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KFOR Dismantles Kosovo Serb Roadblocks

KFOR Begins Dismantling Kosovo Serb Roadblocksi
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October 20, 2011
NATO-led peacekeepers fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of Serbs on October 20 as the Kosovo Force (KFOR) troops began dismantling roadblocks put up in northern Kosovo near a disputed border crossing point with Serbia.

NATO-led peacekeepers fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of Serbs on October 20 as the Kosovo Force (KFOR) troops began dismantling roadblocks put up in northern Kosovo near a disputed border crossing point with Serbia.

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WATCH: NATO-led peacekeepers fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of Serbs  as KFOR troops began dismantling roadblocks in Kosovo near a disputed border crossing point with Serbia.

NATO-led peacekeepers have confronted angry ethnic Serbs in northern Kosovo as Kosovo Force (KFOR) troops began dismantling barricades erected near a disputed border crossing with Serbia.

For more than a month, Kosovo Serbs have been completely blocking roads leading to two border points -- Brnjak and Jarinje -- to stop the country's leadership from extending its control over the part of the country populated mostly by ethnic Serbs.

Ethnic Serbs in the region do not recognize Pristina's authority or the independence that majority-ethnic-Albanian Kosovo declared from Serbia in 2008.

RFE/RL Kosovo Unit correspondent Albana Isufi said that KFOR troops had managed to remove some of the barricades to allow them free access to soldiers based in the northern part of Kosovo.

They had been denied such access since September 16, preventing supplies from getting to those NATO-led troops.

Protesting Kosovo Serbs stand on the street in front of NATO's Kosovo Force (KFOR) soldiers from Germany in the village of Jagnjenica near the town of Zubin Potok on October 20.
Protesting Kosovo Serbs stand on the street in front of NATO's Kosovo Force (KFOR) soldiers from Germany in the village of Jagnjenica near the town of Zubin Potok on October 20.

Lone Trouble Spot?

Peacekeepers in riot gear moved at dawn against some 150 demonstrators at roadblocks erected on a road to the Brnjak border crossing. Protesters chanted, "Serbia! Serbia! Serbia!"

KFOR troops used tear gas against the demonstrators near the village of Jagnjenica as the crowds refused to disperse.

They used trucks and armored vehicles to remove the makeshift barriers consisting of parked trucks, rocks, tires, and logs.

KFOR said eight soldiers had been slightly injured, but a spokesman for the force told RFE/RL that the operation was "successful."

Kosovo Force (KFOR) troops employ tear gas against protesters trying to prevent the barricades from being dismantled in Jagnjenica near Zubin Potok on October 20.
Kosovo Force (KFOR) troops employ tear gas against protesters trying to prevent the barricades from being dismantled in Jagnjenica near Zubin Potok on October 20.
Meanwhile, Isufi said the situation at the road leading to the Jarinje border point was peaceful.

"The barricades on the Jarinje [road] remain there still, [but] KFOR has emphasized that they will no [longer] tolerate barricades on the road," Isufi said.

A barricade protester gestures at KFOR soldiers in Jagnjenica on October 20.
A barricade protester gestures at KFOR soldiers in Jagnjenica on October 20.
In Belgrade, Serbian President Boris Tadic urged NATO to refrain from the use of force and called on Kosovo Serbs not to resort to violence, saying it "would lead to an abyss."

Tadic's statement came after Serb leaders from northern Kosovo on October 19 defied NATO calls to remove roadblocks, saying they could only offer to allow the supply convoys for KFOR troops to pass on condition they maintain the roadblocks and check the KFOR transports.

Defending 'Freedom Of Movement'

Serb leaders in northern Kosovo had called for Belgrade to send in Serbian troops and police, while KFOR announced that it was "ready and resolved to take action on behalf of freedom of movement."

Kosovo Serbs stand in front of KFOR troops before dawn on October 20 as the NATO-led force tries to dismantle a roadblock near the village of Jagnjenica.
Kosovo Serbs stand in front of KFOR troops before dawn on October 20 as the NATO-led force tries to dismantle a roadblock near the village of Jagnjenica.

