PRISTINA, Kosovo ( Associated Press) — Serbia on Monday ordered its security forces on the border with Kosovo to be “fully combat ready,” ignoring NATO calls to ease tensions between the two Balkan nations. Of.
Serbian Interior Minister Bratislav Gacic said that he ordered the police and other security units to be “ready for battle” according to “their operational plan” and to be placed under the orders of the army chief.
In a statement, he said he acted on orders from Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to “take all measures to protect the Serbian people in Kosovo.”
It was not immediately clear what his order meant on the ground, as Serb troops have long been on standby along the Kosovo border. Some officials allege alleged persecution of Serbs in Kosovo by Albanians, who are the majority in the breakaway province that declared itself independent in 2008.
Hours earlier on Monday, NATO-led peacekeepers said they were investigating a shooting incident in an area of northern Kosovo, urging calm as senior Serbian military officers marched across the border in a show of combat readiness. reviewed his army.
Sunday night’s incident took place in Zubin Potok, a town where local Serbs have been erecting roadblocks for the past two weeks and where tensions run high.
The peacekeepers, known by their acronym KFOR, indicated that the incident occurred near one of their patrols and that people were involved. A statement reported that there were no injuries and added that “we are working to determine all the facts.”
The Serbian Defense Minister and Army Chief went to the Kosovo border, where he praised the Serbian troops for combat readiness and their firepower, including howitzers and other weapons. Serbia, whose weaponry comes from Russian donations and military purchases, has long threatened to use force against its former province.