The citizens of the four municipalities in the north of Kosovo, while listening to the news on the conquering of the north, false scenarios, the merging of the „Presevo Valley“ to Kosovo and the open threats of politicians on social networks, are simultaneously watching the quality of their lives deteriorate even further as they now do not even have access to basic service-related facilities – such as grocery stores.
This kind of rhetoric characterizes the public discourse of Serbian and Kosovo leaders, including the two presidents. They have been leading the so-called process of normalizing relations between Belgrade and Pristina for years, while the dialogue has been stopped and described as „clinically dead.“
The harsh rhetoric intensified at the end of last week, when Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj accused a group of Serbian entrepreneurs of allegedly „trying to stage a humanitarian catastrophe.“ A few days later, all the shops in the north of Kosovo were closed and all service activities in the private sector are suspended, while warnings arrive that something similar could happen with the hospital.
In the meantime, what do the three key actors in the Serb and Kosovo political scene say while taking care of the citizens in the north?
Thaci: „Presevo Valley“ to join Kosovo
While accusing Belgrade’s official policy of abusing Kosovo Serbs and claiming the plans to provoke an artificial crisis in the north – have failed, the Kosovo President, Hashim Thaci is also trying, with direct statements and moves, to execute the secession of three Serbian municipalities and join them to the territory of Kosovo.
„There is no humanitarian crisis in Kosovo. There is a tendency of Serbia’s improvisation to present Serbian citizens in the north of Kosovo as a victim, so it is very important that the whole democratic world is aware of the reality and for them to understand the reality. This new claim of Serbia has failed,“ said Thaci yesterday.
In addition his attempted explanation the democratic world what the reality is and the bad things Belgrade are doing, Thaci submitted a resolution on the „Presevo Valley“ to the Kosovo Assembly yesterday.
The document requests that Kosovo MPs and institutions support the Albanians’ desire to join Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja to Kosovo, which was set forth in a 1992 referendum and fought for by the Liberation Army of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja.
Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja are an integral part of the Republic of Serbia.
Haradinaj: A false scenario
At the same time, Kosovo Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj sent a personal message to the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic via his Twitter account.
“Dear Aleksandar Vucic, I urge you NOT to implement your well-known deceptive scenario to destabilize northern Kosovo. The fake ‘humanitarian crisis’ will never serve as a shield for your destabilization aims and you will be held accountable. Kosovo will support and protect its own citizens in the northern Kosovo,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
Haradinaj also shared disturbing messages with the public yesterday. He accused „espionage networks“ of leading a „special war“ in the north of Kosovo.
Vucic: They want to crush the resistance
Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic has been speaking about “espionage networks” for the past two years, but also about the Albanians’ attempt to „conquer the North“ – presenting it as the only thing Pristina is interested in.
Vucic sent similar messages on Sunday:
„That’s the only thing they do and that’s the only thing they think about. And I’ve been telling you this for three years now. For three years now, I have been telling you that they face serious resistance in the north. They face a very serious resistance and they want to crush this resistance at any cost and that’s why they use Serbian politicians. Explain this to me, what do you think about the fact that according to all Albanian media in Pristina I am the worst man on the planet?! And what do you think about the fact that my opponents from here are welcome no matter what they say and how they say it.“
In spite of Vucic’s frequent pessimistic and catastrophic announcements about the activities and plans of the „enemies of Serbia“ directed against the Serb population in the north of Kosovo, the Serbian President also often claims that Serbia will not allow a „new Storm (Operation) and Flash“ in the north and that he will protect his people, as well as the most recent one that no one „will be left hungry.“ Vucic, however, still did not reveal the measures to prevent or accomplish all of the listed.
Ramush Haradinaj also spoke about the welfare of the citizens yesterday.
„Today, we have once again given an institutional response to all the actions of Serbia, a response that will seal the sovereignty of the country, demonstrate the civic solidarity, responsibility and concern of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo towards all citizens of the Republic of Kosovo,“ Haradinaj underlined.
While the leaders of the Kosovo and Serbian institutions persistently claim that they are interested in preserving peace and stability, that is – „dismantling a false humanitarian crisis,“ the crisis is not false and the situation is not stable for the citizens in the north.
Shops, pharmacies, restaurants, cafes and other service-related facilities in the north of Kosovo are closed for the second day now due to a trader protest against the Kosovo government’s 100% taxes on the import of goods from Serbia which de facto led to the cessation of the import of these goods. They claimed Serbian products stopped arriving to Kosovo more than two weeks ago.
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