EU mission vehicles damaged in Kosovo 2009-08-26 02:12:16   Print

    PRISTINA, Serbia, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Members of Kosovo's Self-Determination Movement damaged Tuesday in the capital Pristina 28 vehicles of EU Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) in Kosovo.

    They used stones and sticks to destroy the vehicles parked in the yard of the Youth Center near the city center at an unannounced move. Some of the vehicles were overturned, while some had their glasses broken or tires pierced.

    Attackers said the move was an expression of their refusal to "the EULEX presence and all its actions in Kosovo including the protocol agreement with Serbia," which is due to be signed in the days to come.

    The EULEX, which started on Dec. 9 last year officially implementing its two-year mandate in Kosovo, is designed to replace the UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) with some executive powers in judiciary, custom and police although the UNMIK will remain in Kosovo to deal with issues concerning ethnic Serbs.

    Kosovo police reacted and detained 21 members of the movement. EULEX praised "Kosovo police's fast and efficient response," as it condemned the attack.

    "EULEX strongly condemns the action taken earlier today in the center of Pristina when a number of EULEX vehicles were damaged," said the mission in a statement.

    "Whilst EULEX supports the idea of peaceful protest as an important element in any democratic society, committing criminal damage does not further the interests or the arguments of any such protestors," said EULEX.

    A member of the Self-Determination Movement was seriously wounded and so were three members of Kosovo police during the police action.

    The Self-Determination Movement action followed objections by Kosovo institutions to the planned signing of a protocol on police cooperation between EULEX and Serbian Interior Ministry.

    Representatives of Kosovo institutions recently said that by signing this protocol, EULEX risks a deterioration of relations with the Kosovo government.

    Commenting the incident, Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu said the cooperation with EULEX would continue.

    "It's a mission for the interest of Kosovo and for all its citizens," said Sejdiu.

    A breakaway province of Serbia, ethnic Albanian-dominated Kosovo unilaterally declared independence in February 2008. However, Serbia has vowed it would never recognize Kosovo's independence, regarding the move illegal and in contrary with international law.

Editor: Yan
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