Eight Serbian Kosovo Security Force members have requested either a „demobilisation“ or „termination of their contract“ with this security formation that has been trying for years to officially be transformed into the „Army of Kosovo“.
Eight members of the Kosovo Security Force from the Rapid Reaction Battalion want to pull back due to „great pressure from official Belgrade“, Kosovo media reported last evening.
Deputy Minister in charge for the Kosovo Security Force, Agim Ceku, and Battalion Commander, Berat Shala, met on Monday with the Serb KSF members, who had sought resignation, in an attempt to persuade them not to withdraw from this security force.
Ceku later confirmed to media that their demobilisation request would be considered within a six month time period.
Assistant Minister of the KSF, Burim Ramadani, said such pressure from Belgrade was unacceptable.
„The Serbian pressure on Kosovo Serbs is completely unacceptable. The Serb community in Kosovo has gained more and more trust within Kosovo’s security institutions, including the KSF. The fact that Serbia increases pressure on them is completely unfair and vulgar. KSF is a home for all communities. Serbs have a professional and secure career there,“ posted Ramadani on Facebook.
The private property of the Serb members of the KSF in the north of Kosovo, however, came repeatedly under attacks by still unknown perpetrators. The Serb KSF members were also reportedly detained by Serb police, which was explained by Serbia as „taking an informative approach to interrogation“. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic also called on Kosovo Serbs not to join the „Kosovo Army“ because „they want Serbs to fight each other“.
Only Kosovo Police is visible in the north of Kosovo with about 500 members from region „North“. For the transformation of KSF into the „Army of Kosovo“, it requires a two-thirds majority vote by the minority deputies in the assembly.
According to a report last year, KSF had 247 minority community members, including Serbs. The same year the number of Serbs, including those from the north of Kosovo, increased with 63 new Serb members joining.
Officials have already warned Serbs against joining the KSF. However, a somewhat different message from the municipality of Novo Brdo was released to the public as well. At the same time, a number of incidents in recent months related to Serb members of the KSF have been reported.
At the end of November last year, explosive devices were thrown at the houses of two Serbs in Zubin Potok who were the members of the KSF. At the end of February, Serbian members of the KSF in the same municipality received threatening messages. In April and May this year, Serbian authorities also detained Serbian KSF members while claiming to „have talks with them“. After the arrest, Pristina expressed „bitterness and deep concern“ and urged Belgrade to „abandon the politics of detaining and intimidating Kosovo Serbs“. At the end of May, a car was torched belonging to another Serb member of KSF.
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