Balkans

A (Serb) local elected official from North Mitrovica assassinated. Eulex investigates

(B2) Dimitrije Janićijević, municipal councilor of North Mitrovica (Kosovo), was assassinated in Kosovo last night. He was hit by several bullets fired from an automatic weapon from a car in front of his home. He died before arriving at Mitrovica hospital. “ We attempted resuscitation, which lasted more than half an hour, but without success, and he was officially pronounced dead at 1:13 a.m. ", Tanjug, the director of the Mitrovica hospital, told the Agency. Janićijević was the father of 3 children and his wife was expecting a fourth. He was a member of the Independent Liberal Party (SLS) and ran in the last elections for mayor of North Mitrovica. A party which advocates dialogue with the Kosovars and had signed a coalition agreement with H. Thaci, the Serbian Prime Minister.

A Eulex investigation

The Eulex Kosovo special investigation task force was dispatched to the scene and is carrying out the first investigations in conjunction with the Kosovo Police (KP). An autopsy was ordered, carried out at the Pristina hospital and a call for witnesses was launched. The High Representative reacted in the afternoon with a press release sending condolences to her family and friends. Catherine Ashton said she was expecting a “ prompt investigation into this murder so that its perpetrators are brought to justice ". " Any use of violence is completely unacceptable she said (download here).

Multiple reactions

(shift) While addressing his "sincere condolences" to the family, the Special Representative of the European Union, Samuel Žbogar, highlighted “the very complex situation in northern Kosovo”  and called on Wednesday “ citizens of North Mitrovica from all communities, Kosovo forces (…) and international representatives (…) to work together to defuse tensions.”  On the Serbian side, the Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Ivica Dacic condemned “very harshly the assassination” and called for her "immediate resolution" (Download here). On the Kosovar side, the act is also “ sentenced " (Download here)

Comment (NGV): this is a hard blow for the peace and rapprochement process between Pristina and Belgrade, at a time when a meeting was to be held in Brussels on the new holding of elections in North Mitrovica. Read : North Mitrovica continues to sow discord between Belgrade and Pristina

 

Loreline Merelle

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