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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



Serbia’s inter-party dialogue with those rejecting EP mediation in two weeks

April 07, 2021

Ivica Dacic, Serbia's Parliament Speaker, said he would start talking about election conditions with the representatives of the parties which said wouldn't accept the European Parliament (EP) mediation, in the next two weeks to determine "the agenda and dynamics." .

He said that 19 political organizations confirmed they would take part in the dialogue but that the final number of interested parties was still unknown.

Dacic listed election laws, control of the voting process, financing parties, media and functionary campaign as central issues in the dialogue.

Serbia’s opposition remains split about the nature of the forthcoming dialogue and the role the EP should have in it. The parties that boycotted the 2020 general elections because of what they saw as unfair conditions said they might do the same next year if the current conditions were not improved. They favor the EP mediation, convinced the regime would yield only to the foreign pressure.

The others, also unhappy with the current election conditions, say they don’t want any foreign interference in domestic politics.

Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic, who heads the ruling Serbia Progressive Party (SNS) and its coalition, and whose first term expires in 2022, has recently announced he may participate in the dialogue with those rejecting the EP mediation.

The MEPs who had taken part in the inter-party dialogue ahead of the last year’s elections said they were ready for the new rounds of negotiations, which, according to them, should start soon in online form due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/serbias-inter-party-dialogue-with-those-rejecting-ep-mediation-in-two-weeks/

Dozens of migrants leave quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus

April 06, 2021

More than 50 migrants who tested positive for the new coronavirus left the quarantine facilities at the temporary camp near Velika Kladusa, Bosnia's northwest, healthcare authorities said on Tuesday.

Local media reported last weekend that at least 135 migrants at the Miral camp near Velika Kladusa were infected and were separated from other migrants in two rooms and one tent. But, some of them self-initiatively left the isolation.

“Fifty-five of them left ‘Miral’ regardless of quarantine,” said Nermina Cemalovic, the Health Minister of Una-Sana Canton, the northwestern region where the camp is located. “They simply left the camp and jumped over the fence.”

In two more migrant camps in the canton's urban zones, about 50 more migrants were positive for the coronavirus – 45 in the Borici camp and 11 in the Sedra camp, according to the USC Public Health Institute.

There are some 4,300 migrants staying in six camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the moment but the exact number of those staying in abandoned facilities is not precise.

“They are on the move. According to the latest data there is between 1,500 to 1,700 such migrants. The total in BiH is 6,000,” said Mirsad Buzar, deputy director of the Foreigner Affairs’ Service of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/dozens-of-migrants-leave-quarantine-after-testing-positive-for-coronavirus/

Serbia’s company sues media for reporting from opposition party news conference

April 06, 2021

Belgrade's Millennium Team d.o.o.' sued several media in the country, demanding 100,000 Euro compensation per a single lawsuit for their reporting from an opposition party's news conference about the company's businesses, the Coalition for Media Freedom said on Tuesday.

The Coalition said it worried because it saw the lawsuits as pressure on N1, Newsmax Adria, Nova.rs, Belgrade Danas daily and local JUGpress and Inforvranjske from the southern towns of Leskovac and Vranje.

All those media were sued for their „credible reporting on the information presented at the People’s Party’s news conference in Leskovac and Vranjska Banja, early in February,“ the Coalition said.

‘Millennium team doo’ demand compensation of damage to reputation and material damage.

The Coalition recalled the company had not demanded denial of any information published by those media before the lawsuits, nor had it offered an answer to the People’s Party claims.

„The huge compensation the company demands in lawsuits is a bare pressure which, only by the fee for responding to the lawsuit, leads to shutting down the sued local media. It’s a pressure to send a message to all other media that they can be shut down overnight if they do not respect power,“ the Coalition said in a statement.

It added that the lawsuits „seriously endanger public information, the freedom of expression and the right of people in local communities to be informed about everything without censorship.“

The Coalition’s members are the Media Association, Association of Online Media (AOM), Independent Society of Vojvodina Journalists (NDNV),  Independent Association of Serbia’s Journalists (NUNS), Business Association of Local and Independent Media’ Local Press’ and ‘Slavko Curuvija’ Foundation.

„Founded in 2003, Millennium Team has grown into a regional leader in its field, developing commercial activities on the territory of our country and the region, and has been continuously growing ever since,“ the company website said.

