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Kosovo postpones election in ethnic-Serb-dominated north – The Washington Submit


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PRISTINA, Kosovo — Kosovo on Saturday postponed an area election due Dec. 18 in 4 municipalities with a predominantly ethnic Serb inhabitants, in an effort to defuse current tensions there which have additionally triggered relations with neighboring Serbia to deteriorate additional.

However Serbia’s president mentioned he’ll formally request NATO permission to deploy Serbian troops in northern Kosovo, whereas conceding this was impossible to be granted.

The return of Belgrade’s troops to the previous Serbian province might dramatically enhance tensions within the Balkans.

Earlier, Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani met together with her nation’s political leaders and determined to carry the vote within the northern municipalities on April 23 subsequent 12 months.

The election in Northern Mitrovica, Zubin Potok, Zvecan and Leposavic was due after ethnic Serb representatives resigned their posts in November to protest a choice by Kosovo’s authorities to ban Serbia-issued car license plates.

Serb lawmakers, prosecutors and law enforcement officials additionally deserted native authorities posts.

Stress within the north has been excessive forward of the scheduled vote. This week, unknown gunmen shot and wounded a Kosovo legislation enforcement officer, some election facilities have been broken and taking pictures was heard in these municipalities.

Kosovo’s Inside Minister Xhelal Zvecla mentioned Saturday that after the arrest of a former Serb police officer accused of attacking election facilities and officers, some roads within the north have been blocked by “extremist teams.”

The Kosovar police presence just lately was elevated in these areas and the European Union’s rule of legislation mission, or EULEX has been current with its law enforcement officials too.

Kosovo proclaimed independence from Serbia in 2008. However Belgrade, supported by Russia and China, has refused to acknowledge Kosovo’s statehood.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic mentioned Saturday that Belgrade will formally ask the commander of the NATO-led peacekeeper mission in Kosovo to deploy Serbian troops there, however added that he “has no illusions that this will probably be accepted.”

The request had been heralded Friday by Serbia’s prime minister, who claimed that the lives of minority Serbs in Kosovo have been below risk.

Serbian officers declare a United Nations decision that formally ended Belgrade’s bloody crackdown on majority Kosovo Albanian separatists in 1999 permits for some 1,000 Serb troops to return to Kosovo. NATO bombed Serbia to finish the battle and push its troops out of Kosovo.

NATO-led peacekeepers in Kosovo because the battle must give a inexperienced mild for Serb troops to go there, one thing extremely unlikely as a result of it might de facto imply handing over safety of Kosovo’s Serb-populated northern areas to Serbian forces.

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s workplace mentioned any such transfer from Serbia could be “an act of aggression” and a sign of “Serbia’s tendencies to destabilize the area.”

The European Union has warned Serbia and Kosovo to resolve their dispute and normalize relations to be eligible for membership within the bloc.

Llazar Semini reported from Tirana, Albania.

Observe Llazar Semini at https://twitter.com/lsemini



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