Outgoing KFOR commander warns of ethnic violence in Kosovo

09:37, August 26, 2010      

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Outgoing commander of the NATO- led Kosovo Force (KFOR) Markus Bentler warned on Wednesday in Pristina of the possibly of an outbreak of violence between Serbs and Albanians around the town of Kosovska Mitrovica, reported the Serbian news agency Tanjug.

Bentler, speaking at a press conference, said violence is possible due to differing political views on Kosovo, a breakaway Serbian Province, which unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008. In July, the International Court of Justice ruled that its declaration of independence did not represent a violation of international law.

"If one looks at the statistics on armed incidents, it is clear that they are linked with the unresolved issue, and this makes a few people react with violence," said Bentler, whose one- year term expires next month.

He said that KFOR would focus its activities on northern Kosovo, which is Serb-dominated, and urged all in Kosovo to refrain from violence regardless of political processes.

There are approximately 10,000 KFOR troops stationed in Kosovo, provided by 31 countries (24 NATO and seven non-NATO). The international force has been on the ground since June 1999.

Source: Xinhua


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