Bravo Nebojsa Malic and Mrako Gasic!

Bravo Nebojsa Malic and Mrako Gasic!
Rising tension between Pristina and Serb-populated north
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Published: 26 July, 2011, 21:21
Edited: 27 July, 2011, 03:25
Kosovo police units wait near blockades setup by Kosovo Serbs on the
Leposavic-Mitrovica road (AFP Photo / Sasa Djordjevic)
(6.2Mb)embed video

TAGS: Breakaway regions, Conflict, Military,Kosovo, Politics

Kosovo has sent its special forces to the Serb-populated north after a
tit-for-tat trade ban caused tensions to flare up. Two policemen have been
wounded as a result of major unrest.
Kosovo police seized control of one border crossing, while the other two are
being blocked by local Serbs.
Earlier it was reported that a Kosovo police officer was seriously wounded after
an ambush in Kosovo’s north. The policeman was shot in a firefight near the
northern town of Zubin Potok, during a police operation to extend the writ of
the Kosovo government in the Serb-controlled north.
Another officer was wounded in a grenade attack as Serb demonstrators tried to
block the operation, which was launched late on Monday and is aimed at taking
control of two disputed border crossings with Serbia.
Political analyst Aleksandr Pavic explains the trade dispute between Pristina
and Belgrade is behind the current unrest in the region.
“Kosovo authorities actually instituted a trade ban on all imports from Serbia.
So actually they instituted a one-sided measure and this was seen in Belgrade
and by the Kosovo Serbs as pressure from the government in Pristina to make them
actually accept their role in the so-called independent Kosovo,” he said.
Kosovo’s move has been widely condemned by the UN and the EU, among others, and
it is feared it will stoke ethnic anger.
On Tuesday Maja Kocijancic, an EU representative, criticized the Kosovo
authorities for not consulting international mediators before launching the
offensive. She expressed the hope that peace and order in the region will soon
be reinstated.

EU forces are slowly moving out and handing over to the Kosovans, who are
already calling for more aggressive action against the Serbs, who don’t
recognize Kosovo authorities. The situation in the region has been a major
headache for the EU, explains Balkans expert Nebojsa Mladic.
“Europe should be concerned by this threat but it’s a threat of Europe’s making.
The EU has made things unimaginably worse by recognizing a regime that has
proven it has absolutely no interest in any sort of dialogue. It came to power
through violence, it has conducted widespread ethnic cleansings of Serbs and
other non-Albanian populations, it has been rewarded for a widespread pogrom of
Serbs in March 2004, and it has basically shown no willingness to behave in a
civilized fashion,” he says.

Balkans political expert Marko Gasic told RT that the real puppet-masters are
further afield, and Pristina’s Albanian leaders could not have done anything
without authorization from the US.

“We know that the US has got a massive investment in Kosovo. It’s got the
biggest military base in the world in Camp Bondsteel smack-bang in the heart of
Kosovo,” he said. “And so everything that the Pristina cabal gets up to is
authorized by Washington in the first place. So we know who can stop it. And it
is time that the US administration stopped its extremist puppets in Pristina
from even further expanding into Serbian union recognized territorial area.”

Kosovo proclaimed its independence in 2008 when it unilaterally split from
Some 600,000 Serbs still live in the region, but refuse to recognize Kosovan
Kosovo’s independence has been a bone of contention between Serbia and the EU,
which is pressing Belgrade to recognize Kosovo before it can obtain official
member candidate status.

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