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Fear and Concern in Northern Kosovo – Analysis – Eurasia Review

One yr after the assassination of the Serbian Serbian policeman Oliver Ivanovic, the murder of the unlawful arms and bomb attacks in northern Kosovo stays unresolved.

Andjela Milivojevic

First, they talked about their automotive. They burned her
get together headquarters. Someone broke into his residence and threatened him
wife. Then they blasted their automotive once more.

"They did everything they could to rise now – except shoot me,"
Oliver Ivanovic, a outstanding Kosovo Serbian politician, half joked in a television interview in November 2017.

Virtually three months later, round 8.10 am.
Ivanovic walked to his social gathering headquarters in northern Kosovo
The town of Mitrovica, when six photographs have been pushed from a shifting car. Hit in
Behind him, he was lifeless in an hour.

”He all the time advised me," Do you know that Kosovo is my life, "and
he has really given his life to Kosovo, ”his widow, Milena
Ivanovic Popovic informed the Balkan Investigation Community (BIRN)
shortly earlier than the first anniversary of his dying

Ivanovic was in capturing at trial for warfare crimes
Kosovo towards Albanian civilians in the direction of the top of the battle
1990s – funds he denied. But the city is synonymous with contradiction
Serbs and Albanians, few thought of the murder of Ivanovic ethnically

Ivanovic had blamed legal parts in several public statements
Within the Kosovo Serb group, for previous acts of intimidation. He additionally
allegedly that they had ties with Belgrade-backed Serbian aspect in Kosovo.

The social gathering is Srpska Lista, and Ivanovic had been a vocal critic

The police have appointed Milan Radoicic, Srpska Record Vice Chairman, suspected of murder. Radoicic, as soon as described by Ivanovic as a real energy salesman in Serbian enclaves in northern Kosovo, has refused to remain in custody and remains high. He denies participating in the killing.

The Kosovo Police has arrested two Serbian officers
just lately built-in police and Partizan member
Belgrade soccer fan membership in reference to the murder, though
The Kosovo Particular Representative has to date not been capable of determine the one that pulls the launch.

A yr after Ivanovic's killing made international headlines, BIRN
The research exhibits that the crime is just the tip of the iceberg
it considerations unresolved doubts about political violence
Serbian group in northern Kosovo

As a result of murder causes normalization of EU sponsored efforts
Relations between Belgrade and Pristina, BIRN has listed 74 attacks
Kosovo Serbs with weapons, grenades, arson or explosives
Since 2014, Srpska Lista first took energy after the local landmark

The objectives are politicians, police members or safety

The Kosovo Police doesn’t deal with any case of ethnic violence,
that’s, they do not consider that the Kosovo Albanians are behind the attacks.

Apart from the murder of Ivanovic and the opposite opposition politician
four years earlier, not one of the instances have been lethal –
The locals say that the attacks have raised a whole lot of difference in Kosovo

Most instances concerned the destruction of automobiles or property
it happened late at night time, which might lead to legal investigators speculating on it
Offenders could also be more in sending a message than maiming or

Because the publication of the publication, one case has not led to prosecution.

“I'm not satisfied,” Shyqyri Syla, Chief Government
The prosecution of Mitrovica informed BIRN. “You see, there have been instances
since 2014 and no one has been identified. Four years have passed and
The more time it takes, the more durable it is to detect offenders. ”

BIRN's findings are the result of six months struggling by means of local media and interviewing residents and officers.

The BIRN has confirmed the small print of each case regionally
Prosecutor's Office and North Kosovo Police Office
Police stations in Mitrovica North's Zubin Serbian municipalities
Potok, Zvecan and Leposavic

It's arduous to make comparisons to crime levels before 2014,
In the course of the yr, a comprehensive Kosovo police pressure was established
EU-agreed settlement to finish the ethnic division in Kosovo.
Actual statistics for Serbian enclaves are merely not out there.

