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Osmani: The traces of crimes of sexual violence continue to burden the lives of citizens

2024-04-14 18:32:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

Osmani: The traces of crimes of sexual violence continue to burden the lives of

The President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, said on Sunday that the traces of crimes of sexual violence, committed by the Serbian army and police in the last war in Kosovo, continue to burden the lives of citizens even today, even 25 years after the war.

She made these statements on April 14, the date on which Kosovo commemorates the survivors of sexual violence from the time of war.

She said that on days like this, all citizens of Kosovo reflect on the suffering and express solidarity with all those who have experienced this "human tragedy".

"The note of April 14 is more than a call for justice. It is a strong statement of human solidarity with survivors, as well as a permanent reminder of their strength, courage and resistance in the face of violence."

The exact number of people raped during the last war in Kosovo is not known. According to a report by the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention, this figure reaches up to 20 thousand.

But, according to data from November of last year, only nearly 2,000 people have applied to receive the status of a person violated during the war in Kosovo. Of them, the status has been approved for about 1,600 people.

The verification of the testimonies of the persons who want to receive this status - during the period from February 27, 1998 to June 20, 1999 - is done by the Governmental Commission for the recognition and verification of the status of persons violated during the war in Kosovo.

Osmani has called for every criminal to face the crimes he has committed.

"The strength of the survivors of sexual violence in the Kosovo war is a source of inspiration for all of us. They have shown unparalleled resistance and will to fight for justice, despite tremendous suffering."

She has warned that the main theme of the second edition of the International Forum for Women, Peace and Security will be the issue of sexual violence in times of war.

She said that on April 15, personalities from 40 countries of the world will gather in Pristina to discuss strengthening the role of women in all spheres of life.

"In addition to dealing with the consequences of war, building systems to support survivors, strengthening the role of women in dialogue processes, climate security will also be discussed at the forum."

In addition to Osmani, two women from Kosovo, survivors of sexual violence, have spoken about the importance of supporting victims of sexual violence.

Vasfije Krasaniqi confessed about the violence she experienced 25 years ago, and the pleas she made to the Serbian forces to kill her, but which they did not accept, on the grounds that "you will suffer more this way".

"The second sentence was 'don't tell anyone what we did to you because we will come again'".

Shyhrete Sylejmani, another survivor of sexual violence, has called for everyone to listen to war survivors and spread their truths.

"The month of April 1999 fundamentally changed my life and that of thousands of other survivors. For 20 years I have felt it necessary to cover the painful truth in silence, but to forget the suffering has been difficult and to remember it even more difficult".

During the war in Kosovo, about 13,000 people were killed, while about 6,000 disappeared, of which about 1,600 are still missing.

Hundreds of bodies of murdered Kosovo Albanians have been found in mass cemeteries in Serbia./ REL

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