After murder of two Kosovo Serbs, UN warns against “irresponsible” speculation

29 August 2005
Søren Jesen-Petersen

Calling for an end to speculation surrounding a shooting over the weekend in which two Kosovo Serb men were killed and another two were injured, the United Nations administrator in Kosovo today appealed to the political leaders there and in Serbia to give the police time to carry out a thorough investigation of the incident.

“There have been a lot of speculations on this very tragic incident. All this speculation is unhelpful and irresponsible… It is not helpful in such circumstances that there are those who immediately are ready to jump to conclusions,” Søren Jessen-Petersen told reporters while visiting the crime scene near Strpce/Shterpce where the shootings occurred Saturday night.

The UN has run the province since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) drove out Yugoslav troops amid grave human rights abuses in fighting between majority Albanians and Serbs in 1999.

“We should only base our comments on facts; that is what matters. At this stage we all want to see results… I join the Police Commissioner and the Police in asking the community and asking possible witnesses to come forward,” he said, adding: “I appeal to all of you, political leaders here and in Belgrade, to stop speculating. We want to build up a stable Kosovo. We want to work with all communities.”

Mr. Jessen-Petersen strongly condemned the incident yesterday, saying he was shocked and appalled by the senseless and tragic crime. Today, he reiterated his call for restraint and said that it was now up to the police to act.

Meanwhile, the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) reported that its police and the Kosovo Police Service have arrested two international police officers. The two are accused of smuggling people illegally into Kosovo.

Four foreign nationals were also arrested, and they were charged with possession of falsified documents and entering Kosovo illegally.


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