Life in Kosovo Debates Security Threats

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In the space of five days, four bombs went off in Kosovo, three targeting senior members of the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, the biggest political party here.

RTK, Pristina, September 22, 2006

“Life in Kosovo” interviewed key political figures from the LDK and other parties along with analysts about the security breakdown.

Were the bombings linked to LDK elections or negotiations on Kosovo’s final status? And who would benefit from the instability? These were some of the questions raised during the interviews.

The panelists in the debate were: Eqrem Kryeziu, vice chairman of the LDK; Adem Salihaj, member of LDK presidency; Fatmir Limaj, representative of the opposition party PDK; Naim Rashiti, International Crisis Group, ICG, analyst; Naim Maloku, head of the security commission in the Kosovo assembly; Naser Rugova, LDK member; and Lutfi Haziri, deputy prime minister.

Salihaj, a former deputy prime minister, said the international administration should take the blame for the deterioration, insisting there was a lack of “authority in the security field”.

Limaj said there was always work to be done on the security front, but “citizens of Kosovo shouldn’t worry that much, because overall security is not threatened at all”, despite periodic incidents.

Limaj also said that “we shouldn’t see the bombing event as a sign to alarm people that they are in danger”.

Haziri insisted that the government will do its best to address the security breakdown, pointing out that it has already done much in the law-and-order field. “The government of Kosovo in previous years has spent more money on jails than in the education system,” he said.

Kryeziu said that “the bombs phenomenon is a serious matter” and that the perpetrators’ aim was to threat Kosovo’s moves towards independence.

Rashiti expressed his concerns that increased LDK election activity in the next couple of months “may provoke new violent incidents”. He said LDK elections have long been a security headache for the internationals.