Albanian: Mitrovica, Mitrovicë
Serbian: Косовска Митровица, Kosovska Mitrovica
|Municipality and city|
|Ibar, which divides the city in two.|
|District||District of Kosovska Mitrovica|
|• Land||350 km2 (140 sq mi)|
|• Municipality and city||71,601 (municipality)|
|• Density||213.0/km2 (552/sq mi)|
|• Metro||45,000 City|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code(s)||+381 28|
Kosovska Mitrovica, or just Mitrovica (Serbian: Косовска Митровица / Kosovska Mitrovica; Albanian Mitrovicë or Mitrovica), is a city and municipality in northern Kosovo.[a] It is the administrative centre of the homonymous district. The city is multi-ethnic though Albanians form the absolute majority. With no accurate statistics for the present time, approximately are 70% Albanian, and Serbs are the second largest group. However, the Serbs are heavily concentrated in the north of the city across the River Ibar, an area known as North Kosovska Mitrovica, functioning as a small town and de facto capital of Serbian-majority North Kosovo onto which it joins.
- 1 Name
- 2 History
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Culture and education
- 6 Sports
- 7 Notable people from Kosovska Mitrovica
- 8 International relations
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes and references
- 11 External links
The city was named "Civitas Sancti Demetrii" in the 14th century after Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki, a name that later became "Mitrovica", as happened to other locations in the Balkans named after Saint Demetrius.
After Tito's death, when each of the constituent parts of Yugoslavia had to have one place named with the word 'Tito' (or 'Tito's') included, the city was also known as Titova Mitrovica (Титова Митровица) in Serbian or Mitrovica e Titos in Albanian, until 1991.
The city is one of the oldest known settlements in Kosovo, being first mentioned in written documents during the Middle Ages. The name Kosovska Mitrovica comes from the 14th century, from Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki, but there are some other legends on the origin of its name. Near Kosovska Mitrovica is the medieval fortress of Zvečan, which played an important role during the Kingdom of Serbia under Nemanjić rule.
Under Ottoman rule Kosovska Mitrovica was a typical small Oriental city. Rapid development came in the 19th century after lead ore was discovered and mined in the region, providing what has historically been one of Kosovo largest industries.
It became an industrial town, formerly the economic centre of Kosovo because of the nearby Trepča Mines. It grew in size as a centre of trade and industry with the completion of the railway line to Skopje in 1873–1878, which linked Kosovska Mitrovica to the port of Thessalonika. Another line later linked the town to Belgrade and Western Europe. During World War II, the city was part of Axis-backed Serbia. In 1948, Kosovska Mitrovica had a population of 13,901 and in the early 1990s of about 75,000.
Mitrovica during and after the Kosovo War
|This section's factual accuracy is disputed. (March 2008)|
Both the town and municipality were badly affected by the 1999 Kosovo War. According to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the area had been the scene of guerrilla activity by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) prior to the war. It came under the command of NATO's French sector; 7,000 French troops were stationed in the western sector with their headquarters in Kosovska Mitrovica. They were reinforced with a contingent of 1,200 troops from the United Arab Emirates, and a small number of Danish troops.
In the aftermath of the war, the town became a symbol of Kosovo's ethnic divisions. The badly damaged southern half of the town was repopulated by an estimated 50,000 Albanians. Their numbers have since grown with the arrival of refugees from destroyed villages in the countryside. Most of the approximately 6,000 Roma fled to Serbia, or were relocated to one of two resettlement camps, Cesmin Lug, or Osterode, in North Kosovska Mitrovica. In the north, live some 17,000 Kosovo Serbs, with 2,000 Kosovo Albanians and 1,700 Muslim Slavs inhabiting discrete enclaves on the north bank of the Ibar river. Almost all of the Serbs living on the south bank were displaced to North Kosovska Mitrovica after the Kosovo War. In 2011, the city had an estimated total population of 71,601.
