|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2008)|
|Municipality and city|
|Косово Поље (Kosovo Polje)
Fushë Kosova (Fushë Kosovë)
|District||District of Pristina|
|• Total||34,718 (municipality)|
|• Density||412.8/km2 (1,069/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code(s)||+381 38|
|Website||Municipality of Kosovo Polje|
Kosovo Polje, literally Blackbird's Field in Serbian, also often rendered Field of Blackbirds (Serbian: Kosovo Polje, Косово Поље; Albanian: Fushë Kosovë, Fushë Kosova) is a town and municipality in the Pristina district of central Kosovo,[a] at 42.63° North, 21.12° East, or approximately eight kilometres south-west of Pristina. In 2011 the Kosovo Polje Municipality had a total population of 34,718.
Kosovo Polje is the nearest town to the site of the Battle of Kosovo of 1389. In April 1987 it became the scene of a famous incident when Slobodan Milošević–at the time chairman of the League of Communists of Serbia–was sent to Kosovo Polje's Hall of Culture (town hall) to calm a crowd of angry Serbs protesting at what they saw as anti-Serb discrimination by the Albanian-dominated Kosovo administration. When Serb citizens complained they had been beaten by Albanian police, he told them that "No one has the right to beat you.... No one will beat you ever." The incident earned Milošević the support of Serbian people, propelling him to the presidency of Serbia two years later.
Prior to the 1999 Kosovo War, Kosovo Polje was the town in Kosovo in which the Serb population formed its largest percentage at 24%. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees estimated in March 1998 that its population (estimated at 40,000) was around 24% Serb, 59% Albanian and 17% from other national communities.
Kosovo Polje saw considerable violence before, during and after the war. In December 1998, the Serb deputy mayor of Kosovo Polje was killed by Kosovo Liberation Army fighters despite reportedly taking a moderate line on Serb-Albanian relations. Kidnaps and assassinations of Serbs and Albanians continued until the war began. The town's Albanian population was forcibly expelled, reportedly by local Serbs and paramilitaries, and many local Albanians were killed.
At the war's end in June 1999, most of the Albanian population returned while many of the town's Serbs were expelled. The remaining Serb population found themselves in an enclave in an Albanian-dominated region. Thousands of Serbs and Roma from other parts of Kosovo, who had fled their homes, took refuge in Kosovo Polje, where a large refugee camp was established.
Ethnic tension flared repeatedly in the years after the war and a number of Serbs were killed by Albanian nationalists. Under this continuing pressure, the Serb population of Kosovo Polje shrank steadily until, by July 2002, the newspaper Blic was reporting that only 550 Serbs remained in Kosovo Polje. The town was seriously affected by the March 2004 unrest in Kosovo, which saw a number of Serb houses burned and more Serbs forced to flee (the Serbian government claimed that 2,000 people had been expelled, though this is inconsistent with the earlier reports of the number of Serbs in the town). A number are reported to have returned since then and at least some of the destroyed properties have been rebuilt by the UNMIK.
|This article is outdated. (January 2012)|
|Ethnic Composition, Including IDPs|
Source: UN Municipal Community Office. Accurate figures for the April 2002, but previous year’s statistics are estimate only, due to lack of insufficient data. It is noted that the 1991 census was highly politicised and is thus unreliable. Ref: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Notes and references
- Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 107 out of 193 United Nations member states.
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