It looked like war. Kosovo special units would appear at border checkpoints alternatively. At sound of siren people would run to access roads blocking them, says a Serb, one of witnesses of the incident provoked by Kosovo authorities in their attempt to take by force the checkpoints at administration border crossings of Jarinje and Brnjak.
The authorities in Pristina ordered the day before yesterday at 22.00 the action of conquering the checkpoints aimed to establish full control over all access roads to Kosovo. A well informed ‘Blic’ source from Pristina claims that Kosovo authorities got no green light for this action either from the KFOR or the EULEX, but that there is grounded suspicion that the USA Ambassador in Pristina Christopher Dell knew about the action.
According to our source it is still not certain to which extent the American administration in Pristina was acquainted with all details of the action including the fact that Kosovo authorities were determined in not to withdraw even in case of serious conflict. ‘However, it is very well known that Hashim Thaci does very little on his own and without American Ambassador’, our source adds.
As ‘Blic’ learns Dell has a strong influence in Pristina but also interests of his own in Kosovo. He is a diplomat who directly influenced election of Atifeta Jahjaga to the post of Kosovo President.
According to our source the KFOR and the EULEX have not given approval for the action. Recall of General Director of Kosovo Police Reshad Malici only speaks in favor to that claim.
‘Malici was not recalled because he was against the action. Prime Minister Thaci recalled him because Malici informed the EULEX about action the police were intending to undertake prior the action had actually begun’, ‘Blic’ source from Pristina says.
The special unit called ROSU was involved in the action. As ‘Blic’ learns this unit has between 180 and 200 members. For the first time after foundation of the unit its members crossed the Ibar River and entered the north of Kosovo in an attempt to take over Jarinje and Brnjak. Our source claims that in the first attempt only one third of the unit took part, what means about 60 people.
The aim of Kosovo Government was to take over the border crossings at the administration line, introduce total embargo and position itself in the north of Kosovo.
The action undertaken the other day was preceded by visit of Kosovo minister Bajram Redzepi to the north of Kosovo. He arrived by a helicopter to yesterday attacked border crossings and talked there with representatives of the KFOR. However, events indicate that the KFOR did not want to play a game of Pristina and the only thing that the KFOR yesterday took part in was pulling of injured ROSU members out of the north.
The EULEX condemned the action and warned authorities in Pristina to stop it.
However, the most serious incidents in villages near Zubin Potok began yesterday at about 13.00 just when it was expected that members of special Kosovo unit would withdraw from the part of the territory with Serbian population.
Within half an hour about ten jeeps came to the village of Stioce. Fire was opened and members of the special unit withdraw to the south again, a Serb from Zubin Potok says for ‘Blic’.
‘It seems they have gone, but they appeared again moving towards the village of Zupce. Members of the ROSU unit were opening fire from automatic guns to everything that was moving, but we managed to push them back again’, a local Serb says.
According to the latest information local Serbs are concentrated at all entrances to villages near Zubin Potok. At about 20.00 the KFOR Commander ordered the Portuguese soldiers prevent ROSU unit enter the village of Zupce.