The past holds the future of Pristina and Belgrade to ransom

The past holds the future of Pristina and Belgrade to ransom

Pristina, 29 August 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

Several Serb families left during the last war in Kosovo, have attempted to return to their homes on Sunday, in the village of Mushtisht in Suhareka. Their attempt was not successful as they were received with protests by Albanian residents.

Police of Kosovo also used teargas to disperse them.

Some were involved in a protest by blocking the way in to the village, in order to prevent Serbs from returning to their properties.

protest 2

Meanwhile, during the protest, 24 people were arrested, while some members of police were hurt during the clashes, in an effort to put the situation under control.

Ethnic Albanians say that Serbs will be able to return only when they apologize for the crimes committed in Kosovo.

The incident sparked many reactions and pointed out the lack of will and vision of the Albanians and Serbs for reconciliation and peaceful cohabitation.

The EU office to Pristina is calling for the past not to act as an obstacle for the future of Albanians and Serbs.

“We understand the wounds of the war, but for the normalization of relations in Kosovo, it is necessary to respect the right of the Serbs to return home”, says the EU office.

President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci says that everyone must have the right to return to their properties.

“The scenes seen in Mushtisht on Sunday were entirely unacceptable and unnecessary. These acts are not in the interests of Kosovo and its citizens. The issue of missing people and occupied properties are wounds which have been opened by the war. We must close these wounds as soon as possible and look toward the future”, he said.

The same stance was also shared by PM Isa Mustafa and opposition leader, Visar Ymeri.

On the other hand, the head of the Kosovo Office in the Serb government, Marko Djuric, said that the events in Mushtisht indicate “the dangerous state of security in Kosovo”.

Meanwhile, Minister for Communities and Returns in the government of Kosovo, Dalibor Jevtic, said that the protests showed that Serbs are not welcome in Kosovo. /