The situation around the Kosovo becomes more and more unstable. They were between Saturday and Sunday killed four people A fierce firefight broke out in northern Kosovo in which one Kosovar police officer was killed and another was injured. Tensions between Kosovo and Serbia This escalation, for which the Kosovo government blames the Serbs and accuses the Serbian government of destabilizing the region, has reignited tensions. But, is this really the truth?
Let’s start with the facts: Banjskawhere the shooting took place is a village in northern Kosovo, the part where the Serbian minority makes up the majority of the population. It is a difficult area to control because many criminal groups operate there. The Kosovo Serbs are often and deliberately intimidated and prevented from integrating with the Albanians and living a common life with them. Aside from that, Serbia continues to consider Kosovo as its territory/provinceand frequently interferes in the situation in northern Kosovo (including through the same criminal groups) to create an unstable situation. The Kosovo police are trying to maintain order, but with difficulty.
What exactly happened? It is clear that a well-organized group of around thirty armed people attacked the police. They also died in the firefight three of the attackers. Some of them had broken into the entrance to a monastery of the Serbian Orthodox Church and barricaded themselves inside. “After several successive clashes,” the police took control of the monastery.
According to the Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and the President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani, that the attackers were not Serbs from Kosovo, but came from Serbia (in the published videos the attackers can be heard speaking Serbian with a Serbian accent, they found Serbian license plates in the terrorists’ cars) and therefore Serbia would be responsible for the attack.
The Serbian President on Sunday evening Aleksandar VučićCommenting on the incident, he said that the killing of the Kosovo police officer was “unjustifiable” but that this violence was the result of the “brutal” Oppression suffered by ethnic Serb Kosovars at the hands of the Kosovo government. Vučić also denied any involvement of the Serbian government and called the Kosovo prime minister a “terrorist.”
There is no concrete evidence that it was the Serbian government that launched the terrorists. But for months now, the Serbian government’s policy towards Kosovo has continued to heighten tensions and prevent real dialogue.
The recent meeting between President Vučić and Prime Minister Kurti in Brussels was also a complete failure, precisely because Serbia does not want to make any concessions to Kosovo when it comes to recognizing it as a state. He doesn’t want to do it and couldn’t do it easily, because Serbia’s constitution states that Kosovo is a Serbian province. This means that the EU, which was supposed to facilitate the dialogue, has reached a dead end: Kosovo is only willing to establish the Association of Serbian Municipalities on the condition that there is at least the appearance of recognition of Kosovo’s existence, while Serbia insists on the association Regardless, that is, before the recognition of Kosovo. A dead end, a situation that needs to be resolved.
Is Serbia likely to be involved in the recent conflict? The investigations are still ongoing. But the approach and the fact that President Vučić met the Russian ambassador for the first time on Monday morning (September 25) to talk about the incident are signs that are difficult to ignore.
In order to calm the situation, the European Union should finally take its mediating role seriously. It is not enough to “facilitate” a dialogue between deaf people. You need your own strategy. This takes into account Serbia’s unclear and destabilizing role in the region, not just in Kosovo. Stability in the Balkans is not guaranteed by autocracies, but by democracy and the rule of law.
Born in Trento, graduated in political science from the University of Innsbruck, I have two master’s degrees in European studies (Free University of Berlin and College of Europe Natolin) with a specialization in European history and a thesis on war crimes and coming to terms with the past in Germany and Bosnia and Herzegovina. My passion is the Balkans and especially Bosnia and Herzegovina, where I lived for six months and also learned Bosnian.
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