UN police recapture courthouse occupied by Serbian protesters

[JURIST] UN special police forces on Monday retook the UN courthouse recently occupied by Serbian protesters demonstrating against Kosovo's declaration of independence [text; JURIST report] last month. The Serbian group took control [JURIST report] of the courthouse in the northern city of Mitrovica on Friday, demanding a deal with UN authorities. Thousands of protesters gathered outside the courthouse Monday to continue demonstrations against an independent Kosovo, prompting clashes with police. Over 50 protesters were arrested [CBC report] in connection with the occupation of the courthouse.

A regional UN representative initially held talks with Serb leaders over the situation, but those talks broke down over the weekend. Kosovo Serbs had been holding daily protests in front of the courthouse since Kosovo declared its independence in February. Serbs consider the territory of Kosovo to be Serbia's historic and religious heartland and the Serbian government in Belgrade has insisted that Kosovo's declaration of independence is illegal under international law. AP has more.

11:00 AM ET - KFOR [official website], the Kosovo peacekeeping force led by NATO, put Mitrovica under "military law" Tuesday after a UN police officer was killed during Monday's riots. Reuters has more.



 

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