KFOR: We increased the number of routine patrols Kosovo-wide, including the north

Švajcarska Kfor
Foto: KFOR

 KFOR has increased the number and duration of routine patrols Kosovo-wide, including in northern Kosovo, KFOR announced.

 

 “KFOR is closely monitoring the situation across Kosovo and remains focused on the daily implementation of its mandate – derived from the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999 – to ensure a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all communities living in Kosovo. KFOR has increased the number and duration of routine patrols Kosovo-wide, including in northern Kosovo,” KFOR announced.

 

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic announced the visit of the military envoys of the Quint countries to Jarinje today. However, by the time the news was published, we were unable to get confirmation of this visit from KFOR.

Belgrade-based media outlets have been reporting since this morning that Vucic is meeting with the ambassadors of Quint countries in Belgrade today. Vucic did not announce this meeting last night. The meeting started at 1pm, and it is the second meeting with Quint since the crisis in the north broke out.

Earlier this morning, some media outlets first reported that KFOR troops are expected to arrive in Jarinje and Brnjak today. The same media wrote later on that the units have already arrived at the border crossings, announcing possible intervention. Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti, however, said at a press conference in Pristina that he had not been informed about KFOR’s intervention in the north.

 

„I have not been informed that KFOR will be intervening in the north. We need to return to talks. I call on the citizens to calm down, because the institutions are doing their job,“ Kurti said in Pristina today at a joint press conference with the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama.

 

The four mayors from the northern municipalities met with KFOR Commander Major General Franco Federici today.

 

„The KFOR commander said that KFOR will not interfere in political issues or forcibly remove roadblocks,“ they wrote in a joint statement earlier today.

 

They demanded from the KFOR commander that KFOR soldiers „remain neutral“ and act in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, without explaining at the time what they were precisely talking about, given that KFOR had no visible activities on the highways leading to Brnjak and Jarinje, except for the occasional patrols seen near the road blockades installed by local Serbs.

 

„It is necessary to increase the presence of KFOR due to a series of incidents caused by ROSU special forces in the previous days, especially at the Brnjak crossing, in order to prevent such incidents and preserve peace,“ the mayors stressed.

 

They called on the citizens to show restraint and „not fall for provocations“.

 

„We are where we should be and we are defending the basic human right guaranteed by all international acts and charters,“ they added.

 

The roads near Jarinje and Brnjak have been blocked since last Monday following the decision of the Kosovo government to introduce reciprocity for Serbian license plates.

 

The barricades are maintained by employees of certain institutions, with the organization and support of Srpska Lista leaders and officials, and backed by President Aleksandar Vucic. Kosovo special police forces have been stationed at the barricades since Monday. 

 

So far, no incidents have been registered at the crossings themselves, except for the time tear gas was thrown in Brnjak. However, three incidents were registered outside areas surrounding the crossings. The case of the beating of three ethnic Serbs in the forest near Brnjak, who were not involved in the blockades, remains unsolved. One of the injured Serbs testified from the hospital in North Mitrovica that they were beaten by members of Kosovo Special Forces.

 

On Saturday, two offices in the municipality of Zubin Potok, where the vehicle registration centre is located – and where temporary RKS license plates are issued, burned down. Also, two bombs were thrown at the vehicle registration centre in Zvecan on the same night. Fortunately, the bombs did not explode. These incidents additionally raised tensions.

 

Previously, the Kosovo media and part of the pro-governmental Serbian media have been publishing extensive reports on Serbian planes flying over Jarinje, the presence of Serbian Army on the other side of crossing, as well as the arrival of the Russian ambassador to Jarinje.

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