Home Page
News 02 Jul 13

EU Mission ‘Failed to Protect Serbs in Kosovo’

The EU rule-of-law mission in Kosovo, EULEX, was accused by its own human rights panel of not protecting Serbs from violent attacks at an event to mark the historic ‘Battle of Kosovo’ .

Edona Peci BIRN Pristina

EULEX’s independent human rights panel said on Monday that the mission had not done enough to ensure the security of Serbs who gathered a year ago to mark the anniversary of the ‘Battle of Kosovo’ in 1389.

The annual commemoration event last May in Gazimestan on St. Vitus Day, celebrated by Serbs as Vidovdan, came after clashes between Kosovo police and Serbs which left more than 60 people injured.

The human rights panel found that EULEX “had allocated insufficient resources to ensure respect for human rights by the Kosovo authorities and third parties during the Vidovdan security operation”, it said in a written statement.

“The complainants submitted that they were the subject of attacks, which included, inter alia, the throwing of stones and Molotov cocktails at teenage children who were travelling on buses from Gazimestan to Gracanica/Gracanice at the conclusion of the Vidovdan celebrations,” the statement said.

“Moreover, the panel found that EULEX failed to conduct a thorough and adequate investigation into the allegations of human rights violations,” it said.

Hundreds of Serbs travelled to Kosovo for the Vidovdan celebrations last year, some wearing nationalist T-shirts and singing Serbian nationalist songs.

On arriving at Gazimestan, they were stopped by police and forced to remove any nationalist symbols.

This provoked groups of mainly Serbs to sing nationalist songs and chant the names of Bosnian Serb military and political chiefs Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, who are on trial for alleged war crimes in The Hague.

Kosovo Serbs gather every year on June 28 to honour St. Vitus, a fourth-century Christian martyr, at the site of the Battle of Kosovo of 1389.

The battle, which Serbia lost to Ottoman invaders, is seen as a crucial moment in Serbian history and has inspired much of the country's epic poetry.

The commemoration event at Gazimestan this year passed off without incident.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Serbia - Kosovo Relations: Latest Headlines

highway-from-serbia-to-albania-to-boost-relations-07-04-2016 News 05 Jul 16 Obstacles Blocking Serbia-Kosovo Highway, Experts Claim

Analysts said the positive effects of a planned highway connecting Serbia with Kosovo and eventually Albania will not be fully felt unless Belgrade and Pristina do more to ensure free movement.

kosovo-sporting-heroine-sets-her-sights-on-rio-07-01-2016 feature 01 Jul 16 Kosovo Sporting Heroine Sets her Sights on Rio

Judoka Champion Majlinda Kelmendi is hoping for a medal at Rio where she will represent Kosovo in the country’s first-ever Olympic Games.

kosovo-s-eu-visa-victory-leaves-serbs-feeling-cold-05-12-2016 Analysis 13 May 16 Kosovo’s EU Visa Victory Leaves Serbs Feeling Cold

Kosovo Albanians have welcomed the European Commission call to extend visa-free travel to Kosovo - but Kosovo Serbs fear they may be left out of the benefits.

kosovo-football-wins-the-uefa-vote-05-03-2016 News 03 May 16 UEFA Votes to Admit Kosovo as Member

European football governing body UEFA voted to admit Kosovo as its 55th member, which means that teams from the country can now enter European club competitions.

osce-takes-over-serbian-elections-operation-in-kosovo-04-20-2016 News 21 Apr 16 OSCE Agrees to Run Serbian Elections in Kosovo

Following the same pattern used for previous Serbian elections, the OSCE will handle the votes cast by Kosovo Serbs in the Serbian parliamentary elections on April 24.

entry-ban-s-to-serbian-officials-kosovo-s-force-demonstration-04-14-2016 News 15 Apr 16 Kosovo Flexes Muscles by Banning Serbian Politicians

Ban on entry of the head of Serbia's Kosovo Office - one of several recent bans - is designed to remind Belgrade that Kosovo does not want the Serbian election campaign conducted on its territory, experts say.

azem-vllasi-vucic-understands-the-new-age--04-11-2016 Interview 12 Apr 16 Azem Vllasi, ‘Vucic Understands the New Age’

The veteran politician, rights activists and lawyer says Kosovo is on the right track, union with Albania is impossible - and Aleksandar Vucic is a more honest leader of Serbia than Boris Tadic was.

serbia-kosovo-fail-to-end-a-blockade-on-serbian-trucks-04-04-2016 News 05 Apr 16 Kosovo Fails To Lift Blockade On Serbian Trucks

A blockade on Serbian trucks transporting 'dangerous' materials into Kosovo remains intact despite a meeting in Vienna called by the European Union.

ministry-allows-famous-artist-s-book-to-enter-kosovo-03-30-2016 News 01 Apr 16 Kosovo Ends Standoff Over Famous Actor's Memoir

Kosovo has ended an embarrassing muddle over a book by the famous Kosovo-born actor Bekim Fehmiu, which fell victim to a dispute between Kosovo and Serbia.

kosovo-gears-up-for-serbian-elections-osce-set-to-jump-in-once-again-03-17-2016 News 18 Mar 16 OSCE Likely to Help Kosovo Serbs Vote in Serbian Poll
The exact modalities of voting in the Serbian general elections in Kosovo have yet to be clarified but the OSCE Mission in Kosovo is set to facilitate the process once again.