Update zur Situation im Nord-Kosovo (deshalb auch an den Anfang dieses Eintrags gestellt) von KFOR. Die beiden umstrittenen Grenzübergänge bleiben militärische Sicherheitsbereiche. (Mit der Administrative Boundary Line ist die international nicht von allen Staaten anerkannte Grenze zwischen dem Kosovo und Serbien gemeint.)
CROSSING OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE BOUNDARY LINE FOR CIVILIAN PERSONNEL
- KFOR has declared crossing points at GATE 1 and DOG 31 as Military Protected Areas;
- KFOR will be responsible for the security at the Boundary Crossing Points
- If situations allows crossing of the Administrative Boundary Line will be possible with following conditions:
- Only limited numbers of passenger vehicles at the time;
- From Serbia delivery of church building materials will be allowed
- There will be complete inspection of the bus or the car at the first check point before (considerable distance from) the gate
- ID or Passport will be checked and exit/entrance will be registered
- Checking for weapons and contraband will be a priority.
- Closure of the Administrative Boundary Line is possible at any time, if situation requires
- It is advisable to use other crossing points to Serbia
Zuvor hatte die Kosovo-Schutztruppe eine neue Lagemeldung veröffentlicht (interessanterweise zuerst auf der Facebook-Seite von KFOR, derzeit noch nicht auf der Webseite [KORREKTUR: Die Facebook-Seite wird nicht von KFOR betrieben, gibt aber recht zeitnah die von KFOR herausgegebenen Pressemitteilungen wider). Die internationalen Truppen räumten die Straßensperren, offensichtlich ohne Widerstand:
On order of Commander KFOR, General Erhard Bühler, KFOR units today, 1st of August 2011, in the early morning hours, removed three road blocks on the main road between Mitrovica and Zubin Potok in the area of Zupce.
The operation was conducted swiftly and successfully. There was no resistance at the road blocks of which one consisted of gravel, stones and sand and two of trunks and poles.
As there was the threat of criminal snipers and armed resistance by radical elements equipped with rifles, pistols or explosives a sufficient force of armoured infantry was in the area, ready to adequately answer any challenge which might have occurred.
Together with yesterdays (31st of July 2011) operation to clear the secondary road in the area Prelaz/Cabra the measures taken today further improved the Freedom of Movement in the Zubin Potok area. Now there is access to the Boundary Crossing Point at Bernjak/Brnjak (DOG 31) re-established.
KFOR calls on all peaceful citizens in Zubin Potok to resist radical and criminal elements and to give up the last two road blocks which still hinder the traffic in the town. These useless road blocks isolate the honest people from the outside. Because of the radical’s action local municipality authorities and radicals prevent food and medicament supplies to be transported into the town. They will be made responsible for any casualties.
The present situation in the North of Kosovo is calm but tense. KFOR soldiers are still deployed at the main gates where cars and buses are allowed to pass after thorough identity and security checks. Heavy vehicles are still blocked because of security measures. There is still the threat that radicals attack the Crossing Points like they did at Gate 1 last week.
Commander KFOR expects that citizens in all parts of Kosovo stay calm and peaceful and rely on the measures taken by KFOR and EULEX and on political solutions of the present situation.
Und der Vollständigkeit halber als Nachtrag: Jetzt liegt mir eine Wortlaut-Übersetzung des Interviews vor, dass der KFOR-Kommandeur, der deutsche Generalmajor Erhard Bühler, am 29. Juli dem kosovarischen Fernsehen gegeben hat:
COMKFOR Interview to RTK: General you had earlier a press conference stating that KFOR has withdrawn as a peaceful gesture? Which are the reasons and when you plan to go back?
There is a misunderstanding here, we did not withdrew from Gates 1 and 31, we are there and ready.
Yes but you withdrew from the place where is the roadblock?
Well, having into consideration all circumstances and problems with roadblocks in Rudare and you know that KFOR needs free roads in order to carry out its duty. At this time we did not have any understanding in Rudare from a big number of protestors, around 300-500 radicals and criminals who were armed. We herd fire shots. For me, it is important to have calm situation and avoid escalations, and in order to protect the ordinary and innocent citizens I pulled back but I made it clear to them that there will be no second time. Everyone knows that KFOR needs free roads and it will not tolerate blockades. We have to make difference between ordinary citizens who want to protest and radicals. My message is that situation is under control at both points and under our authority. I also want to thank the citizens for trusting KFOR and their support to peaceful situation.
Is any Kosovo Police at Gates 1 and 31?
As you know that on Wednesday Jarinje border crossing customs post, Gate 1 was burned and it is not safe for any staff and until the infrastructure is rebuild only KFOR is present there, whereas at Gate 31 we have KFOR, KP and some Customs Police officers.
How long you will tolerate roadblock?
We have to make a difference between protesting and roadblocks when KFOR’s movement is being restricted. Everyone there has understood that KFOR needs free movement and access, but the citizens must understand as well that KFOR does not want escalation of situation.
How long will KFOR stay at Gates 1 and 31?
For the moment we will stay there until situation improves, I cannot say right now when. It is important to have such atmosphere like this one right now in Mitrovica and leave this job to KFOR and KP. Life must go one.
Are any American KFOR members there?
It does not matter if they are Americans, Moroccans, French, etc. I do not make any difference between my soldiers on ethnic basis, they are all the same, but yes there are Americans there.
What is level of cooperation with Kosovo Police?
Of course that borders are under the control and we have very close cooperation with KP.
General you met today with Serb officials? What were their demands?
Security issue knows no boundaries. We have discussed with them on security. They are grateful that Serb Government has increased security measures across the border.
Did you meet with parallel structure?
You know that there were no elections in the north so I have met with the structures you call them as parallel structures. At the end of the meeting we all had same goal.
For the end which is your message?
I wish to Mitrovica citizens a night like this one, with music and happy evening, and Kosovo citizens to remain calm as they were until now, because only that way they can fulfill their aspiration for EU.
Well I said it was last question, but I have another one. Will goods come through Gates 1 and 31 and will smuggling be stopped now?
This is a different question now since Gates are closed. We have good cooperation with EULEX and we will continue that way.