Serbia threatens to send 1,000 members of its security forces to Kosovo

Image of the Serbian flag on a military uniform. Credit: Bumble Dee/Shutterstock.com

Tensions are high after Serbia threatened to send 1,000 members of its security forces to Kosovo.

 

About 350 police officers invaded the north of Kosovo and the autonomous region of Metohija in Serbia on Thursday, December 8, and entered the city of Kosovska Mitrovica. This was confirmed by Petar Petkovic, the head of the Chancellery for Kosovo and Metohija under the Serbian government.

According to him, the Serbian authorities are contemplating deploying around 1,000 members of the security forces to Kosovo territory.

Petkovic said that about 300-350 police officers in bulletproof vests and representatives of special forces arrived in the north of the partially recognised republic. All of them are armed: “with long-barreled weapons, in full combat gear, and in armoured cars”, he says. He added that they: “literally occupied and blocked the whole city”.

“Belgrade will consider the return of up to 1,000 of our security forces to the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, as provided for in paragraph 4 of UN Security Council Resolution 1244”, Petkovic announced at an urgently convened press conference, as reported by TASS.

UN Security Council Resolution 1244 was adopted in June 1999. It authorised an international civilian and military presence in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and established a UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo. Paragraph 4 states that: “an agreed number of Yugoslav and Serbian military personnel are allowed to return to Kosovo to carry out their functions”.

Kosovska Mitrovica is inhabited by Serbs. Yesterday, December 8, the media reported that between 200 and 300 Kosovo special forces had arrived in the city and were heading further north to the Bosnjacka Mahala area, as reported by kommersant.ru.

Kosovo police confirmed that they have decided to increase the number of officers in the northern part of the republic in order to “ensure the safety of all citizens.” As part of the agreements between the authorities of Serbia and Kosovo, concluded in Brussels, the Kosovo police have no right to enter areas inhabited by Serbs without the permission of the heads of four Serbian municipalities.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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