Friday, May 4, 2012

“Violence can break out in Kosovo”

BELGRADE -- Military Intelligence Agency (VOA) Director Brigadier General Dragan Vladisavljević says that violence could break out in Kosovo.
Dragan Vladisavljević (Tanjug, file)
Dragan Vladisavljević (Tanjug, file)
He explained that the current situation in Kosovo was marked by inter-ethnic tensions which increased the likelihood of an outbreak of violence.
“The threats issued by ‘the Kosovo authorities’ that they will forcefully prevent the holding of the Serbian elections and abolish all the so-called 'parallel institutions' contributed significantly to that,” Vladisavljević told Belgrade-based daily Politika.

The general noted that “the area south of the Ibar River sees great pressure on the Serbs and arrests of people working in the Serbian institutions.”

“Moreover, by implementing certain measures that, according to their interpretation, are implied in the technical dialogue, Priština hinders the everyday life of Kosovo Serbs,” he stressed.

According to Vladisavljević, “in the mixed communities in northern Kosovo and around enclaves south of the Ibar River, one could see groups of armed Albanians.”

“Their mere presence is a form of intimidation, and some extremist groups have openly threatened that they would forcefully prevent the holding of the Serbian elections,” he was quoted as saying.

Responding to the security challenges in the province, representatives of NATO decided to send additional troops of the Operational Reserve Forces (ORF) as reinforcements to KFOR, so that they could fulfill its mandate of ensuring a safe and stable environment.

“The soldiers were deployed in the most risky zones, where inter-ethnic violence is most likely to occur, and along the administrative line,” said Vladisavljević.

“The further course of events in the territory of Kosovo-Metohija will depend on the political process, OSCE's capacities to complete the mission and facilitate the parliamentary and presidential elections, and the international forces' capability to back the activities and discourage the attempts of the Albanians side to provoke incidents or violence,” the VOA director concluded.

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