HLC Kosovo press release on the occasion of the 11th anniversary of the events of March 2004
Today, on 17th March 2014, we mark the eleventh anniversary since the interethnic violence in Kosovo, which was mainly directed towards Serbs and RAE communities. According to the data gathered by the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), during the three days of violence, 19 lives were lost: 11 Albanians and 8 Se…rbs. At the same time there were many gravely injured, including 170 Serbs, 150 from which were beaten in their homes, while 20 were injured on the streets while fleeing their homes. During the March raid, which lasted from 17th until 19th March 2004, there were 65 UNMIK police officers, 58 officers of the Kosovo Police Service, and 61 members of KFOR forces injured. Besides the human losses, around 800 houses belonging to the Serbian community, 90 from Ashkalia community, and 2 of the ethnic Albanian community, were partially damaged or totally ravaged. At the same time, 36 orthodox churches were burnt or ravaged.
HLC Kosovo in general is not satisfied with the approach that institutions of the Republic of Kosovo, or the international components within the Kosovo judicial system (UNMIK and EULEX) have taken in regard to the cases of violence during the March 2004 raids. Insufficient measures, either material or immaterial, have been taken in the reconstruction of the inflicted violence. A comprehensive institutional and political approach to ensure the non-Albanian communities that such violence will not be repeated has lacked. Eleven years after, the need remains that Kosovo institutions prove that Kosovo is a safe country for all its residents and that never, and in no way, will ethnic violence be repeated on a scale similar to the violence that occurred in March 2004.
You can download the report here.