Millennium Team said it, „a regional leader in its field, has been commissioned as a contractor for the Belgrade Waterfront project (built by the UAE Eagle Hills company), the biggest construction site in Southeast Europe, since the beginning.“

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/serbias-company-sues-several-media-for-reporting-from-news-conference/

Kosovo’s President: Missing people priority in dialogue with Serbia

April 06, 2021

Vjosa Osmani, newly-appointed Kosovo’s President, said on Tuesday that the fate of the missing people during the 1998-1999 war should be the priority in the Pristina – Belgrade dialogue on the normalization of relations.

“As long as there is no justice for the victim taken hostage and still treated as missing, it is impossible to think about peace,” she said while laying flowers at the monument to missing people in Pristina’s center on the first day she took office.

Osmani added Kosovo could not go forward as long as “1,600 families still hurt and miss loved ones.”

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/kosovos-president-missing-people-priority-in-dialogue-with-serbia/

Belgrade Association ‘Women in Black” mark the siege of Sarajevo

April 06, 2021

A Serbian Association “Women in Black” organised a gathering titled “We remember the beginning of the siege of Sarajevo – the beginning of war in BiH” at the Knez Mihajlova street, with a performance of silent presence where they stand silently while holding signs. Monday marked the beginning of the siege of Bosnia's capital which began on April 5, 1992.

“The war in BiH was the bloodiest armed conflict in Europe since World War II, leaving behind nearly 100,000 dead, two million displaced persons, and more than 20,000 women survivors of war rape. The siege of Sarajevo lasted 1,475 days and was the longest siege of a city in modern history. Over 11,000 adults and more than 1,600 children were killed during the siege. More than 480,000 missiles were fired at the city… Slobodan Milosevic’s regime provided political, logistical, military and any other support to Bosnian Serbs, even though officially ‘Serbia was not at war.’ The bombs dropped on Sarajevo were produced in Serbia, people from Serbia participated in the war en masse as volunteers… Many representatives of the current government in Serbia, including Aleksandar Vucic, actively participated in that policy,” said “Women in Black.”

They noted that “the war that officially ended with the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords is not really over for either the victims or the survivors, and that peace does not only mean the absence of conflict but the establishment of justice.”

“However, only a small number of victims of the war in BiH have received justice – judicial justice. Most victims are still searching for justice, while the authorities of Serbia (which is most responsible for the war in BiH) are doing everything so that justice would not be served,” said the association.

The Association also stated a number of demands to Serbian authorities:

– the state of Serbia must cease interfering in the internal affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina and providing active support to Milorad Dodik, whose policy destabilizes the entire region;

– the President and Prime Minister of Serbia and all other representatives of the state must respect the court-established facts about the war in BiH and stop denying (the Srebrenica) genocide and all other war crimes in BiH,

– the State must stop glorifying and rehabilitating convicted war criminals and establish the criminality of denying genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes by law,

– instead of obstructing trials before the Special Court, fair and efficient proceedings must be conducted against those responsible for war crimes,

– all countries from the region must establish regional cooperation to efficiently process war crimes and eliminate the consequences of war.

“We remember the siege of Sarajevo, we remember the crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina! We express solidarity and compassion for the victims! “We will continue to persistently ask questions about the crimes committed in our name,” the “Women in Black” association said.

The 44-month siege lasted until February 29, 1996. Some 12,000 people were killed during this time, including more than 1,500 children, and 50,000 people were wounded. More than ten thousand planes landed at and took off from the Sarajevo International Airport throughout this time, delivering humanitarian aid, UN forces and transporting wounded civilians for treatment.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/belgrade-association-women-in-black-mark-the-siege-of-sarajevo/

Belgrade asks UNMIK to remain committed to UN Resolution 1244 implementation

April 06, 2021

Nikola Selakovic, Serbia’s Foreign Minister, told on Tuesday Mari Yamashita, UN Secretary-General’s Representative, Director of the UN Office in Belgrade, that the UN was the most important international organization for his country and called on its UNMIK mission to remain committed to the implementation of the Resolution 1244 on Kosovo.

He added that the UN’s Office for Kosovo was of great significance since it was the main communication channel with UNMIK in Kosovo.

