Today, in a show of solidarity, Kosovo Serb police abandoned their posts and demanded that they be put under the command of the United Nations. This is absolutely ridiculous, absolutely irresponsible and absolutely sad that it has come to this. It’s a blow to the rule of law and another win for ethnic nationalism.
It is one thing for a politician working within Kosovo to not recognize the Kosovar-Albanian majority government. It’s a completely different thing when a group of professionals, like police, put politics over their oath to uphold the rule of law regardless of the situation. It certainly makes me wonder whether the oath actually meant anything to them in the first instance.
Police officers, just like doctors, have a special duty to the population that does not and should not take into consideration either politics or other extraneous issues. Police are sworn to protect the population fairly; they are not politicians, and for very good reason.
In the case of the Kosovar Serb Police, they were sworn to protect the Albanians, the Serbs, the Turks, etc. But instead of following their oath and displaying commitment to their profession, the Kosovar Serb Police decided to put politics over what is right.
Sure, the Kosovar Serb Police can protest and make their complaints. Hell, they could have first demanded that they be put under the control of the United Nations. But to abandon their posts en masse and then to demand from the United Nations a change of command? Who was in charge of this tactic? Someone who clearly does not want to negotiate.
This action by police not only betrays the population they were sworn to protect, but also degrades their profession as police officers as well.
A true shame, not only to the Kosovar Serb Police, but to everyone with a shield.
Kosovo Serb police deserted their posts en masse Friday, demanding to be put under the command of the United Nations rather than that of a newly proclaimed state they do not recognise. Serb officers serving in the southern Serb-populated enclave of Strpce joined those boycotting work in the central region of Gracanica, Kosovo police spokesman Veton Elshani said. “They are requesting to be put under the command of (the UN mission in Kosovo) UNMIK and not of the KPS as they have been so far.”
“These are exactly the same demands as the ones of Serb policemen in eastern Kosovo (a) few days ago” and hundreds in the north of the Serbian province which proclaimed independence on February 17, Elshani said.
In Gracanica, a Serb enclave 10 kilometres (six miles) from Pristina, all 126 Serb members of the regional KPS force — including those from the towns of Kosovo Polje, Lipljan and Obilic — had abandoned their posts on Friday. They gathered in front of the Gracanica police station, and demanded talks with representatives of the UN interim mission. None agreed to talk with reporters.
Earlier this week, 129 Serb officers working in the eastern Kosovo towns of Gnjilane, Kamenica, Novo Brdo and Vitina refused to show up for duty in protest against Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence.
That came as Infrastructure Minister Velimir Ilic said the Serbian government was “planning to have our local police in Serbian towns of Kosovo,” Serbian news agencies reported.
The above quoted article was published today by Agency-France Presse.