Wednesday, May 24, 2006

U.N. says ethnically motivated crime in Kosovo going down

PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) - The United Nations mission in Kosovo said Wednesday that ethnically motivated crime is going down in this disputed province.

Soren Jessen-Petersen, the U.N.'s top official in Kosovo, "called on all concerned to refrain from propagating misinformation on the security situation in Kosovo, particularly with respect to the Kosovo Serb community," according to a U.N. statement.

"I have noted with concern periodic statements from certain quarters that risk creating a climate of fear and insecurity among the Kosovo Serbs," Jessen-Petersen said, most likely referring to Belgrade officials.

The United Nations has been trying to bring Kosovo's bitterly divided communities -- ethnic Albanians and Serbs -- closer since it took over the province's administration in 1999.

Crime statistics for the first quarter of 2006 reveal a marked decline in potentially ethnically motivated crimes, the U.N. said. There were 19 such incidents from January to March, compared to 72 during the first three months of 2005, the statement said.

This year's incidents included 12 involving Kosovo Serb victims, six involving ethnic Albanians and one involving a Kosovo Croatian victim, it said.

"Whereas we always deplore any attack on any citizen, statements of misleading nature are not helpful and are in fact contrary to the interests of the Kosovo Serbs," Jessen-Petersen said.

"This kind of misinformation not only erodes their confidence level, but has a cascading negative impact on interethnic relations."

Although nearly seven years have passed since the end of the war, the ethnic groups remain divided, with Kosovo Serbs mainly living in isolated enclaves fearing attacks by ethnic Albanians.

Talks to determine Kosovo's future are underway in Austria. Western envoys hope that some form of solution will be found by the end of 2006, which should primarily ensure the well-being of minorities, particularly Serbs.

13 comments:

Dardania 2006 said...

Translation:

Jobs on the rise
Crime on the fall

Bg anon said...

I dont have the detailed statistics but this is odd because I watched a UNMIK spokesman say in a press conference that the recent attacks on Kosovo Serbs was worrying and that UNMIK / KFOR has agreed to increase patrols / presence in Serbia areas.

And the method of statistics analysis is also a bit odd. I would think that the comprison would be made with the previous quarter ie October to December 2005 and not with last years January to March tally.

Still, if the attacks do cease or markedly decline then I'd be happy. Until now that still hasnt happened and in my view the internationals have to take responsibility for this failure.

Retired LTC said...

The statistical comparison isn't "odd" at all. Quarterly data of all types is frequently compared only with a similar time period, and not just the previous quarter. The reason is that there could be seasonal factors affecting the rate of occurrance. For example, ethnic crime might go down when harsh winter weather confines people to their homes.

I also don't see how you can say that "until now [a marked decline in attacks] still hasn't happened." A drop from 72 to 19 sure seem like a significant decline to me.

Another thing I found significant, and apparently too often ignored, is that of those 19 attacks, only 12 were against ethnic Serbs, while siz were against ethnic Albanians. Given that Albanians make up some 90% of the Kosovar population, it looks to me like even now, it is the Serbs causing a disproportionate amount of the problem.

Serbs In Kosovo are in Danger said...

Kosovo Albanians attack U.N.-escorted Serb lawyers


Thu 25 May 2006 11:52 AM ET
(Updates with U.N. statement, details)

PRISTINA, Serbia and Montenegro, May 25 (Reuters) - U.N. police in Kosovo fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of ethnic Albanians who stoned a United Nations convoy escorting Serb defence lawyers in the west of the province on Thursday.

Three U.N. police officers and one translator were wounded when villagers blocked a road and lobbed stones at vehicles escorting two Serb members of a defence team accredited to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, a U.N. statement said.

"Police then had to clear the crowd, unfortunately resulting in injuries to a number of citizens who received medical treatment from an ambulance at the scene," it said.

The stoning of Serb convoys in Kosovo is not uncommon.

The province, legally part of Serbia, has been run by the U.N. since 1999, when NATO bombs drove out Serb forces accused of ethnic cleansing in a two-year war with separatist guerrillas.

