Thursday

17th Oct 2019

Violent protests against EU mission in Kosovo

  • The group was protesting the signing of a police co-operation agreement with Belgrade (Photo: Pim de Kuijer)

The European Union's law enforcement mission in Kosovo (EULEX) was on Tuesday (25 August) the target of violent protests by Albanians opposed to the presence of the international community in the country.

Twenty eight EULEX vehicles near a youth centre in downtown Pristina were damaged during the events, organised by the Vetevendosja (Self-Determination) group, which launched its assault in reaction to co-operation between EULEX and Belgrade.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The vehicles were attacked with sticks and stones or overturned.

Kosovo police arrested 21 members of the group, which said that the demonstration was organised against "the EULEX presence and all its actions in Kosovo including the protocol agreement with Serbia."

A protocol on police co-operation between EULEX and Serbian Interior Ministry is set to be signed in the coming days.

One member of the group and three police officers were wounded in the melee.

The EU mission, deployed in 2008, condemned the violence.

"EULEX strongly condemns the action taken earlier today in the center of Pristina when a number of EULEX vehicles were damaged," the mission said in a statement.

"Whilst EULEX supports the idea of peaceful protest as an important element in any democratic society, committing criminal damage does not further the interests or the arguments of any such protestors."

In a separate incident, clashes between Serbs and Albanian Kosovars in Mitrovica, home to a concentration of Serbs, in northern Kosovo resulted in seven people being injured.

According to reports, the violence broke out following a rally of around 100 Serbs protesting the reconstruction of Albanian buildings that had been hit during the war in the late 1990s.

Stones were thrown at Albanian construction workers and a hand grenade went off. At some point the two sides exchanged shotgun fire, the BBC reports.

EU forces then used tear gas to calm the situation.

Opinion

Causing damage in Kosovo

The EU's mission in Kosovo, Eulex, is undermining its bid for independence, writes Albin Kurti, the leader of the group which overturned Eulex jeeps in Kosovo last week.

EU leaders to warn von der Leyen over 'giving in' to MEPs

The new commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen will meet for the first time with EU leaders who nominated her for the job. She will be asked to lay out her plans for getting her commission through parliament.

Podcast

Not That Ambassador

Gordon Sondland, Donald Trump's ambassador to the EU, is due to appear before the House impeachment inquiry in Washington on Thursday. His predecessor as ambassador, Anthony Gardner, talks about the role, and his predecessor, on our EU Scream podcast.

Opinion

Polish election: analysing why PiS won

Support for democracy was particularly low in Poland with only 19 percent consistently supporting democracy - only Hungary and Bulgaria scored lower.

Podcast

Not That Ambassador

Gordon Sondland, Donald Trump's ambassador to the EU, is due to appear before the House impeachment inquiry in Washington on Thursday. His predecessor as ambassador, Anthony Gardner, talks about the role, and his predecessor, on our EU Scream podcast.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  2. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  3. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  4. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  6. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  10. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  12. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us