Kosovo Serb leader Oliver Ivanovic shot dead

Photo: EPA/STRINGER

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Unknown perpetrators shot leader of ‘Gradjanska inicijativa’ Oliver Ivanovic with six bullets in his chest in Kosovska Mitrovica on Tuesday morning. Ivanovic was declared dead one hour later.

Photo: EPA/STRINGER

Assassination of Kosovo Serb leader triggered numerous reactions in Serbia and rest of the region. 

President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci strongly condemned murder of Ivanovic and urged all citizens to cooperate with police bodies in order to solve the case as soon as possible.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic also condemned Ivanovic’s murder and said this was an act of terrorism. Vucic added that Serbia sent a letter to EULEX and UNMIK, requesting to participate in the investigation. “I am warning everyone in Pristina not even to think about using this as the reason to place the north of Kosovo under their boot”, he stressed.

Vucic talked with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini over the phone, on which occasion Mogherini said that it is important to make sure the situation stays calm following the murder. Spokesperson for the European Commission Maja Kocijancic emphasized that the EU strongly condemns the murder.

Photo: EPA/ANDREJ CUKIC

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Ivica Dacic said that Ivanovic’s murder is “a mindless act of terrorism” which threatens to jeopardize safety not only in the northern part of Kosovo, but also in the entire region.

Head of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Marko Djuric assessed that the murder is an act of crime and terrorism and its goal is to destabilize the situation in Kosovo. Djuric also said that it represents an attack on the entire Serb people.

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said that Ivanovic’s murder represents a loss for all citizens of Serbia, especially those in Kosovo, and added that it also represents a jeopardy for stability of region.

Minister of Interior of Serbia Nebojsa Stefanovic said that Ivanovic’s murder cannot stay unpunished and also assessed that this was an act of terrorism.

RS President Milorad Dodik also reacted to Ivanovic’s assassination and stated: “This criminal act represents a classic attack on stability of Serbia and northern Kosovo, on the attempts of Serbian leadership, which gave unmeasurable contribution to the hard work of building peace and trust among the people in Kosovo.”

RS Prime Minister Zeljka Cvijanovic condemned any form of violence and expressed hope the perpetrators will be apprehended soon. She pointed out that Ivanovic’s death represent irrecoverable loss to his family and all those who honestly do their jobs serving their people and community.
Speaker of the RS National Assembly Nedeljko Cubrilovic said it is necessary to remain calm and react with cool head. “I would hate to see such severe crime turn into a motive for something much more severe,” he added.

Serb member of the Presidency of BiH Mladen Ivanic stated: “I had an opportunity to communicate with him for years and I saw him as a man with stable, calm and realistic approach, who was a democrat in resolving the problems of Serbs in Kosovo.” Ivanic assessed Ivanovic assassination as the most serious political assassination in recent past on territory of former Yugoslavia. He expressed hope that perpetrators will be found and that political situation in Kosovo will relax.

Foreign media also covered the incident in their reports.