This statement was drafted by participants in the Kosovo-Serbia Rapid Response Mechanism, comprised of CSOs committed to reacting to any instances of divisive rhetoric or destabilising incidents which can negatively affect relations between communities and harm the environment for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.
By sharing perspectives on specific issues, the mechanism helps deepen understanding about the sources of grievance within particularly communities and reduces the scope for a lack of awareness or misinformation. This process is facilitated by Peaceful Change initiative as part of the UK-government funded ALVED (Amplifying Local Voices for Equitable Development) project.
Civil society organisations from Kosovo and Serbia have expressed their support for Miodrag Milićević from NGO Aktiv, who was verbally and physically assaulted by a member of Kosovo Police special units in the vicinity of the Jarinje crossing in north Kosovo.
On 14th November, Miodrag Milićević from NGO Aktiv was verbally and physically assaulted by a member of Kosovo Police special units in the vicinity of the Jarinje crossing in north Kosovo. The assault both reflects and contributes to the deteriorating atmosphere for trust and peaceful coexistence in Kosovo which has been observable in recent months and has reached an alarming scale of escalation with the withdrawal of Serb representatives from Kosovo institutions.
Recent actions by key parties contributing to this escalation have been taken without due consideration to long-term consequences and the damage that can be done to the underlying framework for normalisation. Continuing an environment of threats, intimidation, humiliation, and mistrust will only exacerbate an already fragile situation.
Our organisations have committed to improving the conditions for normalisation by creating channels between communities and building trust to contribute to a long-term and sustainable peace. At this time, we call on all stakeholders for peace in the region to refrain from escalatory language and to use relations, platforms and channels that cross community lines and political lines to create engagement, build understanding of the multiple perspectives on the present context, and contribute to an environment in which key actors take well-considered actions that have in view the well-being of all communities.
We also call on the international community to demonstrate an appropriate urgency in their engagement with the present crisis. We stand with our colleague, Mr. Milićević, and call on the incident to be addressed in line with the relevant legal frameworks in place.
- Belgrade Center for Security Policy (BCSP)
- Community Building Mitrovica (CBM)
- Center for Peace and Tolerance (CPT)
- Civic Initiatives, Serbia
- European Movement in Serbia (EMiS)
- Forum for Development and Multiethnic Collaboration (FDMC)
- Foundation BFPE for a Responsible Society (BFPE)
- Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo
- Institute for Territorial Economic Development – InTER
- Jelena Lončar, University of Belgrade
- Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM)
- Local Peace
- Media Center Caglavica
- Mitrovica Women Association for Human Rights
- New Social Initiative (NSI)
- NGO Be Active 16, Presevo
- Portali LUGINALAJM, Bujanovac
- Radio Gorazdevac
- Radio Astra, Prizren
- Rahim Salihi, civil society activist, Bujanovac
- Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Kosovo
- Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Serbia
- Valon Arifi, Civic Activist
- Voice of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians in Kosovo (VoRAE)
- Vjollca Krasniqi, University of Prishtina