January 6, 2012
Kosovo police have arrested six Self-Determination Movement members who tried to prevent Serbian President Boris Tadic from entering Kosovo.
Peja – Decani, KOSOVO – Friday, January 6, 2012 / The independent NewsweeK
The arrested men blocked the Merdare-Pristina road. Self-Determination Movement Spokesman Erzen Vraniqi told reporters that the activists had blocked the road in order to prevent the visit of the Serbian president, Russian Ambassador Aleksander Konuzin and Belarusian Ambassador Vladimir Chushev and that they had been arrested by the police, adding that the Kosovo authorities had put themselves in Tadic’s service.
Several hundred Self-Determination Movement members blocked around 12:30 CET downtown Decan in protest over Tadic’s arrival to the Decan monastery in Kosovo.
They prevented the passage of a bus carrying believers from Gjakova, who were on their way back home after a visit to the monastery, as well as a vehicle carrying the Russian and Belarusian ambassadors, who accompanied by Bishop Jovan then went in the direction of the Peja Patriarchate.
Before this the Self-Determination Movement activists allowed Bishop Teodosije to pass.
After the one-hour blockade the protestors stepped aside, and strong forces of the Kosovo Police Service (KPS) have been deployed around the Decani monastery.
Serbian president Boris Tadic is expected to arrive to Decan later in the afternoon. Earlier today, members of the Self-Determination Movement blocked for about half an hour another bus carrying Serb believers. The protesters forced the driver to remove the Serbian license plates from the bus and sprayed KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) on it.
After the intervention of the Kosovo police and the special unit ROSU, the bus drove off to the monastery.
Kosovo police Spokesman Baki Kelani said that police had detained eight persons at the Pristina-Podujevo road and that they were released after questioning.
Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister Hajredin Kuci said on Thursday that the Kosovo government had given its consent for the Serbian president’s visit for Christmas and stressed that the visit was of “religious nature”.