UN / KOSOVO

10-Jun-2019 00:04:10
UN top official in Kosovo Zahir Tanin told the Security Council he was “alarmed” that the two UN staff members arrested in Kosovo on 28 may, “were apparently subjected to excessive force and mistreatment upon their arrest by police causing injuries and requiring hospitalization.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / KOSOVO
TRT: 4:10
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 10 JUNE 2019, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE

1. Exterior shot, UN Headquarters

10 JUNE 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Med shot, Serbian delegate
4. Zoom in, Kosovo delegate
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Zahir Tanin, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Kosovo and head of UNMIK:
“The situation in Kosovo, and between Belgrade and Pristina, is again at a fragile moment.”
6. Cutaway, delegates
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Zahir Tanin, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Kosovo and head of UNMIK:
“Multiple inconsistent public signals have hampered all efforts to ensure the full engagement of both parties in a single or definitive process.”
8. Wide shot, Council in session
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Zahir Tanin, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Kosovo and head of UNMIK:
“I am alarmed that both staff members were apparently subjected to excessive force and mistreatment upon their arrest by police, causing injuries and requiring hospitalization. This is a matter which will form an essential component of the enquiry we have initiated.”
10. Wide shot, Council in session
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Miguel De Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel:
“It is our understanding from the facts as we know them so far, that both Mr. Krasnoshchekov and Mr. Dimovic were on official assignment to monitor the police operations in northe Kosovo at the time of their arrest. Of serious concern, as Mr. Tanin noted and I must say here, that we share his alarm is that both staff members were apparently beaten and mistreated upon their arrest. Both required medical attention upon their release.”
12. Wide shot, Council in session
13. SOUNDBITE (Serbian) Ivica Dacic, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia:
“The use of excessive force and a television spectacle that followed this operation were indicative of a different goal altogether. And the goal was to intimidate the remaining Serbs population. To that end, more than 70 combat vehicles were deployed.”
14. Wide shot, Council in session
15. SOUNDBITE (Serbian) Ivica Dacic, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia:
“It Is evident that, because of the failure to fulfil the Resolution and because of its outright violations by Pristina, the continuation of the UNMIK mandate is of crucial importance for the fate of many in Kosovo and Metohija. Serbia is convinced that the Mission must remain fully engaged in all issues important for a consistent implementation of its goals and objectives, undiminished in scope and unchanged in mandate. Otherwise, a message would be sent to the Serbs that they will not be able to stay and continue to live In their ancestral land and to those displaced that they are not welcome back, which would be a fulfilment of Pristina’s goals.”
16. Cutaway, delegates
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Vlora Citaku, Representative of Kosovo:
“Mr. Krasnoshenkov became an obstacle to the law enforcement in Kosovo out of his own volition. Or to put it frankly, he willingly became a shield to criminal gangs attempting to inhibit an ongoing police operation.”
18. Cutaway, delegates
19. SOUNDBITE (English) Vlora Citaku, Representative of Kosovo:
“While we are deeply grateful to UNMIK for the vital role that it has played in the first decade of our liberation, we simply do not see any reason for its continuous presence in our thriving republic. UNMIK is not an administrative mission, because Kosovo governs itself, UNMIK is not a peacekeeping mission because the Kosovo’s law enforcement mechanisms and KFOR guarantee the safety and security of our people. Can anyone in this room in all honesty tell me what exactly the job of UNMIK in Kosovo exactly is today?”
20. Wide shot, Council in session
STORYLINE
UN top official in Kosovo Zahir Tanin told the Security Council he was “alarmed” that the two UN staff members arrested in Kosovo on 28 may, “were apparently subjected to excessive force and mistreatment upon their arrest by police causing injuries and requiring hospitalization.”

Two members of the UN peacekeeping mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), a Russian national Mikhail Krasnoshchekov and local Serb Dejan Dimovic, were arrested by the Kosovo special police force during an operation in Zubin Potok, a majority Serb populated municipality in the north of Kosovo, aimed at apprehending members of the Kosovo police for alleged organized crime involvement.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Kosovo and head of UNMIK Zahir Tanin said their arrest and injuries they sustained “is a matter which will form an essential component of the enquiry we have initiated.”

Taking part in the meeting Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel Miguel De Serpa Soares, said “it is our understanding from the facts as we know them so far, that both Mr. Krasnoshchekov and Mr. Dimovic were on official assignment to monitor the police operations in northe Kosovo at the time of their arrest. Of serious concern, as Mr. Tanin noted and I must say here, that we share his alarm is that both staff members were apparently beaten and mistreated upon their arrest. Both required medical attention upon their release.”

After the incident, the Kosovo government declared Mikhail Krasnoshchekov a “persona non grata” which, according to the Special Council, is not applicable to United Nations personnel.”

Commenting on the events of 28 May, Ivica Dacic, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia said that, while his country supports the fight against the organized crime, “the use of excessive force and a television spectacle that followed this operation were indicative of a different goal altogether. And the goal was to intimidate the remaining Serbs population. To that end, more than 70 combat vehicles were deployed.”

Speaking on behalf of Kosovo, Vlora Citaku defended the actions of the Kosovo police and said that countless UN personnel has so far lived in Kosovo without an incident and went on to accuse Krasnoshchekov of becoming “an obstacle to the law enforcement in Kosovo out of his own volition. Or to put it frankly, he willingly became a shield to criminal gangs attempting to inhibit an ongoing police operation.”

She also said the injuries sustained by the two UN staff members were minor.

After their release from police custody, both UN employees were treated for injuries - Dimovic in a hospital in Mitrovica and Krasnoshchekov was upon his request, transferred to a hospital in the Serbian capital Belgrade.

The events of 28 May overshadowed other issues discussed during the Security Council’s meeting that has taken place 20 years to a day when the NATO-led bombing of Yugoslavia ended, and the Security Council has adopted the resolution 1244, thus establishing the UNMIK.

The Special Representative Tanin said that although there has been a clear progress over the last twenty years, “the situation in Kosovo, and between Belgrade and Pristina, is again at a fragile moment.”

According to Tanin, there were productive engagement between Belgrade and Pristina since late 2018. And while the removal of 100% tariff on Serbian and Bosnian goods is the Belgrade’s minimum condition for resuming the negotiations, Pristina has set its own, albeit not always unified conditions.

Tanin said “multiple inconsistent public signals have hampered all efforts to ensure the full engagement of both parties in a single or definitive process” and called on the leaders on both sides act responsibility and do not escalate an already “complex situation.”

The representative of Kosovo and Serbia also had different views on the future of UNMIK.

Dacic said that “the mission must remain fully engaged in all issues important for a consistent implementation of its goals and objectives, undiminished in scope and unchanged in mandate.”

“Othewise,” he said, “a message would be sent to the Serbs that they will not be able to stay and continue to live in their ancestral land and to those displaced that they are not welcome back, which would be a fulfilment of Pristina’s goals.”

For her part, Citaku said “while we are deeply grateful to UNMIK for the vital role that it has played in the first decade of our liberation, we simply do not see any reason for its continuous presence in our thriving republic. UNMIK is not an administrative mission, because Kosovo governs itself, UNMIK is not a peacekeeping mission because the Kosovo’s law enforcement mechanisms and KFOR guarantee the safety and security of our people.”

She ended by asking the Council’s members: “Can anyone in this room in all honesty tell me what exactly the job of UNMIK in Kosovo is today?”

UNMIK was established by the Security Council’s resolution 1244, which was adopted on 10 June 1999, day after the signing of “Kumanovo agreement” that led to withdrawal of Serbian forces from Kosovo and the end to the 78 day-long NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.
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