MOSCOW – Moscow promised to allocate approximately $20 million to Serbia to demine the country, said Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic.
“Today (April 17), my counterpart (Russian Foreign Minister), Sergey Lavrov, informed me that Russia will allocate approximately $20 million for the deactivation of mines in Serbia,” Dacic said in Moscow during the opening of an exhibition dedicated to the 140th anniversary of the creation of the Embassy of the Principality of Serbia in the Russian Empire.
According to the Russian Ministry of Emergencies, Serbia, with the support of the International Civil Defense Organization, has been carrying out the country’s humanitarian demining program since 2008.
During this time, more than 6 million square meters were cleared and more than 13,000 unexploded munitions were destroyed, including aerial bombs, projectiles and cluster munitions.
Meanwhile, the horrendous crimes against the civilian population in Kosovo remain unresolved after more than 20 years.
Kidnappings, homicides and the removal of organs that took place in the late 1990s and early 2000s became commonplace in the autonomy of southern Serbia. Fear for their lives still stifles the voices of witnesses.
The president of the Association of Relatives of Kidnapped and Disappeared Persons in Kosovo and Metohija, Milorad Trifunovic, said what they expect and what their relatives hope for the disappeared.
The former president and prime minister of Albania, Sali Berisha, recently commented on his Facebook account about cases of child smuggling at the country’s border with the Kosovo region. According to the politician, a policeman wrote a letter in which he recounted at least nine cases.
“Mr. Berisha, I am a border police officer near the city of Kukes, and children under the age of 18 are being transported through the border [with Kosovo] for the subsequent sale of organs. Police officers receive bribes of 20,000 lek ($150 dollars). In this way, at least nine children who had been kidnapped from poor villages have been transported, I ask you to publish this information or take some kind of measures, ” says, among other things, the note addressed to the leader to the bathroom.
The Albanian media ignored these reports. However, sources from the Kosovar municipality of Dragash – bordering Albania, near the town of Kukes – confirmed to Sputnik that, in recent months, four children between 8 and 12 years old have disappeared: three girls and one boy.