US Ambassador to Kosovo Greg Delawie voiced his concern over the disturbing number of incidents against individuals from the Serbian community in Kosovo, adding that they are completely unacceptable, Radio Free Europe has reported. For the original statement click HERE
Delawie confirmed also that he met today with Prime Minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj.
„I think the police are clearly reacting in a positive way and that is good, but I think the response needs to be improved and they need to work a little bit more on prevention as opposed to just dealing with things after they happen,“ Delawie said.
The Ambassador called on citizens not to allow the rhetoric from other quarters to incite them to conduct negative and criminal behavior.
OSCE: Do utmost to resolve past and prevent future incidents
Following the latest incident in the village of Suvi Do in Gračanica municipality, the OSCE Mission echoed the 5 June statement of the Government of Kosovo, expressing concern for the recent spate of inter-ethnic incidents and calling for a prompt institutional response.
In the last two weeks, a number of inter-ethnic incidents have been reported from various areas of Kosovo, including on 28 May in Donji Petrić (Klina municipality) where Kosovo Serb pilgrims were obstructed in observing a religious ceremony, on 30 May in Žač (Istok municipality) where a Serbian Orthodox priest was subject to harassment, and the latest one on 5 June when a Kosovo Serb primary school in Suvi Dol village (Gračanica municipality) was vandalized and pupils were threatened – the Mission listed the incidents.
„The latest developments break a prolonged period of a steady decline of inter-ethnic incidents that the OSCE Mission observed throughout 2017 and 2018,“ stated OSCE Mission in Kosovo.
The Mission therefore calls on the authorities, law enforcement agencies, and community leaders, to do their utmost to resolve past and prevent future incidents. The security concerns of local communities require a swift and resolute institutional response, reads the press release.
UNMIK: Intensify their efforts to fight against impunity and bring perpetrators to justice
Zahir Tanin, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIK, welcomes the condemnations and expressions of concern by Kosovo’s leaders regarding recent ethnically motivated incidents.
SRSG Tanin further states „there is no place for intimidation in a democratic society. The rule of law should apply to all.“
He calls upon all relevant authorities to intensify their efforts to fight against impunity and bring perpetrators to justice, as a cornerstone of furthering dialogue and building trust between communities.
„I have to say that claims of ‘organized terror’ or ‘incursions in the north’ only serve to heighten tensions between communities and create greater insecurity for everyone. All sides—including the media—should carefully weigh their words, consider the impact of their words, and make an effort to contribute to safety and security for Kosovo, Delawie stressed.
The US Ambassador stressed that it is important for everybody from all communities of Kosovo to work together for reconciliation and for a better future for all of Kosovo’s citizens.
Delawie says that Kosovo is a multi-ethnic society and that everyone should contribute to living in peace with their neighbours.
The Kosovo Government, yesterday, condemned recent incidents that have interethnic motives that negatively affect relations between communities in Kosovo.
Such cases are intended to hinder the efforts of institutions to build a comprehensive and democratic society, claims the government.
Previously, the Kosovo Police announced that the situation in Kosovo was „calm and stable“ and that „occasional incidents of a different nature“ did not affect the overall security situation.
Serb media have continuously reported in recent times on more frequent incidents in Kosovo Serb areas, mostly south of the Ibar River.
The school door in the village of Suvi Do in Lipljan was damaged in the latest reported incident. Two Serb houses were stoned during the weekend in the centre of Vitina. It followed two thefts and an attempted robbery in the same municipality against three Serb families. A local Serbian priest was intercepted while returning with his family from a religious service in the Klina municipality last week, while children were pepper-sprayed in the village of Staro Gracko on the same day. A group of some 50 Albanians denied a group of Serb IDPs access to the local church, St.Trinity’s, in the village of Petric in the Klina municipality, who tried to visit it on The Day of the Holy Trinity last weekend.
On the other hand, a few Belgrade-based newspapers and media have reported on the alleged plans of „occupation of the North“ and „intrusion into the North“ that is been prepared by the Kosovo Albanian troops, supported by NATO units and the United States . Vecernje Novosti published a series of shocking announcements and warnings to the Serbian population, while President Vucic has also warned in a series of addresses in public that the only thing the Albanians are interested in is „to take the North over“.
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