High tension on the border between Serbia and Kosovo
Serbian troops stationed on Kosovo border remain ‘on high alert’ after clashes pitting Serbian militants against Kosovar agents in three municipalities: in Zvecan, Leposavic and Zubin. The Belgrade presidency reported this in a statement, after President Alexandar Vucic chaired a meeting of the National Security Council which adopted a plan of “security activities aimed at strengthening Serbia’s defense capabilities”.
The clashes saw on the one hand the agents who tried to guarantee access to the municipal offices, on the other the Serbs who tried to prevent the new mayors from reaching their headquarters and taking office. The new local leaders are representatives of Albanian parties elected in the area with a Serbian majority in the recent local vote, boycotted in protest by the Serbs. In Zvecan, Kosovo Police units used tear gas to disperse angry crowds. Five police officers were injured, according to authorities.
An appeal for de-escalation in Kosovo was launched by NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu, after yesterday’s clashes between Serb militants and Kosovar agents. “We urge the institutions in Kosovo to immediately reduce the tension and ask all parties to resolve the situation through dialogue,” the spokeswoman said on Twitter. Lungescu then stressed that the Atlantic Alliance mission in Kosovo (KFOR) “remains vigilant and will guarantee a safe and secure environment” after Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic put the army on alert on Friday.
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