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Can Kosovo sue Serbia for genocide during the war? – Latest news

Can Kosovo sue Serbia for genocide during the war?

The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, is determined during his governing term to sue Serbia for genocide in Kosovo during the war. The Prime Minister of Kosovo has included this point in the government program, saying that “the issue of the genocide lawsuit before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will be one of the priorities of his work during his governing term”.

“We are convinced that Serbia committed genocide in Kosovo in the last war against us and this deserves a lawsuit and the government of the Republic of Kosovo has its preparation an obligation to our history, to the citizens who have open wounds and were besa “also to our future, which requires a democratic state, a just state in which it is clear who is the aggressor and who is the victim”, said Prime Minister Kurti after the approval of his government program. Prime Minister Kurti said that preparations for the lawsuit “are giant because such a case neither dares, nor should nor can be lost.

Vuiqiiq: The lawsuit is a threat and should not be proven

The Kosovo government’s warning of a genocide lawsuit against Serbia prompted the reaction of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who said that “Kosovo can not do such a thing, as it is not a member of the United Nations.” recommends Kosovo not to try to do such a thing “, describing it as a threat. “Are you threatening Serbia with a genocide trial? Can you achieve this only through another state, which is Albania, and that means unification with Albania. I urge Kosovo Albanians not to do this,” Vucic was quoted as saying in the media. Serbian president.

Experts: Without the consent of the US and the EU, the lawsuit would have a counter-effect

Legal experts, on the other hand, are skeptical of the Kosovo government’s initiative to sue Serbia for genocide in Kosovo, citing the fact that Kosovo is not a member of the UN and cannot formally do so. This is what Ehat Miftaraj, executive director of the Kosovo Law Institute (KLI), told DW. “Formally, Kosovo does not have the capacity to file a genocide lawsuit against Serbia, a lawsuit which would be considered acceptable by the International Court of Justice. Kosovo’s state-building is closely linked and dependent on the support and assistance of international partners.” therefore any action in this regard should have their attention, coordination and cooperation.Any unilateral action by Kosovo without the consent of the US and the EU, I am afraid would have a counter-effect and would put Kosovo in a situation unfavorable “, says Ehat Miftaraj.

According to him, even if Kosovo through Albania will sue Serbia for genocide, this could lead to other troubles. “Formally, Albania has the right to sue just like any other member state of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. But that other serious states in this case would be reluctant to take such a step based on the very close relationship and brotherhood that Albania has with Kosovo ”.

Opportunity at the International Court of Justice

Another expert on legal issues, Afrim Hoti, a professor at the University of Prishtina, says that there is a possibility that certain entities may file lawsuits with the International Court of Justice, but which are previously obliged to submit to certain rules and procedures. this court, but there is always skepticism about the positive result. “It is a statement deposited in the International Court of Justice through which the Republic of Kosovo, as a state that is not a member of the UN, declares that it recognizes the authority of the court and accepts the decisions given by the ICJ. These are cases very rare, known as such that the statute of the court allows such an opportunity, just as entities that have a position more or less similar to Kosovo are rare.Legally, parties before the International Court of Justice are only states independent and which are also part of the UN “, says Afrim Hoti.

Kosovo can use this opportunity to file a genocide lawsuit against Serbia, but according to Hoti, “an elementary distinction must be made between political statements and formal deposition”, which does not mean that the process is over. “It could be considered as a legal action, however, in order to prove the existence of the crime, many other facts must be deposited for the court to accept “, says Professor Afrim Hoti.

Albanians in Kosovo call the campaign of the Serbian security forces during the war of 1998-1999 genocide, where over 10 thousand people were killed, thousands more were considered missing, while over 800 thousand Albanians were expelled from their homes.

In 1999, Croatia filed a lawsuit against Serbia in the ICJ for genocide during the 1991-1995 war. In 2010, Serbia filed a counterclaim against Croatia, saying about 200,000 ethnic Serbs had been displaced when Croatia launched a military operation in search of its claimed territories. And in 2015 the ICJ ruled that neither Serbia nor Croatia committed genocide against each other. Meanwhile, regarding the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina, namely the case of Srebrenica, in 2007, the International Court of Justice in The Hague found that the killings of about 8 thousand Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica, constituted genocide, but this Court ruled that Serbia did not prevent the genocide, but also said that there was not enough evidence that Serbia was directly responsible for it. In 2017, Bosnia and Herzegovina requested a review of this decision but the ICJ rejected this request. / DW

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