PRESS RELEASE – Solving accumulated problems through dialogue
A group of civil society organizations and media within the OPEN Initiative strongly condemns the use of excessive force by the special police forces of the Government of Kosovo in Serb majority municipalities in northern Kosovo and their engagement in tasks within the competence of local police forces. Such actions of the Government of Kosovo do not contribute to the normalization of relations and reconciliation but encourage confrontation and further ethnic polarization. Following recent tensions over license plates, such actions can easily lead to an open conflict of unimaginable proportions in an unstable security environment. We also condemn the use of special police units during the election campaign because it leads to the radicalization of the electorate and the disruption of the election process.
The OPEN initiative calls on Pristina and Belgrade to return to the negotiation process in Brussels, where it is only possible to find a solution to the accumulated problems. Unilateral acts undermine the legal, institutional, and security mechanisms created during the dialogue in Brussels and are therefore unacceptable.
The OPEN initiative calls on the European Union to become more actively involved in resolving the increasingly frequent crises in Kosovo and create mechanisms that would strengthen trust between the negotiating parties. We also call on KFOR to provide peace and security in northern Kosovo and the Quint countries to respond urgently to the latest incidents.
Signatories (in alphabetical order):
Centar za afirmativnu društvenu akcije – Centre for Affirmative Social Actions (CASA)
Centar za socijalne inicijative – Center for Social Initiatives (CSI)
Centar za zastupanje demokratske kulture – Advocacy Centre for Democratic Culture (ACDC)
Centar za prava manjinskih zajednica – CRMC
Crno beli svet – CBS
Institut za teritorijalni ekonomski razvoj – Institute for Territorial Economic Development (InTER)
Komunikacija za razvoj društva – CSD
Nova društvena inicijativa – New Social Initiative (NSI)