The northern territory of Kosovo should be kept under the control of KFOR troops, according to Prime Minister Rama, who reiterated this statement during the parliamentary session for the resolution vote condemning the 24th of September attack in Banjska. However, this thesis, articulated even by the President of Serbia Vučić after the terrorist act in Banjska, it’s not valid, based on a KFOR’s reaction for Faktoje. Experts in international relations emphasize that as the temporary president of the UN Security Council, Rama should refrain from such theses as they are detrimental to Kosovo.
After the terrorist attack on September 24th in Banjska, Prime Minister Edi Rama reiterated several times the thesis that the North of Kosovo should be fully controlled byKFOR.
“I repeat my position on the necessity of taking control of Northern Kosovo by KFOR.” – Prime Minister Rama said in his speech during the plenary session where a resolution on Kosovo, condemning the terrorist attack in Banjska, was expected to be voted on. After the attack in Banjska, before the number two on the Serbian list, Milan Radojčić, took responsibility for the attack, the Serbian President Aleksandar Vuçiç puth forththe thesis of control of Northern Kosovo by KFOR.
*Rama’s post for KFOR, September 28th
The statement crossed regional borders and made its way into international media, where, among other things, during an interview for the “The Financial Times” Prime Minister Rama referred to the North of Kosovo as the “land of no one.”
“What does the assumption of control by KFOR in Northern Kosovo mean from the perspective of the functioning of the security structures of this state?”
Faktoje sought information from KFOR itself regarding the possibility of this mission taking control of Northern Kosovo. KFOR emphasised the exclusivity of the law enforcement forces of the Republic of Kosovo.
|KFOR mandate in the UN is clear and does not include law enforcement. This remains the exclusive prerogative of the Kosovo Police.
-KFOR for Faktoje.
As the temporary president of the UN Security Council, Prime Minister Rama should acknowledge this fact,” Ilir Kalemaj, a researcher in international relations argues considering these theses as detrimental.
Such statements, often bordering on irresponsibility, disrupt many things, especially considering the fact that Albania is a member of the Security Council with a 2-year mandate. Moreover, during the month when these statements were made, Albania even held the temporary presidency of the Security Council. One of the criteria of a sovereign state according to the Montevideo Convention is precisely effective control over the entire territory”. Kalemaj emphasizes.
The same opinion is shared by the diplomat Agim Nesho, Former ambassador of Albania to the UN and the USA. According to him, if Serbia were to submit a request to the UN Security Council through Russia or China, seeking legitimization of this intervention in Kosovo’s sovereignty by member states of the UN Security Council, it would significantly harm Kosovo.
“The expression used by Prime Minister Rama that Northern Kosovo is ‘no man’s land’ is a premeditated expression by him to justify Serbia’s claims that Northern Kosovo is within the so-called frozen conflict, and Kosovo authorities are not capable of managing their territory,” – Nesho argues.
In fact, the terrorist attack on September 24th showed that Kosovo’s response was at the appropriate standard, according to the researcher Ilir Kalemaj.
“The response of the state of Kosovo, especially of its police and elite intervention units, was at the required level and comparable to the best European standards. The political reaction was also measured and correct, which led many Western chancelleries, as well as Western Balkan countries like Croatia, to condemn it as an orchestrated and well-financed attack with evidence of support from Belgrade,” – Kalemaj argues.
Getting back to Rama’s reiterated thesis regarding the role of KFOR in Northern Kosovo, diplomat Nesho comments, among others:
“I think it’s a position that Mr. Rama maintains for reasons because he still continues in some segments of Western politics, in the USA and the EU, where Rama has presented himself alongside Vučić as the main actors in managing Balkan crises.”
According to experts, the statement by Prime Minister Edi Rama that “KFOR should retake control of Northern Kosovo” is, at best, considered hasty and, at worst, intentional. They share the same opinion that the statement in question (which coincides with Vučić’s position) does not serve Kosovo at all. The fact is that KFOR is a peacekeeping mission and not a law enforcement entity. Taking control of Northern Kosovo not only contradicts KFOR’s mission defined in UN Security Council Resolution 1244, however as experts emphasize, would also undermine the sovereignty of the state of Kosovo, recognized by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).