The Border Posts, The Border Posts, The Border Posts are on Fire!

Breaking:  In a twisted form of political expression, Serb mobs (which included Serb officers) opposed to Kosovo’s independence torched not one, but two Kosovo border posts. The situation became so bad that NATO peacekeepers were called in to restore order and evacuate the police officers manning the posts. 

While it is fine to take out your frustrations on the current state of affairs, torching border posts with angry mobs certainly is not the best expenditure of energy.  In fact, taking such actions not only undermines the protestor’s very arguments, but underscores the very reason why Kosovo’s independence from Belgrade was necessary.

The recent flashpoint has raised two obvious questions. First, will NATO have to increase their presence from 17,000 troops?  Second, will the Serbian government say anything publically to condemn these actions by Serb mobs?

As for the first question, NATO will likely have to increase their presence, at least for the short term.  These types of coordinated actions are designed to provoke and inflame — both of which are recipes for disaster.  

As for the second question, it has been over one hour since the incidents and still not a squeak by anyone in the Serbian government.  I would ask Serbian government officials like Mr. Tadic and Mr. Kostunica to appeal for calm, but given their fighting words and Balkan posturing in the last few days, I sincerely doubt that any such words will be uttered.   I also hope that PM Thaci says something to the Kosovars to remain calm as well.  

Sparks in this region quickly turn into wildfires. 

NATO peacekeepers in newly independent Kosovo intervened on Tuesday as Serb mobs opposed to its secession attacked border posts and police fled.  Serbs burned down one border post and were attacking a second, a Kosovo police spokesman said. Police manning the post called for help from the NATO peacekeeping force, KFOR, which said it was stepping in.

KFOR is going to intervene now,” a force spokesman said. He declined to say which troops of the 35-nation, 17,000-strong force were being deployed.

“We are inches from partition,” said a Western official. He said he believed it was “only a matter of time before KFOR closes the bridges” that cross the River Ibar in the flashpoint city of Mitrovica, dividing Kosovo Serbs from Albanians.

A spokesman for the EU’s International Civilian Office, whose Dutch leader Pieter Feith is expected in Kosovo any day, said there was no plan to withdraw a small advance EU team from the north side of Mitrovica. They would stay on and carry out their mandate, he told Reuters. KFOR forces in the district include French, Danish, Belgian and American units.

“The border crossing post at Jarinje is on fire and the mob has dispersed,” one eyewitness said. Albanian officers of the Kosovo police retreated and Serb officers crossed over into Serbia proper, police sources added.

Angry Serb demonstrations and two nights of vandalism against vehicles and symbols of the international presence in Kosovo have thrown down a gauntlet to the incoming “EULEX” mission. NATO had said on Monday conditions on the ground in Kosovo were quiet after its declaration of independence and there was no current need to reinforce its peacekeeping force.

Article can be found here.


11 thoughts on “The Border Posts, The Border Posts, The Border Posts are on Fire!

  1. Serbs will do anything to bring tensions, but Albanians shall be calm and let security forces deal with serbian mobs.

  2. It’s absolutely amazing, in the 21-st century, how only one side of the story is portrayed. When the Serbs do anything, minor, major, it is all over the news for days but when the Albanians do the same things, it isn’t commented at all.

    Has anyone with the least bit of common sense asked themselves why are there few Serbs left in Kosovo and 2 million Albanians if the Serbs are the ones who are molesting the “poor” Albanians?

    The only fault of the Serbs is that they let so many Albanians immigrate into Serbia, and now when the Albanians are the majority in this region of Kosovo in SERBIA, the Albanians seek independence.
    It would be no different if the Mexican Americans asked for independence in the southern parts of the USA because they are the majority of population there. Maybe the Chinese speaking population should also seek independence in San Francisco. Why shouldn’t Quebec request independence from Canada, and so on?

    For a better understanding of the situation, one has to know both sides of the story.


  3. Albanians are too busy running prostitutes and drugs into Europe to get too excited about Serb mobs. They’ve already ethnically cleansed them out of there. Cheesburger, where were you in 2004 when the KFOR commander said the Albanians were engaging in “ethnic cleansing.” Where were you in 1995 when 200,000 Serbs were pushed out of the Krajina?

    Facts on the ground matter, and Serbs want to make this place disorderly so that the whole world sees what a basket-case government the Albanians will have.

  4. Dear Mr. Roach,

    Thanks for your comments.

    You are right, facts on the ground do matter. I wasn’t there when the KFOR commander said the Albanians were engaging in ethnic cleansing, nor was I there when German KFOR allowed Albanians to burn certain churches. But I was there to help prosecute those Albanians who committed those crimes. Where were you, Mr. Roach?

    As for your last comment, that certainly is an interesting policy. But it seems to me that that type of policy would make the Serbs look like the basket-case … or, at the very least, the person who wrote the sentence.

    Mr. Cheeseburger 9000

  5. To Ana… The smart Serbs have started their normal life again and I know some of the and I consider friends.

    To Mr. Roach …We wana look to future and I think that everyone deserves to live in peace no matter what ethnicity. But I just wonder when the Serbs will accept the fact that others deserve to live…?
    I understand that on 1995 you mentioned the flee of Serbs and that is true, but you forgot the Vukovar? You forgot what Serbs have done in Kosova? And you still expected that two drunk serbs can block the roads just for fun…? After all what they did…. you think they have right to chase kids with dogs in the river where they were killed? When you mention cases like this you shall mention all. All ex YU-nations have suffer from you. You forgot Srebernica? you don’t feel ashame about it?. If not than I feel sorry about you.

  6. Dear Ana,

    Thanks for the link. I hope my readers will look at it and decide for themselves.

    And, I know you hate this blog, but it’s nice to have you back. We disagree on most issues, but you provide some spice!

    Mr. Cheeseburger 9000

  7. Don’t flatter yourself, I’m not back. I was just testing to see if you delete ALL my comments or just the ones that don’t suit you.

    Thus I made my conclusion and decided that my priceless time is just too precious to be spending it on blog such as this.

    No offense, I have nothing against you, but you are deceived to such an extent, and obviously not ready to hear the other side, that any attempt to lead any discussions would clearly be a waste of time (not to mention the various “Naim”s and other illiterate Albanians “trying” to prove something they don’t even know what they are trying to say?!?!)

    Have a good life.


  8. Dear Ana,

    What can I say, your comments are always entertaining. You may not realize this, but your comments truly help to support my arguments without me saying a word. I would strongly consider you to write a few of my posts. If you’re interested, do let me know.

    Anyway, just for curiosity sake, I’m wondering where you’re writing from. Your IP address suggests you are in the Balkans and more particularly, in the Kosovo area. I’m sure you don’t want to respond, but what section of the United Nations are you working for? Or, if not the UN, what agency or group are you working for within Kosovo?

    Mr. Cheeseburger 9000

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