But we have been asked about automotive bombing and other events earlier than 2014,
Division of Critical Crime on the Prosecutor's Workplace in 2008. C
Mitrovica stated the police opened only 5 instances of such instances
between December 2000 and December 2013. (All remain unresolved.)

Although there isn’t a evidence that Srpska Listing leaders are themselves
Lobbing grenades or Molotov cocktails, critics blame the get together
creating an atmosphere of worry and intimidation that some say are equal

Additionally they say the ruling Serbian Progressive Social gathering (SNS) in Belgrade
is pleased that he speaks of the flames of controversy that some say to legalize
attacks on part of Kosovo that has lengthy resisted ethnic integration.

”I don't know what to name it aside from“ state-funded crime ”
takes place as a pretext for preserving the Serb group
”says Bojan Elek, a researcher on the Belgrade Middle

Srpska Lista and SNS did not respond to interview requests or written questions concerning the results of the research.

Shared Worlds

The Ibar Bridge in the middle of Mitrovica is a sturdy symbol.
because of the ethnic hostilities of cities. Serbs reside in the north, Albanians
southward. The Ibar River runs between the separation line.

The 30-meter bridge was during a recognized flash level
The struggle in Kosovo in the 1990s. Right now it’s still closed to visitors. But
pedestrians, it presents a tremendous image of various – and

Within the south, the Albanian stallholder sells the Albanians and
US flags. Cash dispensers distribute euros. The mosque leans up vigorous

In the north, Serbian merchants cope with dinars
watches from orthodox churches. The characters are written in Cyrillic. many
Corporations don’t accept credit cards or issuance and not some automobiles
missing license plates – signs of legal malformation in a Serbian enclave

Three blocks northeast of Civic's workplace
Freedom, democracy, justice (SDP), an important local opposition
North Kosovo Social gathering

Oliver Ivanovic tried to revive his political life
Mayor of Mitrovica North in local elections in 2008. t
October 2017, just some months before he was shot.

She was a recent prisoner after three years of detention
trial of the assassination of Kosovar civilians in Kosovo in 2005. t
In April 1999, when he was one of the "bridge viewers" of Mitrovica, the time period
describe Serbian nationalists who are committed to retaining ethnic Albanians out

In January 2016, an EU-led courtroom sentenced him to 9 years
inside. Ivanovic complained, claiming that the trial was political
motivated. In February 2017, the Appellate Courtroom of Pristina annuls

Ivanovic was a paradox: an alleged struggle legal with a status.
political average; The adversary of Kosovo's independence, who spoke
Albania and supported peaceable coexistence together with his non-Serbs

Shifting to nationwide politics after the "bridgehead" day
came to help publish-warfare dialogue with the Albanians who make up 91
In accordance with the newest census

In 2008–2012 he was Secretary of State for Kosovo
To the Serbian government as a result of it has a superb popularity as Pristina

Because Serbia does not recognize Kosovo's independence, the Serbs in Kosovo
Former Provincial Might Might Have Serbian National Elections

In 2012, Ivanovic founded the SDP and urged Kosovo Serbs to help
taking a place on the institutions of Kosovo, together with
police and justice. He ran to the mayor of Mitrovica North in 2013 regionally
elections that may lose the newly born Srpska Record.

Recurring Attacks

Ivanovic was not a visitor of intimidation.

Unknown attackers blew their automobiles twice in 2005 and 2017.
local elections in 2013, nevertheless, his get together's workplace was on hearth
no one was harm, stated SDP vice chairman Ksenija Bozovic.

A couple of months later, the intruder broke into Ivanovic's residence when he was gone, horrifying his wife Milena.

”The person in which the hood broke into the condominium and started to break
all that was glass, ”he recalled. “My son [Bogdan] who was then
baby, slept in one other room. Bogdan started to cry and
The person hit me in the face and stated, "It's for your husband," and he

The police by no means seized the intruder.

