Billboard in Kosovo village "inciting ethnic hatred"
The Serbian Office for Kosovo is demanding that provisional institutions of self-government in Pristina immediately remove a billboards set up in Musutiste.Source: Tanjug
Musutiste is a village near Suva Reka.
As stated, the billboard in the most direct way incites nationalist hatred and discourages Serbs who have expressed their willingness to return to the village.
"It is the pinnacle of cynicism that there is a billboard indicating alleged crimes of the Serb people in a village where everything that is Serb has practically been razed to the ground, including a church from the early 14th century. In Metohija, which has been ethnically cleansed of Serbs in a most brutal manner, these messages from ethnic Albanian extremists assume a surreal character," said the Office.
Year after year, a statement said, Albanians in this part of Metohija, on the eve of the feast of the Assumption, the Musutiste village feast day, create incidents to prevent displaced Serbs from gathering on that day.
"At the same time, for three years now the realization of the return of the Serbs to the village has been prevented in an organized, physical manner, although an agreement between local authorities, the provisional institutions of self-government in Pristina and the European Union approved the return of the displaced persons and built ten houses for them," said the Office.
"We expect the authorities in Kosovo to take all necessary security measures so that the marking of the Assumption on August 28 in Musutiste goes without incident, launch a public campaign in order to stop the fascist practice of public calls for lynching, and encourage citizens in that part of Serbia to reconciliation and coexistence," said in the statement.
The Kosovo Ministry of Communities and Returns also reacted to say they were very concerned for the he process of the return after the billboard was set up that urges ethnic hatred, and is directly aimed against the reconciliation of Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo.
The ministry said that despite the agreement, and the work to allow the first ten families driven out of their homes in the village to return, they have been unable to do so for years - as "somebody has for years been using all sorts of excuses to make sure the return does not happen."
The ministry called on all competent institutions in Kosovo to take all necessary actions in ensuring peace and security, and on ethnic Albanian leaders in Suva Reka to provide all the conditions for the return of the displaced and "help the rule of law."
Actions such the billboards that incites ethnic hatred and intolerance, must be prevented and we must work together to build better relations, peace and mutual tolerance, a release stated.
"We want to believe that this act will not jeopardize today's start of the return of the displaced to Musutiste, because it would be another defeat not only in the return process, but also in building mutual trust between the two nations in Kosovo, led by the Kosovo Ministry of Communities and Returns," the statement concluded.