Ivanović in December 2011
|Born||1 April 1953|
Rznić, SAP Kosovo, FPR Yugoslavia
|Died||16 January 2018 (aged 64)|
North Mitrovica, Kosovo[a]
|Cause of death||Assassination|
|Resting place||Belgrade New Cemetery, Belgrade, Serbia|
|Political party||League of Communists of Yugoslavia (1971–1990)|
Socialist Party of Serbia (1990–1999)
Democratic Alternative (2001–2004)
Social Democratic Party (2004–2010)
Milena Popović Ivanović
|Alma mater||University of Priština|
|Profession||Mechanical engineer, economist|
Ivanović served as the State Secretary of the Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija from 2008 to 2012 and was also a member of the Coordination Center for Kosovo and Metohija from 2001 to 2008. He was assassinated by unknown perpetrators on 16 January 2018 in North Mitrovica.
Early life and career
Ivanović was born in Rznić, a village near Dečani in western Kosovo and Metohija, at the time part of the People's Republic of Serbia of FPR Yugoslavia, on 1 April 1953. His father, Bogdan, was a history professor, and his mother, Olga, was a professor of Serbian language and literature. He also had brother Miroslav and sister Nataša. His paternal heritage is Montenegrin.
Ivanović enrolled in the Zagreb Military Academy to become a pilot. During his studies he started training karate and quickly became an instructor. Three years into his studies he was diagnosed with congenital vision deficiency and left the Military Academy. He returned to Kosovo and graduated from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Kosovska Mitrovica, University of Priština. He also studied at the Faculty of Economics in Priština. He continued, parallel to his studies, professionally training in karate. He received higher belts and achieved recognition as an honorary international karate judge.
After the studies, he worked in several companies in Kosovska Mitrovica. With the creation of multi-party system in SFR Yugoslavia in 1990, he stepped out of parties, stating that he is "a man of the people". From 1991 to 1998, he was the head of Sports Center in Kosovska Mitrovica. Prior to the Kosovo War and the establishment of UNMIK in Kosovo, Ivanović was a less known member of the Socialist Party of Serbia in Kosovska Mitrovica.
1999–2008: Leader of Kosovo Serbs
With the establishment of the Serbian National Council of Kosovo and Metohija in 1999, he was appointed as the president of the executive board for North Kosovo. He was removed from this position on 6 June 2001. He was also removed from the presidential function of the Regional Board of Serbian National Council in October 2001.
Ivanović joined the Democratic Alternative led by Nebojša Čović. On 2 August 2001, he became the Head of the Department for Economic Development and Reconstruction of the "Coordination Center for Kosovo and Metohija", while the Head of the Center was Nebojša Čović.
Ivanović led the Coalition "Return" in the 2001 Kosovan parliamentary election held in November 2001, getting 89,388 votes which earned 22 places in the Assembly of Kosovo (120 places in total) for his coalition.
He was appointed as the minister in the newly formed Government of Kosovo and a member of the Presidency of the Assembly of Kosovo on 2 December 2001. In March 2004, a violent unrest in Kosovo broke out, in which Kosovo Albanians took part in wide-ranging attacks on the Kosovo Serbs minority. The Government of Kosovo consisted of Serbian representatives fell soon after.
He was the leader of the Serbian List for Kosovo and Metohija in the 2004 Kosovan parliamentary election held in October 2004. The election was massively boycotted by Kosovo Serbs. Eventually, the list won 1,414 votes, thus taking 8 out of 10 Serbian minority places in the Assembly of Kosovo (110 places in total).
2008–2012: Governmental position
On 17 February 2008, Kosovo Albanians unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in the Assembly of Kosovo. In a meeting attended by 109 of the total 120 MPs, the assembly unanimously declared Kosovo's independence, while all 11 representatives of the Kosovo Serbs minority boycotted the proceedings.
In July 2008, Ivanović joined the Government of Serbia as the State Secretary of the newly formed Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija under Minister Goran Bogdanović. The Ministry took over jurisdictions of disbanded "Coordination Center for Kosovo and Metohija".
In January 2010, the SDP ceased to exist, which resulted in the bitter words between Ivanović and Čović. Soon after, he formed a civic initiative "Srbija, demokratija, pravda" (Eng. "Serbia, democracy, justice"). Since then, he served as president of the civic initiative.