“It's like life under a junta, but instead of a military, we are dominated by a criminal gang,” Ivanovic informed BIRN shortly earlier than his dying. “Legal buildings are local
the government is an actual supply of energy in Mitrovica, not now
politicians or establishments

Within the latest BIRN interview before his demise, Ivanovic identified Radoicic, who was somewhat-recognized debtor and truck owner.
In Kosovo's low-mild system in the Serbian elements of North Kosovo

as a result of the municipal building belongs to this other casual middle
energy, Ivanovic stated.

When Srpska Lista was appointed Radoicic Vice Chairman in the summer time
2018 – Stunned by many commentators who had by no means heard of him –
Based on the media, he had shut ties and political elites in Kosovo
Serbian President Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister
Ramush Haradinaj

Haradinaj criticized in July after being welcomed at a Radoicic workplace meeting
opposition consultant Armend Zemaj, referred to as a solemn recipient
a "suspected of organized crime, extortion, violence, and worry
citizens of northern Mitrovica ”.

Rada Trajkovic, head of the NGO in Kosovo
known as the European Movement of Kosovo Serbs for BIRN: “When I am
speak to Haradina and he says, "He [Radoicic] is a person who provides me
guarantees the whole lot we’ve got agreed on from the north and he meets
in all that, ”it means he has the help of the state [Serbian] things go without duty and end the operating firm
Vucic and his politics. ”

In November, the Kosovo police attacked Radoicic's house
Ivanovic's homicide. At that time he was in Serbia, who has no

Radoicic continues to be great and BIRN has been unable to contact him to remark.

When the information was broken, the Kosovo police needed Radoicic to seem
Serbian officers defended him. Marko Djuric, Serbian leader

President Vucic informed Serbian Broadcasting Firm RTS:
isn’t the killer of Oliver… The particular police models in Kosovo needed to kill him
in order to reveal duty for the murder
Oliver Ivanovic is predicated in Belgrade. Such accusations would weaken
Serbian negotiating position [in the ongoing Brussels talks with
Kosovo to normalise relations]. ”

Srpska Lista members also appeared in public white T-shirts
exhibits a map of Kosovo with the colors of the Serbian flag
and a picture of Radoicic and the phrases "We are all in Milan".

In November, three other suspects have been arrested by the Kosovo police.
Participation in Murder: Dragisa Markovic and Nedeljko Spasojevic,
each members of the Kosovo police drive and Marko Rosic from Montenegro
man was recognized as a member of Partizan Belgrade fan membership

The Kosovo Specialist says in a document seen by BIRN that
The detainees – in addition to these still in detention – are suspected of serving to murder by offering amenities or hiding proof.

"Political Message"

Along with Ivanovic, six different Kosovar Serb opposition politicians are
unknown attackers have targeted – some greater than once –
During the last four years, research exhibits that

Dimitrije Janicijevic, 35, was coated outdoors his residence
Mitrovica at 12.20 on January 16, 2014 – four years to the day
Before Ivanovic was killed

Janicijevic and Ivanovic have been buddies. In accordance with Ivanovic's widow, Ivanovic was in 4 of Jancijevic's youngsters

representative of the municipality of Mitrovica, Janicijevic
Mayor of the Unbiased Liberal Social gathering Local Elections

Based on a doctor analyzing his physique, he had more than
10 bullet wounds in the chest and stomach. Nobody has been arrested

In a separate event in Mitrovica three years later
Slavisa Ristic was lit with hearth. Ristic was the previous mayor of Zubin
Potok, who has been an unbiased legislator in the Serbian Parliament

It belonged to Slavisa Risti, the former mayor of Zubin Potok, who has been a DSS legislator in the Serbian parliament since 2016.

"We've just moved to the office," Ristic informed BIRN
Interview at Belgrade Café across the road.
“A few month after they burned it. The police didn't
something. ”

Hearth fired the office on February 7, 2017. Police have been invited
six storey constructing three.35
smoke, the police spokesman stated.

