NATO und EU-Polizei gehen im Kosovo in die Offensive

Die Situation im Norden des Kosovo könnte sich wieder zuspitzen. Nach einem Bericht der Nachrichtenagentur Associated Press (AP)  hat die Polizei der EU-Mission EULEX heute morgen mit einer Aktion begonnen, die darauf abzielt, die Hintermänner der Krawalle von Ende Juli und vor allem die Mörder eines kosovarischen Polizisten aufzuspüren:

European Union special police in Kosovo have launched an operation in the Serb-run north linked to the recent outbreak of violence that left one Kosovo policeman dead, the spokesman for the 3,000-strong rule of law mission said Wednesday.

Nicholas Hawton said the operation is „related to a criminal investigation“ into the murder of Kosovo policeman Enver Zymberi in July.

„The operation is ongoing, Hawton said. „It is aimed at reinforcing the rule of law.“

He said NATO peacekeepers have deployed to support the EU police in the tense area controlled by minority Serbs that refuse to cooperate with international authorities and reject Pristina’s authority.

Zuvor hatte bereits der Kommandeur der NATO-Truppe KFOR, der deutsche Generalmajor Erhard Bühler, in einem Interview ebenfalls mit AP angekündigt, dass die NATO die geplante Reduzierung der KFOR-Soldatenzahl zurückstellen wolle.

Maj. Gen. Erhard Buehler said in an interview with The Associated Press that he does not think „there will be further reductions in the near future“ in the peacekeeping mission, which was deployed to end the 1998-99 Kosovo war.

„There are some conditions to follow,“ the German officer said. „The most important condition is to substantially improve the security situation in the north.“

Das Vorgehen von EU und KFOR war absehbar: Nach den Gewaltaktionen im serbisch bewohnten Norden des Kosovo geht es der internationalen Gemeinschaft darum, die Straftaten bei den Krawallen rechtsstaatlich zu verfolgen. Dabei hatten vermutlich serbische Kosovaren nicht nur auf die Polizisten der Regierung in Pristina gefeuert, sondern auch auf KFOR-Truppen. Bühler hatte ein entschlossenes Vorgehen in den nächsten Tagen angekündigt, dabei aber auch erneute Spannungen vorhergesagt.

Nachtrag: Heute gibt’s von KFOR eine Pressemitteilung, die sich aber nicht mit der aktuellen Lage im Nord-Kosovo befasst, sondern mit den Gesprächskontakten zwischen KFOR und der serbischen Armee:

Commander KFOR, Major General Erhard Bühler, and the Serbian Armed Forces Chief of General Staff, General Miloje Miletic, conducted on Wednesday, 31st of August 2011, a high level meeting of the Joint Implementation Commission (JIC) in KFOR Villaggio Italia Camp, in Pec/Peja.

General Bühler informed General Miletic about the c urrent situation in Kosovo in general and about the recent events in the North of Kosovo in particular. Commander KFOR gave an overview of the course of events since 25th of July 2011 and the measures taken by KFOR. He made it clear that the common understanding achieved with the involved parties was only mediated by him and that the measures of KFOR are taken independently on behalf of KFOR and are based purely on security reasons.

The control procedures and the restrictions put in place at the gates by Commander KFOR in order to ensure a safe and secure environment were explained by General Bühler. Passage through the gates remains limited for security reasons. The gates are opened for private vehicles and buses. Trucks are prohibited passage with exceptions. Goods for the Serbian Orthodox Church are allowed to pass. Humanitarian assistance are permitted under certain conditions.

General Bühler thanked General Miletic for the mu tual information and the close communication during the days of the crisis. He also expressed his gratitude for very helpful and calming comments of the Serbian Defence Authorities during the last weeks. The JIC on all levels has proved its functionality and efficiency from the very beginning of the crisis during night of 25th of July.

Both Generals assessed that, even in such tense situation, the cooperation between KFOR and the Serbian Armed Forces as very good, highly professional on the basis of mutual respect. Examples of this successful cooperation are synchronized patrols along the ABL or the exchange of security information astride the ABL between KFOR Multinational Battlegroups and SAF Brigades and overall cross-boundary JIC cooperation.

Apart from the incidents during the first week of the crisis the general situation along the ABL has remained relatively calm and stable. Some cross boundary criminal activities, such as smuggling, illegal immigrations or illegal woodcutting will be dealt with by the professional cooperation of the security forces of both sides and the synchronized patrols along the ABL. Actually, after the events occurred in the North, and the following common understanding, this cooperation will be adapted to the new situation, which will be discussed and coordinated in the context of the Joint Implementation Commission.

Both Generals exchanged information and views on the overall situation in Kosovo. The meeting again was conducted in a very cooperative atmosphere of mutual trust.

The High Level JIC conference was the last meeting between General Miletic and General Bühler before Commander KFOR’s end of tour on 9 th of September 2011. Two Generals thanked each other for good and professional cooperation.

Both sides agreed that the cooperation will continue with General Bühler’s successor in order to develop and to enhance the communication and cooperation between KFOR and the Serbian Armed Forces on their proper level.

JIC meetings take place regularly between KFOR and the Serbian military authorities on different levels since 1999, following the obligations derived from the “Kumanovo-Agreement”. Primary objects of these meetings are to monitor, liaise and de-conflict as fulfilment of the requirements of the Military Technical Agreement which include e.g. the exchange of information concerning security forces on both sides of the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL), their exercises and operations or issues regarding the security on the ABL.