Vreme čitanja: oko 4 min.
Vucevic: KFOR's reaction disappointed us, they watched from sidelines, allowed Serbs to be hunted down
Vreme čitanja: oko 4 min.
He stressed that he is most concerned about the position of the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, especially in the north
Defense Minister Milos Vucevic has said that after the conflict in Banjska, it is yet to be determined what exactly happened and that many people are jumping to conclusions. He added that Serbian authorities expected a different reaction from KFOR, which has a base not far from that location.
Instead they stood aside and allowed well-deployed (Kosovo) Albanian policemen to continue hunting down the Serbs, Vucevic said.
Minister Vucevic noted that three days after the conflict in Banjska, we know that human lives were lost, that there were people killed, wounded and arrested.
"What comes next for us is to determine exactly what happened and all the relevant facts," Vucevic said on RTS.
"I see that many people in Serbia are jumping to conclusions about how and what happened on Sunday in Banjska. I have to mention that since 1999, Serbia has not had de facto authority in Kosovo and Metohija, and that makes it much more difficult for us and our authorities to gather all the facts," said Vucevic.
He continued by saying that this is not a moment when someone should "compete for media attractiveness with statements, instead we should protect the lives of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija and protect Serbia."
"This scenario, that we could see from Sunday until yesterday's meetings leads in the direction that Serbia is the initiator or sponsor of I don't know what kind of terrorist acts, that the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija are criminals and terrorists and that the scenario from the 90s is being prepared, again that role is intended for Serbia, that we are the bad guys," said the minister.
He stressed that he is most concerned about the position of the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, especially in the north.
"Kurti's regime has declared the entire North a zone of anti-terrorist action, which allows them to do what they do despite all the rules and procedures. It is not only a question of persecution, shooting, literally shooting Serbs, but also the raiding of homes, harassment, mass arrests and the continuing of everything that has been carried out against the Serbs for months," Vucevic said.
He pointed out that the key question is who allowed the Kosovo police from the south to come to the north of Kosovo, which is contrary to the Brussels agreement.
"Someone allowed it. Someone allowed Albin Kurti to build bases for special police forces, to increase their presence, for heavily armed policemen to enter with special vehicles. Someone allowed a semblance of an election and for someone to become a mayor by winning two or three percent of the votes, someone allowed the head of the north regional police center to be sacked, someone allowed that there are no consequences for violating the Brussels agreement," said Vucevic.
"Someone prepared it well"
He stressed that Belgrade condemned the murder of a (Kosovo) Albanian policeman. "We don't want any conflicts and we understand the pain of every family and every nation," he added.
"What happened after that was horrible, the Serbs were persecuted and hunted down like beasts in the forests around Banjska. You can see that someone prepared it well, when you see the videos they are publishing successively," said Vucevic.
When asked who it was that "prepared it," the minister replied that "someone did."
"Whether it's only the Albanians or not, that is now a question that requires further investigation," he said.
"KFOR could have reacted"
Vucevic added that the Serbian authorities expected a different reaction from KFOR.
"Serbia would have liked and expected, not to say that we are quite disappointed, KFOR's reaction. To us, KFOR had to be activated at the same time, because they (should be) the first to react in such situations and prevent further bloodshed and more victims. EULEX (EU mission) should go out and if someone needs to be prosecuted and there are elements of criminal responsibility and elements for investigation - that had to be done with the support of EULEX and above all with the support of KFOR, which had to stop any further shooting," Vucevic said.
He added that KFOR has a base not far from the scene, and that they could have reacted.
"They went out, but it was as if they stood aside and allowed the well-positioned Albanian policemen to continue hunting down the Serbs in the Banjska area," said Vucevic.
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