EULEX police declared "unwelcome" in northern Kosovo

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Local officials in northern Kosovo announced on Wednesday that they "cut off" cooperation with EULEX police and declared their members unwelcome in the north.

This decision came due to "continued incomprehensible arrests that greatly disturb the citizens," according to Beta.

The announcement was made by the management team tasked with forming a community of Serb municipalities, mayors in northern Kosovo, representatives of local self-governments, and the head of the Kosovska Mitrovica District

"The last operation in which our fellow citizen was practically kidnapped when he was setting out to work, and more frequent practice of automatically placing all people arrested by EULEX in detention for 30 days obligate us to hear out the voice of the people and cut off cooperation with EULEX police and declared them unwelcome in the territory of the municipalities of Kosovska Mitrovica, Leposavić, Zubin Potok and Zvečan," the release reads.

Local officials in northern Kosovo and Metohija note that there are no more attorneys in that part of the province that could defend Serb arrestees, as the moves of this mission led to attorneys becoming a target too, in contravention of all standards, and those who are free cannot take over all proceedings.

"Soon, the issue is likely to be raised as to the capacity of the detention unit in Kosovska Mitrovica if this goes on, and every citizen will be a potential witness, whose status will be changed into a suspect the moment that EULEX police kidnap them," the release notes.

A stop must be put to arrests until conditions are created for the enforcement of the rule of law, which means until the integration of Serb judges is completed, the release adds.

The signatories to the release say that they do not want to take part in an inconsistent rule of law contrary to the will of the people.

"We have always backed the enforcement of the rule of law, and given support for every meaningful process in relation to improvement in the standard and life of our people, but we will never support and accept anything that does not have sense, which jeopardizes rights of our citizens and stirs tensions," they said.