In a move aimed at ending a week of disputes, the Serbian and Kosovo governments today announced that they have reached a “temporary deal” on the northern border posts, formalizing NATO’s military control over the posts for the foreseeable future.
The deal was not approved of by the Kosovar Serbs living in the northern towns near the border posts, and protesters from those towns contionue to blockade the main roads in protest of the move.
Kosovo government forces seized the border posts away from local police two weeks ago, claiming that the ethnic Serbian locals weren’t enforcing a trade embargo on goods from neighboring Serbia. The move sparked a clash and eventually NATO sent troops and escalated their role in the region.
The ethnic Serbian portion of Kosovo objected to being included in the Kosovar Secession which followed NATO’s occupation of the region, and they have continued to attempt to maintain relative autonomy. The Kosovo trade restrictions were seen as much an effort to punish their Serbian minority as they were about the still tension relationship with Serbia.