Kosovo: UN mission voices deep concern at recent clashes in north

28 July 2011

The United Nations peacekeeping force in Kosovo voiced deep concern today about the ongoing situation in northern Kosovo and urged all sides to refrain from taking any actions that could exacerbate the situation.

Ethnic Serbs attacked a border post today, according to media reports, while Kosovo police units were also reportedly involved in clashes after trying to take over two border crossings earlier this week. At least one police officer has been killed.

Robert Sorenson, officer-in-charge of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), has strongly condemned the violence and said that dialogue based on mutual respect is the only way forward.

“UNMIK stands ready to assist in efforts to calm the situation,” he said, calling on all sides to work with the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) and the Kosovo Force (KFOR) to restore order and resolve issues.

Security Council members held consultations this afternoon at UN Headquarters in New York on the latest developments in Kosovo, while Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Serbian Foreign Minister Vuc Jeremic.

Mr. Ban voiced concern about “the unexpected action that led to the deterioration of the situation in northern Kosovo,” according to information released by his spokesperson.

He also welcomed the call from Serbian President Boris Tadic for calm and the message that Serbia remains committed to resolving existing problems between Belgrade and Pristina through dialogue.

UNMIK ran Kosovo from 1999, when NATO forces drove out Yugoslav troops amid bloody ethnic fighting between Serbs and Albanians, until 2008, when Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia. Serbia has not recognized it.

 

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