Spin and excessive use of force

Slobodan-Georgiev

Pristina used a sledgehammer to crack a nut, Serbs who took part in the Kosovo elections with Kosovo ID cards a few days earlier wanted to show that it was Serbia.

By Slobodan Georgiev

Why did Pristina decide to help strengthen Aleksandar Vucic’s announcement that retaliation against Serbs is being prepared on the same day that the Serbian Assembly discussed the situation in Kosovo at Vucic’s initiative?

Seven days after dramatic scenes on the roads of north Kosovo, when the Pristina special police units arrested corrupt police officers from the Kosovo Police and Serbs who found themselves on the road, trying to block the access to Zubin Potok and other places, it is still unclear why such an action took place at all.

Nevertheless, all participants came clean about it: Pristina said it was a legitimate police action that is part of a general fight against crime and corruption; Belgrade said that it was an expected retaliation against Serbs with the aim to intimidate them and send them a message that they do not belong in KiM; KFOR said that it was an announced police action and, therefore, there was no need to intervene in moments when conflict occurred between the special forces and the local residents.

In the end, the Serbs, Albanians and Bosniaks – members of the KP, were arrested, suspected of being part of some organized criminal group, some Serbs were badly and “unjustly” (according to Belgrade) beaten and the biggest „fuss“ of all was over some Russian member of the UNMIK administration.

Ramush Haradinaj says that he is a Russian spy and that he cannot return to Kosovo, while the Russians claim that it is inconceivable that someone from the forces who are actually managing Kosovo under Resolution 1244 was attacked.

To summarize, some citizens were arrested because they found themselves at the same place as aggressive Kosovo police, others were arrested because they are suspectedof being criminals in uniform, and everyone somehow agrees that this event could have far-reaching consequences when it comes to future relations between Belgrade and Pristina.

Vucic spoke about this two weeks earlier, announcing that some Serbs would be arrested in order for a message to be sent that the Serbs need to bow down to Pristina. He obviously had some information from the investigations that are being conducted in Kosovo. This does not come as a surprise because a few months earlier he brandished papers from the investigation of the murder of Oliver Ivanovic which were used to attack Rada Trajkovic.

Obviously, the Serbian services have either „breached“ the Kosovar intelligence service or Belgrade and Pristina are working together – which is being rejected decisively and with disgust.

Even if we now tried to give some meaning to this event, the fact remains that this action of Pristina’s special forces was welcomed by both Belgrade and Pristina.

Belgrade can say to its voters, what did we tell you, we know everything and we announced this, so there is no more waiting, we have to do something to „protect our people,“ and Pristina used the action to cover an affair arising from the arrest of Kosovo’s most famous criminal Osmani which is connected to the top of the Pristina administration.

Therefore, Belgrade showed that its „hunches“ are justified, and Pristina pulled away from an unpleasant topic: Instead of the public in Pristina talking about how leaders are involved in organized crime, they talk about what happened in the north or, even better, how the Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic insulted them later that week when she described Pristina’s leadership as people from the woods, criminals and terrorists.

As in some other cases, everything seemed like a demonstration exercise: the Pristina administration tested its best police forces, Serbia tested the ability of Serbs to set up some blockades in order to supposedly demonstrate that north Kosovo is not Albanian.

Pristina used a sledgehammer to crack a nut, Serbs who took part in the Kosovo elections with Kosovo ID cards a few days earlier wanted to show that it was Serbia.

Instead of calming and resolving the state of affairs, the temperature was raised, while figuring out the reason why this was done is difficult.

Pristina knows what it wants and Serbia communicates in symbols and metaphors. I have a hunch about the outcome of this conflict of rationality and aroused myths.

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