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Serbs dismantle barricades as Kosovo standoff eases



After Kosovo opened its main border to Serbia, the Serbs began dismantling barricades in northern Kosovo on Thursday (29/12). This helped to ease tensions previously alarming the world.

Tanjug reported that Serbia had ended its three-day-old alert to its troops. Both sides seemed to bow to pressure from the United States and the European Union to end the growing conflict.

“Diplomacy prevailed in the face of de-escalating tensions in north Kosovo. Josep Borrell is the chief of European Union’s foreign policy. He tweeted that violence can not be solved.

He stated that it was urgent to make progress in dialog to resolve the unresolved issues between Belgrade and Serbia, as well as Pristina.

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Nearly 50,000 Serbs living in northern Kosovo are against Pristina’s government and its status as a separate country. Many Serbs in Serbia support them and their government.

Protesting the arrest of a former Serb officer, Serbs in Northern Kosovo started erecting roadblocks December 10, in protest.

After being released from detention, the ex-policeman was placed under house arrest and they agreed to remove the barricades.


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Reuters drone footage showed that protesters started removing trucks from a Rudare-barricade barricade on Thursday afternoon. Serbian media reported two additional barricades had been removed from Gazivode lake, northern Kosovo.

The Kosovo police claimed they had reopened Merdare crossing after removing roadblocks from the Serbian side. The Merdare crossing, which is vital for road freight, connects the landlocked state with western European countries.

They appealed for diaspora persons to use the crossing, which was closed at midnight Tuesday, to return home for holidays.

Tensions were high. Two trucks were completely destroyed near Mitrovica in northern Kosovo, which is part of the ethnically split region. Kosovo police said they were investigating an arson attack.

Two other crossings with Serbia (the northern border of Kosovo) have been closed since 10 December.

NATO intervened after a 1998-1999 conflict in order to protect ethnic Albanians.

KFOR, NATO’s peacekeeping force in Kosovo expressed gratitude for the removal and removal of the barricades.

It was stated that all parties should refrain form using rhetoric and taking actions that could cause further escalation.

Tension has resulted from the conflict over Kosovo between the West (who backed its independence) and Russia (which supports Serbia’s attempts to prevent Kosovo joining global organisations including the United Nations).

Wednesday, 28 December The Kremlin rejected allegations made by Kosovo’s interior Minister that Russia had incited Serbia to destabilise Kosovo. It said that Serbia was protecting ethnic Serbs’ rights.

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