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2015 Kosovo protests

In early January 2015, a series of anti-governmental protests began in Kosovo, as a result of the statements by Aleksandar Jablanović, a Kosovo Serb politician, Member of Parliament and Minister of Communities and Returns in the Republic of Kosovo.

2015 Kosovo protests
DateFirst wave:
6 January 2015 – 3 February 2015
(4 weeks)
Location
Goals
MethodsDemonstrations
Resulted inAleksandar Jablanović resigns[1][2]
Parties to the civil conflict

Kosovan opposition


Anti-government protesters


Thirrjet e nënave[4]

Lead figures
Vetëvendosje logo.svg Vetëvendosje!
AAK

NISMA

Coat of arms of Kosovo.svg Government of Kosovo
Number
7,000–40,000[9]
Casualties
  • 92 policemen injured[11]

On 6 January 2015, a group known as Thirrjet e nënave (The call of mothers), whose members are mostly mothers of victims from the Kosovo War, protested in front of the Orthodox Church in Gjakova before Christmas,[12][13] to block adherents to enter, due to Serbia's ongoing refusal to apologise for the victims. Later that day, Aleksandar Jablanović, Minister of Communities and Returns and member of the Parliament of Kosovo branded as "savages" and "freaks" [14] a group who stoned and blocked the way for buses driving displaced Serbs to Christmas mass in Gjakova.[15][16][17][18] Most of Kosovo citizens were overwhelmingly offended, including the opposition who immediately asked for Jablanović's resignation. The protests after his statements began in Gjakova and continued until 17 January, where around 10,000 people turned to the city center.[19][20] The demonstrations shortly expanded to Peć,[21] Deçan,[22] Gjilan,[23] and the whole territory of Kosovo. On 19 January, Jablanović formally apologised for his statements.[24]

On 24 and 27 January 2015, national-level protests took place in Kosovo's capital, Pristina, where roughly 50,000 people turned to streets to demand Jablanović's resignation and the return of Trepča as a public institution of the Republic of Kosovo.[9] However, the protests turned violent due to the clash with the police.[25] It was internationally proclaimed as the worst unrest since 2008.[26]

On 3 February 2015, Prime Minister Isa Mustafa announced that Aleksandar Jablanović would no longer be part of the cabinet, and therefore his resignation was confirmed.[1][2] His resignation was welcomed by the opposition and other citizens,[27] but criticized by the Government of Serbia.[28]

BackgroundEdit

Prior to the local and national protests and the formation of the new government on 9 December 2014, disapproval and anti-governmental actions had already started. At least 20,000 people from Kosovo,[29] whose vast majority were youth, were instantly trying to illegally emigrate to the European Union, through Serbia and Hungary,[30] due to the high unemployment rate.

Unemployment and illegal emigrationEdit

According to a 2014 report by the Kosovo Agency of Statistics, the unemployment rate in the country is 30%, of whom, the unemployment from the age of 15–24 is at 55.9%.[31] Due to the high number of unemployment and the current poverty, roughly 50% of the emigrants were youth between the age of 15–24,[29] who were seeking a better life in the European Union through illegal emigration. Most of them, would enter Serbia and then illegally move to Hungary.[30] The situation gained national attention, and most citizens would blame the government, due to its failure to prevent the emigration and to shrink the unemployment rate.[32] President Atifete Jahjaga and other government official expressed their concern.[32]

Trepča statusEdit

On 14 January 2015, the Government of Kosovo passed a bill to the parliament to return the Trepča Mines, as a public institution of the Republic of Kosovo.[33][34] The decision was revoked, due to the Serbian government threats; although the government had denied Serbia's intervention, by justifying the decision, saying that a similar move would leave thousands of people unemployed,[35] and announced they would shortly return the mines as an institution of Kosovo.[36]

The move to revoke the bill was widely opposed by Kosovo's citizens and the Kosovan opposition, saying that it was damaging the sovereignty of Kosovo.[37] At the following parliament sessions, opposition's reaction was extremely negative, with most of them, either leaving the assembly, or constantly threatening the position.[38][39]

