Kosovo Rally Against Border Agreement
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Kosovo Rally Against Border Agreement

Live updates from the protest in Pristina where the opposition is rallying against a ratification vote on the controversial border demarcation agreement with Montenegro.

  • In the hope of ending months of conflict, MPs in Kosovo's parliament are to vote on Thursday on the controversial border deal with Montenegro.Read more
  • Police forces have been dispatched across Pristina as Kosovo parliament prepares to vote on ratifying the controversial border demarcation agreement with Montenegro, which the opposition Vetevendosje party claims it can – and will – stop from happening with a protest in front of parliament today.

    Kosovo Police are positioned around institutions, crossroads and buildings, while armoured vehicles are also present ahead of the demonstration against the agreement. 

    Citizens have started to gather in front of the parliament with the protest due to start at 11am.

    Kosovo Police forces around Parliament building | Photo: BIRN 

  • Kosovo Police found 50 bags containing Molotov cocktails and stones during raids in the Dardania neighbourhood in Kosovo’s capital, Pristina, on Thursday morning ahead of the protest organised by opposition Vetevendosje party against the border agreement between Kosovo and Montenegro.

    Kosovo police earlier confirmed that “in that area we are having an action”, but did not give any additional details. 

    It is yet unclear who the objects belong to.

    Molotov cocktails found in Pristina | Photo: Kosovo Police

  • Kosovo citizens are continuing to arrive in front of the parliament building in Pristina from cities across the country to join in today’s protest against the controversial border deal with Montenegro, which MPs are due to take vote on.

    Opposition Vetevendosje [Self-Determination] movement, which organised the protest, arranged for buses to transport citizens from other cities in Kosovo to Pristina. 

    On Wednesday, Albin Kurti, a former leader of Vetevendosje, appealed for citizens to join the demonstration, which is intended to make the voting process almost impossible.

    Protesters arriving in front of Kosovo Parliament | Photo: BIRN       

  • Supporters of Kosovo’s ruling coalition ally, the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, lead by Prime Minister Isa Mustafa, are also present at the protest in Pristina today, having arrived from areas near the border with Montenegro.

    Protesters in front of Kosovo Parliament | Photo: BIRN           

  • Kosovo police find Molotov cocktails during raids in Pristina’s Dardania neighbourhood

  • Oppositions Vetevendosje [Self-Determination] movement officials have asked protesters to move to the other side of the parliament building to continue their demonstration in front of the MPs entrance.

    Some MPs have already entered the parliamentary session hall through this route.

    The parliamentary session, which was due to start at 11:30am, has still not begun.

    Protesters in front of MPs entrance | Photo: BIRN      

  • The assembly hall in Kosovo’s parliament remains empty almost an hour after today’s session was due to start in which the ratification vote on the controversial border agreement with Montenegro will take place. 

    The Assembly hall | Photo: BIRN   

  • A large crowd of protesters has massed at Adem Jashari square in front of the MPs entrance to the Kosovo parliament building where they are voicing their opposition to the border demarcation agreement with Montenegro through chants.

    Police have surrounded the building, where the MPs are now inside, but the parliamentary session, during which the ratification vote on the border agreement will take place, has still not started.

    For the ratification of the agreement to pass, 80 of the 120 MPs must support it, but without the votes of 11 MPs from Lista Srpska, who have stated they will not attend the session, it is unlikely to happen.

    Kosovo Police around Parliament building | Photo: BIRN     

    Protesters in front of MPs entrance | Photo: BIRN       

  • Kosovo Police have arrested two MPs of opposition Vetevendosje [Self-Determination] movement.

    The first, MP Donika Kadaj-Bujupi, was detained after parliament security found she was carrying a suspicious spray when they checked her at the entrance to the assembly hall, Kosovo Police stated. She has now been taken to the police station for questioning. 

    The other arrested MP is Aida Derguti, who is also the vice president of the parliament, but authorities did not give any details about the reason for her detention.

    Aida Derguti, MP of Vetevendosje | Photo: BIRN    

    Donika Kadaj- Bujupi | MP of Vetevendosje | Photo: BIRN    

  • Vetevendosje [Self-Determination] movement called the arrest of its MP Donika Kadaj-Bujupi a “repressive measure" against its members.

    Kadaj-Bujupi has previously been arrested for allegedly setting off tear gas in the Kosovo assembly, which Vetevendosje did to stop each parliamentary session held since the border agreement was signed in October 2015 until January this year.

    Donika Kadaj- Bujupi | MP of Vetevendosje       

  • The parliamentary session in which MPs will vote on the ratification of the border demarcation with Montenegro has begun, almost two hours after it was scheduled to do so.

    Parliamentary session | Photo: BIRN        

  • Vetevendosje MP Smajl Kurteshi asked for today’s parliamentary session to be postponed until September 12, but the speaker rejected the request.

    Kurteshi said his appeal was based on parliamentary regulation, whereby the first autumn assembly session should take place on the second Monday of September, however the speaker deemed today’s session to still fall into the summer period, allowing it to continue.

    Parliamentary session      

  • Besa Gaxheri, an MP of the Democratic League of Kosovo, PDK, has asked for the law on political parties to be discussed in parliament as soon as possible in order to define what political parties and terrorist organisations are. 

    The request comes after six members of the Vetevendosje [Self-Determination] opposition party were arrested on Tuesday on suspicions of terrorism after an explosive device was thrown at the Kosovo Assembly building earlier this month.

    Besa Gaxherri, MP of Democratic League of Kosovo | Photo: BIRN      

  • During today’s Kosovo Assembly session, Interior Minister Skender Hyseni defended the police force against allegations made by Vetevendosje [Self-Determination] party last week that tapes reveal the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, is controlling the Kosovo police. 

    “It is unacceptable to say that we have a criminal police. Kosovo Police has done its job and proceeded to the prosecution and court. The Kosovo police is impartial and should be trusted,” the minister said. 

    The biggest issue to be discussed in today’s session, the controversial border demarcation agreement with Montenegro, is the sixth point in today’s agenda and is yet to be raised.

    Parliamentary session        

  • Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Isa Mustafa, has scrapped the ratification vote on the controversial border demarcation agreement from the agenda of today’s parliamentary session.

    Fatmir Limaj, the leader of the opposition party Initiative for Kosovo, NISMA, claimed that Mustafa’s decision to postpone the vote is because of the influence of Serbian MPs. 

    Upon hearing the news, the crowd gathered outside the parliament to protest the agreement erupted into cheers.

    Isa Mustafa, Kosovo Prime Minister | Photo: BIRN        

  • Today’s Kosovo assembly session has drawn to a close after Prime Minister Isa Mustafa postponed the ratification vote on the controversial border demarcation agreement with Montenegro which was scheduled in the agenda.

    “As Prime Minister, I believe that today there are no circumstances to vote and ratify the agreement on the demarcation with Montenegro,” Mustafa stated when addressing the MPs, adding that this does not mean the government has withdrawn the agreement. 

    The crowd of protesters gathered outside parliament building to express their opposition to the agreement broke into celebrations upon hearing the news, considering it a victory for their cause.
    Vetevendosje MPs have joined the protesters to celebrate, however Kosovo Police are still present.

    Kosovo Parliament | Photo: BIRN     

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