Kosovo Serbs Continue Blockade of 'Illegal Border'

World | September 20, 2011, Tuesday // 17:06

Serbs in Northern Kosovo have maintained their blockade of the border between Kosovo and Serbia, after end of last week Kosovar authorities attempted to staff the two checkpoints with local officers.

The prior such attempt in August resulted in ethnic Serbs setting on fire the Jarinje and Brnjak crossing points and chasing away Kosovo customs officers, after which the border was taken over by international KFOR forces.

The international community has called on ethic Serbs to lift the blockade in order to ensure the rule of the Kosovo government over its territory.

Serbs in Northern Kosovo do not recognize the 2008 unilateral declaration of independence and have set up parallel structures of rule.

Protesters have answered flyers distributed by KFOR calling for a lift of blockades on the ground that they breach UN Security Council Resolution 1244.

"According to Resolution 1244 there is no border and Kosovar customs, as Kosovo is part of Serbia. KFOR should themselves consider whether their actions do not breach the UN resolution," reads the ethnic Serbs' message.

A KFOR source has stated that the Brnjak checkpoint is now open for transit, but barricades are still posing a problem.

Serbian Minister for Kosovo Goran Bodganovic has stated that Serbs in Kosovo can be expected to maintain their blockades until Kosovar officers are withdrawn from the region, and that their actions express their legitimate rights for self-determination.

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Tags: kosovo, Serbs, Serbia, Northern Kosovo, border, resolution, UN, KFOR, goran bogdanovic
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