Every afternoon the Kosovo Serb Gordana GjoricA 63-year-old retired business woman welcomes her neighbors in the same house. took refuge in 1999. Many like him were displaced. Gjoric makes them bubble teas and coffees, and they remember when they had to flee Pristina after a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing led by Pristina. Slobodan Milosevic NATO bombs exploded against the Albanians and – later – in Belgrade revenge opposite Kosovo Serbs, also terrible. “There were reprisals everywhere. I was an ordinary person, I did not participate in anything, but my houses and shops were destroyed and looted, they were intimidated and I had no choice but to leave,” Gjoric said. keep documents Kosovo courts on these facts
Laplje Selo, the village where Gordana lived, is only 10 kilometers from Pristina. For this reason, the woman says that it upsets her especially that she has not returned home and had to live in one of them. six residential districts the center and south, where Kosovo Serbs are spread throughout Kosovo, Albanian majority.
“Why don’t we go back? There’s nothing for me there and I don’t feel safe. Respect the laws of KosovoI accept your authority. But they boycott our products. They refuse to open a company with us. How can I survive? This is why our young people are leaving,” he complains. occupied properties and no compensation. There is nothing here, no hope, no work; my own children are in Serbia,” he adds.
displaced since 1999
According to the estimates of international organizations such as the UN mission in Kosovo (Unmik), some 200,000 people were displaced People from Kosovo still reside in the region, mostly Serbs. These are the people who escaped during the operation. Kosovo war (1998-1999) and they didn’t come back. According to Unmik and the OSCE, only very few did: less than 30,000. Aleksandar Gudric is not one of them. He lives in the city of Pristina, as he fled Pristina right after the war. Gracanica, another Serbian enclave, where a cultural center coordinates its activities.
“Yes we are all Serbs Sometimes one of the other minorities comes here at most,” pointing to a group of young people rehearsing in the amphitheater inside the building. “These are from a theater company that migrated from Pristina. This is how we live. To organise joint art exhibition with the Albanians too impossible“We would love to,” he complains.
And yet, despite his virtual absence mixed marriagesLiving in enclaves and ghettos in rural areas in the center and south, these Serbs are considered the closest thing to an example of integration in Kosovo. For starters, their community is the largest in Kosovo with an estimated 75,000 members. And they remain important here too. holy churches of orthodox Including the famous Decani monastery, which has been under the protection of NATO (Kfor) soldiers since 1999. Quarrel with the current government of Albin Kurti They claim some hectares of land according to a decision in 2016, and the area is still not completely unaffected by ethnic events.
Albanian taxi driver enters Serb populated area Mitrovica, covered with Serbian flags and stands. Get out of the car and quickly remove the light signal. “It’s better to go unnoticed,” he says. WITH Marko Jaksic It doesn’t surprise you that northern Kosovo is a ticking time bomb because Serbs here (the four municipalities) are more resistant to integration after seeing how bad things are for those in the center and south. He is an activist and lawyer who accepted a job at the Mitrovica court five years ago. The international community forced -with Serbia’s support- the beginning of the integration process of the minority In Kosovo institutions, however, in November Jaksic resigned along with others. Kosovo Serb officials Albin Kurti Government they say there is discrimination against them.
Then a street protest that lasted for weeks broke out and in this action shotsSerbia threatened to send troops and was eventually shut down. Printing from EU and USA. “I don’t know what will happen. It’s difficult day by day. It’s clear that we don’t accept Pristina not allowing basic things like our documents are in Cyrillic, according to Kosovo law,” Jaksic said. . But when asked what she wants, she definitely answers. “to be part of Serbia”he says, making it clear here that being part of Kosovo has not yet been digested.
Although battered by Belgrade and Pristina, Miodrag Milicević, an analyst at the Aktiv centre, believes the relationship with Kurti is particularly bad. “A year ago, as if there was more crime here than in the rest of Kosovo, he sent us special forces and undermined the authority of the Kosovo police, which was also made up of Serbs. broke the dialogue“, Milicević says. But as Srdjan Simonović, a local security expert who sometimes works for international organizations, suggests, the border with Serbia also gives an advantage. “How? Belgrade still pays the salaries of many people in the region,” he said.
James Sean is a writer for “Social Bites”. He covers a wide range of topics, bringing the latest news and developments to his readers. With a keen sense of what’s important and a passion for writing, James delivers unique and insightful articles that keep his readers informed and engaged.