Serb residents are planning to hold a protest in Mitrovica on Wednesday, May 29, to denounce the ongoing police operation undertaken by Kosovo's special police unit against organised crime cells in northern Kosovo municipalities. Protesters are expected to gather at the main square in North Mitrovica at 12:00 (local time).
A heightened security presence and significant transportation disruptions are to be anticipated in the vicinity of the demonstration over the coming hours. Violent clashes cannot be ruled out. Further such protests are likely in Kosovo over the coming days and weeks, amid heightened regional tensions.
On May 27, Kosovo's special police launched a security operation in northern Kosovo municipalities - populated mainly by Serbs. Over 28 people were arrested, including 23 Serbs, accused of smuggling goods into Kosovo, which prompted the Serbian government to order its security forces to be on full alert.
Serbian-Kosovar relations remain tense a decade after the country declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Kosovo maintains a large Serbian minority that largely supports reintegration with Serbia.
Individuals in Kosovo, particularly in Mitrovica, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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