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We urgently appeal to the United States Congress to act decisively and employ all necessary means to rein in Serbia’s unfettered and blatant sponsorship of terrorism. The policy of appeasement has run its course; it is time for action, it is time for sanctions. The peace and security of the entire Western Balkans demand swift and resolute action to prevent further acts of violence and instability. 

On September 24, 2023, at 2:34 A.M., a group of approximately 30 heavily armed men perpetrated a vile terrorist attack in the village of Banjë in the Republic of Kosova, leading to the tragic loss of one valiant police officer, Afrim Bunjaku, and leaving three of his fellow officers wounded. This attack was aimed at destabilizing Kosova and constitutes a direct assault on Kosova’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and national security.  

The evidence collected by Kosova’s authorities thus far points to state sponsorship of these terrorists by Serbia, including providing enough arms and other combat equipment to outfit over 300 terrorists. Among the captured equipment were patches mimicking those of the KFOR mission personnel, which raises troubling concerns about the ultimate plans of this state-sponsored terrorist operation. The most alarming finding is that the terrorist group used the Banjë monastery to store the weapons and plan the attack. This finding confirms British MP and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee Alicia Kearn’s warnings in June of this year that Serbia was smuggling arms into monasteries and churches throughout the northern parts of Kosova in a bid to destabilize the region. 

Additionally, we express our profound concern regarding Russia’s endorsement and support of Serbia’s dangerous rhetoric, an alliance that only exacerbates the already unstable situation in the region. The United States must act before the situation turns into another Ukraine. There is time, but swift and decisive action is essential.

The United States and the international community must rise to the occasion and hold accountable those who perpetrate acts of terrorism and those who aid and abet them. Serbia must take full responsibility for this incident and return all individuals responsible for the attack to the Kosova authorities for a fair and just trial.

Amidst this tragedy, Kosova has demonstrated the strength, resilience, and success of its state institutions. The bravery and professionalism displayed by the Kosova Police Force thwarted the terroristic plot that could have cost an even greater amount of lives. Kosova’s legal institutions have provided all due process rights under Kosova’s Constitution and laws to each of the captured attackers. And finally, Kosova’s authorities have been working tirelessly to engage with the Serb community in Banjë and help return the village to normalcy. The United States must continue to support Kosova and the democratic success it has become. 

We, as concerned US citizens and many of us survivors of Serbia’s past genocidal campaign, condemn the heinous act that has shaken the foundations of peace and democracy in Kosova. As with the Holocaust, never again. Never again will we allow Serbia to reign terror and advance its genocidal agenda. We urge the United States to act with swift and just cause and impose proper sanctions on Serbia and all individuals linked with the terrorist plot. Only through full accountability can stability in the region be secured. 


Albanian-American Community of Illinois and

AACI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Chicago, Illinois, working towards preserving and promoting Albanian culture and heritage in Illinois.
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