KFOR, VS thwart fake Kosovo attack

BELGRADE -- KFOR has thwarted a fake Serbian Army (VS) attack on Kosovo following a VS tip-off, says Lt. Gen. Mladen Ćirković.

“We give KFOR information, they check it. That’s how recently, following one of our tip-offs, a number of Yugoslav army uniforms were confiscated,” Ćirković told daily Politika.

“According to our data, a paramilitary group was planning to stage a fake VS attack on Kosovo,” he said.

The general said that operative evidence existed incidents were being planned around Bujanovac, Preševo and on the border with Macedonia, and that the VS would not tolerate any provocations of violence in the region.

The VS also informed KFOR representatives that they were expecting international forces led by NATO, and in line with a UN mandate, to protect Serb and other non-Albanian civilians in Kosovo in the event of violence breaking out during the Kosovo status talks.

KFOR have assured their VS colleagues that their 16,000-strong contingent is ready to protect Kosovo’s citizens, should their safety be jeopardized.

“We have made it clear that any repeat of the violence, such as took place on March 17, 2004, is unacceptable. Kfor representatives have replied that those sorts of incidents will not take place again, and that they’ve learned a valuable lesson from those events, and are ready to respond to any challenges that might arise in Kosovo."

"They have sufficiently good units to quell any potential trouble, while recently new units from France and Ireland have been transferred to the province,” stated Ćirković.

“If they are determined to protect the inhabitants, and going by cooperation thus far there is no reason to doubt their sincerity, then they will do so,” he concluded.