EU and US officials have condemned an attack against an EULEX car in the North of Kosovo. Amid the tense situation, swap elections have been postponed for the four northern municipalities.
An EULEX car patrol was attacked with a stun grenade last evening in the north of Kosovo. The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo condemned the attack while confirming that there were no injuries.
“We confirm that a stun grenade was thrown at an EULEX reconnaissance patrol last night (10/12) near Rudare. No EULEX Formed Police Unit officer was injured, and no material damage was caused” the EULEX press release stated.
“This attack, as well as the attacks on Kosovo Police officers, are unacceptable. We strongly condemn the violent acts perpetrated by armed persons in northern Kosovo, including against the international community”, the press release continued.
“EU will not tolerate attacks on EULEX Kosovo or use of violent, criminal acts in the north”, tweeted the High Representative of the EU Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell.
#EU will not tolerate attacks on @EULEXKosovo or use of violent, criminal acts in the north. Barricades must be removed immediately by groups of Kosovo Serbs. Calm must be restored. EULEX will continue to coordinate w/Kosovo authorities & KFOR.
All actors must avoid escalation.
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) December 11, 2022
The US Ambassador in Kosovo, Jeffrey Hovenier, has condemned the attacks on the Kosovo Police and EULEX. Hovenier said that the violent attacks on the Kosovo Police and national security personnel are unacceptable and that the perpetrators must bear responsibility before justice.
The U.S. joins #EULEX in strongly condemning the attack on a @EULEXKosovo patrol last night. Violent attacks on Kosovo Police and international security personnel are unacceptable and those responsible must be held accountable through the Kosovan justice system. https://t.co/WZvtW5CE56
— Ambassador Jeff Hovenier (@USAmbKosovo) December 11, 2022
For days, the situation has been tense in the north of the country.
Recently, some barricades have been placed on the roads leading to the border crossing points, Bërnjak and Jarinjë.
“This attack, as well as the attacks on the police officers of the Kosovo Police, are unacceptable. We strongly condemn the violent acts committed by armed persons in the northern part of Kosovo, including against the international community” – continues the EULEX announcement.
This mission has asked the investigative bodies to unravel the cases of attacks in the north and asked everyone to take action.
“EULEX will continue to work with determination to support the stability of Kosovo, within the mandate it has, as well as to contribute to the safety of the population from all communities. We appeal to all those who are responsible to refrain from other provocative actions, and we call on the institutions of Kosovo to bring the perpetrators to justice” – the press release stated.
On Saturday afternoon alarms were heard in the north. After these alarms, there was a gathering of Serbian citizens in the streets and blocking of the roads.
The Kosovo Police announced that due to the blocking of the roads, they closed the border point in Jarinje to traffic and called on citizens to use other border points to enter in Kosovo or to leave Kosovo.
The blocking of the roads came after the announcement that the former policeman Dejan Pantic was arrested by the Kosovo Police.
According to the Minister of Interior, Pantic is suspected of having organized a terrorist attack on the offices of the Municipal Elections Commission, MEC, on December 6, where MEC officials and Kosovo Police officials were injured.
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Xelal Sveçla, said that Pantic is accused of committing terrorist acts and an attack against the constitutional order of Kosovo.
PM Albin Kurti commented on the recent events in the North, stating that Kosovo ‘does not want conflict, we want peace and progress, but we will respond to aggression with all the power we have’.
“Now that neither license plates nor the date of the elections can be used as a pretext, Serbia’s illegal structures transformed into criminal gangs were revealed in their thirst for fire and blood” wrote Kurti on his Facebook on Saturday.
Amid the tense situation, Kosovo President, Vjosa Osmani, after consultation with the political parties, has decided to postpone the extraordinary elections for mayors and municipal assemblies of the four northern municipalities to April 23, 2023. The decision has been greeted by QUINT countries.
11 December 2022 - 13:39