Vucic held a press conference in the capital Belgrade after the clash between Kosovo Serbs and NATO’s Peacekeeping Force (KFOR) in Kosovo in front of the Zveçan Municipality in the north of Kosovo.
Vucic said that Kosovo Serbs gathered to express their dissatisfaction with the mayors elected “at the behest” of the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti. NATO has come face to face,” he said.
Vucic used the following statements regarding today’s tension:
“KFOR wanted the Serbs who were around the vehicles of the Kosovo Special Forces to disperse. After this demand was not fulfilled, a clash broke out between KFOR and the Serbs. However, a soldier from the Kosovo Special Forces, look, not KFOR, opened fire with a rifle in his hand in a kneeling position. Two bullets in one. He injured the Serb, and the Serbs responded with stones.”
52 Serbs, 41 KFOR soldiers injured
Noting that 52 Kosovo Serbs were injured after the clash, Vucic said, “One is seriously injured and 3 people are in intensive care. 41 KFOR soldiers were also injured.”
Vucic pointed out that the Serbian army is stationed at “where deemed necessary” on the Kosovo border, “I will visit them tonight as well. I am in constant communication with the European Union (EU) officials.” used the phrases.
Emphasizing that Serbia will do its best to keep the peace, Vucic said, “I call on the Kosovo Serbs not to enter into conflict with NATO. You will organize a demonstration, please do it peacefully.”
Vucic also warned international institutions that Kurti should understand what he wanted to do and said, “We will not let the Serbs in Kosovo die or be exiled. he said.
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 the new Albanian mayors from taking office.
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 KFOR had fenced the town halls and increased the number of personnel in the area.
Kosovo Serbs came face to face with KFOR soldiers in the evening and there was a brawl. KFOR tried to disperse the crowd in front of the Zveçan Municipality using tear gas, and the protesters responded by throwing hard objects at the KFOR forces.
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 announced that 5 police officers were slightly injured and 4 team vehicles were damaged in the brawl.
It was stated that Serbian President 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.
Although Kosovo is recognized as an “independent state” by 117 countries, it is described as “one of Europe’s frozen conflict zones” due to the ongoing ethnic tensions in its north and its inability to become a member of the United Nations.
Serbia considers Kosovo, which declared its independence unilaterally in 2008, as its territory.
Serbia and Kosovo, which periodically clash, are trying to find a common way for the normalization of relations and eventually for the two countries to get to know each other, within the scope of the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue Process initiated in 2011 under EU mediation.