions operating in Kosovo”. The U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo, Greg Delawie, too commented on the situation. “Deeply concerned about recent resignations of Kosovo Serb members of the KSF.  External intimidation of KSF members is unacceptable.  KSF’s diversity is a model for the country.  It should be celebrated, not destroyed,” Delawie said in a Twitter post. A month ago, there were attacks on the properties of two Serb KSF members in the northern part of Kosovo. The perpetrators have not been caught despite intensive ongoing investigations. Serbian List representatives expressed concern over “the seemingly coordinated” attacks. The Serbian List is part of the ruling coalition but it has not attended government meetings for some time now. Serbian List leader, Goran Rakic, said “Kosovo’s institutions are passive vis-à-vis the attacks against Serbs throughout the territory of Kosovo”.

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