Promises given by leaders in northern Kosovo need to be translated into reality, head of NATO peacekeeping force says.
KFOR Commander Erhard Drews said that he is not satisfied with the level of freedom of movement provided to international peacekeeping forces in northern, Serb-run parts of Kosovo.
“Promises given by responsible persons in northern Kosovo about full freedom of movement for KFOR are a good first step,” the German general pointed out. But he said he was not satisfied because the international community needed full freedom of movement, which was guaranteed by UN Resolution 1244, the 1999 resolution authorizing deployment of peacekeepers in Kosovo.
General Drews stressed that KFOR troops would not have full freedom of movement as long as there were Serb-manned barricades in Mitrovica and on roads across the north of Kosovo. Serbs have been protesting there for months now over the deployment of Kosovo government customs officials on border crossings with Serbia.
The KFOR commander denied that KFOR had ever transported Kosovo customs officers to border crossings in the north, as many reports have maintained. “KFOR is not an agency for transportation of Pristina police officers and cannot be involved in the customs processes and building of crossings,” he said.