He stayed on the position of the State Secretary until July 2012.
2013–2018: Political decline
In April 2013, the Government of Serbia and the Government of Kosovo signed the Brussels Agreement on the normalization of their relations.
- 2013 Local elections
In September 2013, Ivanović announced that his civic initiative was forced to change its name from "SDP" - "Srbija, demokratija, pravda" (Eng. "Serbia, democracy, justice"),
to "GI SDP - Oliver Ivanovic", following the request of the Central Election Commission of Kosovo, which banned the use of the other countries' name for names of political organizations operating in Kosovo.
Ivanović decided to run in the 2013 Kosovan local elections for the president of North Mitrovica, with his civic initiative "SDP". The election campaign was marked with the Serbian Progressive Party-led Government of Serbia public calls to Kosovo Serbs to come out and vote in Kosovan elections organized by the Government of Kosovo, for the first time since Kosovo gained independence. The Government of Serbia also called the citizens to vote for the Serb List candidates.
- 2014–17 Imprisonment and threats
In January 2014, two months following the local elections, Ivanović was arrested on suspicion over war crimes during the 1990s. He was sentenced to nine years in jail on 21 January 2016 for war crimes by judges from the EULEX Kosovo. However, the Appeals Court in Pristina annulled the guilty verdict on 12 February 2017 and ordered a new trial.
In July 2017, his car was burned down by unknown perpetrators.
In September 2017, three months after the 2017 Kosovan parliamentary election, the Serb List with the support of the Serbian political leadership, formed the Government of Kosovo with PANA Coalition, which is formed of former Kosovo Liberation Army leaders (active in Kosovo War).
Since Ivanović got out of the prison in early 2017, he pointed to bad situation in Serb-majority North Kosovo. In an interview, he stated that Kosovo Serbs in North Kosovo are not afraid of Kosovo Albanians, but of "Serbs, local criminals [who are] riding in SUVs without car plates". He also added that: "the drug is sold at every corner, every parent is afraid of it." He pointed that in past several years there were over fifty cases of burning cars, throwing hand grenades and two unexplained murders, and "all this happens on the territory of two and a half square kilometers, which is completely covered by security cameras". He made a conclusion that: "it is obvious that the police are afraid that they do not offend the perpetrators, or that the perpetrators are bound with security structures."
- 2017 Local elections
He decided to run in 2017 Kosovan local elections for the president of North Mitrovica, with his civic initiative "SDP". During the campaign, he publicly criticized the Government of Serbia and ruling Serbian Progressive Party for favoring Serb List over other Serbian parties in Kosovan local elections.
Goran Rakić, a leader of the Serb List and opponent in elections for North Mitrovica, labelled Ivanović as an "irrelevant person" in Kosovo politics. Also, prominent officials of the Government of Serbia among whom was the director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Marko Đurić, blatantly discredited Ivanović labeling him as "traitor" and anti-Serbian politician. Ivanović responded by saying: "I have proven my Serbian patriotism in a much more difficult way than those who are accusing me of being anti-Serbian, I hope, will have to prove theirs [Serbian patriotism].
On 16 January 2018, Ivanović was shot in a drive-by shooting at 08:17 CET, while entering his office in North Mitrovica. Resuscitation was performed at Mitrovica Hospital shortly afterwards up to 9:15, but it was unsuccessful.
Autopsy findings revealed that Ivanović was killed by six 9mm PARA bullets from a Zastava M70A pistol, mainly hitting his upper torso (vital organs - upper aorta, hollow vein and liver). In an interview four days prior to the assassination, he admitted that he feared for his safety.
Soon afterwards, the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, scheduled an urgent session of the National Security Council of Serbia. He condemned the assassination and described it as an "act of terror". The Government of Kosovo condemned the assassination as well. This was the first assassination of some Serbian politician after the assassination of former Prime Minister of Serbia Zoran Đinđić, which occurred fifteen years earlier, on 12 March 2003.
Beside his native language Serbian, he also spoke Albanian, English and Italian.
Notes and references
- Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has received formal recognition as an independent state from 113 out of 193 United Nations member states.
