"Tensions serious risk for Kosovo's stability"
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned in his latest report on Kosovo that tensions and confrontations constitute a serious risk for its stability.
(KosovoCompromise Staff) Tuesday, May 15, 2012
He noted that "vandalism, threats and attacks on the facilities of the Serbian Orthodox Church are on the increase and that the room for the Belgrade-Priština dialogue may be narrowed in the coming months".
In the report, Ban noted that the number of crimes against ethnic minorities in Kosovo increased in the period from February to May 2012 relative to the same period in the previous year.
Threats, thefts, arson, vandalism, attacks on the facilities of the Serbian Orthodox Church increased compared to the same period in the previous year, states the report discussed by the UN Security Council.
The UN secretary general warned that the number of returnees to Kosovo decreased in the same period and totaled as few as 136 individuals over the past three months, 33 of them being Serbs, 10 Roma, 83 Ashkalis, 8 Bosniaks and 2 Albanians. This is 48 percent less than in the same period in 2011, when the number of returnees totaled 264.
Tensions and confrontations constitute a serious risk for the stability in Kosovo and the region, the report notes, adding that there is still certain resistance among Kosovo Albanians with regard to legal measures aiming to protect Serbian cultural and religious heritage in Kosovo.
Ban noted that there is certain discrepancy between obligations which the Kosovo government agreed to take on and their implementation in practice.
The UN secretary general underscored the international community is hoping that progress on the EU path and normalization of relations between Belgrade and Priština would gradually sidetrack the source of tensions.
The report of the UN chief was distributed to ambassadors of UN Security Council member countries ahead of the staging of Serbian elections in Kosovo on May 6, which Ban qualified as the initial fuse for a series of other unresolved issues.
The UN chief stated that the room for the Belgrade-Priština dialogue might narrow down in the months to come, which could lead to an increase in tensions.
Unjustified arrests or belligerent statements lead to an increase in tensions and violence, Ban said.