One of the most prominent politicians of Kosovo's Serb minority was killed on Tuesday. Oliver Ivanović was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in the ethnically divided city of Mitrovica. He was an important contact for representatives of the EU, Nato and UN in Kosovo. Observers now fear that tensions will escalate between the Kosovars and the Serbs.
A climate of fear
Ivanović fell victim to the very violence he long warned of, Novosti explains:
“He was the last courageous Kosovo Serb politician. He belonged to those who had an opinion and weren't afraid to voice it, even if it didn't suit the government in Belgrade or Priština. That cost him his life. He ran for the office of mayor of North Mitrovica in the last two local elections, and spoke openly of the atmosphere of fear, threats and extortion that marked the elections. His own car was set on fire as a warning during the campaign.”
Don't let the truth be suppressed
Ivanović's murder could destabilise the entire region, Jutarnji list fears:
“This murder is shocking and could have devastating consequences for Kosovo and the surrounding region if the international community doesn't take decisive action against those who are trying to capitalise on it politically. ... The division of Kosovo is a red line that must not be crossed. And no murder should be covered up just because someone believes that the whole truth could have political consequences.”