Both checkpoints in north Kosovo blocked

Chief negotiator in the Kosovo talks Borislav Stefanović arrived in Kosovo on Friday evening, where he met with Serbs manning the barricades.

Izvor: Beta

Friday, 16.09.2011.

09:33

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Chief negotiator in the Kosovo talks Borislav Stefanovic arrived in Kosovo on Friday evening, where he met with Serbs manning the barricades. Earlier in the day, reports said that a Kosovo customs officer arrived at the Brnjak administrative crossing this morning in a helicopter. Both checkpoints in north Kosovo blocked Tanjug news agency said that a member of the Kosovo police, KPS, also arrived there along with EULEX officials. Both are ethnic Albanians, according to this. The EU mission in Kosovo, EULEX, has in the meantime confirmed this, saying that there were "two members of KFOR" at the checkpoint, and those brought to Brnjak were "both Serb and Albanian", and that "the situation is the same at Jarinje". In Pristina, Kosovo Albanian PM Hashim Thaci has claimed that "Kosovo border police and customs and EULEX teams have been deployed at the Jarinje and Brnjak crossings". Serbs have in the meantime fortified their barricade near Brnjak by dumping a huge mass of soil onto the road - this barrier is now five meters high. Beside the trucks blocking the road, passenger cars formed a line that stretches for several kilometers, cutting off Brnjak from the direction of Ribaric as well, since there are trucks and cars blocking the so-called buffer zone. In front of Jarinje, which German members of the NATO troops in the province, KFOR, on Thursday closed and placed barbed wire, Serbs continue to build the barricade. According to reports, the checkpoint is now hardly visible from a huge mass of gravel placed on the road, while trucks continue to haul in more. According to Tanjug, "KFOR troops are observing the events in full battle gear". The news agency also said that during Friday morning, KFOR helicopters transported a large number of troops to the base near the checkpoint. The situation in Kosovo was peaceful on Friday morning but there are tensions since EULEX was expected to take over the Jarinje and Brnjak administrative crossings. Kosovo Serbs blocked local roads, while Serb members of the Kosovo police, KPS, left Brnjak. German KFOR troops told reporters at the Jarinje checkpoint earlier this morning that only EULEX officers had been deployed and that Kosovo customs and border police officers were not among them. They stressed that the checkpoint will not be reopened until citizens, who spent the night at the barricade on the road leading to the checkpoint, went home. Leposavic residents gathered this morning in large numbers at the Jarinje checkpoint which KFOR troops shut down last night using barbed wire. Both German and French KFOR troops are present at the Brnjak checkpoint which was also closed on Thursday night. KFOR used barbed wire and vehicles to block access to the crossing. Local Serbs parked a truck in the middle of the road about 100 meters in front of the checkpoint, blocking traffic. Citizens also blocked a KFOR unit which was on its way back to Camp Nothing Hill in the village of Socanica around 23:00 CET. Serbian Minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanovic visited Serb citizens behind the barricade set up in front of the Jarinje administrative crossing. The minister visited the people around midnight and inquired about the situation at the crossing that was blocked by KFOR soldiers on Thursday. The minister also wanted to know about the situation in other parts of the Zubin Potok municipality, particularly about the barricade in the village of Socanica that is blocking the road leading to the Polish KFOR camp. The local Serbs told Bogdanovic they would spend the night at the barricade. The Kosovo Albanian authorities in Pristina announced they would on Friday install their police and customs at the two checkpoints in the north. Local Serbs reject the authority of the government in Pristina, as well as the unilateral declaration of independence made by ethnic Albanians in Kosovo in early 2008. This message in broken Serbian reads: 'KFOR, stop or we'll shoot' (Tanjug)

Both checkpoints in north Kosovo blocked

Tanjug news agency said that a member of the Kosovo police, KPS, also arrived there along with EULEX officials. Both are ethnic Albanians, according to this.

The EU mission in Kosovo, EULEX, has in the meantime confirmed this, saying that there were "two members of KFOR" at the checkpoint, and those brought to Brnjak were "both Serb and Albanian", and that "the situation is the same at Jarinje".

In Priština, Kosovo Albanian PM Hashim Thaci has claimed that "Kosovo border police and customs and EULEX teams have been deployed at the Jarinje and Brnjak crossings".

Serbs have in the meantime fortified their barricade near Brnjak by dumping a huge mass of soil onto the road - this barrier is now five meters high.

Beside the trucks blocking the road, passenger cars formed a line that stretches for several kilometers, cutting off Brnjak from the direction of Ribarić as well, since there are trucks and cars blocking the so-called buffer zone.

In front of Jarinje, which German members of the NATO troops in the province, KFOR, on Thursday closed and placed barbed wire, Serbs continue to build the barricade. According to reports, the checkpoint is now hardly visible from a huge mass of gravel placed on the road, while trucks continue to haul in more.

According to Tanjug, "KFOR troops are observing the events in full battle gear".

The news agency also said that during Friday morning, KFOR helicopters transported a large number of troops to the base near the checkpoint.

The situation in Kosovo was peaceful on Friday morning but there are tensions since EULEX was expected to take over the Jarinje and Brnjak administrative crossings.

Kosovo Serbs blocked local roads, while Serb members of the Kosovo police, KPS, left Brnjak.

German KFOR troops told reporters at the Jarinje checkpoint earlier this morning that only EULEX officers had been deployed and that Kosovo customs and border police officers were not among them.

They stressed that the checkpoint will not be reopened until citizens, who spent the night at the barricade on the road leading to the checkpoint, went home.

Leposavić residents gathered this morning in large numbers at the Jarinje checkpoint which KFOR troops shut down last night using barbed wire.

Both German and French KFOR troops are present at the Brnjak checkpoint which was also closed on Thursday night. KFOR used barbed wire and vehicles to block access to the crossing.

Local Serbs parked a truck in the middle of the road about 100 meters in front of the checkpoint, blocking traffic.

Citizens also blocked a KFOR unit which was on its way back to Camp Nothing Hill in the village of Sočanica around 23:00 CET.

Serbian Minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanović visited Serb citizens behind the barricade set up in front of the Jarinje administrative crossing.

The minister visited the people around midnight and inquired about the situation at the crossing that was blocked by KFOR soldiers on Thursday.

The minister also wanted to know about the situation in other parts of the Zubin Potok municipality, particularly about the barricade in the village of Sočanica that is blocking the road leading to the Polish KFOR camp.

The local Serbs told Bogdanović they would spend the night at the barricade.

The Kosovo Albanian authorities in Priština announced they would on Friday install their police and customs at the two checkpoints in the north.

Local Serbs reject the authority of the government in Priština, as well as the unilateral declaration of independence made by ethnic Albanians in Kosovo in early 2008.

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