November 7, 2011
For more than three months, Serbs have been allegedly blocking main roads in northern Kosovo to stop the country’s ethnic Albanian leadership from extending their control over parts of Kosovo. Mitrovica. 7th November 2011.
NATO-led troops in Kosovo have warned the Serbs to lift the blockade. The peacekeepers say they want to establish freedom of movement in the region and reopen supply routes for their troops. Kosovo Serb leaders are likely to remain defiant and keep northern Kosovo closed.
by Vedat Xhymshiti – Monday, November 07, 2011 – Pristina-Mitrovica, Kosovo
Ethnic Serbs reject Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia and refuse to accept the state borders with the former Yugoslav republic. They have erected more than 16 barricades in northern Kosovo during the summer to protest Pristina’s growing international presence. Serbia is seeking European Union membership but EU leadership said accession talks depend on Belgrade cooperating with Kosovo government.
KFOR soldiers removed barricades placed by Serbs at the border gate #31 in Bernjak in the early hours of Friday, 28 October. International troops with armored vehicles removed parked trucks and afterwards put barbwire at the barricade.
The independent representative of Kosovar Serbs, Randjel Nojkic, said barricades in the north will have negative influence on Serb enclaves. In an interview with Radio B92, he rejected ideas about division of Kosovo, adding that Serbs in the enclaves should be also consulted regarding the future solution.
Marko Prelec, International Crisis Group (ICG) Director for Balkans, suggested Serbia to resolve the crisis and improve relations with Kosovo in order to become a member of the European Union. Meanwhile, Austria offered mediation at another forum, while the UK rejected any kind of discussions on the status or division of Kosovo… read more