strong tensions between the Kosovar police and the Serbs – RT in French

On May 26, Kosovo police dispersed with tear gas Serbs who were protesting against the taking over of their functions as mayor by Albanians in the north of Kosovo, a region where they are in the majority.

New outbreak of fever in northern Kosovo. Clashes took place between the Kosovar police and Serbs, who came to protest against the taking office of Albanian mayors in this province where they are in the majority. The city councilors were appointed following the local elections organized by the Kosovo authorities on April 23 in four municipalities mostly populated by Serbs who largely boycotted this election: only some 1,500 voters, out of approximately 45,000 registered voters, took part. .

The north of Kosovo is a former Serbian province which unilaterally proclaimed its independence in 2008, never recognized by Serbia and the Russian Federation, but also by five countries of the European Union (including Spain and Greece) and the ‘UN.

For once, the West calls on Kosovo to back down

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken “strongly condemned” the decision of the Kosovo authorities to appoint these city officials despite warnings from the European Union and the United States. “These measures have wantonly heightened tensions, undermining our efforts to normalize relations between Kosovo and Serbia and will have consequences in our bilateral relations with Kosovo,” Blinken said in a statement.

The United States, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany also called on Kosovo “to immediately reverse their decision” and “to calm the situation”. In a joint statement, these states said they were “concerned by Serbia’s decision to raise the level of readiness of its armed forces on the border with Kosovo”. They called on “all parties to exercise maximum restraint, avoiding inflammatory speeches”.

According to an AFP journalist, scuffles between Serb demonstrators and the police first took place in front of Zvecan town hall.

The security forces fired tear gas to repel the protesters, while explosions were caused by stun grenades. AFP also reported gunshots. A dozen people were slightly injured and received medical treatment in a hospital in the northern part of the divided city of Mitrovica, said the deputy director of this establishment, Danica Radomirovic, quoted by Kosovar media. At least one police car was damaged, according to the same sources.

Security forces also used tear gas to disperse protesters in two other municipalities, Leposavic and Zubin Potok, Serbian national television (RTS) reported. Serbs erected barricades near Leposavic, RTS added.

Serbia puts its army on ‘high alert’

In Belgrade, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic ordered the army to be placed on “maximum alert”, as has happened many times in recent years due to tensions with Kosovo – once previous in December -, and also to “get moving” in the direction of the border with this former Serbian province, announced the RTS.

The Kosovo police did not comment on the latest incidents, only confirming in a statement that they assisted the new mayors in taking office in three of the four municipalities concerned.

The municipal elections took place just over a month after the European Union announced an agreement on normalizing relations between Belgrade and Pristina during a meeting in Ohrid, North Macedonia, but that both parties have not signed.

To move forward in this dialogue, Belgrade is calling for the establishment of an “association of Serb municipalities”, which would enjoy a kind of autonomy and would bring together some 120,000 Serbs from Kosovo, a country with a population of 1.8 million. inhabitants, overwhelmingly Albanian.


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