Pro IQRA News Updates.
NATO on Friday called on all actors in Kosovo to coordinate with its peacekeeping mission in that country (KFOR) to ensure security.
We call on all sides to commit to enable security and freedom of movement in Kosovo. The NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo (KFOR) will continue to fulfill a UN mandate for all communities in Kosovo. Solutions should be sought through dialogue,” the alliance wrote on social media.
The statement came after Serbia decided late Thursday to submit a formal request to KFOR to deploy security forces as tensions in the region reached dangerous levels.
NATO also said it has strengthened its presence, including with additional troops and patrols in northern Kosovo to provide security for all communities.
“We are closely monitoring the situation in northern Kosovo. KFOR has the capabilities and personnel to provide a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all communities,” it said.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Thursday requested the return of up to 1,000 police and military personnel to Kosovo in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244.
UN Security Council Resolution 1244 states that Serbia has the right to deploy up to 1,000 members of its security forces in Kosovo.
The latest development comes after Serbs in northern Kosovo blocked main roads to protest the detention of former Serbian police officer Dejan Pantic on suspicion of terrorism. Pantic was part of a mass exodus of Serbs from the security forces in November.
Tensions between Serbia and Kosovo
Kosovo, predominantly inhabited by Albanians, broke away from Serbia in 1999 and declared independence in 2008. But Serbia has not recognized the move and sees its former province as part of its territory.
Tensions flared last month when Kosovo tried to require ethnic Serbs to change their pre-1999 vehicle number plates to Pristina-issued ones. The decision led to ethnic Serbs in Kosovo withdrawing from all central and local institutions.
A snap election was announced in four northern municipalities in December. 18 after ethnic Serb representatives resigned from their posts.
But Kosovo has postponed elections until April due to security concerns.
Last week, some polling centers were damaged and gunfire was heard in those areas, raising fears of an escalation of tensions.