“Time for UN to take over northern Kosovo”Source: Tanjug
BELGRADE -- Ex-UN regional representative in Kosovska Mitrovica Gerard Gallucci said sending UN peacekeepers to the Kosovo north might be the only way to preserve peace.
“It is time perhaps for the UN to take over the north and send its peacekeepers back, because this is maybe the only way to keep peace until there is a political settlement,” he stressed.
He said that Priština's attempt to impose its full control of the Brnjak and Jarinje administrative checkpoints was a provocation and added that the act of Priština and the NATO mission in northern Kosovo made the partition of Kosovo much more likely as the line dividing Serbs and Albanians had become clearly marked.
He said the provocation was aimed at frustrating diplomatic efforts and negotiations.
“It was a provocation, a way to prevent diplomacy and negotiations. It probably had some sort of quiet support from the major international supporters of Kosovo," he said, adding that “it was a mistake.”
“I can’t say for sure, and see that the U.S. ambassador in Serbia denied that the US encouraged this move,” Gallucci pointed out.
"But it is hard to believe that PM [Hashim] Thaci would move in such a provocative manner without some sort of encouragement or a blind eye from the U.S. Ambassador in Priština,” the former UN representative said in an interview posted on the website TransConflict.
Asked from which countries Priština could have got some “green light” for such an act, Gallucci recalled that at the UN Security Council, the U.S. and the UK had tried to prevent Serbia from taking the issue to the UN Security Council.
“So, it makes me wonder what Washington and London have to hide,” he said.
He pointed out that for some reason, the U.S., UK and Germany had consistently been of the opinion that with some strong use of force in the north of Kosovo, the local Serbs would surrender to Priština.
“They tried that in 2008, they try it now again and it is not working and it is making the situation difficult,” he was quoted as saying.
Gallucci believes we might see an escalation of the violence in the near future.
“This provocation has forced Serbia to stand up and take this to the UN, and on the other side you have Thaci not backing down, making difficult for any negotiation in the near future,” Gallucci concluded.