News 05 Feb 13

Kosovo Campaigners Demand Serb Attackers’ Punishment

Victims’ families and political activists accused the Kosovo authorities of taking no legal action against those responsible for deadly violence in 2000.

Edona Peci

Gani Xhaka, whose wife was killed 13 years ago during an alleged attack by armed Serbs in the northern Kosovo town of Mitrovica said that “institutions have done nothing” to prosecute them.

“No one has been arrested since then, not even the names have been made public,” he said.

He was speaking at a discussion in Pristina held to mark the anniversary of the violence in February 2000, organised by the Self-Determination Movement, an opposition party that rejects dialogue with Serbia, and the Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms, CDHRF.

The CDHRF said that 10 ethnic Albanians were killed, 25 wounded, 93 tortured and more than 11, 000 forcibly ousted from their homes when Serbian “criminal groups” attacked them several months after the end of the Kosovo war.

None of the alleged attackers have been detained since the violence, which was condemned by the UN and the European parliament at the time.

Halit Berani, the head of the CDHRF, complained that “the Serbian perpetrators [can still] move around freely”.

Self-Determination Movement activists also put up posters with the names of the Mitrovica victims on walls around Pristina on Monday in a bid to raise awareness about the violence in 2000.

The northern Serb-run part of Kosovo is under the de facto control of so-called parallel institutions funded by the Serbian government.

The region has seen frequent confrontations between Albanians, the majority in Kosovo, and the Serbian minority which refuses all contact with the authorities in Pristina.

Tensions have risen in northern Kosovo over the past two days after three blasts rocked the area, the third of them injuring two young Serbs.

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