The head of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Zahir Tanin, said in New York on Friday the recent incidents in Kosovo had deepened mistrust between the communities, making the dialogue under the European Union auspices an imperative.
At a session of the UN Security Council, at which he submitted a regular report on the work of the Mission, Tanin said several events, such as Pristina’s decision to introduce a new license plate regime and the police anti-smuggling operation, which happened at the end of the reporting period, were a result of lack of political understanding and communication.
He said he was against unilateral actions and added that everything must go through dialogue and that the recent events deepened the distrust of the Serb population in the north.
Tanin added Pristina authorities started implementing the decision on license plates without proper communication with other organisations, including KFOR.
He also mentioned that armoured vehicles appeared in the north and that the police used tear gas to disperse the protesters.
Such a move that was not the subject of discussion in regular communications led to two days of tensions, which eased after the EU and the US diplomats mediation.
Given the history of EU-mediated freedom of movement talks over the years, what should have been regular in 10-year communication had not happened, Tanin said.
He added that KFOR, responsible for security in Kosovo, did not receive an earlier warning about the arrival of the Kosovo police special units in the north, which caused demonstrations and setting up the barricades.
Tanin also recalled that the Army of Serbia (VJ) sent several motor vehicles to the northern crossing and performed several military flights in the same area.