KFOR should prevent Kosovo Albanians entering Serbia, says mayor
BUJANOVAC, Mar 15, 2000 -- (AFP) The international KFOR peacekeeping should prevent Kosovar Albanian extremists from straying into other Serbian provinces, the mayor of Bujanovac said Wednesday.
The region controlled from Bujanovac, in southeast Serbia, runs to within a few hundred metres of the administrative border with Kosovo.
"All problems will be solved the day KFOR prevents intrusions from Kosovo into our region," said Mayor Stojanca Arsic.
KFOR, which has been deployed in Kosovo under NATO direction since June last year, is responsible for maintaining the administrative border.
Arsic said that inter-ethnic violence recently in the village of Dobrosin, which is under Bujanovac's jurisdiction, had been caused by Albanian elements coming from Kosovo.
The local population -- also majority Albanian -- was not involved, he added.
"The people there are honest people who want to lead a normal life," he said.
At the same time, Arsic played down the appearance in Dobrosin of a group called the Liberation Army of Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac -- three communities on the Kosovo border with an Albanian population of 70,000.
The group only had 20 members and its activities were restricted to Dobrosin and the surrounding area, he said.
The group made its first public appearance at the January 30 funerals of two Albanians killed four days earlier in a shootout with Serbian police.
At the end of February, the group claimed responsibility for an attack on a police patrol in which one policeman and an Albanian were killed, and three other policemen injured.