9 Aug 2011

Border roadblocks to be dismantled

12:31 pm on 9 August 2011

Serb officials in northern Kosovo have agreed to dismantle roadblocks as part of a deal brokered by NATO between Pristina and Belgrade.

Trouble flared a fortnight ago when Kosovo sent security forces to take control of two border crossings in the north of the country and enforced a ban on Serb imports.

The deal was reached on Friday. But Deutsche Welle Radio reports it took personal convincing over the weekend from Serbian Prime Minister Boris Tadic for Serbs in northern Kosovo to accept it.

Deutsche Welle says the Serb minority in Kosovo feels abandoned by Serbia, which is pushing for membership in the European Union. Some fear this will cause Serbia to give up its claim to Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008.

However, the blockades to the two border crossings in Brnjak and Jarinje are now being removed.

The border crossing at Jarinje was set on fire during recent clashes and an ethnic Albanian police officer was killed.

Troops from NATO's Kosovo Force have temporarily taken control of the crossings and describe the situation as 'tense, but calm.'