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On January 12, 2014, Justice in Kosovo discussed a violent dispute between two families in Skenderaj.

The families Rexhepi and Avdiu from the village Mikushnicë, in Skenderaj, have been fighting each other for 13 years now. The violence between these two families still continues and even the state institution and the blood feud mediators could not stop it.

Moreover, both of the families are tired of fighting one another and now are seeking peace through state institution and even from the traditional way of problem solving, but until now none of the alternatives have had any good results.

In 2001, Agim Rexhepi was the neighborhood representative for the allocation of aid in the Mikushnica village. He told Justice in Kosovo that the fight with Avdijaj started after he had a conflict with one of the members of Avdiu family.

“Avni hit me with an iron rod. Some men that were present during our fight became our mediators. I’ve gotten serious injuries during this conflict and from that moment there was no tranquility between our families. Many fights happened between our family member and we cannot stop it anymore,” said Agim Rexhepi.

In 2013 these two families had two additional conflicts. The first one was when one of the Rexhepi family members, a seventeen-year-old boy, was attacked on his way to school by one of the Avdiu family members. His attacker works as a police officer in the Kosovo Police. The police officer injured the young boy by hitting him in the leg and also pointed a gun at him and threatened to kill him, family members say.

The Kosovo Police spokesperson in Mitrovica, Avni Zaiti, told Justice in Kosovo that they have received reports of this violence, but some of them have passed the statute of limitations and others could not be followed up on due to lack of evidence.

The second conflict in 2013, happened on May 16th. The conflict was caused by the reports against Mehdi Avdiu that the Rexhepi family submitted to the Kosovo Police .

Police officer Mehdi Avdiu sought to again harass the young man, Ekrem Rexhepi, when he was returning home from school. However, Ekrem hit Mehdi and almost killed him. the prosecution suspects that the boy was helped by his cousins, but Ekrem says it was only him that attacked Mehdi Avdiu.

According to the prosecutor Vahide Badivuku, Ekrem Rexhepi was released after three months because he is still a minor, but this does not mean that he will not be ultimately sentenced. Ekrem’s cousins, Milaim, Arton, and Pajtim Rexhepi, are being held in jail because they are adults. Pajtim Rexhepi was working the day of the incident, and his family has told that to the police, but he is still being held.

The former general director of Kosovo Police, Behar Selimi, in cooperation with the judo trainer of Kosovo Police in Vushtrri, Shain Behrami, tried to get the two families to reconcile but they failed.

Murat Bislimi also made an effort to reconcile, but he said that as time passed their hostility became even worse. He said that the old customs should not be forgotten but the law should always come first.