In an attempt to calm the tensions on the ground that emerged in early August, and in the case swift reaction is required, KFOR has increased its presence in vicinity of the Jarinje and Brnjak crossing points. KFOR also called on everyone to avoid unilateral actions and refrain from violence.
This information was confirmed for KoSSev by KFOR’s Public Affairs Office when asked about the visibly increased presence of KFOR soldiers in the north in the past few days. Both the US and Polish KFOR units have been spotted in the field.
According to the KFOR PAO, KFOR’s Regional Command East has increased its presence in the vicinity of the Jarinje and Brnjak crossing points, and established several traffic control points.
It also increased its patrolling activity in the area together with the Carabinieri MSU and EULEX.
The measures have been taken, they add, to raise their situational awareness.
The NATO-led KFOR mission’s mandate, based on the UN Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999, is to ensure a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all the people in Kosovo, the KFOR office said in a statement.
“These measures have been taken to enable KFOR to swiftly react to any security challenges. KFOR calls on everyone to avoid unilateral actions and refrain from violence. We would like to ensure everyone that KFOR is ready to intervene if necessary to maintain the safe and secure environment and the freedom of movement!”
“In order to accomplish its tasks, KFOR maintains a visible and agile posture on the ground,” they said in a statement for KoSSev.
Currently, there are approximately 3,700 KFOR soldiers deployed in Kosovo, but that number can be increased if necessary, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed earlier this week.
KFOR has also been more active on social networks, frequently sharing information about its activities and promotional videos.
International diplomats, together with NATO, have been busy this month at defusing the latest tensions in the north of Kosovo, following Pristina’s attempt to implement its decision for all owners of plates with Serbian markings of towns in Kosovo to re-register their vehicles to RKS, as well as to start issuing entry/exit document for citizens entering Kosovo with a Serbian ID card on August 1st. In response to these decisions, Serbs in the north set up barricades. Thanks to an urgent mediation of the US ambassador and the EU, the Kosovo government postponed the implementation by a month.
The Belgrade and Pristina meeting at the highest level in Brussels on Thursday did not bear fruit, but talks continue. The Pristina authorities remain determined to implement the decision, with the support of Western diplomats, confirming that it is in line with the Brussels Agreement. The Serbs, on the other hand, claim that they will not implement the decisions, alleging that they violate the Brussels Agreement and that Kurti rejected two proposals presented by the Serbian side as possible ways to resolve the crisis.
The parties continue to exchange accusations. The Kosovo Minister of the Interior, Xhelal Svecla, said that „they know that the Serbian gendarmerie had set up barricades“, announcing new attacks on the police. Svecla also said that Pristina would no longer be postponing the decision. The head of the Kosovo Office, Petar Petkovic, says that this minister is „the main subcontractor of Kurti’s plan to destabilize the region.“
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