Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Albanians damage EU cars in Kosovo

Albanians damage EU cars in Kosovo
Aug 25, 2009, 14:01 GMT


Pristina - Some 28 automobiles belonging to the European Union's law-enforcement mission (EULEX) in Kosovo were damaged and 21 people were arrested Tuesday during a protest in Pristina by members of the Albanian movement Vetevendosja (Self-Determination).

Vetevendosja seeks an end to what it sees as international interference in Kosovo. It has organized several demonstrations in the past against Belgrade and the international community.

'Twenty-one persons are under police custody and are being investigated,' Agron Borovci, a spokesman for Kosovo police, told German Press Agency dpa. 'Our reports say that 28 cars parked in downtown Pristina have been damaged.'

'From what we saw they turned over the EULEX vehicles in their parking lot,' Borovici added.

The EULEX vehicles were damaged during a protest by Vetevendosja against cooperation between EULEX and Belgrade.

Glauk Konjufca of Vetevendosja told dpa that three activists were injured during the protest. He accused police of using violence against them and added that 'more than 40 cars were damaged.'

EULEX condemned the damage of the vehicles.

'Whilst EULEX supports the idea of peaceful protest as an important element in any democratic society, committing criminal damage does not further the interests or the arguments of any such protestors,' EULEX said in a statement.

Kosovo's Albanian majority declared independence in February 2008 after years of international supervision. Serbia opposes independence, and Belgrade still controls the northern part of Kosovo, where the Serb minority lives.

EULEX was deployed late last year after more than 60 countries, including United States and a majority of European Union members, recognized the new state.

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