Kosovo Serb politician killed in drive-by shooting

Randolph Lopez
January 17, 2018

Kosovo police officers and forensics walk paste the crime scene where the leading Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic was killed in a brazen drive-by shooting in Mitrovica on January 16, 2018.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, whose country now holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, said on January 16 that he categorically condemns the murder of Oliver Ivanović, a Serb political leader shot dead in Mitrovica earlier the same day.

Medics say Ivanovic received at least five gunshot wounds to his upper torso when shot by unknown assailants.

He had been facing a retrial after being convicted of war crimes and sentenced to nine years in prison.

Kosovo declared independence in 2008 and has been recognized by 115 countries, though not by Serbia nor its ally, Russia.

"We strongly condemn this despicable act ..." Doctors there did everything they could to rescue him but to no avail.

The news has sent shockwaves across the Balkans, as well as in Brussels where Serbian government negotiators were holding talks with Kosovo Albanians after hearing the news.

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"For the Serbian state this is considered an act of terrorism", Vucic said afterward, and Belgrade would demand to be included in the investigation.

The Kosovo authorities condemned the killing, saying it was a challenge to the rule of law in Kosovo. Serbia does not recognize the split and EU-mediated talks have been underway in a bid to normalize ties. Kosovo fears that Serbia may be trying to annex the Serb-majority region in the north.

Under pressure from the worldwide community and European Union auspices, Kosovo and Serbia have been trying to normalize ties some 20 years since the start of the bloody war that claimed 13,000 lives, mostly ethnic Albanians.

Mr Ivanovic (64) was a moderate who urged his minority Serb community to defend its interests by participating in elections and state institutions in Kosovo, which next month will mark a decade since it declared independence from Belgrade.

On Monday, Serbia's government said it will resume its talks for normalisation of relations with Kosovo this week after a suspension that had lasted for more than a year.

Serbian officials dismissed the accusations against Ivanovic and said the process against him was staged.

At the same time, Russian Federation has aggravated nationalist and ethnic feeling by selling arms to Serbia and by accusing the European Union of trying to create a "greater Albania" in Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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