Ivanovic feared for his safety days before getting killed

Civic Initiative (GI) SDP leader Oliver Ivanovic, who was shot dead on Tuesday morning, four days earlier told a news agency that he feared an assassination.

Source: SRNA, Vreme
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(Tanjug/AP)
(Tanjug/AP)

Ivanovic spoke for Srna on January 12, to say that the security situation in northern Kosovska Mitrovica was "very poor."

"I'm afraid that in this unstable situation an innocent person could come to harm, and I must admit I also fear for my own safety," he told a Srna correspondent, who traveled to Kosovo along with Milorad Arlov, the chair of a Banja Luka-based committee set up to provide assistance to Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija.

Ivanovic said at the time that his plans to form a political party would "likely bother some individuals," and added that he on several occasions recently warned both domestic and international officials about the worrying situation in northern Kosovo, especially in northern Kosovska Mitrovica.

"I hope that those responsible will understand our warnings," he said.

Ivanovic's wife, Milena Ivanovic, said at the time that she was worried for her husband's safety. "They've done everything to us, the only thing left is to kill us one by one," she said.

"Threat and fear"

In his last interview for the Belgrade-based weekly Vreme - published in September 2017 - Ivanovic stated that the situation in Kosovo since his arrest changed for the worst, and that there was "an incredible feeling of being under threat and fear among the people."

"Of the hundred people I spoke with during the first few weeks of freedom, there is not one who in the first few sentences did not raise the issue of security. Let's understand each other immediately: these people are not afraid of Albanians but of Serbs, of local thugs and criminals riding driving Jeeps without number plates. Drugs are being sold on every corner, every parent fear because of it. It was the same before, but not so much, and these people did not behave as arrogantly as they do now. The police are watching without reacting, so the citizens feel unprotected although in the north it's all our people in the police, Serbs," he said, adding:

"Some of them are experienced policemen who previously worked for the Serbian Ministry of Interior, but they are not doing anything, either. In the past few years in Mitrovica, we had over fifty cases of torched cars, throwing of hand grenades and two unexplained killings. All this is happening in q territory of two and a half square kilometers, which is completely covered by security cameras. It is obvious that the police are afraid not to offend the perpetrators, or the perpetrators have links to security structures. Some say that the police are simply incompetent, but it is difficult for me to I believe that. I mean, they are incompetent, but not exactly that much."

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