Northern Kosovo officials to meet Tuesday
24. October 2011. | 07:16 16:31
Source: Emg.rs, Tanjug, Beta, Infobiro.tv
President Boris Tadic and representatives of Kosovo Serbs failed to reach an agreement on removing barricades and facilitating an unhindered transit of EULEX and KFOR in northern Kosovo, Zubin Potok municipality chief Slavisa Ristic said. A joint assembly of northern Kosovo municipalities will meet Tuesday to discuss messages from the Serbian government.
President Boris Tadic and representatives of Kosovo Serbs failed to reach an agreement on removing barricades and facilitating an unhindered transit of EULEX and KFOR in northern Kosovo, Zubin Potok municipality chief Slavisa Ristic said.
Tadic asked the mayors of four northern Kosovo towns to allow the free movement of NATO peacekeepers in the region, KFOR. However, the local officials refused to agree.
After a meeting with Tadic in the evening on Oct. 23, Ristic told the press outside the Presidency that "no essential progress was made at the meeting," adding that the barricades would remain in place.
"Tadic requested from us to enable the passage to EULEX and KFOR. It is however unacceptable for us to enable EULEX to transport Kosovo customs officers and implement the Martti Ahtisaari plan. On this Tadic's request, we will have to consult with the people," Ristic explained.
The meeting, which lasted more than four hours, was attended by chiefs of Serb municipalities in northern Kosovo.
New roadblock on road towards Brnjak
People in northern Kosovo set up Sunday a new roadblock on the route towards the Brnjak administrative checkpoint, in the Zubin Potok municipality.
Several lorry loads of earth were dumped on the road from Zubin Potok to Brnjak after 4 p.m.. The new obstacle will only be used to prevent passage of KFOR and EULEX, according to Serbs who were at the location.
The roadblock stands 200m away from an area controlled by KFOR, just before the checkpoint.
A number of lorries are parked in front of the roadblock and barbed wire is also being laid.
KFOR troops have been letting vehicles pass on Sunday through an alternative route just above the checkpoint.
The soldiers expanded the secured area on Thursday, taking over the roadblock that had been set up earlier, which cut them off from their ground supply lines.
When they seized the roadblock, the troops allowed vehicles to pass through the alternative route.
KFOR expands camp in Jagnjenica
KFOR troops are expanding their camp near the roadblock in Jagnjenica, in the northern Kosovo municipality of Zubin Potok, where they were stopped on Wednesday, a Tanjug reporter has said.
The troops have dug out the side of a hill to free up space for machines and tents. The space was expanded to bring in the machines needed to clear the roadblock.
An excavator has been at work on this since the troops were halted in Jagnjenica. It has expanded the space significantly so far. The road leading from the ethnic Albanian village of Cabar through Jagnjenica to Zubin Potok is very narrow, so there was little space for KFOR vehicles and accommodation of the troops stuck there because of the roadblock.
Northern Kosovo officials to meet Tuesday
Head of the Zubin Potok municipality Slavisa Ristic addressed the protesters at the Jagnjenica roadblock on Monday and told them a joint assembly of northern Kosovo municipalities will meet Tuesday to discuss messages from the Serbian government.
"We will hold a joint session of all four municipal assemblies tomorrow. We are going to inform the deputies about the results of the talks and afterwards make appropriate decisions on what to do next and how to continue the just struggle to live in our country, Serbia," he stated.
Ristic told the crowd the presidents of the municipalities of Zubin Potok, Zvecan, Leposavic and Kosovska Mitrovica met in Belgrade on Sunday with Serbian President Boris Tadic to discuss the problems in northern Kosovo, not just the roadblocks, but other issues as well, mostly the future of the Kosovo Serbs.
"We reiterated that we do not wish to live in any other country but the Republic of Serbia and that we are going to continue our struggle, and we asked for support in that," Ristic noted.
He explained that Tadic and the four northern Kosovo officials had agreed that some type of freedom of movement should be ensured for KFOR, but not for EULEX.
According to him, Serbia feels EULEX should be given freedom of movement only if they do not provide transport for Kosovo customs officials.
"We believe EULEX cannot be given freedom of movement at the moment because they have not confirmed they would not transport Kosovo customs officers. We also think the point is not just in transporting Kosovo customs officers, but that EULEX should stop all activities related to installing Kosovo institutions," Ristic explained.
He called on the people to carry on with the current form of resistance in the meantime, that is stay at the roadblocks, and added that the struggle has to remain peaceful and incident free.