Serbian President Vucic urges KFOR to replace local police in northern Kosovo
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on September 26 urged the Nato-led peacekeeping mission KFOR to take charge of all security matters in northern Kosovo instead of the local police.
Vucic made the demand during a meeting with the ambassadors from the Quint countries, comprising the US, the UK, France, Italy and Germany, as well as the head of the EU delegation, two days after the deadly clashes between a group of Serbs and Kosovo police in Banjska, northern Kosovo.
"I reiterated Serbia's views on the latest events in Kosovo and Metohija and requested that KFOR take care of all security issues in the north of Kosovo instead of Kurti's police," Vucic wrote on Instagram.
Tensions in northern Kosovo are still high following Sunday's clashes, in which one Kosovo police officer was killed and two others were injured.
Serbian communities in Kosovo have declared three days of mourning after three Serbs lost their lives in the clashes. Furthermore, the Serbian government designated September 27, as the Day of Mourning in memory of the events in Kosovo.
Banjska remains cordoned off. The number of detained Serbs linked to the incident has risen to eight, as announced by Kosovo police.
In Kosovo a video recording was released alleging that Milan Radoicic, the vice-president of the Serb List, the main political party representing Serbs in Kosovo, was part of the group involved in the Banjska village incident.
“The chief criminal Radoicic was the leader of this terrorist group and of the attack where the policeman Afrim Bunjaku was killed. This is yet another evidence of his terrorist activity against the Republic of Kosovo,” Kosovo’s Interiour Minister Xhelal Svecla wrote on Facebook on September 26.
He further emphasized that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, acting through the Serb List, and, by extension, their vice president Radoicic, have engaged in actions that are deemed as terrorist acts, aimed at undermining the legal and constitutional framework of the Republic of Kosovo.
In the meantime US ambassador to Serbia, Christopher Hill, expressed the Quint ambassadors' concern about the highly precarious situation in northern Kosovo, emphasising the need for heightened diplomatic efforts to uncover the root causes of the crisis.
Diplomats stationed in Kosovo have called for the ongoing dialogue process between Kosovo and Serbia to be sustained.
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