PM: Government will react to provocation in Preševo

BELGRADE -- A memorial plaque honoring members of a terror group in the southern town of Preševo will have to be removed, says PM Ivica Dačić.

(Beta, file)
(Beta, file)

The plaque was placed in memory of the members of the so-called Liberation Army of Preševo, Bujanovac and Medveđa (UCPMB).

Dačić addressed the issue of Wednesday in Belgrade to say that it was "a needless provocation to which the government needs to react".

The now disbanded ethnic Albanian terrorist group was an offshoot of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA, UCK).

Dačić said that Serbia will keep a cool head in the implementation of the policy which would bring forth positive effects.

"It's best that they remove it themselves, because this is a needless provocation,especially if brought in connection to the context of (the Albanian national holiday) the Day of the Flag on November 28, and the ruling of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia in the case of Ramush Haradinaj is due on November 29," Dačić said.

“This will not go in the right direction,” he noted.

Haradinaj was one of the leaders of KLA, and later a prime minister in Priština. He has been accused of war crimes committed against the province's Serbs and Roma.

Speaking today, Dačić added that he recently told High EU Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton "that the region was going back to the period of the conflicts in the 1990s".

According to Dačić, the Serbian government needs to react to the memorial in Preševo.

“If plaques were to be put up honoring those who murdered police officers and soldiers in southern Serbia then we should say that this is not a part if Serbia. We have no dilemma as to whether Preševo and Medveđa are a part of Serbia, and if the international community has any doubts about this, then it should say so. Let's not have 'excessive use of force' tomorrow, because the removal of the plaque can lead to certain security problems," Dačić said.