ISSN 2330-717X

First Barricades Removed In Northern Kosovo

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Barricades blocking the road to the Jarinje border in northern Kosovo were reportedly removed from Leposavic late last night, according to news agency Tanjug.

Serbs in Leposavic and Zupce began removing their roadblocks last night, but barricades in Rudar remain in place and local Serbs will continue to man their blockade in the village near Zvecan.

As agreed, vehicles of the international mission are now able to pass through northern Kosovo.

Kosovo
Kosovo

Barricades were erected by local Serbs in northern Kosovo two weeks ago following a decision by the Kosovo government to send its special police to two border checkpoints to enforce a trade ban imposed several days earlier. The trade ban blocked goods entering the country from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and came following both countries’ refusal to recognise Kosovo customs stamps.

Tension escalated at the border after special police arrived, resulting in one checkpoint being set on fire and one Kosovo policeman being killed.

No incidents were reported at the barricades last night and local “crisis staff” will decide on further action, with unfolding events set to determine whether all barricades will be removed entirely or reinforced further.

Representatives of the local Serb population insisted that they would respect the decisions to be made by local government leaders in Kosovska Mitrovica, Leposavic, Zubin Potok and Zvecan.

Yesterday, councillors in these four municipalities were expected to meet to decide on the removal of barricades however one councillor did not attend meaning the meeting could not legally go ahead.

It was then announced that the four municipalities would agree separately on the removal of barricades.

Balkan Insight

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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