The Mayors of Mitrovica North, Mr. Goran Rakic and Mitrovica South, Mr. Agim Bahtiri, addressed the local media along with the Commander of KFOR, Major General Michele Risi, to call upon the local communities to abide by the preventive measures undertaken to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Ïn his opening statement, Major General Michele Risi stressed that "the situation is very serious. It's serious here in the Balkans, in Europe and around the world. Therefore, we have to fight it all together."
Mr. Agim Bahtiri, the Mayor of Mitrovica South emphasized that: "This virus knows no nationality, state borders or ethnic backgrounds, which is present not only in Kosovo, but also in Europe and the whole world", before appealing to all the citizens of the Republic of Kosovo, especially those of Mitrovica north and south, to follow all recommendations to stay home and keep social distancing."
The press point ended with a declaration of Goran Rakic, North-Mitrovica's Mayor, who invited all citizens "to take responsibility and by saving themselves first, saving everyone around them, starting with their loved ones, then neighbours, friends and family".
Earlier in the afternoon the Commander of the NATO-led Kosovo Force had met with the Incumbent Prime Minister of Kosovo and the incumbent Minister of Health in order to discuss the state of security and the actions taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
KFOR is constantly monitoring the situation on the ground and is continuing to contribute to a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all communities in Kosovo, under its UN mandate.
Regional Command West and East, KFOR sub-units led respectively by Italy and the United States, have continued their activities on the ground throughout Kosovo, whilst adopting all preventive measures recommended by the World Health Organization against COVID-19.
In the last week, the number of patrols conducted by KFOR infantry and military police units reached 276, while cooperation with the Institutions in Kosovo was maintained through over 200 engagements performed by KFOR's 28 Liaison and Monitoring Teams.
Many activities were conducted by KFOR units in close cooperation with the Security Organizations in Kosovo, including the implementation of access control to restricted areas due to COVID-19.
At the same time the KFOR Tactical Reserve Battalion has regularly performed crowd and riot control activities in order to ensure a prompt reaction, as the third responder after Kosovo Police and EULEX, to any situation that could affect the security and stability in Kosovo.
In addition, the Italian Carabinieri of the Multinational Specialized Unit continued donations of food and clothes to families in need, in coordination with Kosovo Red Cross.
KFOR, the longest-running NATO-led mission, is keeping its long standing commitment to ensure a better future for all people in Kosovo, by remaining a robust and credible force capable of carrying out all the tasks mandated by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999.