“KFOR elements from Regional Command East conducted a synchronized patrol with counterparts from the Serbian Armed Forces (SAF) on the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) in the vicinity of the village of Hodonovce, in the municipality of Kamenica,“ KFOR announced this afternoon. KFOR’s announcement thus resolved the claims that have been running rampant in the Kosovo media since last night about an „incursion of 11 members of the Serbian armed forces“ into the village of Karacevo.
After Self-Determination MP, Mefail Bajqinovci published a video from Karacevo near Kamenica last night, claiming that the Serbian armed forces allegedly entered this village, and calling on Kosovo security institutions to „urgently react to protect the citizens, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Kosovo,“ Kosovo media have been reporting extensively on the situation.
The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Avdullah Hoti promised a detailed report today, emphasizing that the citizens of Karacevo will not be left without the protection of institutions. The PDK party also reacted – with strong accusations and condemnations, while former Kosovo Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj even went to Karacevo, sharing a series of photographs with the message that Kosovo security institutions „must no longer allow such provocations by the Serbian armed forces.“
Bajcinovci also went to Karacevo today, paying a visit to the owner of a restaurant who had claimed that the Serbian gendermerie allegedly passed through his yard.
Some media outlets also published an announcement from the Facebook page titled „Kosovo Liberation Army,“ which put a call for a protest in Karacevo tomorrow, while also warning that if „the state of Kosovo does not take measures for what is happening in Karacevo, then they will get the same answers as in 1998-1999.”
The village of Karacevo is located near the border between Kosovo and central Serbia, in the municipality of Kamenica, in the Gnjilane/Gjilan region. The boundary lines in this part were previously regulated between the Republic of Serbia and FYR Macedonia.
Part of the road to this village is in Serbia proper. According to the Kumanovo Agreement, it is not supervised by the Kosovo Police, but by KFOR.
Kosovo institutions, primarily the police, however, have yet to issue an official confirmation of this event, only telling the media in Pristina that they did not find the Serbian armed forces after doing a ground survey.
In a written statement today, KFOR emphasized that since 2008, synchronized patrols are routinely conducted together by KFOR and Serbian Armed Forces along the ABL in order to provide security and to ensure that there are no accidents. At the same time, KFOR noted that it also conducts joint patrols with Kosovo security organizations in the vicinity of the ABL.
“KFOR cooperates with Kosovo Security Organizations throughout Kosovo, and with the Serbian Armed Forces on the ABL between Kosovo and Serbia. The ABL stretches over circa 350 kilometers and is not clearly marked on the ground or defined by natural and identifiable terrain elements, such as rivers or mountain ranges, but only delineated on maps,” KFOR wrote in a statement.
While performing their activities, synchronized patrols have to adapt their itineraries to terrain constraints, they explained further.
“This implies that KFOR-SAF synchronized patrols move the ABL with a degree of adaptation imposed by the terrain. However, at no time SAF elements of a synchronized patrol are separated from KFOR members; and this was the case this time too.”
KFOR also emphasized that it will continue to engage with all parties to strengthen the cooperation with both the Kosovo Security Organizations and the Serbian Armed Forces in accordance with its mandate, as per the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999 and the Military Technical Agreement of the same year.
Hoti: There is no need for pompous statements and visits without knowing what happened
After KFOR, Kosovo Prime Minister Avdulah Hoti also spoke out. He confirmed that both he and the Kosovo Interior Minister had been in contact with KFOR, as well as with the mayor of Kamenica, and that they had clarified the situation, promising soon that „concrete measures of Kosovo security institutions“ in coordination with international ones, including joint patrol.
„Kosovo’s security cannot be threatened. „There is no room for panic, nor the need for pompous statements and parades, and at the same time, you have no idea how the event happened,“ Hoti said on Facebook.
He claims that „Kosovo’s borders are internationally secured and recognized by the most powerful and democratic part of the world.“
He also promised a visit to Karacevo.
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