United Kingdom's ambassador to the Republic of Kosovo, Ian Cliff said that "Trepça is a property of Kosovo", because it's located in the territory of Kosovo and should therefore be a public institution of the Republic.[40] He was also against putting Trepča as a topic in the Belgrade–Pristina negotiations because it was a matter for Kosovo.[41]

January protestsEdit

Kosovan opposition Vetëvendosje!, Alliance for the Future of Kosovo,[42][43] Initiative for Kosovo, New Kosovo Alliance[44] and others demanded Jablanović's resignation and the return of the Trepča Mines as a public institution of the Republic of Kosovo. They called for the first national-level protest on 24 January 2015,[45] where thousands of protesters turned to streets,[46][47] with the motto Jabllanoviq jashtë! Trepça është e jona! (Jablanovic out! Trepça is ours!).[48] The building of the government was damaged.[49] The vandalism was condemned by President Atifete Jahjaga.[50]

The second national-level protest was held at the Mother Teresa square in Pristina on 27 January, supported by Vetëvendosje, AAK, NISMA, Thirrjet e nënave, and most Kosovo Albanian citizens. It began as a quiet and peaceful demonstration with the same requests and motto as the first protest. However, it became very violent when protesters clashed with Kosovo Police.[51] Shpend Ahmeti, Mayor of Pristina was arrested, although he was immediately freed, and other politicians as well. Prime Minister Isa Mustafa and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy PM Hashim Thaçi condemned the protests and the violence.[52] Dozens of protesters were injured,[25] and it was later confirmed that the Kosovo Police had used tear gas.[53]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Mustafa:Jabllanovic nga sot nuk është pjesë e kabinetit qeveritar". Gazeta Express. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Jabllanoviq nuk është më pjesë e kabinetit qeveritar". Telegrafi.com. Archived from the original on 4 February 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Nisma kërkon nga Qeveria mos të keqpërdor policinë". Telegrafi.com.
  4. ^ "'Thirrjet e Nënave', distancohen nga dhuna në protestë". Gazeta Express.
  5. ^ "Ramush Haradinaj: Shihemi n'shesh". Gazeta Express.
  6. ^ "NISMA përkrahë protestën e nesërme". Telegrafi.com.
  7. ^ "Protesta si rregullator i demokracisë". Gazeta Blic. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Mustafa e Thaçi, Qëndrim të Fortë Kundër Protestuesve". Kallxo.
  9. ^ a b "Sa ishte numri i protestuesve të shtunën? Dikush ka bërë një kalkulim". Gazeta Express.
  10. ^ "Protestuesit e arrestuar po dërgohen në gjykatë". Telegrafi.com. Archived from the original on 1 February 2015. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  11. ^ a b "Hyseni: 92 policë e 20 protestues të lënduar". Gazeta Express.
  12. ^ "Gjakovë: Përfundoi protesta në hyrje të Kishës Ortodokse". Bota Sot. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  13. ^ "Protesta në Gjakovë, 4 të arrestuar". Koha-net. Archived from the original on 29 January 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  14. ^ "Jabllanoviqi i quan egërsira protestuesit në Gjakovë (Video)". Telegrafi.com. Archived from the original on 2015-01-08. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  15. ^ "Resignation of minister Jablanovic demanded, protests warned". Independent Balkan News Agency. 13 February 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  16. ^ "Bus carrying Serbs attacked with stones in Kosovo". B92 English. 8 February 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  17. ^ "Mustafa: Nepotrebna zbrka oko Jablanovićeve izjave". Blic Online. 8 February 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  18. ^ "Anti-gov't protest escalates in Kosovo". china.org.cn. 13 February 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  19. ^ "Fillon protesta kundër Jabllanoviqit në Gjakovë". Zeri. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  20. ^ "Gjakovarët ndihen të fyer, kërkojnë shkarkimin e Jabllanoviqit: Fashizmi i Serbisë - nuk kalon! (Video)". Telegrafi.com. Archived from the original on 2015-01-29. Retrieved 2015-01-28.
