Police checkpoints have been set up on the Mitrovica – Leposavic road, the Kosovo Police confirmed today. Fully equipped police units are stationed at the checkpoints. After additional police forces were deployed in North Mitrovica 13 days ago, the police officers have now been deployed on the main road in the north of Kosovo – where several roadblocks were previously installed by the local Serbs.
Special units of the Kosovo Police have been deployed at several checkpoints not far from the turnoff for Banjska near the Bistrica bridge on the main Mitrovica-Leposavic road. They alternatively allow the cars to pass and can be seen standing next to armored vehicles on the road.
A few hours after the special units were stationed on this road, confirmation also arrived from the Kosovo Police.
According to the police, these checkpoints were set up to guarantee freedom of movement and prevent criminal activities and smuggling.
„To carry out tasks and legal powers, the Kosovo Police has foreseen adequate operational planning in the engagement of its personnel and capacities in the most rational way in achieving legal goals across the country to create a safer environment for all citizens without distinction.“
The Kosovo police units have been deployed on the same road where four barricades have been installed 12 days ago – two in the municipality of Zvecan and two in the municipality of Leposavic.
Amid the crisis in the north and road blockades, the Kosovo Police say that „control and security of the situation on the ground“ is their top priority, and that they have been making „maximum efforts for several days to overcome the tense situation in the North“.
„Kosovo police, especially police officers, are committed to maintaining order and guaranteeing security throughout the country and, depending on the needs, taking the necessary actions on the ground to guarantee legality,“ they stated in a press release.
They thanked the citizens for their cooperation, as well as for providing information and reporting cases.
The police, however, did not specify whether the checkpoints will be temporary or permanent.
The presence of special units in the north dates back to a little over a year ago when these units were stationed, that is, blocked during the thirteen-day barricades near Jarinje and Brnjak.
In the meantime, the Kosovo Police, outside the focus of the wider Serbian public, built at least four special unit bases for the first time in the North – two in the municipality of Leposavic, and two in Zubin Potok. The reaction of Serb politicians arrived only after Albin Kurti boasted about visiting these bases in Zubin Potok.
A new crisis is underway in the North, which heightened at the beginning of November when the Serbs left most of Kosovo’s institutions, including the government, the assembly, the municipal assemblies in the North, the police, and the judiciary.
This period was also marked by several incidents, as well as the deployment of a large number of members of the Kosovo Police from other regions to North Mitrovica, which were reported to be regular police units. In the past days, however, police officers wearing the full equipment of special units can be seen in North Mitrovica.
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