NATO Gives Kosovo Serbs Monday Deadline to Stop Blocking Border Crossing

Posted October 16th, 2011 at 6:15 pm (UTC-5)
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NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo are giving ethnic Serbs until Monday to take down roadblocks at a northern border crossing with Serbia, or they say the troops will do it themselves.

Commander Erhard Drews is demanding unconditional and permanent access to the border by peacekeepers. He said Sunday NATO's mission in Kosovo is to preserve freedom of movement for people and communities. He said NATO will carry out its mandate.

The barricades are stopping NATO convoys from getting through to supply the peacekeepers.

Ethnic Serbs in northern Kosovo, who refuse to recognize the authority of Kosovo's ethnic-Albanian government, are blocking the border crossing to stop the flow of goods and services.

An attempt by Kosovo police to take down the barricade in July erupted in violence, resulting in the death of an ethnic-Albanian police officer. Several other people were wounded.