Kosovska Mitrovica became the focus for ethnic clashes between the two communities, exacerbated by the presence of nationalist extremists on both sides. The bridges linking the two sides of the town were guarded by armed groups determined to prevent incursions by the other side. Because of the tense situation in the town, KFOR troops and the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) police were stationed there in large numbers to head off trouble. However, violence and harassment was often directed against members of the "wrong" ethnic community on both sides of the river, necessitating the presence of troops and police checkpoints around individual areas of the city and even in front of individual buildings.
On March 17, 2004, the drowning of an Albanian child in the river prompted major ethnic violence in the town and a Serbian teenager was killed. Demonstrations by thousands of angry Albanians and Serbs mobilized to stop them crossing the river degenerated into rioting and gunfire, leaving at least eight Albanians dead and at least 300 injured. The bloodshed sparked off the worst unrest in Kosovo seen since the end of the 1999 war (in which 11 Serbs were killed).
A Bosniak resident of southern Kosovska Mitrovica was murdered after being overheard speaking the Bosnian language.
The local prison was the scene of an international incident on 18 April 2004 when Ahmad Mustafa Ibrahim, a Jordanian policeman working as a UN prison guard, opened fire on a group of UN police officers leaving a class, killing three.
Tensions rose considerably in the city of Kosovska Mitrovica after the Kosovo declared independence on 17 February 2008. Some 150 Kosovo Serb police officers refused to take orders from the ethnic Albanian authorities and were suspended.
Serb protesters prevented ethnic Albanian court employees from crossing the bridge over the Ibar River. UN police raided and seized the courthouse on March 14 using tear gas against Serbs and leaving some of them wounded.
The explosion of a hand-grenade injured several UN and NATO staff on March 17; UN forces were later withdrawn from the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica.
The Serbian minority has formed the Community Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija in the city, but it has no police force. Serbs refuse to accept the jurisdiction of Kosovo courts, Republic of Kosovo leaders have expressed concern over the future of the region, stating their commitment to keep Kosovska Mitrovica part of Kosovo and prevent crime or war there.
"To build trust and confidence, Kosovo authorities need to be attentive to culture and religious symbols, such as the Serb Orthodox cemetery in Mitrovica, on the Albanian, south, bank of the Ibar. The main Albanian cemetery is in the North and intact. The Serb cemetery is devastated, hundreds of headstones in shards and the chapel at its centre desecrated and burned. Most of the damage dates to 1999 and March 2004, but also to 2007 and 2008. The site is unguarded and open to sporadic vandalism, some allegedly perpetrated by residents of a neighbouring Ashkali settlement apparently seeking to ingratiate themselves with Albanians by lashing out at Serbs. Northern Serbs often cite the two cemeteries as signs of their tolerance and Albanian hostility. The Kosovo authorities’ failure to repair and secure the graveyard sends a terrible message to Northern Serbs: this is what your future will look like, once you have integrated."
Before the 1999 Kosovo War, the municipality had a population estimated by the OSCE to comprise some 116,500 people, 81% of them Kosovo Albanian, 10% Serb and the remainder other ethnicities (notably Bosniaks and Roma). Most of the non-Albanians lived in the town of Kosovska Mitrovica, which had a population of 68,000 – 71% Kosovo Albanian, with approximately 9,000 Serbs and 10,141 other nationalities. Kosovo Albanians lived throughout the city, but most Serbs lived in the north side, divided from the predominantly Albanian south side by the Ibar River.
|Ethnic Composition, Including IDPs|
|Source: 1991 census: FRY Institute of Statistics and UNHCR statistics of 1998/OSCE estimates. It is noted that the 1991 census was highly politicised and is thus unreliable.
Ref: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
The Trepča Mines are located in Kosovska Mitrovica, though they are not operating. With the closure of the Trepča complex, the influx of refugees and IDPs and the lack of investment, unemployment (estimated at approximately 77%) has been prevalent among all communities in the Kosovska Mitrovica municipality.
Culture and education
Notable people from Kosovska Mitrovica
- Vahedin Ajeti, Albanian footballer
- Aleksandar Čanović, Serbian football player.
- Nikola Lazetić, former Serbian football player.
- Žarko Lazetić, former Serbian football player.
