Tension remains on the Serbian-Kosovo border, which has been a tinderbox for decades.
The clashes - which left at least 30 soldiers from NATO's KFOR peacekeeping forces wounded yesterday - broke out when Serb protesters from northern Kosovo tried to storm the offices of three town halls in townships close to the Serbian border where they mayors of ethnic Albanian ethnicity (the majority in Kosovo) took office last week. The discontent stems from the fact that the majority of the inhabitants of these municipalities are Serbs and do not consider them their legitimate representatives. Security forces dispersed the protests - in which 52 demonstrators were injured - with tear gas.
The enemies declared for decades coexist after the self-proclamation of independence of Kosovo, a former Serbian province, in 2008. Its sovereignty is recognized today by a hundred countries around the world, among which Spain is not found due to its policy of non-intervention in independence conflicts. Peacekeeping in the region is carried out by KFOR, the NATO military force. However, tensions are recurring at the border. The last big crisis was due to car license plates: the Kosovar Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, decreed controls to guarantee compliance with the norm that obliges Serbs to carry Kosovar identity documents and license plates, which set the Kosovar Serb community on fire , which came to block the border crossings in the north.
Around 10%, who are mostly concentrated in the north of Kosovo, compared to 90% Albanians who populate the rest of the territory. Belgrade accuses Pristina of not respecting the rights of this minority on its territory. "Unprovoked attacks against NATO units are unacceptable and KFOR will continue to carry out its mandate impartially," KFOR commander Angelo Michele Ristuccia said of yesterday's incidents.
The multinational forces deployed in Kosovo and led by NATO guarantee compliance with UN resolution 1244, which pacified the conflict after the 1999 war. In recent years, the number of troops has gone from 4,200 in 2016 to 3,700 in 2022.
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