Thursday, March 22, 2012

EULEX reaches Brnjak escorted by local police

ZUBIN POTOK - The 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 Zupce near Zubin Potok that they set up and guarded for two hours Thursday morning.

Northern Kosovo Serbs stopped three EULEX vehicles at the barricade, 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 Zvecan and Zubin Potok in the village of Jagnjenica and between Zubin Potok and Kosovska Mitrovica in Zupce.

The Serbs insisted that EULEX vehicles should have a KFOR escort instead of trying to reach Brnjak on their own, but eventually agreed to a compromise with local police offering to escort EULEX to Zubin Potok and Brnjak. The two hours of road blockage caused long columns of cars to form while waiting to get passage to Zvecan and Kosovska Mitrovica and to Zubin Potok from the other direction.

Local Serbs have been preventing EULEX from having free movement in northern Kosovo for quite a while, giving 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.

On the other hand, KFOR representatives have reiterated on several occasions that the freedom of movement in Kosovo, including the north of the territory, should be given to everybody, particularly to representatives of the international missions.

Head of the Kosovska Mitrovica District Radenko Nedeljkovic has said that representatives of the Serbs and of the international military and civilian missions in the province agreed yesterday to show commitment to peace and to refrain from making unilateral moves of any kind.

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