Kosovo Police said it had arrested a Kosovo Serb, known as Nemac and/or Rus, suspected of participating in an attack on KFOR soldiers on May 29 in the Serb-majority northern municipality of Zvecan.
“His arrest … was carried out after obtaining evidence that he was involved in the attack on KFOR on May 29, 2023, where as a result of the attacks and the violence displayed, dozens of KFOR members suffered bodily injury. All further actions will be undertaken in cooperation and coordination with the justice bodies,” read the police announcement.
Even so, the Serbia’s Office for Kosovo said the arrest “was not coincidentally timed on the morning after the dialogue in Brussels,” and warned that it “shows that [Kosovo PM] Albin Kurti will not calm tensions in the north of Kosovo… will not de-escalate, but wants new crises and tensions”.
The individual’s arrest comes the morning after EU High Representative Josep Borrell said that “arbitrary or unrightful arrests or mistreatment of prisoners is completely unacceptable,” and that “our [European Union] civilian mission- our EULEX mission in Kosovo- will play a more robust role in monitoring in this context.”
Borrell made the comments after he and the EU special envoy for Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, held high-level talks with Serbian President Alaksander Vucic and Kosovo PM Kurti.
“I presented to [the Prime Minister of] Kosovo some allegations about the treatment of prisoners and the reason for some detentions, and I asked for a thorough investigation and evaluation of this situation, and to take the appropriate measures,” Borrell told reporters.
According to the official EULEX website, its “Formed Police Unit is Kosovo’s second security responder.”
“It is part of a three-layer security responder mechanism where Kosovo Police is the first security responder, EULEX is the second one and KFoR is the third one,” the website continues.
EULEX also claims it “conducts a robust monitoring of selected cases which cover the entire chain of criminal justice, as well as civil justice cases on property and privatization issues … From 15 June 2018 to 14 June 2023, EULEX’s justice monitors attended 1940 court sessions in 330 active criminal and civil cases.”
Dozens of peacekeepers and Serb civilians were injured in violent clashes at the end of last month amid protests over the installation of an ethnic Albanian mayor in the predominantly Serb-populated municipality of Zvecan. The attack on KFOR soldiers came after Serbs boycotted local elections.
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