An area resident reminded residents of DSS houses
The office used knitted sheets to flee. 4 youngsters ended up in

It is unclear how the hearth began, but Ristic stated he was positive
was arson. Nor was he the first time his possessions have been directed

The evening of April 24, 2016, when SNS celebrates
victory in the parliamentary elections in Serbia after democratic elections
Started in 2000, Ristic appeared on the results on tv at residence
Zubin Potok.

“My entire household was in the home, my brother, and we have been
because of the election, in unbelief, once we heard ta-ta –
shot in front of the home, ”he stated.

“We all laid down on the floor, youngsters and my wife and then
After a couple of minutes, when all calmed down, my brother and I went
in the dark to see what happened. ”

They noticed damaged home windows and the exterior wall of the house.
bullets. The subsequent day, his wife discovered an unexploded bomb

There isn’t any doubt from the perspective of Risto that the authors have been Serbian Serbs somewhat than ethnic Albanians.

"Albanians attack Serbs in southern races [of
Kosovo] but in the north I consider all these attacks are related
Srpska Record, because it only happens to people who don't know the best way to have fun

Local media have reported instances in which Kosovo Albanians attacked Serb pilgrims on their method to orthodox church buildings in elements of Kosovo south of the Ibar

In July 2017, somebody in North Kosovo blew a automotive
Dragisa Milovic, a physician who was the mayor of Zvecan

Although Milovic was a member of a unique get together, he had began an off-the-cuff alliance with Ivanovic towards Srpska Lista.

"This morning I was shocked – including my family," Milovic advised BIRN
interview on the Mitrovica Well being Middle where she works
orthopedic surgeon. “It was clear to me that this was a menace and a
political message. ”

Requested what this message was, Milovic stated:“ There was just one aim
and the Srpska Listing have to be gained. The message to me was
to withdraw from the election and that different individuals won’t vote towards me. ”

Dragan Jablanovic, a former Srpska Listing member who comes
an unbiased politician, was the mayor of Leposavic when his house was
October 2015. Nobody was injured. In Might 2017 someone shot
bullets in the constructing the place his mayor delivered.

At the similar time, an unknown attacker threw a bomb into his residence
Drazen Stojkovic, Chairman of the Serbian Municipal Government
Get together in Mitrovica at around 9.00. one night time in December 2016,

Nebojsa Vlajic, Ivanovic's Pal and Lawyer, was a reality
violence. “That's right right here: the best way to struggle
Your opponent says, "Throw a bomb," he stated.

Dusan Janjic from the Forum on Ethnic Relations reported bomb attacks
North Kosovo was so widespread that folks had come to them
to the point of forgetting that they’re his words

“It's a way to introduce rules when there is no rule of law,” he stated.

Janjic added that explosives in Northern Kosovo are inclined
to be Yugoslavian grenades and do-it-yourself bottle bombs or Molotov

"This [the Molotov cocktail] is a warning bomb," he stated.

“Pattern of Threat”

All politicians interviewed by BIRN stated they believed they have been
targeted as a result of they opposed Srpska Listing and

Srpska Lista first disputed the local elections in Kosovo
on the end of 2013 and early 2014 about two years after the SNS
I received energy in Serbia.

The celebration is now a part of the Pristina coalition authorities. Holding
9 out of ten seats reserved for Kosovo Serbs at 120 meetings
legislators, Srpska Record has three ministers in the ministry

No less than the paper is each Srpska Lista and SNS dedicated
Serbia and Kosovo signed the 2013 settlement
In Brussels, parallel Kosovo institutions shall be built-in and tried
Elimination of Limitations to Normalization of Relationships

Neither Celebration acknowledges Kosovo's independence and a lot of 2008
their public rhetoric is in contradiction with official coverage
EU-funded political process, observers say.

