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KPS takes over security of the Gracanica monastery

06. August 2010. | 00:42

Source: EMGportal

The NATO-led troops in Kosovo, KFOR, will today hand over the responsibility for the security of the Gracanica monastery to Kosovo police, KPS.

The NATO-led troops in Kosovo, KFOR, will today hand over the responsibility for the security of the Gracanica monastery to Kosovo police, KPS.

The medieval Serbian Orthodox Monastery is located close to the Serb enclave in central Kosovo.

It will be the first structure described as "marked as having special status", that will be now guarded by KPS members.

The Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries were placed under protection of KFOR because many were attacked and destroyed by ethnic Albanians in 1999, and 2004.

Ministry for Kosovo State Secretary Oliver Ivanovic said that the handover today "never represented a problem", since the municipality has a majority Serb population, and because the KPS members guarding the monastery will "mostly be Serbs".

Vicar Episcope of Lipljan Teodosije has stated that the decision of KFOR to hand over the protection of Serbian Orthodox Church monasteries in Kosmet to the Kosmet police will jeopardize their security and safety of the monks.

He also warned that this decision was passed without the consent of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Teodosije has pointed that it has been warned on several occasions that the Kosmet police has not trust of the SOC or Kosmet Serbs, because of its stance on the destruction of Serb sanctities, especially during the March pogrom of 2004.

The decision of NATO officials was politically motivated, in order to send a message from Kosmet about the alleged improvement of the security situation, and to cover the bitter truth about the violations of human and confessional rights, pointed Teodosije.

He has stressed that this decision is also discouraging the return of the expelled Serbs, thus closing chapter of their ethnic cleansing that has been intensively worked on over the past 12 years.


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