Kosovo’s opposition used tear gas and pepper spray inside parliament and pelted police with rocks and pink paint outside the building in another attempt to force the government to renounce recent deals with Serbia and Montenegro.
Kosovo’s Constitutional Court said Wednesday that a hand grenade was found at its yard amid a tense political situation in the country. Police exploded the grenade with a remote control “without human or material damage,” said a statement that also urged law enforcement officials to find out who was behind the crime, AP reports.
“This violent act aiming at frightening judges and other officials of the Constitutional Court is a direct attack against the constitutional order,” said the statement.
Around 150 people gathered on Wednesday outside the Kosovo government building to protest against the arrest of the opposition MP Donika Kadaj-Bujupi who was arrested for allegedly setting off tear gas in the Kosovo Assembly.
Kadaj-Bujupi was arrested on Wednesday morning for setting off tear gas inside the chamber and sent to Pristina’s District Court. Police also searched the homes of Albin Kurti and Albulena Krasniqi, both MPs from the opposition Vetevendosje [Self-determination] movement, on Wednesday. They also issued an arrest warrant for another Vetevendosje MP, Faton Topalli, related to the violent scenes in parliament, ‘Balkan Investigative Reporting Network’ reported.
Reports say protesters threw teargas, stones and paint at police, while the situation remained tense.
Protesters also broke several windows of the government building. The police tried to disperse protesters with teargas to prevent the crowds from approaching the government building.
Kosovo Police spokesperson, Baki Kelani, told media that four police officers were injured during today’s protest and 13 protesters were arrested. He also confirmed that a bag filled with Molotov cocktail was found on the road near Mother Theresa square.
“Kosova Press” reports four citizens were injured from stones and teargas. Vetevendosje Movement secretary, Dardan Molliqaj, told media that protesters are only responding to government’s violence. He said that protesters will continue to stay in front of the government building and that there will be no normality in Kosovo as long as the government doesn’t cancel the recent agreements and release the arrested opposition MP.
The three opposition parties, Vetevendosje, the AAK, and the Initiative for Kosovo, Nisma, called the arrest of Donika Kadaj-Bujupi politically motivated.
“The police are responding to the orders of [Prime Minister] Isa Mustafa and [Foreign Minister] Hashim Thaci who are ready to transform Kosovo into a police state so as not to give up power and the agreements they have made with Serbia,” a joint declaration reads.
On October 13, Vetevendosje activists attacked a police station in Pristina after their vice-president, Kurti, was arrested for setting off tear gas in parliament. Kurti was released after three hours.
Opposition MPs and their supporters are in a weeks-long protest against EU-brokered dialogue and agreements with Serbia, the country from which Kosovo broke away and declared independence in 2008.
The EU and Kosovo have signed an agreement [this October] to deepen ties that is seen as a first step towards EU membership. Prime Minister Isa Mustafa said the agreement “sealed Kosovo’s path” towards joining the EU, BBC reported.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the deal with Kosovo represented “an important contribution to stability and prosperity in Kosovo and the region at large”.
The Stabilisation and Association Agreement is the first key step for non-EU countries on the path towards membership of the bloc.
Since mid-September the opposition has used tear gas canisters, hurled eggs and plastic water bottles or blown whistles to stop holding normal assembly sessions. The assembly sessions are keep being postponed due to opposition resistance. Even though a number of parliament sessions were postponed fearing the opposition teargas protests the landlocked country’s assembly is almost paralysed.
The opposition says no more parliamentary sessions should be held unless the government renounces deals with Serbia to give more powers to Serb-dominated areas in Kosovo, and with Montenegro on border demarcation, which among other things opens a way for the establishment of an Association of Serbian Municipalities with wide-ranging powers.
After a conflict between Yugoslav forces of Serbia and Albanian rebels in 1999, NATO intervened with air strikes bombing Serbian forces of Yugoslavia for 78 days, in a bid to stop the massacre and ethnic cleansing of Serb forces against Kosovo Albanians, a violence, which had caused a wide rebellion in the region.
NATO’s intervention eventually forced the Serbian Parliament to grant political autonomy for Kosovo, while keeping it within its territorial borders. Nine years after the war, Kosovo declared its independence, but its status as the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo, has been recognised only by the 111 countries of the 193 member states of the United Nations.
Serbia has not recognised Kosovo’s independence, but in August it signed key agreements to normalise ties, a condition for its own EU accession.
Kosovo is the poorest and most isolated country in Europe, with millionaires politicians steeped in crime. A third of the workforce is unemployed, and corruption is widespread. About two in three under the age of 25 are currently unemployed, and nearly 50% of the 1.8 million citizens of Kosovo are considered to be poor. During last December only, more then 200-thousands of Kosovars were forced to leave the country in an effort to find a better life, studies and more dignified jobs.
The country is ranked of those ‘partially free’ at ‘Freedom House’s freedom index. Press freedoms and human rights are at its stake. Last October was confirmed the ninth suspicious death of a member of media personnel whose perpetrators enjoy the impunity. EU Progress Report of 2015 qualifies its justice system with very low performance and highly influenced by outlawed forces.
NATO files published in 2011 in international media, showed that the United States and some other Western powers who supported Kosovo’s government has extensive knowledge (for a few years!) of the criminal connections of former head of rebels and also PDK leader Hashim Thaçi and some members of other political parties in the country.
June elections 2014 marked also the death of two well known political activists; Elvis Pista an elected MP of ruling PDK, as well as the secretary of ‘Vetëvendosje Arbënor Dehari whose death went very silently. These unreported casualties resulted after the political tensions rose between the ‘opposition united coalition front’ and ruling PDK party in the aftermath of the elections.
Hundreds of youth Kosovar participate in various Middle Eastern armed conflicts. Vedat Xhymshiti’s findings suggest significant prove of allegations of involvement of state authorities to encourage them to join the ranks of armed groups involved in crimes and war crimes against humanity.
At thefrontliner.net we believe in the intelligence of our viewers and we think that the mission of a news magazine is to deliver facts without any opinion or bias, so that the readers can form their own opinion on events we report.