N.Mitrovica citizens: Barricades to be removed by those who installed them after an agreement that benefits the Serbs is reached

The citizens of North Mitrovica state that the current situation in the north of Kosovo does not look too good. According to the results of a vox pop conducted by the KoSSev portal, some citizens openly support the barricades, believing that they must be removed only after an agreement that benefits the Serbs is reached. On the other hand, others say that they do not have an opinion on this issue, deeming that politicians will be the ones with the final say. For some, the arrival of additional forces of the Kosovo Police is the „occupation of the north“, others feel unease over the fact that the police are armed with firearms, while some citizens express concern.

The majority of the citizens of North Mitrovica refused to comment on the latest tensions in the north of Kosovo for KoSSev. On the other hand, those who agreed to speak for our portal say that the current situation does not look too good.

One of the citizens placed the blame on the Kosovo Prime Minister, stating that Kurti is trying to „occupy the North by force“.

Another North Mitrovica resident alleged that these events are simply the culmination of the situation on the ground, but that systemic changes are needed for improvement.

Citizens also argued that the situation created practical problems, pointing out that some institutions remain closed.

„I just went to the bank to make a transaction, but it’s not open, so I’ll probably have to pay some fines,“ one of KoSSev’s interlocutors complained.

An ethnic Albanian, whom we met in Bosniak Mahala, also assesses the current situation as bad. He added that he never had any problems, either before or after the latest tensions broke out.

We also asked the citizens to share their views of the barricades erected in several places in the north of Kosovo five days ago.

The majority of citizens of Serb ethnicity believe that the barricades were justifiably set up and that Serbs are thus fighting for their rights.

One of them noted that the barricades are a form of citizen resistance and protest:

„So that they can no longer do what they are doing to us, and the people themselves are the organizers, you see how they are arresting people. In what other way can we protest or express dissatisfaction?“

„We must draw attention to this in some way so that the deciding factors take into account our problems,“ another interlocutor told KoSSev, emphasizing that „nothing can be done by force.“

An elderly resident revealed that „all the children go“ to the barricades – including hers.

„It must be done. I would also go if they called on me, I would go to the barricades first, to swap with the children, it is hard,“ she said.

Some citizens who support the barricades believe that they will be removed by the Serbs, noting that this should happen only if an agreement that benefits the Serbs is reached.

One interlocutor argued that before the barricades are taken down, the Serbs who were arrested last week should be released.

„They haven’t done anything. Anyone can be arrested at any time just because Kurti said so,“ he stressed.

He also added that Kurti has been given „enough time“ and that the longer the negotiations take – the worse the situation gets for the Serbs.

On the other hand, some citizens believe that the Serbs will not be the ones to remove the barricades.

„They will persevere, we are a strong nation, we will hold on until the end. They must not remove them, and I don’t believe these foreigners will remove them either, only the police can remove them,“ one North Mitrovica local said.

Some interlocutors of KoSSev did not share their position on whether the barricades will be removed, while one of them said that citizens will not be the decision-makers – but politicians.

We also asked the citizens to comment on the fact that additional KP units were stationed in North Mitrovica after the Serbs from the north withdrew from the police.

Opinions are divided, some claim it is a „pure occupation of the north,“ while others describe it as a „choreography“ and „muscle-flexing“.

„Kurti aims to seize the north. They arrested three Serbs, which means that no agreement can be reached with him and that the people have to react with some kind of rebellion,“ says one of KoSSev’s interlocutors.

According to him, Belgrade is „cautious“ when it comes to resistance and the citizens need the support of the Serbian state leadership, which called on the Serbs from Kosovo to be treated as equal citizens.

„We don’t need money, we don’t need help, we don’t need anything, we will manage, but we want peace and freedom, we want to live here and we will not leave, there is no way, and everyone should know that, including the international community and Serbia and Kurti and everyone. We are not going anywhere.“

His fellow citizen revealed that while he is not bothered that police officers are stationed around town, he feels uneasy over the fact that they are armed with firearms.

The majority of those polled, on the other hand, say that the arrival of additional forces of the Kosovo Police did not scare them. They state that they are used to the unstable situation in the north, but also that it poses a problem for the younger generations.

„Well, it hasn’t been this way for just a year, every once in a while we have sirens, even when the foreigners were here we went to the bridge, this has been going on for how many years now. It’s not that simple, but it’s hard, the situation has never been more difficult. If only we had our police and our army, but we don’t.“

An older fellow citizen said that it is not easy watching someone „frisk your children“.

But this happens all the time, every once in a while, tensions flare up

Preuzimanje i objavljivanje tekstova sa portala KoSSev nije dozvoljeno bez navođenja izvora. Hvala na poštovanju etike novinarske profesije.