Bisevac: You won’t get away with this, we won’t allow you to take away our land


More than 138 hectares of land were expropriated in the last six months in Leposavic and Zubin Potok. The Kosovo government justified its decisions in one brief announcement: The expropriations were carried out due to „infrastructure projects of public importance.“ The decision was met by protests from residents, who expressed their dissatisfaction and concern. It was only after the EU reacted, objecting to the procedure, that the Kosovo authorities decided to schedule two public discussions on the issue – one was held in Leposavic last week and the other today in Zubin Potok. The leader of the civic initiative “Za Zubin Potok” Milija Bisevac, who also attended the discussion, described the expropriation as “usurpation,” sending a message to the Kosovo government that the citizens would not let them seize their land.

While noting that he did not plan to attend today’s discussion „so as not to give them legitimacy to go to Pristina and say that they held some kind of public discussion,“ Bisevac said that he, as a councillor in the Zubin Potok Municipal Assembly, decided to come today in order to represent the interests of citizens.

He called on the representatives of the Kosovo government not to use the term expropriation, but „usurpation“, alleging that the land was seized from its owners.

„Gentlemen, this is not a public discussion. This is just your way to justify yourself with a public discussion on expropriation, this is not expropriation, nor a public discussion, this is your justification for usurpation,“ Bisevac alleged.

You are talking about laws, which laws do you respect?

The Zubin Potok MA councillor reiterated the claims made by the legal representatives of the owners of the expropriated plots – that the entire procedure was carried out illegally.

In the beginning, you said that you informed the owners and then denied that because some of the owners are not here. These are their heirs

He then accused the representatives of the Kosovo government of not being interested in the opinions of the citizens of Zubin Potok.

„You are talking about a public discussion. You seized the land 6 months ago. These citizens can tell you that they could not come home for six months without being subjected to various searches and harassment by the special forces,“ he stressed.

The leader of „Za Zubin Potok“ also revealed that he has information that „additional actions“ are planned in the village of Velji Breg.

„This means that you only want to evict people, to demolish people’s houses.“

What’s next, what will you take next? – he asked.

„Will this building perhaps be included in the expropriation process tomorrow, of some higher interest? These citizens know that there is absolutely no interest here,“ said Bisevac, adding that not only is there no economic interest – „but mechanization has also damaged the roads.“

He had another second message for the representatives of the Kosovo government: “You won’t get away with this.”.

„We won’t allow you to take away our land,“ Bisevac concluded.

Representatives of the Expropriation Department, on the other hand, rebuffed all of today’s objections and accusations. They referred to the Law on Expropriation, which they read out loud at the very beginning of the discussion.

Questions from locals, civil representatives, and lawyers as to „what is being built“ remained unanswered. The representatives of the Expropriation Department from Pristina kept reiterating the messages on „road construction,“ laying „optical cables,“ „economic development,“ „increasing security,“ and the „welfare of the citizens themselves and children.“ To the claims that expropriation holds no public interest, the Director of the Expropriation Department said that if there was no public interest, they would not be at the discussion today.

The director of the Department also said that he visited parts of Leposavic and Zubin Potok, after which he deduced that there is a lack of economic development, as well as necessary road infrastructure.

When the representatives of the government stated that roads would be built to connect Zubin Potok with the villages in the municipality, the lawyers pointed out that this is not in line with the law, because the government is not the one responsible for local roads within a municipality, but the municipality itself. On the other hand, representatives of the Kosovo government said that they received requests for the construction of road infrastructure from both the residents of Leposavic and Zubin Potok.

As far as economic development is concerned, today’s guests from Pristina only revealed that projects are in development, without specifying which ones, but in order to implement them, security levels must be increased.

Read more:

Vlajic: This is not expropriation, nor compliance with the law, but thievery and oppression

Andric Rakic: The meeting failed to fulfill legal requirements, what will be built on the expropriated land was not revealed

Residents of Z.Potok: What if someone came to you in Pristina, to your property, and then turned up to negotiate over that same property?

Mitrovic: You’re abusing your position, the people simply do not want bases

Pantovic: If you want to talk about increasing security, invest in the run-down police station in ZP – not in new barracks

Nenezic: To paraphrase Reagan’s words to Gorbachev – Mr. Kurti, tear down this base, and then we’ll talk

Mijacic: We want to be an international tourist destination, only to be chased away by special forces as if we were terrorists.

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