UN / KOSOVO

23-Oct-2023 00:03:58
Following September’s security incidents in Northern Kosovo, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Kosovo, Caroline Ziadeh, warned the Security Council today that the situation “exacerbated an already deteriorating security environment”. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / KOSOVO
TRT: 03:58
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 23 OCTOBER 2023, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, United Nations Headquarters

23 OCTOBER 2022, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Caroline Ziadeh, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Kosovo and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK):
“The major events on 24 September exacerbated an already deteriorating security environment, characterized by an atmosphere of mutual suspicion and contradictory perceptions touching much of the population, especially in northern Kosovo and among Kosovo-Serb communities elsewhere in Kosovo.”
4. Wide shot, Security Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Caroline Ziadeh, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Kosovo and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK):
“We should keep in mind that failure of achieving political compromise will continue to adversely impact the well-being of ordinary people, yes, ordinary people, including their ability to receive basic services and realize their socio-economic potential.
6. Med shot, Council members
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Caroline Ziadeh, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Kosovo and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK):
“Tension, isolation, and growing lack of trust in political leaders to address peoples’ most immediate interests and legitimate grievances witnessed these past months; and worse, the resort to violence and intimidation by those of ill-will; threaten the hard-won gains achieved through the EU-facilitated dialogue. Responsible leadership and compromise are required to return to a more productive political process.”
8. Close up, Security Council president
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Ana Brnabić, prime minister, Serbia:
“Make no mistake, what we are testifying is a campaign of silent ethnic cleansing. A campaign of systematic and widespread violence against Serbs and deliberate creation of unbearable living conditions for them, consists of gradual, but permanent denial of basic human rights, attacks by members of armed Priština formations, physical assaults on Serbs and their property, and false indictments.”
10. Med shot, Council members
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Ana Brnabić, prime minister, Serbia:
“All previous agreements from the dialogue have been brutally violated, dealing a fatal blow to the very idea of negotiations, normalization, and reconciliation. These repressive and ethnically motivated actions were carefully calculated to provoke reactions from Serbs in northern KiM, only for such responses to be later exploited to continue and intensify reprisals and terror.”
12. Wide shot, Security Council
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Ana Brnabić, prime minister, Serbia:
“Together, let us take steps to prevent a crisis from spiraling out of control completely. Dialogue is the only way to solve the problems in KiM.”
14. Close up, Security Council president
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Vjosa Osmani, President, Kosovo:
“On September 24th, the people of Kosovo woke up to the news of a police sergeant killed and another one wounded in the early morning hours. That day, the Republic of Kosovo was the target of an act of aggression committed by Serbia through terrorist and paramilitary groups.”
16. Med shot, Council members
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Vjosa Osmani, President, Kosovo:
“After 24th September, everything has changed and much remains a constant at the same time. On one hand, Kosovo’s commitment to protecting our sovereignty, promoting and advancing rule of law and democracy, as well as fostering positive neighborly relations remains unwavering. On the other hand, Serbia’s determination to destabilize the region, to occupy land, and to replicate Milosevic’s and Putin’s playbooks is at its peak.”
18. Wide shot, Security Council
STORYLINE
Following September’s security incidents in Northern Kosovo, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Kosovo, Caroline Ziadeh, warned the Security Council today (23 Oct) that the situation “exacerbated an already deteriorating security environment”.

Ziadeh, who is also the Head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), noted that on 24 September, near the Banjska/Banjskë village of Zvečan/Zveçan Municipality in northern Kosovo, . a Kosovo police officer was killed, and two others were injured. Over the course of the day and into the evening, Kosovo police and heavily armed elements engaged in gunfire exchanges, resulting in four deaths and a number of arrests.

The Special Representative said that this moment is “characterized by an atmosphere of mutual suspicion and contradictory perceptions touching much of the population, especially in northern Kosovo and among Kosovo-Serb communities elsewhere in Kosovo.”

The head of UNMIK added, “We should keep in mind that failure of achieving political compromise will continue to adversely impact the well-being of ordinary people, yes, ordinary people, including their ability to receive basic services and realize their socio-economic potential.

The Special Representative also said, “Tension, isolation, and growing lack of trust in political leaders to address peoples’ most immediate interests and legitimate grievances witnessed these past months; and worse, the resort to violence and intimidation by those of ill-will; threaten the hard-won gains achieved through the EU-facilitated dialogue. Responsible leadership and compromise are required to return to a more productive political process.”

The prime minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, also addressed the Council, saying, “Make no mistake, what we are testifying is a campaign of silent ethnic cleansing. A campaign of systematic and widespread violence against Serbs and deliberate creation of unbearable living conditions for them, consists of gradual, but permanent denial of basic human rights, attacks by members of armed Priština formations, physical assaults on Serbs and their property, and false indictments.”

According to Brnabić, “all previous agreements from the dialogue have been brutally violated, dealing a fatal blow to the very idea of negotiations, normalization, and reconciliation.”

She added, “These repressive and ethnically motivated actions were carefully calculated to provoke reactions from Serbs in northern KiM, only for such responses to be later exploited to continue and intensify reprisals and terror.”

The prime minister concluded, “Together, let us take steps to prevent a crisis from spiraling out of control completely. Dialogue is the only way to solve the problems in KiM.”

Vjosa Osmani, the President of Kosovo, remembered the events of 24 September saying, “That day, the Republic of Kosovo was the target of an act of aggression committed by Serbia through terrorist and paramilitary groups.”

For Osmani, “after 24th September, everything has changed and much remains a constant at the same time.”

The head of State concluded, “On one hand, Kosovo’s commitment to protecting our sovereignty, promoting and advancing rule of law and democracy, as well as fostering positive neighborly relations remains unwavering. On the other hand, Serbia’s determination to destabilize the region, to occupy land, and to replicate Milosevic’s and Putin’s playbooks is at its peak.”
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