Saturday June 10, 2023

Serbian Army on high alert after protest clashes in Kosovo

Published : 27 May 2023, 02:10

  DF News Desk
Soldiers of the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) patrol near a road barricade set up in the city of Mitrovica, Kosovo on Dec. 29, 2022. File Photo: Xinhua.

The Serbian army has been placed on full combat alert and ordered to move closer to the border with Kosovo after protesters clashed with the Kosovo police in the majority Serb town of Zvecan in north Kosovo, Serbia's national broadcaster RTS reported on Friday, reported Xinhua.

According to RTS, the police used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the crowd that was trying to prevent a newly-elected ethnic Albanian mayor from entering his office.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, "signed an order to raise the combat readiness of the units of the Serbian Armed Forces to the highest level, and ordered them to move in the direction of the administrative line with Kosovo and Metohija," the report said.

The vehicles of Kosovo's special police forces also surrounded the municipal buildings in other cities in north Kosovo, including Kosovska Mitrovica, Leposavic, and Zubin Potok. Local Serbs responded to these actions by setting up roadblocks.

Serbs living in north Kosovo have been boycotting the local institutions for several months as a way to protest any form of violence against them, and the mandatory use of Kosovo IDs, travel documents, and car license plates in Kosovo.

Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Serbia rejects this and considers Kosovo its province.