Disturbing and Unacceptable: Campaign of Intimidation Against Serbian Police Officers in Kosovo Condemned by Officials

27
Jul
2023
Vudi Xhymshiti

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Kosovo unites against an appalling campaign targeting Serbian police officers. Amid international support, unity prevails in upholding peace and diversity.
JUL 27

The alarming and unacceptable campaign launched on social media against Serbian police officers who began their service in the northern region as part of the Kosovo Police has been widely criticized by both local and international authorities.

A total of 72 young officers from various minority communities, including 45 Serbs, commenced their duties in four predominantly Serbian-populated municipalities at the beginning of this week. However, shortly after their deployment, Serbian users started publishing their photos and names on social media, with threats of further exposure.

This action has been strongly condemned by the American Ambassador to Kosovo, Jeffrey Hovenier, who described the threats and intimidation against those serving the best interests of all Kosovar citizens as utterly unacceptable. Ambassador Hovenier emphasized that the Kosovo Police exists to serve all communities in Kosovo, and its composition should reflect the diversity of the country.

The British Ambassador, Nicholas Abbott, also deemed the threats against the young Serbian officers in Kosovo as unacceptable. He stressed the importance of the Kosovo Police reflecting the nation’s diversity and being able to serve all communities. The intimidation and threats towards those willing to contribute to their country are unjustifiable, according to Ambassador Abbott.

German Ambassador Jorn Rohde called for an immediate halt to the campaign of intimidation. He found the intimidation campaign deeply concerning and highlighted that young officers from Bosniak, Roma, Serbian, and Turkish communities deserve full support, especially from the municipalities and citizens where they are stationed.

Representatives of the highest state institutions in Kosovo have also expressed their disapproval of the campaign. President Vjosa Osmani demanded that those leading the threatening and lynching campaign against the young officers face justice. She emphasized that the Kosovo Police is professional and multi-ethnic, and such a campaign must be stopped to maintain a safer Kosovo for everyone.

Prime Minister Albin Kurti labeled the lynching of the young officers as unacceptable and praised them for their courage to be part of the Kosovo Police and their willingness to serve and maintain order and security in the country. He urged the international community to strongly condemn any campaign aimed at threatening and intimidating police officers from minority communities.

In response to the situation, opposition party leaders have also voiced their concerns. Ramush Haradinaj, the leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, stated that the pressure and threats against members of the Serbian and other minority communities in the north who joined the Kosovo Police were unacceptable. He saw these actions as attempts to sabotage the de-escalation and stabilization of the situation.

The young officers in the north are replacing approximately 500 colleagues who resigned from the Kosovo Police in November last year as a form of protest against decisions made by the Kosovo Government regarding the ban on illegally issued Serbian license plates.

The international and domestic community are closely monitoring the situation, urging restraint, and emphasizing the need for inclusive policing that reflects the diverse fabric of Kosovo. The authorities are taking steps to address the issue and ensure the safety and well-being of all police officers serving the country.

Amidst the rising tensions and violence, Kosovo has taken a firm stand in support of Ukraine, imposing sanctions on Russian assets along with other Western powers. However, the international community’s reluctance to address Serbia’s actions has raised concerns about the consistency of its commitment to democratic values and international norms.

Despite enjoying support and appeasement from Western powers, Serbia remains closely aligned with Russia, fueling inter-ethnic tensions and conflicts across the Balkans. Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo have all experienced the repercussions of Serbia’s actions as it continues to assert its influence and territorial ambitions in the region.

The recent violent surge targeting newly graduated police officers in Kosovo is just one instance of Serbia’s ongoing aggression against the constitutional order and territorial integrity of the Republic of Kosovo. The evidence suggests that Serbia is linked to orchestrating these attacks, yet the international community has been hesitant to confront this reality.

The situation in Kosovo exemplifies the delicate balance that the international community must strike in addressing regional conflicts. While taking a strong stance against Russia’s actions in Ukraine, some have been more lenient towards Serbia’s transgressions in Kosovo. This double standard raises questions about the effectiveness of international responses to regional challenges and the need for a consistent and principled approach.

As Kosovo stands firm in its support for Ukraine and upholds its sovereignty, it also calls upon the international community to acknowledge and address Serbia’s role in instigating violence and undermining peace in the region. The escalating tensions and acts of aggression demand a comprehensive and unified response to preserve stability and uphold the democratic values that the international community purports to defend.

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