The top United Nations official in Kosovo has strongly condemned the September 19 2013 attack on a European Union convoy that resulted in one death, and urged that those responsible be brought to justice.
A Lithuanian officer serving with the EU Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) died in the incident, which took place in the vicinity of Municipality Zvecan, according to a news release issued by the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
“This abhorrent act of violence is a direct assault on the principles of peace, justice and civility that international missions are in Kosovo to serve. Any attack against representatives of the international community is an attack on the international community as a whole,” said Farid Zarif, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNMIK.
The envoy called on members of all local communities to come forward with any information that will help the police and EULEX to swiftly identify and apprehend the individuals responsible for this “cowardly act.”
He also urged everyone to avoid speculation about the motives or identities of those responsible, to allow the investigators to do their work.
“The United Nations in Kosovo offers its full support to EULEX and local law enforcement to ensure those responsible are brought to justice,” Zarif said.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said that she was deeply saddened by the death of the Lithuanian EULEX staff member and she condemned the attack “in the strongest possible terms”.
The perpetrators must be brought to justice, Ashton said.
“The European Union is determined to continue its engagement and commitment in Kosovo and will press on with its work in the context of the EU-facilitated dialogue.
“I appeal to all parties to redouble their efforts to implement the agreements reached, to normalise relations and to improve the lives of the people on the ground in northern Kosovo.”
In a message on her personal Twitter account, US ambassador to Kosovo Tracey Jacobson said that she was appalled by the attack on EULEX and was mourning the loss of life.
EULEX said that it condemns in the strongest terms possible this act of cowardly violence against its staff members.
“We appeal to the local community that anyone who has been a witness, or knows anything about this incident to come forward and contact us on 00381 38 78 5555 or 00381 38 78 5556.
“EULEX extends its sincere condolence to the family of the deceased,” the mission said.
(Archive photo: ©EULEX)