Published: Sep 29, 2016

FIQ’s initiative to relocate Old Hades residents is being reviewed

The Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Spatial Planning of the Assembly of Kosovo has considered FIQ’s initiative to formalize the relocation of Hade e Vjeter residents.

In a meeting between MPs and representatives of this area, Ombudsman Hilmi Jashari, KEK Director Arben Gjuka, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, Arben Çitaku, FIQ’s Executive Director Dajana Berisha and representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development decided that the committee should raise this issue for discussion in the Assembly of Kosovo.

Residents and FIQ have submitted to the commission their request for the immediate deployment of the entire village of Hade e Vjeter and the completion of the project launched 12 years ago for the relocation of Hade.

The Ombudsman has pointed out that the Resettlement Policy Framework, which underpins this process, is against the Law on Expropriation.

“The Law on Expropriation clearly sets out the obligations and responsibilities of the displaced. The framework we have here contradicts the Law and creates uncertainty as to which document should be applied in case of resettlement of Hades residents when in fact it cannot exceed the law and as such, mst be cancelled, ”Jashari said.

KEK Director Gjuka said that the application of the framework was done with the insistence of the World Bank that assisted the process.

MPs have seen the need to make a political decision on Hade, a decision that would find a solution and to stop further violations of the rights of residents of these areas facing lack of basic living conditions like water, electricity and arable land.

The relocation of Hade residents had begun in 2004, as part of emergency evacuation measures that followed the expansion of current mines. Attendees have estimated that this displacement runs against fundamental human rights and freedoms.

The relocation was suspended, shortly after the first phase, to leave 7,000 residents awaiting the next changes to the megalomaniac energy project, New Kosovo, which would also determine the development of the mining area./

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