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Kosovo: Serbia inciting minority protests to destabilize


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PRISTINA, Kosovo — Kosovo’s authorities early Monday accused neighboring Serbia of attempting to destabilize the nation as ethnic Serbs blocked roads and carried out different incidents within the north apparently in a dispute over car license plates and id playing cards.

Officers in Kosovo had determined to renew the follow of requiring autos that enter from Serbia to switch Serbia license plates with Kosovo plates. The reverse is required by Serbia for autos from Kosovo that go to Serbia.

Kosovo is also planning to dam its ethnic Serb minority from utilizing solely the Serbian id playing cards when crossing the border.

A Kosovo authorities assertion mentioned that many “aggressive acts” like street blocking and taking pictures within the northern areas dominated by ethnic Serbs had been dedicated Sunday and charged that they had been incited by Serbia.

After discussions with European and U.S. companions, the “reciprocity” license plate and id card plan was being postponed for a month, till Sept. 1, the federal government mentioned.

Kosovo was a part of Serbia till an armed rebellion in 1998-1999 by the territory’s ethnic Albanian majority triggered a bloody crackdown by Serbs. A NATO bombing marketing campaign to pressure Serbia’s troops out of Kosovo ended the conflict. However Serbia refuses to acknowledge Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence.

Prime Minister Albin Kurti and President Vjosa Osmani blamed Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic for the protests.

“Vucic and (Petar) Petkovic are the primary accountable individuals for the riots,” Kurti wrote in Fb. Petkovic is Belgrade’s official in control of Kosovo.

Osmani additionally wrote on Fb that “Vucic’s efforts to destabilize Kosovo” would fail.

Vucic responded by saying that “we’ve by no means been in a extra advanced state of affairs than immediately” and blamed Kosovo for the escalating tensions over the licenses plates and ID playing cards.

He accused Kosovo of attempting to make itself right into a sufferer and “profiting from the temper on the earth the place they suppose they will play playing cards,” he mentioned, saying Kurti is attempting to be seen in the identical gentle as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Vukic mentioned Kosovo can not cease its ethnic Serbs from utilizing Serbian id playing cards once they cross the border.

The NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo mentioned it was monitoring the “tense” state of affairs in northern Kosovo and was “ready to intervene if stability is jeopardized.”

The pressure mentioned it might “take no matter measures are essential to preserve a secure and safe surroundings in Kosovo always, in step with its UN mandate.”

The mission, which has some 3,800 troopers from 28 nations, is led by NATO however is supported by the United Nations, the European Union and others.

Semini reported from Tirana, Albania.

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