The idea of the unification of the southern and northern parts of Kosovska Mitrovica, which the Mayor of South Mitrovica, Agim Bahtiri has been continuously advocating for since 27th November of last year, received the support of Kosovo President, Hashim Thaci yesterday. Thaci said that „uniting the city is an unstoppable process“. Goran Rakic and Marko Djuric reacted, assessing Thaci’s statement as a threat of the „annexation of North Mitrovica“.
„The unification of the town of Mitrovica is an unstoppable process. At a meeting with Mayor Bahtiri, we found that the citizens of Mitrovica had voiced their opinion. The institutions should act now: the Government, Parliament and the Presidency,“ Thaci posted on his Facebook page, along with a photo of a meeting with Agim Bahtiri, presumed to be held in Mitrovica, after visiting the nearby Prekaz and „Adem Jashari Memorial Complex“ – as it is known among the Albanians.
„South and North Mitrovica are two separate cities, even according to Ahtisaari’s plan. Thaci should answer the question why the Association of Serb Municipalities has not been established yet, in which North Mitrovica was supposed to be an integral part, or perhaps the Brussels Agreement was signed by some other Thaci,” the head of the Kosovo Office, Marko Djuric stated.
Djuric assessed Thaci’s messages as a threat to Serbs in Kosovo and told the authorities in Pristina not to threaten with the „annexation“ of North Mitrovica and not to jeopardize peace, stability, and security in Kosovo and the entire region.
The term „annexation“ was also immediately used in a written statement by Goran Rakic – the mayor of North Mitrovica, who announced his resignation, along with his colleagues from the other three northern municipalities with Serb-majority, on November 27th of last year. Rakic emphasized that „the Serbs will never allow the unification of Mitrovica“, adding that „Hashim Thaci’s latest attack on peace in Kosovo and Metohija is epitomized in the announcement of the North Mitrovica annexation,“ because, as Rakic stated, „that is on his (Thaci’s) mind when he speaks about some kind of unification“.
„In the name of the Serbian people who managed to preserve freedom for themselves and their descendants under an onslaught of extremists in the north of Kosovo and Metohija and pay a high price for the lives of their brothers and sisters, I tell Thaci that the Serbs will never allow the unification of the northern and southern parts of Kosovska Mitrovica, because the unification Thaci is talking about is a cover-up for the ethnic cleansing of Serbs from the only city in which Serbs survived ethnic cleansing in 1999,“ Rakic wrote.
Rakic underlined that they are “rejecting Thaci’s announcements with disgust” with which he is “trying to frighten the Serb people in this region”.
The idea of the unification of the city was initiated by the Mayor of South Mitrovica, Agim Bahtiri on 27 November last year, after Rakic’s resignation, which occurred immediately after the arrest of Serbs in North Mitrovica, which the Special Prosecution of Kosovo suspects of involvement in the murder of Oliver Ivanovic. The Mayor of South Mitrovica addressed the Assembly of Kosovo and handed over a petition, which, as he claimed, was signed by 16,594 citizens. The Presidency of the Assembly then forwarded the petition to the government.
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