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We are aware of an increasing mistrust and fear among the Kosovo population, especially among the Kosovo-Serb community, alongside the retraumatization of persons who experienced the last war in Kosovo. We request a sensitive and mindful approach from the Kosovo government, institutions, and persons in the public discourse and the acts they undertake. In times of crisis, we all should be in solidarity with one another, against harmful discourses which threaten peace and security.


That said, we respectfully call on all Kosovo citizens to refrain from using hateful language and spreading nationalistic propaganda. We understand that in intense situations, emotions that arise due to the legacies of the past are valid, yet they mustn’t make us forget the necessity of peace and reconciliation. We call on the understanding that we must be together in moving forward toward a future that leaves no space for criminal activities. 


We call on all citizens to support their Kosovo-Serb neighbors and fellow citizens, and not equate a whole ethnic group with the attackers. Such rhetoric is untrue, harmful and further threatens the Kosovo-Serb community. Further, we invite all citizens to report any violations they might witness to the competent institutions, including the Kosovo Police (tel: 192), Kosovo Police Inspectorate (tel: 080003333), the Ombudsperson Institutions (tel: 0800 15555) and/or the YIHR KS team (tel: +383 38 748 018).


We support the statement of our colleagues from YIHR Serbia issued on the 27th September in demanding the Government of Serbia to refrain from nationalistic rhetoric and propaganda which fuels already tense relations and further escalates the situation. We also call on them to not glorify criminals under the coat of patriotism. That is detrimental not only to the escalation of ethnic tension in Kosovo, and between the two counties, but it further disadvantages the Serbian population in Kosovo. Nationalistic propaganda threatens the security of the people, which must be a priority in all institutional statements and actions. If anything, the government of Serbia must condemn such terrorist attacks, and offer to cooperate and contribute toward de-escalation, investigation, and bringing justice to such horrendous acts.


We also remind the media of their power in shaping the public discourse and responsibility for ethical and unbiased reporting. They must continue to fulfill their duties of truthful reporting while challenging and opposing nationalistic harmful discourses that destabilize Kosovo’s security.


Last but not least, we strongly emphasize that peace, security, and reconciliation must be shared visions of the future that we all work towards, including the governments of Kosovo and Serbia. We call for abiding by the agreements achieved between the two governments, and for them to return to a constructive dialogue toward a peaceful future which would ensure the protection and security of all citizens. 


Violence must never be the language we speak, the acts we undertake and the path we pave.

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