- Nevena Božović, Serbian singer and Serbia's Eurosong participant.
- Rexhep Mitrovica, Former Prime Minister of Albania.
- Milan Biševac, Serbian international Football player.
- Miloš Krasić, Serbian international Football player.
- Rona Nishliu represented Albania on Eurovision Song Contest 2012
- Enis Alushi, Albanian footballer
- Valon Behrami, Swiss international Football player.
- Bekim Bejta, poet and translator
- Nexhip Draga, Member of the Albanian uprising.
- Xhafer Deva, Former Minister of the Interior of Albania.
- Riza Lushta, Former Albanian Superliga Top Scorer, also won the Coppa Italia in 1942 with Juventus.
- Xhevat Prekazi, Former Football player. Notable for playing for Galatasaray.
- Muharrem Qena, actor and singer
- Valdet Rama, Albanian footballer
- Bajram Rexhepi, politician
- Ali Shukrija, 2nd Communist Prime minister of Kosovo.
- Darko Spalević, former Serbian football player.
- Borislav Stevanović, former Serbian football player
- Stevan Stojanović, former Serbian football player, who won the European Cup with Red Star in 1991.
- Ymer Xhaferi, Albanian footballer
- Diana Avdiu, model, Miss Kosovo Universe 2012 and semifinalist, Miss Universe 2012
- Erton Fejzullahu, footballer, Sweden football player
- Alban Meha, footballer, Albania football player
Twin towns — sister cities
Kosovska Mitrovica is twinned with:
- Tiranë, Tiranë District, Albania
- Elbasan, Elbasan District, Albania
- Shëngjin, Lezhë District, Albania
- Vučitrn, Pristina Municipality, Kosovo
- San Cristóbal, Táchira, Venezuela
- Kendari, South East Sulawesi, Indonesia
- Kumanovo, Kumanovo Municipality, Macedonia
- North Kosovska Mitrovica
- Kosovo Serb enclaves
- Roma in Kosovska Mitrovica Camps
- New bridge in Kosovska Mitrovica
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 106 out of 193 United Nations member states.
- Home – Prepare your next vacation to Europe – visiteurope.com
- B92 – Travel – Restoran Moj
- Civitas Sancti Demetrii
- Elsie, Robert. Mitrovica &f =false Historical dictionary of Kosovo.
- Kosovo Roma Oral History Project: Kosovska Mitrovica
- Wood, Nicholas (2004-04-18). "3 U.N. Police Die in Shootout At Kosovo Jail". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-15.
- "International press on the UN police shooting incident in Kosovska Mitrovica". ERP KIM Archive. Retrieved 2008-10-15.
- BBC, Peacekeepers hurt in Kosovo blast, 17.03.08
- TransConflict, Kosovo – what to do with the north, ad interim, April 2010
- UNMIK Headlines, March 2, 2009
- North Kosovo: Dual Sovereignty in Practice N°21. Crisis Group Europe Report. 14 March 2011. p. 11.
- "Mitrovicë/Mitrovica" (PDF).
- "Implementation of the Law on the Use of Languages by Kosovo Municipalities" (PDF). June 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kosovska Mitrovica.|
- Photo essay about serbian part of Mitrovica (2011)
- OSCE:Profile of Mitrovicë / Mitrovica
- Municipality of Kosovska Mitrovica in the Republic of Kosovo
- Mitrovica North Administrative Office Official Website
- North Kosovska Mitrovica Official Website
- Jazz & Blues Festival North City
- HCIC, Mitrovica Situation – HCIC, UNHCR, WEU, KFOR (22 Mar 2000)
- Mitrovica Situation – HCIC, UNHCR, WEU, KFOR (24 Feb 2000)
- Mitrovica: North and South of a Divided City Video about displacement and reconstruction in Mitrovica.
- Burning of St. Sava church in south Mitrovica 17 March
- Andrew Purvis (2008-06-04). "Postcard from Mitrovica: Almost Mellow at Kosovo's Front-Line Cafe". TIME Magazine. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
- ESI report: People Or Territory? A Proposal For Mitrovica (16 February 2004)