News & Analysis

Kosovo’s PM fires minister over NATO bombing comments

Kosovo’s prime minister Ramush Haradinaj has fired the country’s ethnic Serb deputy justice minister Vesna Mikić after she called NATO’s 1999 bombing campaign against Serbia “planned genocide”.

“NATO committed a deliberate, planned genocide against a sovereign country that fought Albanian terrorism within its own borders,” Ms Mikić, who comes from Kosovo’s Serb minority which accounts for about five per cent of the country’s population, wrote on Facebook.

Mr Haradinaj said the statement went against Kosovo’s core values.

“There is no place in Kosovo’s government and institutions for individuals, whatever their ethnic origin, who denigrate our common euro-Atlantic values,” said Mr Haradinaj.

NATO carried out air strikes in 1999 against the now defunct Yugoslavia, comprised of Serbia and Montenegro, to halt a brutal crackdown against Kosovo Albanians by Serbian security forces. Targets included the Yugoslav ministry of defence (pictured above).

After 78 days of bombing, former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic ordered his troops to withdraw from Kosovo. The province was placed under NATO control before declaring its independence in 2008.