The head of the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Caroline Ziadeh hailed the measures to de-escalate tensions in the northern part of Kosovo and called on the sides of the conflict to return to dialogue, the UNMIK said on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that Serbs in northern Kosovo will start removing barricades on Thursday morning.
“The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIK Caroline Ziadeh welcomes all measures to deescalate tensions in northern Kosovo, including removing barricades. She acknowledges the painstaking efforts of all parties, including international partners, to ensure the safety of the people of Kosovo across all communities,” the UNMIK’s statement said.
Ziadeh also stressed the importance of fulfilling commitments and resuming negotiations “to fully address outstanding issues and normalize relations without delay”, the statement said.
The situation in Kosovo and Metohija remains tense. On December 10, Serbs in the north of Kosovo began setting up barricades in protest against the arrest of several Serb police officers by the Kosovar authorities over alleged war crimes and terrorism dating back to the 1998-1999 conflict.
On Wednesday, former policeman Dejan Pantic, whose arrest spurred another wave of protests by Kosovo’s Serb minority, was released from custody and put under house arrest.