Crisis in North

The current situation in the north appears close to escalating into a serious incident. It seems that units of Kosovo Albanian Special Police took over the boundary post in Zubin Potok and tried to do the same in Leposavic but were prevented by local Serbs.

(Gerard Gallucci, Outside The Walls) Tuesday, July 26, 2011

This comes after a series of provocative actions by Pristina and EULEX's failure to contain them according to UNSCR 1244.

This latest action may have been done with the encouragement of the US and as part of a concerted Quint effort to force Belgrade to surrender the north. Pristina has already sought to cause a crisis by blocking Serb exports to Kosovo, backing up traffic at the boundary, a move the US applauded. Pristina also previously sought to hobble the local Kosovo police in the north by removing the Serb station commanders. EULEX also failed to reverse this unilateral action.

Pristina is being allowed to play with fire by the Americans and its other international backers. The hope may be that with its back against the wall - on EU membership - Belgrade will let the north fall. The northern Serbs are being put in a situation where they may judge they have little choice but to defend themselves.

The circumstances suggest the need for a renewed role for the UN. KFOR and EULEX appear to have abandoned their peacekeeping role under 1244.