Kosovo: Serb returnees attacked with stones
The Serbian Government Office for Kosovo on Monday strongly condemned the stoning of the property owned by the Serb family Nojić in Gnjilane, in eastern Kosovo.Source: Tanjug
The office "demanded that the Priština authorities find the perpetrators as soon as possible," Tanjug reported. Unknown perpetrators on Sunday threw stones at the family's house and car.
"The office expects that the provincial authorities, with assistance and support on the ground from the international community, find and punish the perpetrators of these attacks as soon as possible in order to contribute to stronger trust among the nations and establish significant preconditions for a sustainable return of expellees," a statement said, issued in the way of the incident.
"Providing the conditions for a safe, secure and unobstructed return of displaced persons to Kosovo and Metohija is a top priority for Belgrade, Priština, as well as the international community," the office also said.
The Nojić family was forced to leave their home in 2000, and returned nine years later - only to face "constant provocations and harassment."
"Such and similar incidents directed against returnees in Kosovo and Metohija, which are becoming a rule, rather than an exception, do not contribute to a normalization of relations in the Province and do no credit to sincere efforts towards a return of displaced persons," the statement said.
Before the 1999 war in Kosovo, Gnjilane had about 12,000 Serbs. This number is now down to 40 people, Tanjug is reporting.
In the second incident over the weekend, another Serb returnee family was targeted, this time in the village of Đurakovac in the municipality of Istok.
Unknown perpetrators stole the tractor owned by the Spasić family.
Minister for Communities and Returns in the Kosovo government Dalibor Jevtić said on Monday that the incident was "yet another in a series of attacks on Serb returnees’ property."
“It is obvious that that the appeals we are making for finding and punishing those responsible are yielding no results. I think that such misdeeds are a bad message to all returnees - that Kosovo is not a safe place for them - and it has a very bad impact on the process of return and survival,” said Jevtić.
Jevtić condemned the incident, stressing that the Ministry of Returns "would persist in doing everything to ensure normal and safe life for the returnees."