Kosovo Police Use Tear Gas Against Serbian Protesters - Reports

(@FahadShabbir)

Kosovo Police Use Tear Gas Against Serbian Protesters - Reports

BELGRADE (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 20th September, 2021) Police of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo deployed tear gas against local Serbs protesting a ban on Serbian license plates, local media reported Monday.

Earlier in the day, Kosovo's interior ministry officially barred vehicles with Serbian license plates from entering what Serbia considers its own breakaway region. Serbs living in Kosovo's north gathered near major checkpoints on the border to demand an end to the restriction.

In response, Kosovo police deployed armored vehicles to sites where protesters had gathered.

Later on Monday, Kosovo police fired several tear gas bombs at people rallying at the Brnjak checkpoint, forcing them to retreat several steps, Kosovo online news portal said. However, the demonstrators refused to return home, according to the news.

Tear gas was also reportedly used at the Jarinje checkpoint. The protesters stood their ground and refused to leave, Kosovo online said.

The new law mandates that all vehicles bearing Serbia's license plates and entering the territory of Kosovo at all border crossings be equipped with temporary license plates.

The European Commission urged both parties to exercise restraint and use the EU-facilitated platform to deal with the license plate issue, as well other problems.

Additionally, the EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, arrived in Belgrade on Monday to discuss the current state of affairs with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic before the next round of negotiations with Kosovo, scheduled for October.