Since: Oct 11
Srbe na Vrbe
KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Serb National Council of Northern Kosovo President Milan Ivanovic says Serbian Gendarmerie officers have closed an alternative road near the Jarinje crossing.
The gendarmes set up a roadblock on the section of the road in central Serbia.
Local Serbs use the alternative road in order to avoid using crossings where Kosovo police and customs officers are present.
Ivanović told Beta news agency that the road leading from Jarinje to the village of Rudnica was closed on Thursday morning.
He added that he was first stopped by U.S. KFOR troops near Jarinje and that he was later stopped by the Serbian Gendarmerie officers.
“I warned them that we were citizens of the Republic of Serbia, that we have ID cards and the rights to move freely, that their actions were anti-Constitutional and illegal,” Ivanović pointed out.
He added that the Gendarmerie officers had told him that they had orders from Belgrade and that the blockade “will take a while”.
Ivanović noted that the Serbian Gendarmerie were trying to fully implement the agreement on the integrated customs management and added that “it is obvious that this is an agreement on abolition of the Serbian institutions with Priština and Brussels”.
Northern Kosovo Serbs boycott the Jarinje and Brnjak administrative crossing since Kosovo officials are present there and they usually use alternative roads to cross to central Serbia.
The northern Kosovo Serb representatives accused the Serbian Gendarmerie in late February of removing barricades in the cross-border zone near the Jarinje and Brnjak administrative crossings that had been set up by the local Serbs in order to block the crossings.
Serbs remove barricade
Three EULEX vehicles continued on their way towards the Brnjak administrative crossing in northern Kosovo, after local Serbs removed the roadblock in the village of Zupče near Zubin Potok that they set up and guarded for two hours Thursday morning.
Northern Kosovo Serbs stopped three EULEX vehicles at the barricade on Thursday morning, preventing them from reaching the Brnjak administrative crossing, but eventually let the vehicles pass after accepting a solution offered by local police.
Before the vehicles were passed through, KFOR responded by blocking the roads between Zvečan and Zubin Potok in the village of Jagnjenica and between Zubin Potok and Kosovska Mitrovica in Zupče.
The Serbs insist that the EULEX vehicles should have a KFOR escort instead of trying to reach Brnjak on their own.
The roadblocks were set up at about 8:00 CET, eventually causing long columns of cars to form while waiting to get passage to Zvečan and Kosovska Mitrovica and to Zubin Potok from the other direction.
The local Serbs have been preventing EULEX from having free movement in northern Kosovo with the explanation that the representatives of the EU mission in Kosovo are not behaving in a status-neutral manner and that they are operating beyond the framework of the mandate they were given.
Kosovska Mitrovica District Head Radenko Nedeljković has said that representatives of the Serbs and of the international military and civilian missions in the province agreed yesterday to make their contributions to maintaining peace and to refrain from making any unilateral moves.
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