Footage; Xhelal Svecla/Facebook

Kosovo Police Closes Down Serbia-Run Offices in Three Municipalities

The Kosovo Police closed down parallel Serbian structures in three municipalities in Kosovo, an action that Kosovo authorities praised as an extension of legality and Serbia and Kosovo Serb representatives condemned as 'illegal and violent'.

The Basic Prosecution of Peja in coordination with the Kosovo Police and the Kosovo Intelligence Agency, announced, on Friday, the closing of three parallel Serbian structures, functioning as parallel municipalities in Peja, Istog, and Kline, suspected of committing the criminal offenses of forgery and false content in offices that belong to Serbian parallel structures in Kosovo.

Numerous documents suspected to contain false information were seized, and some individuals are being questioned by the police.

Minister of Internal Affairs of Kosovo, Xhelal Svecla, confirmed that one Serbian parallel structure was closed in the village of Gorazhdec, in the municipality of Peja, a second in the village of Osojan, which acted as the parallel municipality of Istog, and a third in the village of Videje that had functioned as the parallel municipality of Kline.

“The era of lawlessness has ended, and the only institution of Serbia within the Republic of Kosovo will be its embassy in Pristina,” Svecla wrote  on Facebook.

The so-called Serbian parallel structures in Kosovo are a network of Belgrade-run and funded institutions functioning simultaneously with Kosovo official institutions. 

The Belgrade backed party representing Kosovo Serbs, Srpska Lista, and the Serbian officials in Serbia condemned the police operation targeting what Serbia calls temporary organs operating under the Serbian system.

Srpska Lista called on Belgrade to seek intervention from the European Union and NATO peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, KFOR, to prevent “settling scores” by the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, with the Serbian community.

“No matter how difficult it may be for all of us, we must maintain mutual calm because this evil will not last forever. Pristina’s actions should be seen as actions of occupiers and nothing else,” Srpska Lista claimed.

The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, claimed that in addition to the action to close down temporary municipal organs in Peja and Istog, the Kosovo Police entered the medical center in Osojan and closed it down.

The Serbian Office for Kosovo called the action “illegal and violent”, adding that “presidents of the temporary authorities were taken into custody for informational interviews, and in the violent invasion of peaceful Serbian communities, health centers, clinics, and pharmacies were closed”.

On January 26, 2024, Kosovo’s Minister for Local Government, Elbert Krasniqi, had announced that another office in the Dragash municipality, which had issued Serbian documents for citizens from four municipalities in the south region of Kosovo, had been closed down.

In a Facebook post, Krasniqi had distributed a short video from a police operation in the building. “Illegal activity of Serbian parallel structures is over,” Krasniqi had written. 

Svecla, the Interior Minister had  said  at the time that in Kosovo “there will be (only) legitimate institutions which will serve all Kosovo citizens”.

02/02/2024 - 17:58

02 February 2024 - 17:58

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