Balkans | Quiet around new checkpoints in northern Kosovo

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Balkans |  Quiet around new checkpoints in northern Kosovo

It is still quiet around the barricades set up by Serbs last night in the Bosnian neighborhood of North Mitrovica in northern Kosovo.

The Bosnian quarter in northern Mitrovica is known as a multi-ethnic neighborhood where Serbs, Albanians, Bosniaks and Turks live together. Before the barriers were erected, the road through the neighborhood connected north and south Mitrovica.

Contrary to the custom at other barricades, it was noted that the Serbs did not observe this barricade. Citizens can only cross the surrounding roads on foot.

Two Kosovo Police patrol cars are stationed in the southern part of the barricades.

In addition, it was noted that neither Serbs nor Kosovo Police nor NATO Peace Corps soldiers stood guard around the second checkpoint erected on a bridge near Zvecan municipality.

The Kosovo government declared that it had the capacity to remove the barriers, but it gave time for the International Security Force in Kosovo to move in that direction.

Tensions between Kosovo and Serbia

Tensions between Kosovo and Serbia escalate after the arrest of former Serbian police officer Dejan Pantec.

In response to Bantik’s detention, Kosovo Serbs have been manning the barricades they have set up at the Yarenje and Brinjak border crossings since 10 December.

The European Union, NATO and the United States of America called for de-escalation and the removal of roadblocks in northern Kosovo. Serbia had asked the Kosovo Force to deploy the Serbian army and police in northern Kosovo.

Serbia considers Kosovo, which unilaterally declared its independence in 2008, to be its territory.

Serbia and Kosovo, which clash periodically, are trying to find a common way to normalize relations, and eventually the two countries get to know each other, within the scope of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue process that began in 2011 with the mediation of the European Union.


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