Kosovo PM Dismisses Controversial Ethnic Serb Minister

Southeast Europe | February 4, 2015, Wednesday // 13:46|  views

A protestor with Albanian national flag walks in front of the Kosovo police officers during a demonstration in Pristina, Kosovo, 27 January 2015. Photo: EPA

Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa announced on Tuesday that the Minister of Communities and Returns Aleksandar Jablanovic, whose resignation was demanded by protesters, has been dismissed.

Jablanovic, who is a Serb Kosovar, infuriated Kosovo's Albanians by calling a group of protesters against Serbian pilgrims on the eve of Orthodox Christmas “savages”, the Balkan Insight reports.

The Minister made the comments on January 6, when around 100 protesters had prevented Serbs coming from Belgrade to visit an Orthodox church in Gjakova/Dakovica.

His comments resulted in three protests against him, deemed the largest since Kosovo declared its independence in 2008, which resulted in violent clashes with the police.

Protests were first organised in Gjakova and other towns in Kosovo, accusing Jablanovic of insulting the mothers of those who had died in the 1998-1999 conflict.

Although the Minister apologised publicly, the protests continued as it emerged that the government would postpone voting on the transformation of the Trepica mine complex.

The government also announced that the complex would be privatised within a period of 36 months, which was interpreted by opposition MPs as “surrender to Serbia”.

This unleashed a new wave of protests, this time in the capital Pristina, led by the opposition party Vetevendosje, demanding the resignation of Jablanovic.

Reports of English-language Kosovo media outlets suggest Jablanovic does not accept PM Mustafa's decision.

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Tags: kosovo, Isa Mustafa, Aleksandar Jablanovic, Serbia, protests, Gjakova, Pristina, pilgrims, Trepica, resignation, Vetevendosje


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