Serbs rejected KFOR’s offer to withdraw the Kosovan special units, as well as to remove the barricades, and for KFOR to additionally secure Jarinje and Brnjak – the news was first announced yesterday morning by the Kosovan Minister of Interior Xhelal Svecla. Srpska Lista also confirmed the same news last night. SL underlined that they refused the offer because it would mean that the decision of the Kosovo government on RKS temporary plates would remain in force.
Kosovo Interior Minister revealed during a press conference on Tuesday morning that the Kosovan side accepted KFOR’s proposal for Pristina to withdraw special police forces from the crossings, and for Serbs to remove the barricades, and in exchange, KFOR would station its forces at Jarinje and Brnjak. However, he added, the Serbian side refused the offer. Svecla then proceeded to call those who rejected such a KFOR proposal „extremist elements“.
Addressing the allegations of the Kosovo Minister of Internal Affairs about the proposal for resolving the new situation in the north of Kosovo, the KFOR mission told KoSSev yesterday that the mission commander is in regular contact with representatives of local institutions and the international community, in order to contribute to de-escalation.
They reiterated that routine patrols have been increased, and that the mission’s units have recently been deployed at the Jarinje and Brnjak crossings in line with the mandate given to KFOR by the UN.
In the meantime, Srpska Lista also reacted, confirming that at the Monday meeting with General Federici, the Serb mayors rejected the proposal of the KFOR commander. They underlined, however, that they want to inform the public and prevent any misinformation from Pristina.
They also accused the Kosovo government of raising tensions, arguing that SL would not make peace with their intention to put them in cages.
„We emphasize that the mayors from the north received a proposal from the KFOR commander during yesterday’s talk for them to replace the Albanian special forces with KFOR soldiers and for Pristina’s unilateral decision to confiscate Serbian license plates and endangerment of freedom of movement to remain in force, and for the north to become a Serbian ghetto,“ they wrote in last night’s statement.
Furthermore, they alleged that the decision to reject the proposal was made „in consultation with the citizens“.
„Our people and we, its representatives, are not ready to make peace with Pristina’s intention to put us in a ghetto and abolish our right to freedom of movement, which has been the value of modern Europe for decades now and which should apply to Serbs in this area,“ the largest Kosovo Serb party wrote.
Srpska Lista confirmed that Serbs will remain at the barricades as long as it is necessary.
“The fact that armed special forces are beating up bare-handed Serbs is the reason for the perseverance of our people in the fight for the right to freedom of movement.“
„Saying that we are affected by the ethnicity of those who are removing our license plates is a lie, we are affected by the very intention to remove them. No matter what uniform that person may be wearing.“
SL called on Pristina to return the state of affairs to the period before September 20th of this year.
What did the mayors say on Monday
The mayors of the northern municipalities, however, did not share this information with the public after meeting with the KFOR commander on Monday.
They demanded that KFOR soldiers „remain neutral“ and act in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, without specifying what they were referring to.
„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.
„The KFOR commander said that KFOR will not interfere in political issues or forcibly remove roadblocks,“ they wrote in a joint statement at the time.
After they called for a greater KFOR presence, KFOR announced that it had increased the number of routine patrols Kosovo-wide, including the north.
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. Kosovo special police forces have been stationed at the barricades since Monday.
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