Kosovo Laments ‘Delayed Justice’ as Village Massacre Commemorated

Hundreds of family members of Kosovo Albanian civilians killed by Serbian forces on January 15, 1999 gathered on Friday in Recak/Racak, a village 20 kilometres south of Pristina, to commemorate the anniversary.

Forty-four people are confirmed to have been killed that day, and one woman remains missing.

Visiting the site, Acting Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti said that the victims "will never rest in peace until those who have committed these deeds receive the punishment they deserve".

"Justice is sometimes delayed but I am convinced it will be served once and for all," Hoti added.

Two years ago, Kosovo's Special Prosecution confirmed that investigations were ongoing into "the role of several individuals". However, no one has yet been convicted under a final verdict of involvement in the massacre.

The head of the opposition party Vetevendosje (Self-Determination), Albin Kurti, who is running for prime minister in upcoming elections on February 14 described the massacre as a "genocidal act".

"There can be no lasting peace as long as there is no justice which brings rehabilitation for victims and punishment for criminals," Kurti said.

On the day of the commemoration, Kosovo's Acting Justice Minister Selim Selimi, set up a working group to establish a new War Crimes Research Institute.

Selimi said that "Kosovo should have an address that future generations can contact to see what happened during the war".

"The memory of Recak is the memory of our mothers', sisters' and childrens cries, which are still ringing in our heads. The aim of this institute is to preserve this memory," Selimi said.

Serbian security forces surrounded Recak/Racak and started attacking it on the morning of January 15, 1999, then...

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