„My message to our citizens here is that they should remain composed, cool-headed, and not allow themselves to be provoked because it is obvious that a small incident here can result in a tragedy,“ the mayor of Leposavic, Zoran Todic, said from Jarinje today.
The roads to the Brnjak and Jarinje crossings in the north of Kosovo have been blocked since Monday after the Kosovo government decided to introduce reciprocity measures for Serbian license plates.
The barricades are maintained by employees of certain institutions, organized and supported by the leaders and officials of Srpska Lista, and backed by the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. Kosovo special police forces have been stationed at the barricades since Monday.
The mayor of Leposavic, Zoran Todic, underlined from Jarinje today that everyone wants to avoid an incident. He expressed the belief that the residents of Leposavic, but also Zvecan, Zubin Potok, and North Mitrovica, will remain composed, noting, however, that the situation is tenser than before due to yesterday’s incident which took place in the municipality of Zubin Potok.
„After that incident near the Brnjak crossing, citizens, who are otherwise peaceful, were disturbed, and they only came here to show that they do not agree with Pristina’s unilateral moves,“ says Todic.
Therefore, this mayor added, the international community should be more active and put pressure on Pristina because „sending heavily armed members of the police on bare-handed people“ is not in anyone’s favor.
He underscored that this certainly does not contribute to defusing the situation.
Todic reiterated that Pristina must come to its senses and, with the mediation of the EU, sit down at the negotiating table to find a compromise and sustainable solution to facilitate freedom of movement, not only for people in Kosovo but also in the entire region.
Furthermore, he alleged that for twenty years now every danger the Serb people in the north of Kosovo faced originated from Pristina, emphasizing that the Serbs are just struggling to stay in their homes.
„Our people are unarmed, they are just determined to stay in their centuries-old hearths,“ he pointed out, adding that he believes that no one needs conflicts in these times.
He sent an appeal to the Pristina authorities to withdraw their police units, and sit down and reach a compromise solution through talks.
Todic also underlined that it would be better for them to talk peacefully for another 10, 30, and 100 days – if needed, than for „even one person to be injured.“
When asked by a KoSSev reporter what will be done if a solution is not found soon, Todic replied that the people are determined to protect their interests.
He also pointed out the problems that people who go to central Serbia everyday face.
„A large number of people who work in the territory of central Serbia live in the territory of the municipality of Leposavic, and there are also people who come to Kosovo from Raska to work in the public sector. What is the point – instead of making concessions in the 21st century so that the people can live more easily,“ he said.
When asked if there is a solution for these people and other travelers, Todic says that they do not have a solution for now, but that the representatives of Kosovo Serbs must stand by their people and see to it that no incidents occur.
„The state of Serbia is ready to pursue a peaceful policy,“ Mayor of Leposavic underlined.
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