Angry Serbs – Riots over new mayor in Kosovo


In March, governments in Pristina and Belgrade agreed to implement a Western-backed plan to improve relations, but little progress has been made since then. Now unrest has broken out again in northern Kosovo. Point of discussion: the swearing in of new mayors in Serb-majority communities, all of whom come from Albanian parties.

The municipalities of Zvečan, Leposavić and Žubin Potok were affected by the unrest. At the town hall in the village of Zvečan, Kosovo police on Friday dispersed Serb demonstrators who wanted to prevent the new mayor from taking office. The officials used tear gas and stun grenades, local media reported. Violent protesters set fire to a police car.

Election of mayors boycotted by Serbs
In recent days, the mayors of four northern Kosovo municipalities have been sworn in. The Serbs boycotted their elections last month. The voter turnout was therefore only 3.5 percent. The new mayors in the area, which is almost exclusively inhabited by Serbs, come from Albanian parties. Albanians live almost exclusively in the rest of Kosovo.

The leadership in the capital Pristina blamed Belgrade for the unrest on Friday. “Serbia’s illegal and criminal structures in northern Kosovo have received orders to escalate the situation on the ground,” Blerim Vela, chief of staff to Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani, wrote on Twitter.

Serbian Armed Forces in “High Combat Readiness”
Meanwhile, Serbian Defense Minister Miloš Vučević said Serbian forces had been put on “highest combat readiness”. He accused Prishtina of committing “violence” against the Serb ethnic group.

Source: Krone


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