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news 07 Sep 12

Kosovo Deports Serb Official For Changing Agenda

The Kosovo government deported the head of Serbia's Kosovo Office, Aleksandar Vulin, for deviating from his agreed agenda.

Fatmir Aliu BIRN Pristina

Kosovo deported the head of Serbia’s Kosovo Office, Aleksandar Vulin, on Friday, police said.

Vulin, who was on a two-day visit to Kosovo, for which he was given “green light” by the authorities in Pristina, was deported after changing the agenda that he previously agreed to when he announced his trip.

“His visit was interrupted because Mr Vulin deviated from his agenda, and didn’t respect it, after he had obtained permission [for it] from the authorities of the Republic of Kosovo,” the Kosovo police said.

Vulin changed his itinerary on Friday after an EU and Kosovo police convoy was attacked on Friday in the northern Serb-run part of Kosovo. A group of masked persons opened fire on the convoy, injuring one police officer.

Vulin had scheduled a visit to Prizren, which he completed, but following the shooting incident he interrupted the agenda to visit the crime scene.

Escorted by the Kosovo Police, Vulin made it to the southern, Albanian controlled part of Mitrovica, where his convoy was intercepted. He was not allowed to cross to the northern, Serb-run zone.

“Police escorted Aleksandar Vulin to the border crossing in Merdare, where he was deported back to Serbia at 14h18,” police said.

The shooting incident was immediately condemned by the EU Special Representative to Kosovo, Samuel Zbogar, and the head of EULEX, Xavier Bout de Marnhac.

The Kosovo government said that the incident proves “once again” that the level of crime and lawlessness required the more effective mobilization of local and international security institutions.

“We are determined to face the fight against organized criminal networks in this part of our country and take all necessary steps to restore the rule of law and freedom of movement,” the government said.

Northern Kosovo is widely seen as being under de facto control of so-called parallel institutions, which are funded by Serbia. These include decision-making bodies such as town councils and mayors.

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