By Fatmir Aliu
Kosovo says Serbian Prime Minister presented false information to the UN Security Council about the true position of Serbs in the country.
Serbia’s Prime Minister, Ivica Dacic, misinformed the UN Security Council when talking about Kosovo’s allegedly discriminatory policies towards local Serbs, the government in Pristina said.
In Tuesday’s debate on the quarterly report of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Kosovo, Dacic accused the government in Pristina of pursuing discriminatory policies towards Kosovo Serbs – giving as one example about how their cars are marked so as to be distinguished easily.
Kosovo’s Interior Ministry denied the report as false, saying that Kosovo does not mark Serbian vehicles in any specific fashion.
Car number plates are prefixed only by geographical location, with the use of 01 for Pristina, 02 for Mitrovica, 03 for Peja, and so on, it said.
“As far as the two latter letters are concerned, they…. by no means differ or distinguish the communities living in Kosovo,” the ministry added.
Kosovo’s car number plates bear two numbers at the beginning, followed by the letters “RKS”, for Republic of Kosovo, followed by three digits and two letters at the end.
In a statement, the ministry wrote that Dacic’s remarks appeared to derive from an unnamed NGO report, entitled “Further Support to refugees and IDPs in Serbia”.
During his remarks at the UN Security Council, Dacic also accused the Kosovo police of violently mistreating Serbian pilgrims during celebrations of the Serbian Orthodox festival of St Vitus on June 28.
Sixteen children were injured while returning home from the Gazimestan Monument, erected to commemorate the 1389 Battle of Kosovo, a key date in Serbian history when Medieval Serbia confronted the might of the Ottoman Empire.
The UN Secretary General has criticized the Kosovo police for this in his previous report to the Security Council.
The UN chief said the lack of action undermined confidence in the ability of Kosovo police to face crisis situations and gain public trust, and expressed concern about its intervention during the Vidovdan commemoration.
Interior Minister Bajram Rexhepi on August 11 said that Ban Ki-moon had been misinformed about what had happened, adding that the Kosovo Police had done a professional job during the celebrations.