Sleepless in Kosovo: A New Balkan War in the Making?
The warning followed Monday’s arrest and deportation of Marko Djuric, director of the Serbian government’s Kosovo office, which has heightened tensions between Kosovo and Serbia.
Simultaneously, the prime minister of the self-proclaimed Kosovo Republic, Ramush Haradinaj, lashed out against the Kosovo Serbs’ desire to establish an association of Serb-dominated communities in Kosovo, warning that there would be arrests if they attempted to do so.
Marko Djuric responded to this by saying that the people in power in Pristina were preparing for a war.In an interview with Sputnik, the former head of Serbian military intelligence, Momir Stojanovic, said that nothing happens in Kosovo without a nod from Washington. He also mentioned personal differences between Haradinaj and Kosovo President Hashim Thaci.
“Haradinaj is a military man and as such, he can be a security threat. Thaci has a cooler head, even though he is an extremist too,” Stojanovic said.
He added that Serbia should appeal to the international community to force Pristina to cease its bellicose rhetoric and resume a dialogue.
When asked where the main threat to peace in Kosovo resides, Stojanovic said that the Kosovo security forces which Pristina wants to turn into a full-fledged army, has an impressive arsenal of modern weapons and an access to KFOR bases.
“The Kosovo Security Force of 4,000 enlisted men and 2,500 reservists is deployed along the entire length of the country’s border. Experts believe, however, that in the event of a crisis, the “sleeper cells” of the Kosovo Liberation Army, could come alive and make use of the numerous arms caches that have existed in the republic since the time of their terrorist operations in the 1990s,” Stojanovic said.
He added that, according to various estimates, the ethnic Albanians living in the Balkans could put together a 160,000-strong armed force of four divisions in Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and northern Greece.
Stojanovic believes that the United States is using the ethnic Albanians’ desire for a Greater Albania uniting all Albanians in one state as a sort of a Trojan horse to serve Washington’s political agenda in the region.