UNMIK bars Serb paramilitaries from entering Kosovo

KFOR escorted buses carrying hundreds of Serbs to Gazimestan Field near Pristina for commemorations Thursday (June 27th) of the 1389 Battle of Kosovo. Around 1,000 people in all were expected to attend, including Orthodox Church dignitaries and government officials. The previous day, UNMIK chief Joachim Ruecker issued an executive order banning members of a paramilitary group calling itself Tsar Lazar’s Guard from entering Kosovo to participate in the event. He said the wearing of uniforms meant to provoke ethnic hatred would not be tolerated. The order came after Ruecker met with Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku and the commander of KFOR, Roland Kather.Commenting on the Thursday commemoration, Ceku said marking cultural and religious events is permitted in Kosovo, but should not become manifestations of “primitive nationalism”. He urged restraint among citizens and said the security should be left to KFOR and the police. Local media reports, meanwhile, said police had stopped apparent Tsar Lazar’s Guard members who showed up at the ceremony carrying pictures of Radovan Karadzic, Slobodan Milosevic and Ratko Mladic.

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