January 13, 2012
|July-December 2011 – Mitrovica North, Kosovo.|
Kosovo prime minister Hashim Thaci on Friday accused opposition party Vetevendosje of trying to usurp power by force and vowed no violence would be tolerated. Vetevendosje, or Self-Setermination, has 14 deputies in the 120-seat parliament and is known for its radical stands. It planned a blockade of border crossing with Serbia on Saturday to prevent imports of Serbian goods, claiming Kosovo exports were barred by Serbia.
Pristina, KOSOVO – by Vedat Xhymshiti
| Friday, January 13, 2012 | The IndependenT NewsweeK |
Kosovo majority Albanians declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which Belgrade doesn’t recognize, but both sides are eager to reach some sort of an agreement for the sake of joining the European Union.
Kosovo president Atifete Jahjaga and western ambassadors to Pristina also condemned Vetevendosje plan on border blockade. On the other hand, Kosovo minority Serbs have been blocking roads in northern Kosovo for over six months in protest against placing of Kosovo police and customs at border crossings.
Thaci said the blockade was direct attack on Kosovo institutions which were legally elected by the people. “We fully respect the constitution and Kosovo laws and no one has the right to take power in his hands,” he said.
Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti has said dozens of buses of his supporters from Albania would join the protest. But Thaci said he would not allow the repetition of events in Tirana last year when four people were killed in opposition protests.
He said Vetevendosje as a party would soon sink because of its extreme stands. “We won’t allow Kosovo to sink with them,” he added.
Thaci’s Democratic Party of Kosovo in a statement called on citizens “not to respond to calls for disruption of public order and peace”. It appealed on citizens of Kosovo “to respect constitutional order and laws of Kosovo and to preserve the security, interests and property of out country”.
Kosovo has been recognized by over 80 countries, including the United States and 22 out of 27 EU countries. But Serbia’s ally Russia has blocked a resolution on independence in the United Nations Security Council.