Kosovo anti-Christian violence continues

Published on May 14, 2006, Copyright © 2006 Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin

Category: Violence Against Christian Serbs and Their Holy Places

But UN hands over power to Muslim-dominated police

Amid a significant escalation of violence during the previous week directed at the diminishing Christian Serb populace in Kosovo, the UN's response - is to give even more power to the Muslim Albanian-dominated Kosovo police forces under whose "watch" the violence is taking place.

The United Nations mission, in charge of Kosovo since 1999, is seeking to complete a transfer of competencies to the province's newly created ministries of justice and internal affairs, said Neeraj Singh, the UN spokesman in Kosovo. At the same time, the Western powers, led by the U.S. are pushing for Kosovo's independence from Serbia in U.N.-sponsored negotiations currently taking place in Vienna, Austria.

Yet, Serbia's Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohia has warned this week of the rising violence against the Christian Serb and other non-Albanian populace, especially directed at returnees, who are "completely undefended," adding that on-the-scene investigations conducted by the Albanian-dominated Kosovo police "yield no results, and that not one perpetrator has so far been found or brought to justice."

Here is the tally of the most recent anti-Christian violence in Kosovo:

* About 10 p.m. May 6, St. George's Feast according to the Julian calendar of the Serbian Orthodox Church, unknown attackers opened fire on the vehicle of Diocese of Raska and Prizren secretary Protopresbyter Srdjan Stankovic in the Zvecan municipality.

According to Fr. Srdjan the vehicle he was driving was blocked by a black VW Golf without license plates from which several gunshots were fired.

They waited for me in ambush," said Fr. Srdjan, who was traveling with his wife and two children aged 6 months and 3 years in the direction of Gracanica, which has been the seat of the diocese since 1999.

* On May 9, a UN bus was stoned while transporting some 60 passengers from the village of Osojane to Kosovska Mitrovica among them women and children. No one was hurt but several windows on the bus were shattered and the bus dented by the stones. The UN bus provides regular transportation twice a week for Serb returnees from Osojane to northern Mitrovica where they can shop, visit a physician or carry out other needs. Osojane is one of the Kosovo villages where a few of the 200,000+ Serbs expelled from Kosovo since 1999 are trying to return. Serbs in Kosovo regularly need international armed escort to travel outside of their enclaves.

* In the returnee villages of Suvi Lukavac, Tucep and Osojane in the past month unknown perpetrators have stolen four tractors and seven cows from Serbian households, with the most dangerous attack on returnees occurring on the eve of the Paschal holidays when attackers opened fire with the intent of stealing livestock.

* At about 3:30 a.m. on May 11, two Serb gas station workers in a village near Kosovska Mitrovica, are in critical condition after being wounded in an armed robbery. The workers, Jovan Milosevic, 19, i Jablan Jevtic, 21, are in intensive care in northern Kosovska Mitrovica after surgery for multiple gunshot wounds.

* In the village of Smac, near Prizren, a bomb was thrown at the house of a Serb returnee, Cedomir Spasic, during the Easter holidays. No one has been arrested and no suspects have been identified as yet.

The latest UN move cannot be interpreted in any other way but as an encouragement for more anti-Christian violence in the province, as well as a signal for Christian returnees that they are unwelcome and unprotected in an Albanian Muslim-dominated Kosovo.

G2B contributor Aleksandar Pavic

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