Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic fiercely criticized the deployment of security forces in the north of Kosovo during Saturday’s visit to the Gazivode reservoir and dam, saying that peace was under attack.
“This is the third time in the past several months that peace has been jeopardized in an inappropriate way by the authorities in Pristina, an attempt to force a response from Serbia which could be used by part of the international community to further demonize our country. Some people tried, primarily from the international community and part of the media in Serbia and Pristina, to simplify things and present (Thaci’s tour of Gazivode) as just a walk and coffee, like they just strolled around with rifles and harassed some people,” Vucic told a news conference on Saturday evening.
He said that the Kosovo Albanian side violated a number of agreement including the Brussels agreement, agreement on freedom of movement, UN Security Council resolution and the military-technical agreement which ended the war in Kosovo.
Vucic said that up to 130 Kosovo special police unit troopers went to Gazivode, that they were all ethnic Albanians and that no one contacted the regional police commander for northern Kosovo who is a Serb.
“They tried, counter to the Brussels agreement, to show in every possible way that agreements are not obliging for them and that they have the support of their Western allies. The operation by between 110 and 130 members of the special forces, all armed with rifles, took control of roads, all facilities and buildings near the shores of lake Gazivode, harrased several people, detained four people and they had no cause or right to do that. They have nothing to do in the north with rifles,” Vucic said.
The Serbian president also criticized KFOR, saying that all of Serbia knew that at 12:38 pm Kosovo special forces had entered the sports center at Gazivode and that at 01:55 KFOR said it had no information about the special police forces. “We managed to count 12 snipers on the surrounding hills, some 90 heavily armed police officers and others in reserve ready to intervene,” the he said.
“Today we saw that we have to take care of the Serbs, that our people has no one else to rely on but themselves and their state,” he said.
The Serbian president also called the residents of the town of Zubin Potok to lift their blockade of the main road through town. Serb residents of Zubin Potok blocked the road to show their dissatisfaction with KFOR which they say failed to protect them.