Kosovo.. Warnings of the “next European war” and NATO accuses groups of fueling violence


The international peacekeeping mission led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Kosovo said that “criminal groups” were standing behind the demonstrators in the north of the country, while warnings continued of a European war that might start its first spark there.

The spokesman for the international mission, Colonel Andrea Gallini, said at a press conference in the Kosovar capital, Pristina, on Friday, that many of the mission’s soldiers were injured by stones, homemade explosives, and weapons that were used during the demonstrations.

“It was clear that people were trying to cheer and protest in a peaceful way, but it was also clear that criminal groups were hiding behind them, just to attack the troops,” he added.

Galeini stated that the situation in northern Kosovo has now calmed down on the security level, stressing the need to hold both sides responsible for these events, because “one of them took a decision without regard to the security level, and the other did not move a finger in the face of the violence that permeated the demonstrations.”

Violence erupted after the Kosovo authorities appointed ethnic Albanian mayors to the northern municipalities’ offices. The mayors were chosen in an election with a turnout of only 3.5% after the Serbs, who form the majority in the region, boycotted the local elections.

Colonel Andrea Gallieni in Kosovo
Spokesman for the International Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo, Colonel Andrea Gallini (Anatolia)

Turkish forces

The spokesman indicated that the additional forces sent by Turkey to reinforce the NATO mission have been stationed in Kosovo, starting from the fifth of June, and that they are currently merging with other units.

He added that this Turkish battalion of special forces – which includes about 500 soldiers – will be deployed to support measures to contain tension, and may head to the north or other locations as needed.

On the other hand, demanding The United States and the European Union called on Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti to remove mayors from office and withdraw special police units that helped form the northern municipalities.

They also demanded that new local elections be held in the north with Serb participation, and that Kosovo implement a 2013 agreement to create a federation of Serbian municipalities to give the group more autonomy.

The next war

A report published by the “National Interest” website warned that the next European war might start in Kosovo.

The report stated that there are remarkable similarities between the situation in Kosovo and the current conflict in Ukraine, calling on Western policy makers to pay attention to this matter.

He said the recent crisis in northern Kosovo reminded the world that “the brutal war in Ukraine may be the greatest threat to European stability today, but it is by no means the only one.”

He explained that the political reality in northern Kosovo is similar in many ways to the situation in eastern Ukraine, bearing in mind that Kosovo is a historically disputed territory, according to the report.

Kosovo, whose majority population is Albanian, seceded from Serbia in 1999 and declared its independence from it in 2008, but Belgrade still considers it part of its territory and supports a Serb minority in it.

NATO has about 4 thousand soldiers in Kosovo, and has decided to send an additional 700 soldiers because of the escalation of violence.


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Kosovo.. Warnings of the “next European war” and NATO accuses groups of fueling violence

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