The international police in Kosovo on Wednesday confirmed that organized armed gangs have been spotted in the western part of the province, as reported by the local media, but added that the gangs had no support from the local population. “These criminals have been active in the western part of Kosovo and to dramatise the situation they were dressed in black uniforms”?, the international police chief Kai Vitrup, told journalists in Pristina. He added that the groups were organised, “otherwise they wouldn’t appear all at the same time and all dressed in black”?.
“For me, it’s important that the problem isn’t exaggerated, because we are dealing with a small group of criminals who don’t accept democratic behavior in a democratic society”?.
According to Albanian language daily Koha ditore, the groups, calling themselves the Army for the Independence of Kosovo, have threatened to declare a state of emergency and apply war tactics unless the Kosovo parliament declared independence by October 15.
The talks on the final status of Kosovo, where majority ethnic Albanians demand independence, are expected to start next month. Some ethnic Albanian political forces have threatened to resort to violence if their demands are not met.
Kosovo has been under United Nations control since the ethnic Albanian pro-independence rebellion in 1998 provoked a brutal military crackdown by the Serbian forces, and NATO bombing raids to prevent further persecution of Kosovo Albanians
A spokesman for the international forces (Kfor) in western Kosovo, Jos Zigrif, also confirmed that “criminals are active in the area”?, stopping traffic and controlling passengers.
“There is only one army in Kosovo and that is Kfor, all the others are criminals”?, Jos said. He added that the international and Kosovo police were investigation these cases.