ISSN 2330-717X

Kosovo Council Mulls Northern Border Security


By Petrit Collaku

Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci convened a meeting of the Kosovo Security Council on Monday, to discuss recent troubles on the border with Serbia.

A statement issued by the Security Council said the meeting addressed the political and security situation in the country and announced a number of recommendations which had been approved.

These included urging security agencies to coordinate their activities together and, with the help of international organisations present in Kosovo, to ensure law and order was implemented throughout Kosovo. The council also recommended state security agencies maintain a high level of preparedness.


It also urged state agencies and government ministries in Kosovo to take necessary measures to help people living in the north and indicated that assistance should be focussed on providing needs for food and medication so as to avoid any humanitarian crisis.

Kosovo’s interior minister, security force minister, intelligence agency director, customs director and several other ministers were present at the meeting.

The Council reiterated that the government’s decision to ban imports from Serbia and settle the rule of law in the northern Serb-run part of Kosovo was legitimate.

The council also asked security agencies to coordinate their activities closely with the international community in Kosovo to unblock the roads and create new traffic corridors.

“Unless roads are unblocked, new corridors should be opened to make possible the supply of citizens with basic items,” the council stated.

KFOR, the NATO-led force in Kosovo, stated that two roads continued to remain blocked and the Serb community continued to remain there.

Ralph Adamtz, KFOR’s deputy spokesperson, stated that the crossing borders at gates 1 and 31 were open and passengers and buses could enter Kosovo but trucks could not. He described the situation as calm but not stable.

In the meantime, two buses from the Serbian Red Cross carrying medicine entered Kosovo in the north today after being checked by KFOR troops.

The latest crisis in the Serb-run north of Kosovo started on Monday night last week, when Kosovo special police took over two checkpoints in a move to enforce a recent order from Pristina, banning the import of goods from Serbia.

The special police soon encountered stiff resistance from local Serbs, culminating in the torching of one of the border crossings on Wednesday night. One Kosovo policeman was killed in a fire fight.

The border crossings of Jarinje and Brnjak were closed for three days after NATO declared them a restricted military zone and authorized the use of deadly force in case KFOR troops come under attack.

Earlier today, interior minister Bajram Rexhepi told Balkan Insight he had ordered the arrest of two Serb officials who had entered Kosovo. Rexhepi said this morning that Serbia’s Minister for Kosovo, Goran Bogdanovic, and the head delegation for negotiation, Borislav Stefanovic, had entered Kosovo illegally.

Stefanovic and Bogdanovic were reportedly in the country to try and reopen negotiations about the border crossings.

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Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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