Kosovo: Govt., local officials detained

KLINA -- The Kosovo police, KPS, have detained Deputy Minister for Kosovo Branislav Ristić as he was meeting with Serb returnees in the municipality of Klina.

The participants in the meeting said that along with Ristić, police detained another ministry official, Borislav Tajić, Director of the Center for Social Works in Kosovska Mitrovica Miladin Đurović, and Klina Municipal President Svetislav Dabižljević.

Boža Marković, who represents the retrunees in the village of Drsnik, was also taken into custody.

The officials of the ministries and local administration financed by Belgrade had a meeting in the village with returnees regarding social issues, and other problems that they were facing.

Police interrupted the meeting and took the five Serb officials to the station for several hours of interrogation.

Ristić was released and escorted to the administrative line checkpoint of Merdare, between central Serbia and Kosovo, while the others were taken back to Drsnik.

The reason for the detention was not given. According to Minister Goran Bogdanović, all five reside in Kosovo.

“They’ll have to rein Priština in”

Minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanović reacted to the incident today by saying that the international community “will have to rein Priština in”.

He told Beta news agency that the arrests were “no incident, but clear proof that Priština (Kosovo Albanian government) has opted for a radicalization”.

The minister also noted that today’s incident will not contribute to the reconciliation between Serbs and ethnic Albanians and “can only lead to new divisions and conflicts in Kosovo”.

“The international community will this time have to clearly state its position and when and how it will restrain Priština and bring it to common sense,” Bogdanović was quoted as saying.

“Today’s incident is a clear message from the so-called Kosovo government that they will not allow Serbs to return to Kosovo and that they are not welcome there, that is, that those not to the liking of the Kosovo government cannot live in Kosovo,” said he.

“All the people detained today live with their families in Kosovo and Metohija and this is yet another proof that there is no freedom of movement there (in Kosovo),” stated the minister.