- "Biografija Olivera Ivanovića". n1info.com (in Serbian). 16 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- Grujić, Dragoslav (1 November 2001). "Oliver Ivanović LIDER SRBA IZ KOSOVSKE MITROVICE" (in Serbian). Vreme. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "Srpski poslanici u Skupštini Kosova šokirani izmenom Ustavnih okvira". blic.rs (in Serbian). 9 May 2002. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "Kosovo MPs proclaim independence", BBC News Online, 17 February 2008
- Transkript: Nga Seanca Plenare e Jashtëzakonshme Solemne e Kuvendit Të Kosovës Me Rastin e Shpalljes Së Pavarësisë, Të Mbajtur Më 17 Shkurt 2008
- Milenković, M. R. (29 January 2010). "IVANOVIĆ: Kriv je Čović" (in Serbian). Retrieved 20 January 2018.
- "Oliver Ivanović promenio ime liste". rts.rs (in Serbian). 16 September 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
- "Oliver Ivanović očekuje pobedu na izborima". vesti-online.com (in Serbian). Beta. 17 November 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
- "Vučić u Gračanici: Naredili su mi da prvo odem u manastir, ali ja sam došao među vas". blic.rs (in Serbian). 1 November 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
- "KONAČNI REZULTATI IZ CPR" (PDF). kqz-ks.org. Central Election Commission of Kosovo. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
- "Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic arrested over war crimes". .bbc.com. BBC. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "EU judges convict Kosovo Serb politician Ivanovic of war crimes". BBC News. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
- "Verdict against Oliver Ivanovic thrown out, retrial ordered - - on B92.net". B92.net. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- "Zapaljen automobil Olivera Ivanovića u Kosovskoj Mitrovici". n1info.com (in Serbian). Beta. 28 July 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "Srpska lista odlučila da uđe u vladu Kosova Ramuša Haradinaja". Blic.rs (in Serbian). Beta. 9 September 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- Antanasijević, Dejan (28 September 2017). "Strah Srba od ekstremnih Srba". vreme.com (in Serbian). Vreme. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "Ivanović i Milović: Opasno što Đurić deli Srbe na Kosovu". n1info.com (in Serbian). Beta. 3 November 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "Ivanović: Protivnik mi nije bila Srpska lista nego cela Vlada Srbije". novimagazin.rs (in Serbian). 23 October 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "Rakić: Nije važan Oliver Ivanović". danas.rs (in Serbian). Fonet. 8 September 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- Stojanović, M. (18 October 2017). "Oliver Ivanović: Ja sam svoje srpstvo dokazao". danas.rs (in Serbian). Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- "KONAČNI REZULTATI IZ CPR 2017" (PDF). kqz-ks.org. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
- "Prominent Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic killed in drive-by shooting". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "Ubijen Oliver Ivanović sa pet metaka iz zasede". blic.rs. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "Ubijen Oliver Ivanović". b92.net. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic gunned down in Kosovo". dw.com. Deutsche Wellle. 16 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "Obdukcijom utvrđeno da je Ivanović ubijen sa šest metaka". n1info.com (in Serbian). Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "Ivanović strahovao: Ljudi se boje Srba, ne Albanaca". b92.net (in Serbian). 16 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "Hitna sednica Saveta za nacionalnu bezbednost u podne". b92.net (in Serbian). 16 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "Vlada Kosova osudila ubistvo Olivera Ivanovića". b92.net (in Serbian). 16 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- ""Đinđić, pa Ivanović – počnete da se pitate gde to živite"". b92.net (in Serbian). 17 January 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "Sahrana Ivanovića u četvrtak u Beogradu". b92.net (in Serbian). Tanjug. 16 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "Slučaj Olivera Ivanovića, od suđenja do ubistva". b92.net (in Serbian). 16 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- Radulović, I.; Vasiljević, P. (11 April 2015). "Četvorogodišnji Bogdan: Bože, vrati moga tatu". novosti.rs (in Serbian). Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "OVO JE PRVA ŽENA OLIVERA IVANOVIĆA: Stajala je uz svoje sinove i sa suzama u očima ispratila bivšeg supruga". espreso.rs (in Serbian). 18 January 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Oliver Ivanović.|
- Biografija Olivera Ivanovića at n1info.com (in Serbian)
- Oliver Ivanović at vreme.com (in Serbian)
- Mysterious Balkan Assassination Threatens Regional Peace at observer.com