  21. ^ "Peja dhe Gjakova protestojnë kundër Jabllanoviqit". KOHA.net. Archived from the original on 2015-01-28. Retrieved 2015-01-28.
  22. ^ "Edhe Deçani do shkarkimin e Jabllanoviqit". KOHA.net. Archived from the original on 2015-01-28. Retrieved 2015-01-28.
  23. ^ "Edhe Gjilani proteston kundër Jabllanoviqit". BotaSot.info. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  24. ^ "Jabllanovic publikisht u kërkon falje nënave gjakovare". Gazeta Express. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  25. ^ a b "Kosovo Protests: Dozens Injured In Second Day Of Anti-Government Demonstrations". International Business Times. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  26. ^ "Police, protesters fight running battles in Kosovo". Reuters. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  27. ^ "Kurti: Shkarkimi i Jabllanoviqit, leksion i mirë për të gjithë ministrat". Telegrafi.com. Archived from the original on 4 February 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  28. ^ "Serb minister dismissed from Pristina government". B92. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  29. ^ a b "Sa është kosto e emigrantëve që po lëshojnë Kosovën dhe cila është mundësia parandalimit të emigrimit". Zëri. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  30. ^ a b "Gjysma e emigrantëve ilegalë në Hungari, kosovarë". Koha.net. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  31. ^ "Burimi: Rezultatet e Anketë së Fuqisë Punëtore në Kosovë 2013". Kosovo Agency of Statistics, KAS/AKS. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-01-29.
  32. ^ a b "Migrimi i paligjshëm nga Kosova, shqetësim për BE-në". Radio Evropa e Lirë.
  33. ^ ""Trepça" pronë e Qeverisë". Radio Evropa e Lirë.
  34. ^ "Trepça i merret AKP-së, i kthehet shtetit". KOHA.net.
  35. ^ "Blerand Stavileci: Trepça është e jona". YouTube.com. Klan Kosova.
  36. ^ "Pronësia e "Trepçës" përplas pozitën dhe opozitën". Radio Evropa e Lirë. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  37. ^ "Opozita mbështet Trepçën". Politiko.net. Archived from the original on 2015-01-29. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  38. ^ "Opozita nuk lëshon pè për "Trepçën"". Koha.net. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  39. ^ "Trepça, përplasje pozitë-opozitë në Kuvendin e Kosovës". Top Channel. Retrieved 21 January 2015.[permanent dead link]
  40. ^ "Ambasadori britanik Ian Cliff: Trepça është e Kosovës!". Zëri. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  41. ^ "Cliff: Trepça nuk duhet të bisedohet në Bruksel, është pronë e Kosovës". Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  42. ^ "AAK: Mbështesim protestat gjithëpopullore, dënojmë dhunën". Gazeta Blic. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  43. ^ "Ramushi nuk terhiqe, AAK pjese e protestave". Gazeta Blic. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  44. ^ "Pacolli: Mustafa ta shkarkoj Jabllanoviqin". Bota Sot. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  45. ^ "Në Prishtinë protesta gjithëpopullore, Mustafa e Thaçi ikin, njëri në Pejë e tjetri në Arabi". Gazeta Blic. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  46. ^ "Ende pa filluar protesta, mijëra protestues në Prishtinë (FOTO)". Gazeta Blic. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  47. ^ "Protesta në fotografi". Gazeta Blic. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  48. ^ "Vetëvendosje: Jabllanoviq jashtë! Trepça është e jona!". Bota Sot. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  49. ^ "Protesters in Pristina rally over Trepca, Serb minister". B92 News. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  50. ^ "Presidentja Jahjaga Dënon Vandalizmin në Protestë". Kallxo. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  51. ^ "Kosovo police clash with crowd at protest over minister". BBC News. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  52. ^ "Mustafa e Thaçi dënojnë dhunën, ftojnë për qetësi". KOHA.net. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  53. ^ "Kosovo police use tear gas to clear anti-gov't protesters". DailyMail.co.uk. Retrieved 27 January 2015.