Ramush Haradinaj announced on Tuesday that he has dismissed the Minister of Local Government Administration, Ivan Teodosijevic, a Kosovo Serb, for using hate speech.
Haradinaj said that the decision was made to sack Teodosijevic after his comments that Kosovo Albanian war victims fabricated crimes committed during the 1998-99 conflict.
“It is senseless how one of our colleagues even today speaks with such ignorance, hatred and insult about the victims of Recak/Racak [a massacre in 1999], other victims of [Slobodan] Milosevic’s regime, and his acceptance and approval of the terror of this regime,” Haradinaj wrote on Facebook.
Teodosijevic said that Albanians fabricated crimes against themselves in Kosovo while committing crimes against Serbs.
“The reason for the aggression in our country was the so-called humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo and the fabricated Recak [massacre in 1999], and the Albanian terrorists are the ones who made all this up and committed the biggest crimes in Kosovo,” he claimed.
Part of the justification for the NATO air strikes on Yugoslavia, which started in March 1999, was the killing of 45 Kosovo Albanians by Belgrade’s security forces in the village of Recak/Racak in January that year.
NATO’s 78-day military campaign, aimed at making Milosevic pull his forces out of Kosovo, is widely described in Serbia as the ‘NATO aggression’.
“They [Kosovo Albanians] committed crimes before the NATO aggression, they killed good Serbian householders and policemen at their workplace. Their bloody peers continued [to commit crimes] during the NATO aggression and after the arrival of the so-called peace mission in Kosovo,” Teodosijevic also said.
Haradinaj said that such rhetoric “can’t be justified” at a time when Kosovo is marking the 20th anniversaries of massacres committed by Serbian forces all over the country.
“In the government that I lead, there will be no place for anyone who in any way insults others on an ethnic, racial, religious or other basis, nor those who intend to adopt such policies,” he said.
Teodosijevic’s dismissal comes after Haradinaj fired another Kosovo Serb government official on March 25.
Deputy Justice Minister Vesna Mikic was dismissed for her comment accusing NATO of ‘genocide’ on the 20th anniversary of the start of the military alliance’s bombing campaign on March 24.
“The NATO alliance committed a deliberate, planned genocide against a sovereign country that fought Albanian terrorism within its own borders,” Mikic said.
Haradinaj said the statement went against Kosovo’s core values.