KFOR commander visits the University in North Mitrovica, talked with students


KFOR Commander, General Salvatore Cuoci met with Serbian students in the north of Kosovo for the first time. They spoke at a closed meeting in the Rectorate building followed by a joint address to the media. KFOR Commander expressed strong optimism that war time was „definitely over“. Freedom of movement and safety are the key challenges for students at Mitrovica University, claim Serbian students.

Confirming that KFOR’s mandate is to ensure a peaceful environment, Cuoci has witnessed efforts to do it „in the best possible way“.

„It is not necessary to deploy large numbers of soldiers in the field as the situation got better. But in case of an emergency, we can count on reserve troop deployment, and our willingness to deal with the situation,“ he added.

In his opinion, the region „deserves to get back to a period of calm of 20 years ago (with no war)“, while Belgrade and Pristina have to think about how to take care of the future and to find a solution for the people who live here and their economic sustainability.

Responding to journalists’ questions about the changed mandate of EULEX, Cuoci explained that KFOR will continue to perform its duties as a second line of response, with an unchanged number of troops.

Rector: Ensure freedom of movement and safety

Rector, Professor Dr. Rade Grbic, called on KFOR to ensure freedom of movement, and provide safety and security to Mitrovica university students, while explaining the majority of them come from Serbian areas all around Kosovo.

Freedom of movement and safety remain the key challenges for Serbian students from Kosovo, recalled one of the student leaders who is also a North Mitrovica municipal assembly member – Nemanja Bisevac.

While addressing journalists, Bisevac expressed his satisfaction with the visit and discussion with the KFOR Commander.

KFOR has been deployed in Kosovo since 1999 and currently has over 4,000 members in the field.

Several Belgrade media outlets have released a series of news articles on alleged plans for „the occupation of the North“ and the „intrusion into the North“ by Kosovo-Albanian troops, with the support of NATO units and the US. Since the beginning of the month, the Serbian President has been also warning the Serbian public that Albanians are only interested in „taking“ and „occupying“ the North.

 

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