Kosovo Serbs need to be liberated from Serbia: Kosovo premier

By Anadolu Agency

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti has said local Serbs “need to be liberated from Serbia,” accusing Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic of turning the “Orthodox Monastery of Banjska into the Jasharaj Tower,” referring to a monument in Donji Prekaz built in honor of the family killed in fighting during the Kosovo War in 1998.

“Kosovo is a democratic state and a pro-Western country: whoever integrates lives better. Serbs in Kosova do not need liberation from the Republic of Kosovo, but from the terrorist instruments of Serbia,” Kurti stated on Tuesday night in a social media post on X.

Kurti claimed that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic wanted to turn the Orthodox Monastery of Banjska into the “Jasharaj Tower” where a fight broke out on Sunday.

“Vucic is obsessed with the commander-in-chief of the Kosovo Liberation Army, Adem Jashari,” Kurti said.

So far, neither the Serbian government nor President Vucic has responded to these accusations.

Jashari was one of the founders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) which had its goal of independence from Serbia.

“At the meeting in Brussels on May 2nd, he told us that Milan Radojcic will become Adem Jashari of the Serbs. But, being a dictator, he does not understand history: epics and liberations can be neither fabricated nor copied,” said Kurti.

Posting footage of an ethnic Serb group that clashed with police on Sunday, leaving one person dead, Kosovo’s Interior Minister Xhelal Svecla released aerial footage showing about 30 people clashing with Kosovo police.

Svecla claimed that the group in the video was led by Milan Radojcic, the vice president of Serbian List – a minority political party in Kosovo in the northern town of Zvecan.

According to Svecla, Radojcic’s role suggests that neighboring Serbia was involved in the attack, specifically mentioning Vucic.

A fight broke out Sunday in the village of Banjska in northern Kosovo near the Serbian border when a group of armed Serbs blocked a bridge. A shootout erupted when the group opened fire on police, killing one officer and wounding another.

Several security forces were dispatched to the region, and the Brnjak border crossing between Kosovo and Serbia was closed.

The area has been the scene of unrest since April, when local ethnic Serbs boycotted elections in northern Kosovo, followed by protests against the election of ethnic Albanian mayors.

Albanians are by far the largest ethnic group in Kosovo, followed by Serbs, with about half living in the north.

Amid the unrest concerning elections, NATO peacekeepers were deployed, including a group of extra Turkish reinforcements.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and gained recognition from many countries, including Türkiye. But Serbia has never recognized Kosovo and claims it is still part of Serbia.