10 nëntor 2023
Kosovo Police: The new station in Zubin Potok does not pose a threat to Serbs
Prepared by: Ridona Berisha
Kosovo Police (KP) recently made a decision to build a police station in Zubin Potok, a municipality that has a Serbian majority. According to the statement released by KP on October 28th, 2023, the new police station is deemed necessary because the current police station is situated in a privately leased facility that does not meet the conditions for providing services to citizens and for the work of law enforcement officials. However, after the decision was made, local Serbian media reported information, expressing concerns about the ownership of the land where the police station is planned to be built.
On October 28, 2023, Kosovo Online published an article titled “Zubin Potok: Police station being built near 'Jovan Cvijiq' elementary school, concerned locals,”. Only the so-called Chairman of the Temporary Authority of the Municipality Municipality of Zubin Potok, Srxhan Vuloviq, is quoted in this article.
Vuloviq has announced that he will submit a complaint to the Prosecutor's Office, requesting the suspension of the construction work. Vuloviq claims that in 2018, with the decision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kosovo, a parcel of land was taken from the school, “but no decision has ever been made by the municipality on this, and no construction permit has been issued to build anything.”
Sbunker has sought clarification from KP regarding the claims raised by the Serbs about the construction of the police station. However, KP requested that we refer to the statement released on October 28th.
According to KP, all necessary legal steps have been taken to build the police station facility in Zubin Potok. “On October 23, 2023, KP obtained a construction permit for the building in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding signed on December 10, 2021, between KP and the Civil Registration Agency for the project”, the statement reads.
Currently, the police station in Zubin Potok is located in a leased facility, which, as stated by KP, has not met the conditions for providing services to citizens and for providing a decent work environment for law enforcement officials. The Serbian List has linked the decision to build the police station in Zubin Potok with the tensions that began in May of this year when Albanian leaders took control of municipal facilities with the assistance of the Kosovo Police.
The Serbian List has characterized it as institutional pressure from official Prishtina on the Serbian people in Kosovo. “This decision aims to create additional tensions and escalate the situation in northern Kosovo, where Kurti ignores the calls of the international community for de-escalation and the implementation of the agreement for the formation of the Association of Serbian Municipalities.”
Similar statements have been made by the government of Serbia, accusing Prime Minister Kurti of causing crises with the aim of making life difficult for Serbs in Kosovo.
Photo: Statement of the Office for Kosovo and M.
However, according to the Kosovo Police, the police station and the officials expected to work there will serve the entire community living in that area, and “it has nothing to do with other intentions as speculated by individuals or Serbian political entities”.
*This article is published as part of the Western Balkans Regional Initiative against disinformation. Western Balkans Anti-Disinformation Hub: exposing malign influences through watchdog journalism.
10 nëntor 2023