Implementation of the agreement on the crisis in northern Kosovo begins

Implementation of the agreement on the crisis in northern Kosovo begins

On Saturday morning, KFOR peacekeepers were deployed at the border crossings between Kosovo and Serbia, Jarinje and Brnjak, according to an agreement reached between the two countries, to end the crisis in northern Kosovo.

Tensions erupted in the area on September 20th as local Serbs and Belgrade reacted angrily to the Kosovo government 's decision to implement reciprocity in the use of car license plates.

The government decided that from September 20, cars entering Kosovo from Serbia should receive temporary license plates, just as cars from Kosovo have been operating in Serbia for more than ten years.

On Thursday, the parties reached a tripartite agreement in Brussels, according to which, today, October 2, the barricades and special police units will be removed from the border crossings at the same time. The NATO-led peacekeeping force will secure the border crossings for two weeks.

According to the agreement from Monday, October 4, the placement of adhesive sheets on car license plates will be implemented until a final solution is found and a worker who will start work on October 21 to find a permanent solution.

The peacekeeping forces said that "actions have begun in support of the implementation of the agreement on the escalation of the situation in northern Kosovo, reached between Pristina and Belgrade in the framework of talks facilitated by the European Union."

A KFOR communiqué states that “starting this weekend, for two consecutive weeks, KFOR will temporarily stay in the area, in accordance with the said agreement and in accordance with the mandate deriving from Resolution 1244 of Security Council, to provide a peaceful and safe environment for all communities living in Kosovo.

The agreement was hailed by Western diplomats and sharply criticized by opposition parties in Kosovo, who said that with this, the Kosovo government relinquished sovereignty in the north of the country.

The September 30 agreement, which takes effect today, is expected to ease tensions, but it reflects only part of the deep disagreement between Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008, and Serbia, which opposes its citizenship.

* VOA article