If last year the license plate war reignited the powder keg in the Balkans, this summer it is the hangover from the municipal elections that has triggered – again – tensions between Serbia and Kosovo. An attack that occurred on Sunday in northern Kosovo leaves a balance of four dead and six arrested. The EU, arbitrator in the dispute between Pristina and Belgrade, has condemned the events in the strongest terms. Some words that do not seem sufficient for the Kosovar authorities, who feel that Brussels is turning towards Serbian partisan postulates.
According to local media, early Sunday morning a group of about 30 armed Serbian men launched an ambush with grenades and shooting against a Kosovo police patrol in the northern village of Banjska. While fleeing, they would have locked themselves in a nearby Serbian Orthodox church for hours, a fact that made the outcome difficult since the Kosovar authorities needed special permission to access the monastery.
From Pristina they hold their neighbor directly responsible. “We condemn this criminal and terrorist attack. Organized crime with the official political, financial and logistical support of Belgrade is attacking our state,” said Albin Kurdi, Prime Minister of Kosovo, through his Facebook profile. In Belgrade they dissociate themselves from the attack. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic attributed the attack to Kosovo Serb citizens who “do not want to suffer Kurti’s terror anymore.”
In the midst of this crossfire, which is already the worst clash between the two in recent years, the NATO peace mission in Kosovo, known by the acronym KFOR, assured that its troops are in the area and “ready to respond in kind.” be necessary”. For his part, Josep Borrell, head of European diplomacy, has issued a statement demanding the de-escalation of tension in the north of the country. Of course, measuring each word and avoiding pointing out names and surnames, putting a label on the facts.
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the horrific attack perpetrated by an armed gang against Kosovo police officers in Banjska/Banjskë, northern Kosovo (…) The facts surrounding the attack must be established. And those responsible must be brought to justice,” said the head of European diplomacy. Shortly after, the former Spanish Foreign Minister spoke by telephone with both Kurti and Vuric to ask them for “the restoration of calm and stability.” .