Tensions in northern Kosovo – barricades and gunfire

In the predominantly Serb populated north of Kosovo, militant Serbs erected barricades on Sunday. Unknown persons also fired shots in the direction of Kosovan police officers, but no one was injured, the police in Pristina said late on Sunday evening. The security situation in northern Kosovo was tense, the NATO mission KFOR announced in the evening. She is monitoring the situation closely and, according to her mandate, is “ready to intervene if stability is threatened.” The NATO-led mission focuses every day on guaranteeing a safe environment and freedom of movement for all people in Kosovo.

Mutual measure

The tensions arose because the Kosovan authorities will no longer recognize Serbian identity documents at the border crossings from Monday (00:00). Serbs with such papers have to have a provisional document issued at the border.

According to the Kosovan interpretation, this is a measure based on reciprocity. For a long time now, Kosovar citizens have had to have a provisional document issued when they cross the border into Serbia because the Serbian authorities do not recognize the Kosovar papers.

Militant Serbs blocked the access roads to two border crossings to Serbia with barricades on Sunday. Kosovo, now almost exclusively inhabited by Albanians, used to belong to Serbia. In 2008 it declared itself independent. Serbia does not recognize the statehood of Kosovo and claims its territory for itself. The Bundeswehr has also been stationed in Kosovo since 1999 as part of the international mission.


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