In July, Pristina authorities deployed security forces to the two border checkpoints to enforce a trade ban with Serbia.

Serbs reacted by blocking roads and triggering clashes with Kosovo police that left one police officer dead.

Around 40,000 Serbs live in northern Kosovo, making up the majority in a number of towns.

compiled from RFE/RL and agency reports
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ver Ami from: Sydney Australia
October 20, 2011 10:12

So Nato is forcibly absorbing these people into a narco-state not recognized by the UN?

Typical response from the EUnuch in Belgrade.
In Response

by: Tony from: NYC
October 20, 2011 14:14
These so called people(serbs) are the ones who have caused so many deaths in Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo.
And I dont blame Kosovars, Croatians etc by not wanting to leave under the same goverment as Serbians.
For real Kosovo is not recognized YET by the UN but almost 100 countries have done so.
Good luck to Kosovars I wish you the best, from an Us Army soldiers who served in Kosovo. Kosovars are very hospitable people Us loving also.
In Response

by: james r. from: usa, new castle pa
October 21, 2011 01:23
Kosovars are US loving?,not so during the Second World War when the Kosovars as well Albanians fought on Germany's side against! every freedom loving people in Europe. During Hitlers last days in the bunker, he cursed! the "Serbs for putting up!" such a stiff resistance, delaying Germany's invasion of Russia. Just as Serbs did then,they do today by fighting against the tyranny of Tanic's drug, human, and organ traffickers. As for NATO I always wondered what would happen if the Serbs were armed with Kornet Anti Tank missiles,as well some SA-24's.
In Response

by: John from: Australia
October 21, 2011 05:32
Typical US military talk and one coming from a Soldier who defends a nation of Albanian Narcotics and Human organ traffickers. Compare to the intelligent Americans I know, your obviously one that the Military brainwashed to invade and have no respect for a nation that has existed for over 600years. Face the facts buddy, the US administration is dismembering other nations to take resources and set up Rocket Shields in peoples back yards. Peacekeepers my a*r_s.
In Response

by: Misha from: Belgium
October 21, 2011 06:42
To so called us army soldier who served at occupied Kosovo. Your knowledge of recent (not to mention) earlier history of Serbia as well as former Yugoslavia is obviously very poor to understand reality. Sad fact for the one who had a chance to learn something there. And before giving a judge about any people, first try to count all deaths your so called missions have been dispersing throughout the world.
In Response

by: Andrew from: Auckland
October 21, 2011 11:58
A hell of a lot of Serbs also fought for the Nazi's.
Just as a lot of Albanians and Croats also fought against them.
In Response

by: Petar from: Vienna
October 25, 2011 23:46
Serbs fought against Nazis, even taking into account absolute destruction of the kingdom, it's a part of the general mentality, not to subdue to foreigners. The absolute destruction which in fact happend, and the kingdom was occupied by Germans, Croatian and Albanian fascists. Their genocidal politics left what is now known as Croatia and Kosovo. What NATO is doing is just the continuation of the Nazi politics of the 40's, allowing ethnical cleansing of occupied territories all over again.

by: MM from: Melbourne
October 20, 2011 13:24
What we have all grown a custom to US - NATO spreading goodwill and peace through out the world! Kosovo is Serbian everyone knows that let these people sort out their own problems its time to get out.

by: Isa from: Radovce
October 20, 2011 15:48
so the Serbs are opposed to the checkpoints because they interfere with their movement of arms to their brothers in Kosova?

by: milan from: toronto
October 20, 2011 23:14
German troops are again occupying Serbia. Germany again will cause a major conflict in Europe

by: tori from: north america
October 29, 2011 03:02
FOR EVERYONE HERE!! KOSOVA IS INDEPENDENT THANKS TO THE US AND IF YOU CANNOT COMPREHEND THAT THEN I WOULD SUGGEST RETAKING GRADE ONE!! Its a simple sentence. If there are any schools still properly functioning in Belgrade because i know NATO did damage there with their bombs!! GOD BLESS the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and that handsome BILL CLINTON!!

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