UN meets on Kosovo clashes

2011-07-29 10:01

New York - The United Nations Security Council met to discuss recent ethnic clashes in Kosovo, but refused a request from Belgrade to hold an open session with Serbian participation.

The clashes between Kosovar police and members of the Serb minority in the north had died down, but the situation remained precarious, Under Secretary General for peacekeeping operations Alain Le Roy told the council late on Thursday.

It was also a good sign that the political leaders of both sides had called for restraint, he said, adding that the deployment of Nato's KFOR troops had helped stabilised the situation.

The meeting in New York came after negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo earlier on Thursday failed to find an agreement. The Serb government has called a special parliamentary session for Saturday.

Violence broke out on Tuesday after Pristina ordered police to take control of border points in the Serb-dominated north of the mostly ethnic Albanian territory.

One policeman died after local Serbs stormed a checkpoint, and another border crossing was torched on Wednesday. No major incident was reported on Thursday, and KFOR had cordoned off the border posts.

Tensions on the ground

The 15-member UN Security Council discussed the situation for several hours behind closed doors.

A request from Serbia for an open emergency session was refused out of concerns it would agitate tensions on the ground, despite the Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic making the trip specially.

Jeremic did meet personally on Thursday with the German Ambassador to the UN Peter Wittig. Germany chairs the Security Council for the month of July.

Kosovo was a Serbian province with an ethnic Albanian majority until it declared independence in 2008. But the government remains unable to assert control in the northernmost section, where the Serbs dominate.

Kosovo Serbs have had political and financial support from Belgrade and have often resorted to violence whenever the pressure on them to submit to authority has increased.

The Kosovar government has passed a resolution vowing to bring the northern parts of the territory more firmly under the control of Pristina.

Opposition nationalists in Belgrade have blamed Kosovo for stirring trouble. Many members of the Serb government have accused KFOR of taking the Kosovar side in the conflict.

  • galileo - 2011-07-30 22:14

    "Kosovo Serbs have had political and financial support from Belgrade and have often resorted to violence whenever the pressure on them to submit to authority has increased." Really? So once more the Serbs are to blame. Double standards once more. The terrorist KLA was killing and expeling all non Albanians and burning churches, even under UN rule of the kosovo ("March Pogrom" 2004) and most of the wester media called them freedom fighters. Now when the Serb majority in northern kosovo refuses to submit they are violent, hooligans etc. One set of rules apply for the Albanians and completely different set of rules for the Serbs. The hypocrisy of the EU is appalling.

      Kunta-Kinte - 2011-07-30 22:37

      A bunch of immigrants planting themselves and then breaking off from the old country all in just over 150 years was never going to end well. It's created a very difficult moral problem, i.e. is self determination just after plantation. I mean if all the Africans in EU move to Holland, can they annex it? Personally I don't think it should have been recognised, let alone funded by foreign powers.

  • Nikola - 2011-10-04 00:51

    It's a shame, what the Western forces are doing. Shooting at people, shooting at ambulance vehicles. I hope you are proud of yourself for such things. Yesterday a man was killed in a middle of the day on the street, just because he was Serb living in Kosovo. How many Serbs were killed since KFOR arrival? What about wheat reapers slaughtered on the field? What about serbian children killed while they were swimming in the river? What about all of the serbian properties demolished and destroyed forever? What about churches destroyed and graveyards desecrated? I was born in Kosovo, and today my place of birth is gone, it's obliterated. I see it with my own eyes, open graves, and spilled bones all around. I haven't found a single stone at a place where my home was. Is that the peace and justice to you? The world was once a beautiful place, but no one seems to care for those times now. You bring nothing but pain and destruction, disguised as justice and rights for all. Where is humanity going...

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