Community of municipalities "future of Serbs"

A community of Serb municipalities in Kosovo is entering a phase where its "fundamental establishment should finally begin," says Marko Đurić.

Source: RTS
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The director of the Serbian government office for Kosovo and Metohija pointed out that the formation of this future community, known in Serbian by its acronym "ZSO", is closely associated with the formation of the Kosovo government.

"We cannot form the ZSO until there is a statute, and agreement on the functioning of other institutions. The ZSO is the future of the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija, the focal part of the Brussels treaty is precisely the ZSO," he said.

According to him, words, the community is in the process of being set up now via a management team, and will be built in the full capacity "in the coming weeks and months."

Commenting on the talks with Priština in Brussels earlier this week about the contentious "Peace Park" on the main bridge over the Ibar River in Kosovska Mitrovica, Đurić stressed that the sides agreed the park would remain in place. Priština's negotiator, Edita Tahiri, said after the meeting that they agreed to gradually dismantle it. Speaking for Serbia's public broadcaster RTS, Đurić reiterated his position:

"It was agreed to make a visual assessment of the condition of the bridge by the middle of September, and then the talks will resume with the aim of not changing anything until both parties agree what the bridge and the area around it will look like in the future."

Local Serbs in the ethnically divided town recently removed a barricade from the bridge, but promptly brought in soil and concrete flower boxes. Asked "what the purpose of a park is in the middle of a bridge," Đurić said that there are other bridges 100 meters left and right, where pedestrians and vehicles can pass unimpeded.

"One thing that makes a difference is simply that extremists cannot charge with their vehicles from the south into the main street of Kosovska Mitrovica, and it's Kralja Petra (King Petar) Street, and thus there is an area in which people feel secure that no one will spray them with bullets from a car, or that something bad will happen," said Đurić.

Commenting on the recent protest in Zubin Potok when local officials announced the possibility of ending their cooperation with EULEX, Đurić said that the protest reflects the poor credibility of judicial institutions in Kosovo.

"The citizens of northern Kosovo and Metohija clearly expressed their anxiety over the fact that some of the people who were recently elected have been summoned for questioning in connection with events that should be covered by the amnesty law, which was enacted as part of the Brussels process," he said.

Speaking of the 15th anniversary of the murder of 14 Serbian farmers in the village of Staro Gracko, Đurić said that this case "has to be a subject of interest in the indictment of prosecutor Clint Williamson."

"The crime that occurred on July 23, 1999 in Staro Gracko simply does not fall under a statute of limitations," said this Serbian government official, and added:

"For us it is completely unacceptable and would not be in accordance with civilized norms that those responsible for this crime are not held accountable."

Đurić concluded by saying that looking for those responsible for the atrocity "can be healing for the whole community in Kosovo and Metohija."

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