Conflicts & War

Kosovo government denounces Serbian military movements from three directions

Vienna/Belgrade, Sept 30 (EFE).- After days of high tension, the Kosovo government denounced Saturday that military forces from neighboring Serbia were approaching its border from three different directions.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the Kosovo government said it was “following closely and with great vigilance the latest developments regarding the movement of military units of the Serbian Armed Forces towards the border”.

“The movements of the Serbian army have taken place in three different directions,” the statement said, detailing the movements of certain Serbian brigades to different points on the Serbian-Kosovar border.

According to the Kosovar government, led by left-wing nationalist Albin Kurti, the Serbian military movements include “the placement of anti-aircraft and heavy artillery” at half a hundred locations a few kilometers behind the border between the two countries.

“We have repeatedly expressed our concern about the existence of these 48 military bases and the advanced gendarmerie, emphasizing that these bases serve to support a possible military aggression against Kosovo, which has now been confirmed,” the note warns.

The Kosovo government, pointing to a “serious threat from Serbia,” said it was in contact with the United States and European Union countries.

“Kosovo’s institutions, in coordination with international partners, are more determined than ever to defend at all costs the entire territory, to protect the sovereignty, constitutional order, public order and the lives of citizens and residents of our country,” it concludes.

At the same time, the Kosovo government is calling on Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić to immediately withdraw his troops from the border.

The Serbian leader said Saturday in an interview with the British newspaper Financial Times that Serbia will not send troops to Kosovo.

Vučić said he would order a military withdrawal because an escalation would be “counterproductive” for Serbia’s EU membership aspirations.

Tensions have been high in northern Kosovo since last Sunday’s attack on a police unit by some thirty Serbian paramilitaries, which left one Kosovar officer and three attackers dead.

Kosovo is a former Serbian province populated mostly by ethnic Albanians who declared unilateral independence from Serbia in 2008 after years of Serbian repression.

Belgrade does not recognize Kosovo’s sovereignty and insists on the creation of an association of Kosovo Serb municipalities in the small Balkan country as a condition for normalizing relations with Pristina.

The international community maintains a military force known as KFOR of more than 3,500 NATO-led troops in Kosovo to guarantee the country’s stability.EFE


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