An estimated 10,000 ethnic Albanians died and another 800,000 fled into neighbouring Macedonia and Albania.

U.N. prosecutors in The Hague say Serb police killed 100 men in the village of Mala Krusa two days into the 78-day NATO bombing campaign.

The case is included in the indictment against former Serbian president Milan Milutinovic, whose trial begins in July.

The U.N. governor in Kosovo, Soren Jessen-Petersen, said he was "outraged and disappointed" by the incident.

"It is important for the people of Kosovo to understand that their quest for justice can only be achieved through the course of justice, not by extra-judicial means," he said.

Signs of reconciliation in Kosovo are rare. Around half the Serb population fled a wave of revenge attacks after the war and the 100,000 who stayed live on the margins of society, targeted by sporadic violence.

After seven years of U.N.-imposed limbo, the major powers are pushing for a solution to Kosovo's final status in direct Serb-Albanian talks that began in February in Vienna.

The 90-percent ethnic Albanian majority is pushing for independence, but is under pressure to improve the security and rights of Serbs.

The U.N. mission says ethnically motivated crime in 2006 is down compared with previous years.

Bg anon said...

retired ITC I know very well how figures are complied. The trick is to produce the figures which are most favourable to your own case.

We all are guilty of doing this sometimes although I try to avoid it. And naturally I am suspicious whenever any figure is quoted to me. Seasonal factors Im also aware of but as far as I know there are no seasonally adjusted figures on attacks in Kosovo.

A marked decline or cessation in my definition isnt one that reduces from one year or quarter to the next. If the figures are true its welcome but the marked decline Im talking about is longlasting and definite. And I think the very large majority of people who live in Kosovo of all backgrounds want this as well.

'Serbs causing a disproportionate amount of the problem. '


LOL - But Im sure you're right, its those dastardly Serbs again to blame, they should stay indoors more and then the attack statistic will be further reduced!

(Sometimes I wonder I really do.)

There was a prog on a few nights back on RTS about Kosovo. It was very interesting, one of the participants was Goran Svilanovic and the other was a DSS guy also born in Kosovo.

I was pleasantly shocked at how grown up the discussion was.

WARchild said...

Adding to LtC. As told in the UN press release, even the 12 crimes are suspected of being ethnically motivated, or as UNMIK put it, "ethnic motivation has not been ruled out."

BgAnon,
How do you explain the fact that Serbs refuse to join the police force?

Kristian said...

To: Warchild



BgAnon,
How do you explain the fact that Serbs refuse to join the police force?




I'll take a stab at this one. I presume that serbs would join the police force, for even they see that law is of utmost importance, but "BELGRADE" has told serbs that they should refrain from joining Kosovo/a institutions untill a settlement is reached. And why hasn't belgrade included the minorities(speaking of serbs mostly) in Kosovo/a to join them at the talks?

If this is true, then why should they join? It will show the Albanians as lacking in the area of civil law. Great way to prove the other side wrong or that they are ignoring upholding the law or are not able to, BUT LONG TERM IT DOESN'T HELP EITHER SIDE.

If Belgrade had given the go ahead for serbs to join institutions from the beggining I think a lot of things would of been resolved and relations would be better amongst all the ppl of Kosovo/a.

I forgot the serbian lads name that is participating in the Kosovo/a institutions. He is chastised by other serbs for even joining them. I think that if ppl talked and had started a dialogue many fears would be gone.

And the Kosovo/a institutions should start a campaign to quell hostilities. And unify all the ppl. Doesn't matter what group they belong too. Billboards showing old ladies that have lost sons forgiving each other would be a good way. I KNOW ITS HARD FOR PPL THAT HAVE LOST FAMILY ON BOTH SIDES, BUT IF PPL SEE RECONCILIATIONS ON A DAILY BASIS IT WOULD HELP THE PSYCHY OF THE PPL. Just an Idea


On another note: I believe BELGRADE had numerous opportunities to quell the situation of Kosovo/a. I believe the problem has always been hard line nationalistic ideology that has forced Serbia to be in the situation it is today. You can go back at various time periods as a starting point.

