Kosovo ‘Won’t Forgive Serbia’ for Killing Civilians: Parliament Chief

Kadri Veseli at the commemoration. Photo: Kadri Veseli/Facebook.

Hundreds of relatives of victims gathered on Wednesday at a memorial to the 54 ethnic Albanian civilians killed by Serbian forces in the village of Poklek, 25 kilometres west of Pristina, to mark the 20th anniversary of the massacre.

The head of the Kosovo Assembly, Kadri Veseli, laid flowers at the memorial and lamented that the killers have not been prosecuted.

"Many things could be forgotten and forgiven in a human life, but we will never forget Serbia's massacres in Kosovo. We will never forgive them," Veseli said.

The youngest victim of the massacre was a six-month-old baby, while the oldest was a 75-year-old man.

Kosovo MPs also opened a session of parliament by honouring the victims of Poklek with a minute's silence.

In a statement to mark the anniversary of the massacre, Kosovo opposition party Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) criticised President Hashim Thaci's attempts to strike a deal with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic to normalise relations between Belgrade and Pristina.

"While these crimes and lack of justice hurt our hearts each year, the president and [politicians] similar to him, still believe that a final agreement with Serbia could be reached without mentioning these crimes. This is inexcusable," Vetevendosje said in a statement.

International campaign group Human Rights Watch documented the aftermath of the Poklek massacre.

"According to numerous testimonies, including one survivor, at least 47 people were forced into one room and systematically gunned down by a single Serbian police officer or paramilitary. The precise number of dead is unknown, although it is certain that 23 children under the age of 15 died in the...

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