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Serbian troops on heightened alert at Kosovo border | Conflict News

Authorities in Belgrade accuses neighbouring Kosovo of ‘provocations’ by sending particular police models to frame.

Serbian troops have been on a heightened state of alert after the federal government in Belgrade accused neighbouring Kosovo of “provocations” by sending particular police models to the border.

Already tense relations between Serbia and its former breakaway area have grown worse because the ethnic Albanian-led authorities there despatched the police models to an space primarily populated by minority ethnic Serbs, who reject the authority of the federal government in Kosovo’s capital Pristina.

The deployment got here as tons of of ethnic Serbs have staged each day protests towards a choice to require drivers with Serbian registration plates to placed on non permanent ones when coming into Kosovo – a “reciprocal measure”, in line with Pristina.

“Nobody right here needs a battle and I hope there gained’t be one,” stated a 45-year-old protester who recognized himself as Ljubo and was camped on the Jarinje border crossing.

“We would like Pristina to withdraw its forces and cancel the choice on licence plates.”

A whole bunch of Serbs in Kosovo have been protesting and blocking site visitors with vehicles on the roads main to 2 border crossings.

Kosovo particular police stands as tons of of Kosovo Serbs protest towards a authorities ban on entry of autos with Serbian registration plates in Jarinje, Kosovo [Laura Hasani/Reuters]

“After the provocations by the [special police] models … Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic gave the order to intensify the alert for some Serbian military and police models,” the defence ministry in Belgrade stated in a press release.

Serbian fighter jets may once more be seen flying over the border area on Sunday after a number of sorties on Saturday, AFP information company reported.

Diplomatic stress

The European Union’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell urged Serbia and Kosovo to cut back tensions “by instantly withdrawing particular police models and dismantling of roadblocks”.

“Any additional provocations or unilateral and uncoordinated actions are unacceptable,” he stated in a press release.

NATO Secretary Common Jens Stoltenberg stated he had spoken by telephone to the Serbian president and Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti.

“It’s very important each Belgrade and Pristina present restraint and return to dialogue,” he tweeted.

NATO troops have been deployed in Kosovo because the 1998-99 Serbian-Kosovar battle.

Belgrade doesn’t recognise Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence in 2008 and sees Pristina’s determination on the licence plates as implying its standing as a sovereign state.

Vucic deplored the shortage of response from the worldwide neighborhood to “the full occupation for greater than per week of northern Kosovo by Pristina’s armoured autos”.

“And everyone seems to be instantly fearful when Serbian helicopters and planes are seen over central Serbia,” Vucic stated in a press release, including, nevertheless, that Serbia “will at all times behave responsibly and critically”.

Kurti on Saturday accused Serbia of eager to “provoke a critical worldwide battle“.

Early on Sunday, Serbian Defence Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic visited troops at two navy bases the place they’re on alert, together with one that’s just some kilometres from the border.

Belgrade designates border crossings between Serbia and Kosovo as “administrative”.

Serbian ally Russia additionally doesn’t recognise Kosovo’s independence, however most Western international locations do, together with the USA.

For its half, NATO member Albania, “involved by the escalation of the scenario”, has requested Belgrade “to withdraw the armed forces deployed on the border with Kosovo”.

Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani lower brief a go to to New York for the United Nations Common Meeting “due to developments within the north of the nation”.

Kosovo’s declaration of independence got here a decade after a warfare between ethnic Albanian fighters and Serbian forces that killed 13,000 folks, largely ethnic Albanians.

America and the European Union have referred to as for a de-escalation of tensions and for the 2 sides to return to normalisation talks, which the EU has mediated for a couple of decade.

The Serbian president stated the normalisation course of can resume provided that Kosovo withdraws the particular police forces from the north.


Source: https://www.aljazeera.com/information/2021/9/26/serbian-troops-on-heightened-alert-at-kosovo-border

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