Bosnian Serb students protest over Kosovo's independence

Other News Materials 18 February 2008 20:41 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Several thousand Bosnian Serb students protested Monday in Banja Luka against the independence of Kosovo, first walking peacefully through the city, then attacking the diplomatic missions of some European Union countries.

Although no particular connection between Bosnian Serbs and the issue of Kosovo exists, the protesters expressed their opposition to against Kosovo's independence.

The students first gathered at the main city's square carrying Serbian flags and placards "Kosovo is heart of Serbia," and "We do not give up Kosovo," and then they walked towards the buildings of the Bosnian Serb National Assembly and the United States Consulate in Banja Luka, where the strong Bosnian Serb special police troops prevented them from approaching the buildings.

The protesters then walked towards the building shared by consulates of Germany and France, attacked it with stones and potatoes and burned flags of the European Union and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

No casualties were reported during the protest.

In the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, at the same time, Chairman of Bosnia's tripartite state Presidency Zeljko Komsic repeated that the Presidency had reached a consensus "not to recognize Kosovo in the forthcoming period."

The international administrator in Bosnia, Slovak Diplomat Miroslav Lajcak, warned again that "none of Bosnia-Herzegovina's problems are in any way related to Kosovo and its status.

"Any attempt to artificially link Kosovo to Bosnia-Herzegovina or its constituent parts must be firmly rejected," Lajcak said in a statement after meeting with the Speaker of the Montenegrin Parliament Ranko Krivokapic in Sarajevo.

Lajcak and Krivokapic also agreed that the independence of Kosovo could not derail the hopes of the region of EU accession and that the European agenda must remain in the focus.