NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu shared the information that some soldiers who were attacked were injured in the clash between Serbs and KFOR soldiers protesting in front of the Zveçan Municipality in the north of Kosovo.
“NATO condemns the unreasonable attacks on KFOR soldiers in northern Kosovo.” Using the expression Lungescu stated that the attacks are unacceptable and that the violence must be stopped immediately.
Lungescu called on the parties to avoid actions that would fuel tensions and engage in dialogue, and stated that KFOR would take the necessary steps to ensure a safe environment and maintain its neutrality, in line with the mandate given by the United Nations Security Council in 1999.
KFOR soldiers tried to disperse the crowd demonstrating in front of the Zveçan Municipality this morning using tear gas, and the protesters responded by throwing hard objects at the KFOR forces. The demonstrators attacked the KFOR forces in front of the city hall from the side streets.
It was stated that gunshots were heard in the clash, the vehicle belonging to the Kosovo police in the region was set on fire and there were wounded on both sides.
Protests are held
Serbs in northern Kosovo, where tensions have increased in recent days, are gathering in front of the town halls in Zveçan, Zubin Potok and Leposavic to prevent new Albanian mayors from taking office and to enter the municipal buildings.
The Serbs, who demanded that the Kosovo police withdraw from the municipal buildings and that the newly elected Albanian mayors do not take up their duties, tried to enter the municipal buildings by crossing the police cordon in the morning.
Kosovo police and NATO’s Peacekeeping Force in Kosovo (KFOR) had fenced the town halls and increased the number of personnel in the area.
Tensions in northern Kosovo
There was also a clash on May 26 between the Kosovo Serbs and the security forces, who opposed the appointment of the police in the municipalities of Leposavic, Zveçan and Zubin Potok, where mostly Serbs live in northern Kosovo.
It was stated that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic ordered the army to “be ready” and that the members of the army moved to the Kosovo border.
The candidates of the Albanian political parties won the extraordinary local elections held in the region on April 23, and the elections were boycotted by the Kosovo Serbs, who constitute the majority in the region. Kosovo’s Central Election Commission announced that only 1,567 (3.47 percent) of the 45,095 registered voters in the region cast their votes.