The analysts say that Srpska Listing and SNS are dissatisfied
Serbian Affiliation of Municipalities
t0 symbolize the interests of Serbs in Kosovo, which is a part of the Brussels Treaty
opposed Kosovar opposition legislation

Srpska Listing is the only Kosovo Serbian on its website
Celebration supported by Serbian authorities. And SNS definitely did
celebration is exclusive before the 2017 local elections

”Srpska Listing's victory is national and essential
Serbs in Kosovo, "Darko Glisic, Government Director
SNS stated to the local councilor on the assembly with Srpska Record candidates
whereas touring Zvecan in October that yr

Inviting Serbia to go away and vote for the celebration, Aleksandar Vul
Serbian Minister of Defense and former authorities office
Kosovo stated: “They know greatest that Srpska Listing is a link
The Serbian Authorities… ”

Djuric, the present head of the Serbian workplace in Kosovo
Election Rally in Zvecan: “Srpska Lista is the only link
In Kosovo, Serbia. ”

Pro-SNS media in Serbia and Kosovo also opened
Campaigns Towards Opposition Leaders criticized by the critics as dirty

A number of days earlier than the polls have been opened, TV Pink in Serbia and TV most
Kosovo sends one minute political advertisements –
every hour – exhibits Ivanovic's face over the Albanian flag.
The narrator stated he represented "individuals who deceived our individuals, the individuals
Pristina Help ”.

Five media organizations in Serbia issued a joint statement
I strongly condemn the advert and referred to as it a "hard violation"
additionally journalistic requirements and codes, but in addition violations of the election

Finally, Srpska Lista gained the landslide in all ten municipalities
Serbs are the bulk. Mitrovica North, their candidates
Mayor Goran Rakic ​​acquired about 67 % of the vote
virtually 19 % to Ivanovic.

“The marketing campaign setting for the first election spherical was injured
intimidation in most Kosovo Serb communities,
for non-Srpska Lista political models and voters ”, EU elections
observers wrote in their report in February 2018.

They added: "Earlier than the official campaign interval begins, the violent
occasions, together with burning two visible automobiles
opposition mayors. Establishments working beneath the auspices of the EU. T.
The Serbian system in Kosovo was beneath strain
non-Srpska Listing candidates and their households, in some instances

"Allow Their Bones"

Many politicians recognized by BIRN seem alongside politicians
Towards Kosovo Serbian businessmen, officials or persons
refused to boycott the Kosovo establishments

Outdoors the Dolce Vita café in Mitrovica came a fireplace
August 2016 Edita Tahirin, Minister of Kosovo Dialogue, runs a coffee
there. 4 months later, the Lodge Sasa was bombed after Tahir

Kod Drazevica, Serbian restaurant close to Gazivoda Lake
The Kosovo-Serbian border was returned after the Kosovo President Tac
finish of September 2018.

The Kosovo Serb police have also been separated from the attacks.
During the last four years, 11 have been burning their automobiles, whereas three have been burning
BIRN's investigations have been damaged by explosives

All of the victims have been members of the newly built-in Kosovo Police Pressure established in 2014 beneath the Brussels Treaty.

Round 280 Serbs in Kosovo passed safety oversight this yr to hitch the European Union.
Based on the Kosovo police. T.
Kosovo police in the north of Mitrovica. From that second they
he had effective objectives on his again, he stated. Many acquired letters
referred to as "traitors" and include dying threats

In some instances, they have been focused "because they did their job
properly, ”stated prosecutor Syla, referring to the example of two officers
whose automobiles had been shot once they had investigated the suspects
drug smuggling with the figures of the Kosovo Serb underworld

”Typically it isn’t in the curiosity of sure folks that one thing
, ”he stated. “Those that did probably the most work have been their automobiles

Two Kosovar Serbian members of the Kosovo Safety Drive (KSF) have gotten their automotive burned, the research showed

KSF is a controversial army pressure whose mandate is restricted
crisis conditions. It was based in 2009 a
A UN-funded plan to turn out to be a daily military after 5
years. In December, Pristina adopted a legislative proposal that might make such a change that Serbia is strongly against

137 Kosovo Serbs who joined the CSF at the end of 2018,
about half – 66 – had requested to go away their forces in response to the KSF
Minister of State for Agim Ceku.