Selakovic said he expected UNMIK to remain in Kosovo with an unchanged mandate regarding Resolution 1244.

The Resolution was passed after the NATO bombing of the then Yugoslavia over what it said aimed at preventing a humanitarian catastrophe due to Belgrade oppression of Kosovo Albanians, and the following agreement which resulted in the withdrawal of the country’s armed forces from then Serbia’s southern province. It remains neutral regarding the final status of Kosovo.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/belgrade-asks-unmik-to-remain-committed-to-un-resolution-1244-implementation/

Coronavirus on April 6: Montenegro

April 06, 2021

In the last 24 hours, nine patients died from COVID-19-related complications, while out of 1,428 tested people, 290 were confirmed infected with the coronavirus in Montenegro, the Anadolu agency reported on Tuesday.

The death toll stood at 1,326, while 93,030 people have been positive for the virus.

On Tuesday, there were 5,192 active infection cases.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-pandemic-daily-regional-update-on-april-6-2021/

Coronavirus on April 6: Kosovo

April 06, 2021

Over the last 24 hours, eight patients died from COVID-19-related complications, and out of 4,082 tested people, 489 were confirmed infected with the coronavirus in Kosovo on Tuesday.

The death toll stood at 1,934.

Since the epidemic outbreak, 451,922 people have been tested and 94,656 samples returned positive for the virus.

At the same time, 78,702 patients have recovered.

On Tuesday, there were 14,020 active infection cases.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-pandemic-daily-regional-update-on-april-6-2021/

Slovenia confirms 273 new coronavirus cases, 7 deaths

April 06, 2021

In the past 24 hours 1,879 tests have confirmed 273 new coronavirus cases in Slovenia and seven COVID-19 patients have died, bringing the death toll to 4,089.

This month Slovenia is expected to receive nearly 134,000 doses of AstraZeneca's COVID vaccine, 163,000 doses of Pfizer's and Moderna's vaccines and 19,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson, the national COVID-19 vaccination coordinator, Jelko Kacin, told the press in Ljubljana.

He voiced confidence that AstraZeneca would continue to be administered “at least to some categories” of the population and that Slovenia expected an official position from the European Medicines Agency.

Slovenia is in lockdown until Monday. Health Minister Janez Poklukar said some restrictions could be relaxed after Monday, including face-to-face classes in elementary and secondary schools.

He said 300,000 home testing kits for students would arrive soon and that voluntary self-testing at home would begin in the second half of the month.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/slovenia-confirms-273-new-coronavirus-cases-7-deaths/

Coronavirus: Croatia reports 735 new cases and 30 deaths

April 06, 2021

Over the past 24 hours, Croatia has registered 735 new cases of the coronavirus infection and 30 deaths, and the number of active cases currently stands at 11,028, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Tuesday.

There are 1,713 COVID patients in hospitals, 155 of whom are on ventilators. In the last 24 hours, 1,531 people have recovered and 6,333 have been tested.

Since 25 February 2020, when Croatia registered its first case, 280,899 people have contracted coronavirus, 263,758 have recovered and 6,113 have died.

To date, a total of 1,589,987 people have been tested.

There are currently 26,592 people in self-isolation.

As of 5 April, 524,724 doses of vaccine have been used, and 426,310 people have been vaccinated, 326,247 of whom have received the first dose, and 98,414 of whom have received both doses. For 1,649 people, there is no data on which dose they have received.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-croatia-reports-735-new-cases-and-30-deaths/

Another 99 COVID-19 fatalities, 1,093 coronavirus infections reported in Bosnia

April 06, 2021

A total of 99 people passed away due to COVID-19 across Bosnia and Herzegovina throughout the past 24 hours and 1,093 new coronavirus infections were confirmed, healthcare authorities reported on Tuesday.

Of the 4,050 people tested in Bosnia’s Federation (FBiH) entity since Monday, 628 were positive for the virus and 63 COVID-19 patients died.

In the other semi-autonomous entity, Republika Srpska (RS), 442 new infections were confirmed, while 33 people died due to the disease.

