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Press Release

Sparkes stopped at a roadblock in the north

31 October 2011

The Acting Head of EULEX Andy Sparkes today was stopped at the barricades in Zupcë/Zupče while on the way to visit the EULEX officers at Gate 31.

This was a joint visit of Sparkes and KFOR Commander Erhard Drews. Only the EULEX vehicles, which were part of KFOR convoy, were stopped at the roadblock. However, General Drews also stopped, to underline KFOR’s and EULEX’s insistence that permanent and unconditional freedom of movement be restored in northern Kosovo for all international organizations working there.

Sparkes and Drews briefly talked to the local people at the roadblock.

Sparkes told the local representative that the removal of roadblocks was a prerequisite for improving the rule of law and that the freedom of movement needed to be re-established, adding that those who had put up the roadblocks should now bring them down.

“Preventing members of the European Union Rule of Law mission from moving freely through northern Kosovo doesn’t send a good message to EU member states which have given EULEX its mandate and fully support its mission. Blocking the European Union is like blocking your people’s future. It is an action contrary to the aspirations of communities with a European Union perspective”, said Sparkes.