|Updated: 17-Dec-1999||KFOR Press Updates|
KFOR Press Update
by Major Roland Lavoie, KFOR Spokesman
KFOR Responds to Unrest in Mitrovica
Peace in Mitrovica was disrupted yesterday by several related incidents. The disturbances arose as a reaction to a meeting of the PRSH Albanian Party in their new office in the northern part of Mitrovica. As the meeting concluded in the early afternoon, 250 Serbian protesters gathered in front of the office building. KFOR in Multinational Brigade North reacted immediately to contain any possible unrest by dispatching two Gendamerie platoons and one infantry platoon. KFOR significantly increased the number of street patrols and reported several incidents, all of which were contained. The incidents which occurred during the afternoon and evening included 100 Albanians attempting to cross the Eastern Bridge. KFOR immediately closed the bridge, and a second nearby one, but reopened them an hour and a quarter later as the situation returned to normal. KFOR patrols investigated four explosions heard in the early evening north of the Ibar River. Two impact points were found from 'defensive' grenades -- one on the roof and one in the courtyard of an Albanian-owned house. Damage was minor. Just after midnight this morning, a grenade was thrown into an Albanian home. A man suffered minor leg wounds and property damage was light. A Serb-owned home was hit by a grenade, again with minor damage.
General Reinhardt, Commander KFOR, deplores the disturbances, and calls on all parties to respect the fundamental principles of peaceful coexistence and law and order. The Commander will visit Mitrovica today to assess the situation and to underscore KFOR's vital role in ensuring calm and confidence among the citizens in the community.
While the new office is considered by the Serbians to be provocative, freedom of peaceful movement in a multi-ethnic Kosovo is an essential condition for civic harmony throughout the province.
Events and incidents in Kosovo during the last 24 hours:
More weapons confiscated:
Another search operation was conducted in Jablanica, 15 km east of Pec, in Multinational Brigade West yesterday evening. KFOR troops confiscated six AK-47s. No arrests were reported.
KFOR arrests checkpoint breakers:
Suspected abductors arrested:
KFOR takes very seriously and, together with UNMIK Police, investigates all reported abductions. Although most of them turn out to be false alarms, COMKFOR considers no stones should be left unturned to reassure the population that their personal safety is of paramount importance.
The 2nd Battalion the Royal Green Jackets will conduct First Aid training for provisional members of the Kosovo Protection Corps on Monday 20th of December at 1400hrs. This training is part of the transformation process that is on going to prepare the KPC for its civilian emergency response role. The training will take place at the Echelon location in Pristina. Transport will be available from the Press Information Centre at 1345hrs on Monday. For further details please contact a member of the Multinational Brigade(C) staff.