Serbs stage protest in northern Kosovska Mitrovica

Several dozen Serbs gathered in the neighborhood of Brdjani in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica Wednesday to express their protest against the construction of houses for Kosovo Albanians who have never lived there.

(kosovocompromisestuff) Thursday, July 11, 2013

A little before 9 a.m. this morning, the local Serbs gathered in the immediate vicinity of the site where the Albanians started the works on one of the houses.

The Serbs claim that the building of houses to populate Brdjani with  Albanians who have never lived there is an attempt by the Albanian authorities to change the ethnic picture of Kosovska Mitrovica.

The protest is underway quietly and the Albanians did not resume the works on the site.

On site are members of the Kosovo Police, a EULEX police patrol and an UNMIK representative.

President of the Kosovska Mitrovica Municipality Dragisa Vlaskovic told reporters Wednesday that this is the third day that Albanians from southern part of Mitrovica are trying to continue the works in the part of Brdjani where Albanians have never lived before and where no Albanian house was ever built, which made the people get out in the streets to express their dissatisfaction.

"We have information that the Albanians demanded from EULEX, KFOR and the Kosovo police to provide security for the works on the site, but we will continue gathering there until they give up on the construction of the houses," said Vlaskovic.

"We see it as a provocation against the Serb people," Vlaskovic said, adding that the works are illegal because none of the municipal structures has issued any building permits.

Vlaskovic pointed out that nobody is against the return of those Albanians who lived in Brdjani before, but they are against the coming of Albanians from Pec, Decani, Djakovica.

Vlaskovic believes their coming would case emigration of the Serb population from that part of the city.

Last year, the local Serbs already protested against construction of houses in the multi-ethnic neighborhood in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica for Albanians from other parts of the Serbian province.