The British Embassy in Kosovo has spoken of its support for the Kosovo government action to tackle organised crime which resulted in an attack on police and journalists by Kosovo Serbs on Wednesday (14 October).
Kosovo police forces carried out an operation against crime and smuggling in Prishtina, Peja, and Mitrovica. The police carried out several raids under the instruction of the prosecution and courts. Many contraband items were seized.
As police were carrying out the raids, groups of Kosovo Serbs blocked the roads and attacked the officers. Five police were injured, including four Albanians and one Serb. A group of journalists trying to cover the events were repeatedly threatened and prevented from filming.
Acting against organised crime is in the interests of all citizens of Kosovo and we support the Kosovan Government in upholding the rule of law throughout Kosovo.
— UK in Kosovo 🇬🇧 (@UKinKosovo) October 14, 2021
The Embassy tweeted that acting against organised crime is in the interests of all Kosovo’s citizens, adding that they support the government in upholding the rule of law.
They continued that efforts to obstruct operations with violence, as well as engaging in ‘inflammatory rhetoric”, creates a division between communities in Kosovo. Lastly, they raised concerns over reports that journalists were intimidated which trying to do their work.
“Journalists have the right to operate in a safe environment, and those who threaten this should be held accountable,” the embassy said.
The message was in a stark contrast to that of the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell. His comments on Wednesday sparked outrage among social media users and garnered almost 1000 comments.
The violent incidents in the north of Kosovo need to stop immediately.
Unilateral and uncoordinated actions that endanger stability are unacceptable.
All open issues must be addressed through the EU-facilitated Dialogue. We are in contact with Belgrade and Pristina.
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) October 13, 2021
“The violent incidents in the north of Kosovo need to stop immediately. Unilateral and uncoordinated actions that endanger stability are unacceptable,” he wrote.
Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic called Kurti “deranged” and called on the international community to stop him.
Kurti asked Kosovo Serbs not to fall for the disinformation published by some media in the Serbian language that protects crime, corruption and smuggling, and try to make the situation seem a political and ethnic conflict.