The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) strongly condemned weekend clashes between Albanians and Serbs in the divided town of Mitrovica, just days after the UN called for dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade. Several people, including one EULEX police officer, were injured during the unrest. “These acts of senseless hooliganism have no place in any democratic society and need to be condemned by all,” EULEX head of mission Yves de Kermabon said Sept. 12. Returning from the UN Assembly in New York, Prime Minister Hashim Thaci insisted that the previous night’s incident in Mitrovica does not jeopardize the creation of a multi-ethnic society in Kosova. KFOR commander Erhard Buhler said during a visit to Mitrovica that NATO-led troops will not tolerate violence in northern Kosova and will guarantee a safe environment for all.
Politicians in Belgrade also condemned the incident, triggered by Albanians who were celebrating the defeat of Serbia’s national basketball team in a semi-final against Turkey at the 2010 World Basketball Championship in Istanbul. Minister for Kosova Goran Bogdanovic said the incident proved the need for dialogue between Serbs and Albanians. (SE Times, Sept. 13)
A Balkan Basketball War? A worthy successor to the 1968 Central American Football War.