Dienstag, 7. August 2012

No end: North Kosovo

Gerard Gallucci um From Outside The Walls - Vor 1 Tag
A few weeks ago, two top officials of the US Department of State European Bureau visited Belgrade and Pristina. I speculated at the time that it might be part of a US-led Quint effort to re-orient its approach to settling the issue of north Kosovo. Perhaps the Quint had finally taken on board the fact that efforts to impose Pristina's rule north of the Ibar through intimidation and use of force simply would not work. So some compromise might be in the works, something going beyond the current form of the Ahtisaari Plan. The US would have to take the lead because only it could br... mehr »
Serbs block EULEX and KFOR in northern Kosovo
LEPOSAVIĆ, KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Serbs at the Zupče barricade in northern Kosovo have blocked several trucks belonging to the EU mission in the province, EULEX.
(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)
The vehicles have been prevented from traveling toward the administrative line crossing of Brnjak.
The trucks are loaded with large concrete blocks. The locals fear that they will be used to block some alternative roads in the north.

Soon after the citizens - who are keeping around the clock watch at Zupče - blocked the EULEX vehicles, several armored transporters and KFOR troops arrived at the scene, also blocking this road, leading from Kosovska Mitrovica to Ribariće.

This created a traffic jam.

KFOR soldiers are also deployed in the nearby village of Jagnjenica, and at a checkpoint in Zupče - on the road that leads to the ethnic Albanian village of Čabra.

Earlier in the day, reports said that members of the NATO troops in Kosovo, KFOR, had withdrawn from an alternative road that runs via Tresava in northern Kosovo.

They in this way unblocked the road after ten days, allowing trucks and other large vehicles through.

Leposavić Mayor Dragiša Vasić told Beta news agency that the traffic was unobstructed in that area now, and that Serbs had removed the blockade they had set up between the administrative crossing of Jarinje and a police checkpoint of Rudnica.

He explained that Serbs were previously blocking one lane of the road and did not allow passage to trucks.

"The traffic is unimpeded for passenger vehicles, buses and vans," said Vasić.

Trucks are still traveling along the so-called alternative roads - which local Serbs use in order to avoid paying "customs fees" to the Kosovo Albanian authorities.

Serbs still keep watch at two locations on the road running to Leposavić in order to thwart the ambitions of Kosovo customs officers to reach Kosovo's far north, Tanjug is reporting.

Serbs are a majority north of the Ibar River in Kosovo. They reject the authority of the government in Priština, and the ethnic Albanian unilateral declaration of independence made in early 2008.

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