Bosnia’s Brcko District also reported 23 new infections and three COVID-19 fatalities.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/another-99-covid-19-fatalities-1093-coronavirus-infections-reported-in-bosnia/

Coronavirus UPDATE: 40 deaths, 4,398 newly infected in Serbia

April 06, 2021

Over the last 24 hours, 40 patients died from COVID-19-related complications and out of 18,233 tested people, 4398 were infected with the coronavirus, Serbia's Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

To date, COVID-19 claimed a total of 5,537 lives with a mortality rate of 0.88 percent.

On Monday, 7,894 patients were hospitalized, of whom 271 on ventilators.

Since the epidemic outbreak in March 2020, 3,515,873 people have been tested, and 625,773 samples have returned positive for the new virus.

Over the last 24 hours, 40 patients died from COVID-19-related complications and out of 18,233 tested people, 4398 were infected with the coronavirus, Serbia’s Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

To date, COVID-19 claimed a total of 5,537lives with a mortality rate of 0.88 percent.

On Monday, 7,894 patients were hospitalized, of whom 271 on ventilators.

Since the epidemic outbreak in March 2020, 3,515,873 people have been tested, and 625,773 samples have returned positive for the new virus.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-update-40-deaths-4398-newly-infected-in-serbia/

Military pensioner: I will return vitamins to Serbia’s President

April 06, 2021

Jovan Tamburic, the head of Military Pensioners' Union, told N1 that he would send back a bag with vitamins that Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic said would deliver to all retired citizens, saying he would symbolically add "President's own hot air." .

Vucic said on Sunday he would send a bag of vitamins to all pensioners in Serbia to boost their immune system amid the coronavirus epidemic.

The news prompted speculations about the legality of the vitamins’ purchase.

„We called on pensioners to, together with vitamins, return Vucic’s his hot air as well,“ Tamburic said, accusing the President of „robbing retirees by taking away the pensioners’ fund, reducing pensions…“

He described Vucic’s move as humiliation.

„In that way, the President promotes himself and his party at the expense of Serbia’s taxpayers, covering up all wrongdoings with the pensioners’ fund,“ Tamburic added.

Last December, an infectologist returned Vucic a medal for achievements in fighting the coronavirus epidemic.

He was among other doctors decorated but said he sent the medal back because Vicic’s party members had threatened his family.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/military-pensioner-i-will-return-vitamins-to-serbias-president/

Serbia’s Vucic vaccinated in small place in eastern Serbia

April 06, 2021

About 80 days after the mass vaccination started in Serbia, the head of state Aleksandar Vucic received the first dose of the Chinese Sinofarm vaccine in Rudna Glava, a small place in the country's east.

After getting the shot, Vucic talked to local people, asking them what the state could do for them.

The video of his immunization appeared on his Instagram profile.

Vucic had been announcing his immunization several times before. But on Tuesday, he said he had waited for a million people to be revaccinated in Serbia to avoid being accused by the opposition and media such as N1, Nova S TVs and daily Danas of jumping to protect himself first.

He said nothing hurt him after the shot and announced the revaccination „somewhere in Serbia’s south.“

Last month, Vucic said that 500,000 people would be vaccinated after he did it.

Despite praises from all over the world for a successful vaccination in Serbia with four available types of shots, many people are still reluctant, including some medical staff and students, while the anti-vaxxer movement is on the rise.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/serbias-vucic-vaccinated-in-small-place-in-eastern-serbia/

Sarajevans organize mass protest against govt's incompetence to fight pandemic

April 06, 2021

A group of Sarajevo residents gathered in front of the city train station from where they will head off towards the BiH Parliament building and then the FBiH entity building protesting against the incompetence of the authorities in preventing the spread of the pandemic.

The protest called “Fight for Life” will take place from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm, and protestors will demand the resignation of the BiH Council of Ministers (as the BiH government is officially called) and the Federation (FBiH) entity Government due to the chaos in the country because of which an average of 50 BiH citizens die every day. Another reason, they said, is that the authorities have shown that they are incapable of coping with the pandemic.

The list of their demands also includes the appointment of a new convocation of the BiH Council of Ministers and the FBiH Government, which has 14 days to come up with a clear and realistic plan for crisis management and the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and an urgent introduction of PCR tests for everyone entering the country.

The rally is observed by strong police forces of the Sarajevo Canton Ministry of the Interior. There will also be a suspension of traffic on the roads on which the protestors will move during the protest.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/sarajevans-organize-mass-protests-against-govts-incompetence-to-fight-pandemic/

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