Kosovo Police in northern Kosovo

KP2PRSTINA, Kosovo — A week ago, the director general of the Kosovo Police, Reshat Maliqi, proclaimed to take measures against organized crime in the mainly Serb populated northern territory of Kosovo. This was accom-panied by harsh comments about the inactivity of EULEX, the EU rule-of-law mission in Kosovo, in terms of sus-tainably providing law and order within the respective area. Now Kosovo Police, seemingly in cooperation with EULEX, started implementing first activities:

Police director Maliqi confirmed against Kosovar media to have replaced all commanders of police stations in the northern Kosovar municipalities of Zvecan, Zubin Potok and Leposavic. According to Maliqi, Kosovo Police will soon take over also the border gates 1 and 31, which were burned down by a Serb mob, after the Republic of Kosovo declared its independence in 2008. Since then the northern Kosovo borders to Serbia are considered to be an "open door" for smuggling. A significantly increased number of police patrols and checkpoints are additional parts of Maliqi’s beforehand announced operational plan. Further steps are expected to be taken next week.

Meanwhile the security committee of the municipality of Mitrovica, the biggest town in the disputed area, reports that with almost no incidents, the last two weeks were the most peaceful since 15 months. Nevertheless, protests occurred in the Serb populated municipality of Zvecan against the presence of Kosovo travel police and special police forces. As to the responsible Kosovo security director, these protests aimed at hindering police to fight "smuggling of goods, from which they benefit greatly".

KON / NK

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