The 80's and onwards is what caused the rip in relations among all the ppl of FROY. When inflation was skyrocketing and job opportunities were dwindling all over the country it caused civil strife. I remember the first time I went to FROY when I exchanged 100 dollars and at the end of the day I could wipe my ass with the dinars I had exchanged.

Trust in the government died and nationalistic ideas flourished. All sides are to blame.


Keep on talking its better then shooting at each other.

Peace to all!

NYoutlawyer said...

I guess the U.N. missed this one. But I'm sure ALL ethnicities will be able to live in harmony after the independence comes. God help us all.


Kosovo Albanians attack U.N.-escorted Serb lawyers
25 May 2006 15:52:15 GMT
Source: Reuters

PRISTINA, Serbia and Montenegro, May 25 (Reuters) - U.N. police in Kosovo fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of ethnic Albanians who stoned a United Nations convoy escorting Serb defence lawyers in the west of the province on Thursday.

Three U.N. police officers and one translator were wounded when villagers blocked a road and lobbed stones at vehicles escorting two Serb members of a defence team accredited to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, a U.N. statement said.

"Police then had to clear the crowd, unfortunately resulting in injuries to a number of citizens who received medical treatment from an ambulance at the scene," it said.

The stoning of Serb convoys in Kosovo is not uncommon.

The province, legally part of Serbia, has been run by the U.N. since 1999, when NATO bombs drove out Serb forces accused of ethnic cleansing in a two-year war with separatist guerrillas.

An estimated 10,000 ethnic Albanians died and another 800,000 fled into neighbouring Macedonia and Albania.

U.N. prosecutors in The Hague say Serb police killed 100 men in the village of Mala Krusa two days into the 78-day NATO bombing campaign.

The case is included in the indictment against former Serbian president Milan Milutinovic, whose trial begins in July.

The U.N. governor in Kosovo, Soren Jessen-Petersen, said he was "outraged and disappointed" by the incident.

"It is important for the people of Kosovo to understand that their quest for justice can only be achieved through the course of justice, not by extra-judicial means," he said.

Signs of reconciliation in Kosovo are rare. Around half the Serb population fled a wave of revenge attacks after the war and the 100,000 who stayed live on the margins of society, targeted by sporadic violence.

NYoutlawyer said...

Given the record of Christian persecution in Kosovo while under the supervision and protection of the UN, what could be expected from an independent province administered by Albanian Muslim politicians and security forces?

Dardania 2006 said...

I am Catholic and from Kosovo..nobody is prosecuting me. You speak untruths.

NYoutlawyer said...

dardania, idiot, you are albanian, not Serbian Orthodox. Those are the Christians I am referring to. But in a pure muslin albanian kosovo the leadership wants, your ass won't be safe there either. enjoy your dardania, where ever the fuck that is. And no, I don't even give a shit to learn where it was. It has nothing to do with today's problems.

Bg anon said...

NY its not Dardinias fault. You did say Christian and by definition that includes catholics, protestants, orthodox.

Kristian, warchild I would say the reason why Serbs havent joined the police force is similar to the reasons why Kosovo Albanians didnt vote in federal elections.

I respected their decision at the time, even though many of those in the Serbian opposition couldnt believe that Kosovo Albanians wouldnt try to join them in toppling Sloba who was doing harm to Serb and Albanian interests.

So, if a Serb refuses to join the police force it is his decision. One might be tempted to say if he doesnt its his fault if the consequences are bad. Thats also what some Serbs said when Kosovo Albanians didnt join them in voting Milosevic out.

The Albanian answer would be repression against them in Kosovo.
The Serbian answer today would be similar.

But, yes I agree with you Kristian that Belgrade could have done more. If it had been my choice I would have, I think there was even scope for this behind the scenes at such a late stage as the mid 90's.

But political cowards never have the courage to do the difficult thing do they?

santia said...

I like Dinar.and its revaluation of currency.
Dinar