At approximately 0822 EST, members of the Kosovo Central Electoral Commission were denied access to government buildings in Mitrovica and Zubin Potok. The personnel were there to begin arrangements for local elections to fill the seats left by dozens of Serbian representatives who resigned from government in early November, in protest to the license plate debacle.
Reports of explosions and gunfire made national coverage as tensions seemed to flare in Northern Kosovo. By 1130 EST, local police took control of the situation as well as unspecified special forces that cleared the way for election officials to enter the buildings and begin work.
Smoke raises following four explosions in the northern bank of Kosovo’s northern troubled city of Mitrovica.
Rifle gunshots are heard just now, as multiple eyewitnesses claim that northern Serbs may have targeted central election commission office.
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— Vudi Xhymshiti (@VudiXhymshiti) December 6, 2022
As of this publication, there have been no reported injuries or damage to election infrastructure. These elections are to be held on December 18th to replace the former Srpska Lista party members of Parliament that resigned. There are four seats open for this election.
Kosovar President Osmani has told press that earlier explosions in Mitrovica and Zubin Potok were the work of criminal gangs seeking to de-stabilize elections in Kosovo. She said:
“Unfortunately, as in previous cases, the situation in the North escalates for a single reason because the criminal gangs in the North, supported by Vu?i? politically and financially, aim to escalate the situation, aim to destabilize the whole of Kosovo and consequently , are intended to destabilize the Western Balkans and thus realize Russian-Serbian agendas”
The Kosovo Central Electoral Commission is to hold a meeting on the incident later today and the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) in Kosovo says they are monitoring the situation. EULEX supports selected Kosovo rule of law institutions on their path towards increased effectiveness, sustainability, multi-ethnicity and accountability, free from political interference and in full compliance with international human rights standards and best European practices through monitoring activities and limited executive functions with the aim of handing over remaining tasks to other long-term EU instruments and phasing out residual executive functions.