Tensions Rise as KFOR Restricts Ministerial Visits in Northern Kosovo


Vudi Xhymshiti

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Tensions Rise as KFOR Restricts Ministerial Visits in Northern Kosovo
The decision by KFOR to restrict ministerial visits in the northern part of Kosovo has raised significant questions about its implications and alignment.
JUN 20

In recent weeks, the focus of KFOR, the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo, has been directed towards securing municipal buildings in the northern region amid the looming threat of occupation by pro-Belgrade groups. However, a notable change was observed this week as the presence of protesters and Kosovo Police dwindled, with only a few vehicles displaying RKS license plates visible.

Mayor Lulëzim Hetemi of Leposaviq finds himself in an unprecedented situation, as the municipal building has become both his workplace and residence for the past 22 days Kosovan media reports. Access to him is restricted due to the KFOR cordon placed in the building’s courtyard. While police officials are responsible for his security, Hetemi has received visits from ministers and deputies associated with the Vetëvendosje Movement since May 29, with the latest visitor being Elbert Krasniqi, the Minister of Local Government Administration.

The presence of Minister Krasniqi within the municipal building may have triggered a reaction from protesters this Monday, with the Kosovo Police over the past four days having apprehended three individuals suspected of assaulting journalists during their coverage in the northern region.

KFOR’s Ministerial Visit Ban and the Tensions in Northern Kosovo
According to a source of THE FRONTLINER close to the government in Prishtina, KFOR has reportedly implemented a ban on government ministers from visiting northern Kosovo. This development raises significant questions about its implications and the potential consequences amid the ongoing tensions in the region. Observers have speculated whether this move indicates an alignment with Belgrade-backed groups, known for their efforts to undermine Kosovo’s constitutional order and their use of firearms against NATO peacekeeping troops. These groups have also targeted local police stations with shock bombs, escalating the situation.

The current circumstances necessitate a comprehensive analysis of KFOR’s stance to comprehend its motives and potential impacts. As tensions continue to escalate, it is crucial to examine the role of KFOR and its actions in navigating the complex dynamics at play. The recent attacks on journalists further emphasize the need for robust security measures to safeguard media personnel operating in challenging environments.

As the situation unfolds, stakeholders will closely monitor the developments in northern Kosovo, with hopes of de-escalating tensions and restoring a peaceful and stable environment. The role of KFOR, as the peacekeeping force responsible for maintaining security in the region, remains of paramount importance in achieving these objectives.

Redaksia, diplomacia. dk nuk e merr përgjegjësinë për pikëpamjet e autorit në shkrimin e botuar!


Botuar: 21/06/2023

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