"Serbia was under pressure," Ceku advised BIRN
interview in Pristina. “Nameless messages have been despatched to them
families have been threatened, they have been disturbed when crossing borders
Serbia. ”

Municipal Committee of Srpska Listing in Zubin, January 2018
Potok launched a public assertion in which he recruited and referred to as

“All those that are trying to find their future in an EU establishment
"The Kosovo army faces a tough boycott of the Serbian community,"

A month later, brochures appeared around Zubin Potok, which was wrinkled
parked automobiles hooked up to public buildings entrances

Signed 'North Army' by advertisers with seven names
Kosovo Serbs accused of becoming a member of KSF by calling them "traitors"
shouldn’t be allowed to reside or work in Zubin Potok.

"I kill their bones," he stated, "We solemnly swear by Serbian patriots that we will end this in our lives."

Ante ante was raised in Kosovo in April 2018
Director Djuric stated on nationwide tv that each one Serbs joined
KSF was capable of receive up to 10 years' imprisonment for joining an unlawful overseas nation

Fear of retaliation

Prosecutors confirmed that since January 2019 nobody was convicted of any of the 74 assaults recognized by BIRN.

“The most difficult crimes for us to resolve are car explosions,”
stated regional police commander Hoti. “There are not any traces, and
Residents don’t report back to the police what they know because they are afraid. ”

Hoti stated he thought that the variety of individuals behind the assaults was quite small.

“It's not like 200 people. There are two or three groups that put bombs under cars. ”

Many victims don’t need to speak because they are afraid of worry.
Syla, Chief Prosecutor of Mitrovica's Main Employees

”I might say that they worry more in their lives that somebody might
discover out that they’ve proven that they don’t have confidence
police, he stated. "They do not prove that fear is."

Declining identification, a businessman whose property is twice
Bombed: “I not belief something. I can't and I'm not speaking
not. I reside right here. I’ve a household. ”

One night time in June 2015, someone shot a gun seven occasions
Workplace window of the unbiased news portal of Mitrovica, referred to as KoSSev. No one was at that time. Visitors can still see bullet holes in the glass and indicators of police forensic work.

“We stay in a harmful place and the one who scares me probably the most is that
criminals won’t ever be found, ”KoSSev editor-in-chief Tanja Lazarevic

Five months later, one November evening at round 2 o'clock, the attackers fired the automotive of the Kossev editor Nevenka Medic

. “I can't give any specific purpose why this happened
is that before and after all the things that’s in conflict with the official
On this metropolis, punish local authorities and politicians, Medic

Elek Belgrade's Safety Coverage Middle described a Serbian
Elements of northern Kosovo as illegal zones like the Mafia

”However, it appears that evidently Pristina does not have the desire or
a approach to control the North besides by way of the institutions [that are in the
process of being integrated]”he stated. “However, Belgrade has
interest to maintain things as they are. ”

Analysts say that the state of the ruling chaos in northern Kosovo might
to strengthen Serbia's arms in the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina – and to help Serbia
hold on Serbian ruling enclaves, despite the fact that it would have to bend over
international strain recognizes Kosovo's independence.

Some Serbian and Kosovo politicians have been unofficially raised
risk to vary territory – change majority of Albania
Southern Serbian territories for Serbian majority in northern Kosovo.
Elek stated. “However it needs to get something from the negotiations
the process so that this acceptance is simpler to simply accept
Serbian citizens in the sense that they will say, "We didn't lose
throughout Kosovo. We obtained to the north. ””

Again in Belgrade, a yr after her husband's homicide, Milena Ivanovic
Popovic nonetheless expects to know who left his seven-yr-previous son

"I can't lose hope," he stated. "Oliver deserves – we all deserve –
discover out who is behind this murder, who ordered it. I feel that is
Each trustworthy and truthful man in Serbia, it's necessary. ”

Andjela Milivojevic is a Serbian researcher.
Modifying Timothy Giant. This article was produced as part of
ERSTE-sponsored Balkan scholarship for journalistic excellence
Basis and open society foundations in partnership with the Balkans
Analysis Reporting Community.