KFOR: „You do not demonstrate legitimately with the gun“

Mit deutlichen Worten haben der KFOR-Kommandeur,  der deutsche Generalmajor Erhard Drews, und sein vorgesetzter Admiral im NATO-Kommando Neapel, James Locklear,  auf die (gestrigen) gewaltsamen Auseinandersetzungen im Nord-Kosovo reagiert. Die Zahl der verletzten Soldaten, die nach den Angriffen behandelt werden mussten, hat sich derweil auf 30 erhöht.

Zur Dokumentation die Erklärungen von Drews und Locklear vom Dienstagnachmittag im Wortlaut:

Yesterday the roadblock-removal operation by KFOR went as planned. KFOR was executing its mandate to re-establish unconditional Freedom of Movement for all.
The operation was successful and was completed without violence to the demonstrators.
Later on demonstrators attacked KFOR positions and inflicted injuries by using small arms fire, explosive devices and Molotov-Cocktails.
KFOR has always maintained the right of people in Northern Kosovo to protest to be legitimate as it would be and is anywhere else in the world.
However what was witnessed yesterday were acts of violence which has no part in legitimate protest.
You do not demonstrate legitimately with the gun.
You do not protest legitimately with the pipe bomb.
You do not voice your opinion legitimately with a Molotov cocktail.
There are now 30 injured KFOR soldiers in hospital. They were not hospitalized because of a legitimate protest.
Gunshot wounds, shrapnel wounds, fractures and burns do not result from a legitimate demonstration.
Yesterday’s violence has exposed evidence of the existence of a criminal hardcore minority amongst the demonstrators. KFOR understands that this minority does not represent the majority of the people in Northern Kosovo.
The continued use of violent acts by this hardcore element that threaten a safe and secure environment and the life of anyone is not acceptable. KFOR will take all appropriate measures to ensure the safety of all the people of Kosovo, but also of its soldiers.
KFOR will use all means available in a life threatening situation.


The use of violence against KFOR troops is unacceptable. We urge all parties to exercise restraint and cooperate fully with all international actors on the ground to ensure freedom of movement without delay.
KFOR’s mission is to contribute to the maintenance of a sage and secure environment, freedom of movement and security in Kosovo, under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244. It is fulfilling that mission carefully, fairly and impartially.
NATO has said repeatedly that we fully support Commander KFOR in fulfilling that mandate. I wanted to take this opportunity to convey that KFOR’s mission is to contribute to a safe and secure environment in Kosovo, which includes freedom of movement in accordance with its mandate. Inside this framework KFOR routinely establishes check points throughout Kosovo.
Yesterday, in accordance with its mandate, KFOR carried out Freedom of movement operations in the municipality of Zubin Potok. During the operation, small arms fire and homemade explosive devices were used against KFOR soldiers by “criminal elements” posing as legitimate demonstrators. As a result, soldiers were injured.
KFOR responded to these criminal acts by non-lethal means (water cannon, rubber bullets, and tears gas).
The people causing harm to KFOR soldiers are not peaceful demonstrators or working to provide good solutions. These criminal acts and any action threatening a safe and secure environment is unacceptable. NATO will take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of all the people of Kosovo.
I want to emphasize that KFOR reserves right to protect itself against all aggressive actions; and, we continue to act lawfully and within our lawful mandate. Our role is in support of EULEX in its effort to ensure rule of law functions throughout Kosovo for the benefit of all people.
The isolation of the population through roadblocks undermine crucial public services such as ambulance, fire fighting and medical supplies. But not removing roadblocks, people are blocking their own prosperity and they are placing an embargo on their own people and impeding the movement of goods.
I strongly encourage all leaders and communities in Kosovo to continue promoting stability and dialogue, as nobody benefits from a return to the tensions of the past.
Thank you.