KFOR increases the presence of troops in the north of Kosovo

KFOR increases the presence of troops in the north of Kosovo

NATO peacekeeping forces have increased their presence in the north of Kosovo. But not only the continuation of the blockade on the main roads organized by the local Serbs is the reason for this. The significant addition of KFOR troops was made after groups from Serbia organized a protest on the Serbian side of the border with Kosovo, in Jarinje, and tried to enter Kosovo, but were violently stopped by the Serbian police. The protest was organized by right-wing groups from Serbia.

KFOR calls for giving up provocations

"After coordination with all parties, KFOR has increased its presence in Jarinje for security reasons. This increase comes as a result of the possible presence of organized criminal groups within the protesters," says KFOR's announcement. It is always important that all persons participating in a protest express their opinions in a peaceful manner, avoiding disproportionate violence, aggressive attitudes and behaviors that may be misunderstood and perceived as provocation or unnecessary violence," it added. in the announcement of KFOR. According to the peacekeeping forces, "KFOR is fully focused on the daily implementation of its mandate, based on UN Security Council Resolution 1244, to provide a safe environment to guarantee and freedom of movement,

The KFOR peacekeeping forces have also announced that in the following days they will conduct regular military exercises near the base in Novosella in the north. "The exercises aim to train KFOR units to guarantee freedom of movement in times of crisis and consist of a series of tactical simulations and logistical activities, including heavy equipment and helicopters". KFOR's announcement of these exercises in the north of Kosovo, comes at a time when the Kosovo authorities are calling for the removal of barricades erected by local Serbs in the north of Kosovo that are hindering freedom of movement. The barricades were erected ten days ago in this part of Kosovo, as a sign of dissatisfaction with the arrest of the former Serbian officer of the Kosovo Police, Dejan Pantiq.

According to the protesters, Serbs in the north are under great pressure

The organizers of the protest are of the opinion that "Serbs in the north of Kosovo are under great pressure". This is how they are quoted by the media in Serbia. Damjan Knezhević, head of the unofficial far-right group "National Patrol" from Serbia, a group which up organized the protest on the Serbian side of the border in Jarinje, said that "we wanted to go to KFOR, there would have been some other people attached to us, to tell KFOR to leave here, because they don't he has what he wants. This is our land and we do not agree with these administrative transitions". The right-wing extremists have called on supporters from Serbia, Montenegro and Republika Srpska Bosnia and Herzegovina to join them near Jarinje.

Reactions from Kosovo

Ministri i Brendshëm në qeverisë e Kosovës Xhelal Sveçla u shpreh pas protestës në anën serbe të kufirit në Jarinje, se "është shfaqur një episod i nivelit të lartë të luftës hibride serbo-ruse ndaj Kosovës”. "Të njëjtët aktorë joshtetërorë, por të cilët i përdor edhe regjimi në Beograd edhe ai në Moskë, të përfaqësuar nga Damnjan Knezheviqi (bashkëpunëtor i organizatës paramilitare famëkeqe ruse Wagner), mësynë që ta thyejnë këtë pikëkalim kufitar. Ditët e fundit, aktorë të tjerë shtetërore e joshtetërorë të këtyre dy vendeve, që janë të vetmet, që nga Lufta e Dyte Botërore, që ndezën luftëra në Evropë, kanë hyrë brenda territorit të Kosovës dhe ende gjenden këtu”, shkroi ministri Sveçla.

The aim of the masked and barricaded armed men in the street is to violate the sovereignty of Kosovo, inciting aggressive provocations, the Minister of the Interior of Kosovo has emphasized. According to Sveçla, the Kosovo police is capable and has the capacity to deal with criminal structures./DW