Kosovo: Serbs targeted in series of incidentsSource: B92, Beta, Tanjug, KIM radio
BELGRADE, KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Several incidents targeting Serbs took place in Kosovo on Wednesday. A Serb woman was shot at and Molotov cocktails were thrown at a barn owned by Serbs.
Two ethnic Albanians fired shots at a Serb woman in the village of Osojane but she was unharmed.
Shots were also fired at the Osojane municipal building. The police have blocked the building and are conducting an investigation.
Unknown persons threw two Molotov cocktails at a barn of Aleksandar and Nebojša Jovanović in the village of Bresje last night. The fireboms did a minor material damage to the barn, KIM Radio has reported.
Aleksandar Jovanović told the outlet that nobody was injured in the incident.
“I went to feed the cattle at 06:00 (CET) this morning and then I noticed broken bottles with gas. Some cattle feed burned in the fire, larger damage was avoided because it was damp so the fire could not spread,” he explained.
The Jovanović’s are one of the remaining 15 Serb families in Bresje. Last night they discovered an armed Albanian in their barn and held him locked up until the police came.
Unknown perpetrators have so far burned more then 2,000 bales of their hay.
Jovanović says that his family is exposed to various pressures and physical attacks every day.
“Albanians want us to leave the village. Eventually, we will end up being guilty for being here, because if we were not, there would be no problems,” he said.
He and his brother reported the incident to the police who came to the scene.
Kosovo Office calls for perpetrators to be punished
The Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija called on the international community on Wednesday to find and punish all those who committed crimes against Serbs and safeguard a basic human right, the right to life, for all citizens in Kosovo.
Impunity and cover-ups of crimes illustrate double standards for the citizens in Kosovo and Metohija, the office said in a release, noting that unknown perpetrators had hurled two Molotov cocktails at the house of the Jovanović brothers from Bresje in the municipality of Kosovo Polje earlier on Wednesday.
"That Serb family is one of the remaining fifteen in Bresje, and they are subjected to various pressures and assaults nearly on a daily basis," the release adds.
The office noted that in the centre of Osojane, a Kosovo Albanian fired a gun, and harassed a town hall official.
The recent days have laid bare the atmosphere of lynch which could easily turn into another pogrom of Serbs, just as was the case in March of 2004, the release adds.
"Now it is clear that ahead of each new round of the talks (between Belgrade and Priština), we have a wave of violence against Serbs, so Priština is sending a clear message about its readiness and the way in which it is negotiating," the statement underscored.
Offensive graffiti sprayed on church
Offensive graffiti and initials of the so-called Liberation Army of Preševo, Bujanovac and Medveđa (UCPMB) have been sprayed on the Serb Orthodox Church dedicated to Holy Emperor Uroš in downtown Uroševac in Kosovo.
UCPMB - the now disbanded ethnic Albanian terrorist group - was active in 2000 and 2001 in southern Serbia. A monument for its members erected in Preševo without a permit was removed by the Serbian authorities last weekend.
Members of the Kosovo police, KPS, have been guarding the church in Uroševac for the past several days, according to reports.
Radio KiM quoted priest Živojin Kojić as saying that the graffiti were "not sprayed on the side of the church where the Kosovo police patrol was located", and that the incident was reported to the police.
During the anti-Serb violence in March 2004, the church was heavily damaged, although under protection of Greek KFOR soldiers at that time.
RTK accuses Serbs of destroying own cemeteries
Radio Television of Kosovo (RTK) has reported that it was "certain groups of Serbs" who damaged Serb cemeteries and other monuments in Kosovo.
According to RTK, that quoted "sources from the Kosovo Information Agency", the Serbs did this "in order to blame Albanians”.
“Certain Serbian security structures are directly involved in destruction of Serb cemeteries in some parts of Kosovo with a goal to mitigate and weaken the international reaction to the operation of the Serbian Gendarmerie that removed the monument to heroes of the UCPMB in Preševo,” the source allegedly told RTK.
RTK urged to stop incitement against Serbs
The Association of Journalists of Serbia (UNS) and the Association of Journalists of Kosovo and Metohija (DNKiM) today asked the OSCE and other international missions in Kosovo to react and urgently stop a media campaign of publishing false information, that accuses Serbs of desecrating their own cemeteries and holy places in Kosovo.
The letter has also been sent to other media organizations, and embassies located in Belgrade and Priština.
The two associations noted that the irresponsible reporting amounted to "direct calls to lynch an entire people, and redirect the violence from the cemeteries, churches and memorials toward the Serbs who still live in Kosovo and Metohija".
The unverified reports quoting "anonymous sources" can also serve to launch "a new pogrom and chaos - just like RTK did on March 17, 2004, when it published false information that Serbs had driven Albanian children into the Ibar River".
Over the past several days, a series of attacks in Kosovo targeted places associated with Serbs, ranging from cemeteries and churches, to memorials for children killed in terrorist attacks, and even WW2 anti-fascist fighters.