Albanians ‘Barred’ from Kosovo Flashpoint

04 November 2008 Pristina – A Kosovo lawmaker has accused the UN Mission of preventing ethnic Albanians from returning to their homes in the Serb-dominated northern areas of Kosovo.

Gani Geci, a lawmaker from the Democratic League of Dardania accused the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, UNMIK of violating human rights and the UN charter.

“UNMIK is violating Kosovo’s constitution and the UN charter,” by not allowing ethnic Albanians to return to their homes in the northern Serb-dominated areas of Kosovo, he said.

Geci made the statements on Monday during a visit to Suvi Dol/Suhadoll, an ethnically-mixed suburb in the ethnically-divided city of Mitrovica.

Cordons of anti-riot units from the UN police surrounded Albanian houses in the area and prevented Ali Kadriu, an ethnic Albanian resident, from renovating his house, due to what they say are ongoing tensions between the two communities.

Last week there were clashes between Serbs and Albanians in Mitrovica, where groups of youths threw stones at each other.

UNMIK officials declined to comment on Geci’s accusation.

Russell Geekie, an UNMIK spokesperson, told Balkan Insight that “UNMIK does not disallow the reconstruction of houses in Kosovo.”

“In this incident, legitimate security forces requested a suspension of construction to prevent an escalating security situation. It is very important that all sides in Suhodoll remain calm and refrain from provocations,” Geekie said.

Kosovo Police spokesman Veton Elshani told Balkan Insight that the decision to prevent construction work on Kadriu’s house was made by the UNMIK police commissioner in accordance with Kosovo Police.

“The Police can limit or forbid the freedom of movement at specific cases and locations according to the law,” Elshani said.

Kadriu told media that he has the appropriate licence to carrying out work on his house and that he will insist on exercising his rights over his property.

Check Also

Pandora Papers: Who says the United States is without sin?

Why is the world’s most powerful democracy absent from the 12 million pages of leaked …