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|Municipality and city|
|District||District of Đakovica|
|• Total||276 km2 (107 sq mi)|
|Elevation||477 m (1,565 ft)|
|• Total||55,053 (municipality)|
|• Density||199.5/km2 (517/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code(s)||(+381) 929|
|Website||Municipality of Orahovac|
Geography and population
The municipality coveres an area of approximately 276 km2 (107 sq mi) and contains 35 villages. In 2006 the town had a total population of 25.000 and the population of the municipality was 55,053. Besides a small Serbian enclave in the town numbering around 400 residents, in the municipality of Orahovac is another Serbian enclave named Velika Hoča, numbering around 700 residents.
During NATO's bombing campaign, Yugoslav Army units from Niš and Leskovac, Serbian police (MUP) units from Kraljevo and Pirot, Russian volunteers, and others from Republika Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina) were stationed in Orahovac.
March 2004 unrest
Since 1999, numerous Serbs have left Orahovac to find refuge in northern Serbia. During the mid-March 2004 riots, hundreds of Kosovo Albanians gathered in the center of town protesting. Many went to the Upper Part (where the majority of ethnic Serbs reside) and severely assaulted a Kosovo Serb couple. They set one house on fire, and vandalized a few others. On 18 March, the Serbian Orthodox Church in the village of Brnjača was set on fire. Five Kosovo Serb families left Orahovac during this unrest.
The relation between the two main Kosovo Albanian political parties, the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) and the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), dominates the local political climate. Shortly after the end of the conflict, all political parties were involved in the ‘Blockade Council’, an institution that represented the protest of Kosovo Albanians to the deployment of Russian troops in the area. Following the lifting of the blockade in November 1999, the local political parties focused their attention on governance issues.
Three of the eight parties taking part in the 2000 Municipal Elections won seats in the Assembly and visibly continued their activities, while other parties quickly lost their political significance. After the 2001 Elections, PDK was the only political party that managed to send a representative to the Kosovo Assembly. In April 2002, PNDSH ceased to exist and some of its members formed a branch of the Justice Party (PD). Mr. Ismet Tara, a well-known former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Commander, headed the PD list in the 2002 Municipal Elections and won a seat in the Municipal Assembly. Not all political parties which participated in the municipal elections in October 2000 were certified for the municipal elections in October 2002.
The Central Assembly Election of 2004 saw the appearance of a new political entity in Kosovo, the Reformist Party ORA, which gained 5.6% of the vote in Orahovac. In these elections PDK and LDK succeeded in sending their representatives from Orahovac to the Central Assembly.
The LDK has a new branch president since the CEO Ibrahim Kryeziu resigned from the position and Xhemajli Zeqiri took over. The PDK held a general assembly in the summer 2005 and Mr Qazim Qeska was elected as the new PDK branch president.
Political party structures are not well developed in the Kosovo Serb areas. Although different individuals claim to belong to and/or represent different political options, there are no formal branches of any political entities operating in the area.
In 1999, the community placed a moratorium upon parties and political activities in order to focus on representing the interests of the community as a whole. As Kosovo Serb parties boycotted the 2000 Municipal Elections, the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) appointed a community representative to the Municipal Assembly. In the Kosovo Assembly Elections in 2001 the Coalition Return (KP) did not include any representative from Orahovac municipality on its candidates’ list, causing great disappointment in the two enclaves. In the 2002 Municipal Elections KP was certified and presented a list of four candidates from the municipality, out of which one candidate was elected and subsequently appointed Municipal Additional Deputy President. Even if KP ceased to exist as political entity, the Additional President will hold his position until the next municipal elections.
The economy rests largely on agriculture, including vegetable crops and vineyards. There is some production of wheat and corn and cattle breeding. The sand and gravel business in the area is probably the second most important economic activity in the Municipality. There are a total of eight enterprises dealing with agricultural production, production of plastics, heaters, freezers, and recycling. These nominally state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have partly resumed their activities but are in need of financial assistance and infrastructure aid. One of the SOEs, Termosistem, was among the first six SOEs to be privatized in Kosovo, recently followed by “Silosi”, the biggest flour factory in the region, N.P.T Haxhijaha, the biggest whole sale company in Kosovo for agriculture equipment, winary Bodrumi i Vjetër and “Eco Plast”.
Orahovac is said to have soil conditions that can be compared to the best in Europe. Wine grapes are well distinguished in this region. Before the war, US and Western Europe imported for very convenient prices. Germany has been a major wine importer for a long time. After the war, wineries are barely surviving due to what UMNIK believes to be a mismanagement of the company.
Social services, health, and education
Generally all communities receive access to Kosovo Social Services, as there is a sub-office of the Centre for Social Welfare situated in the Kosovo Serb enclave of Upper Orahovac. In 2004 a new Invalidity pension was introduced.
The local health sector includes one health house in Orahovac town, two clinics, and seven health centres, also known as ambulanta. These facilities provide basic medical treatment. The nearest well-equipped hospitals are located in Đakovica and Prizren. There are two ambulantas providing basic medical services to the minority population in the enclaves. As of October 2005, with the start of the OSCE funded project “Communities Committee: Promoter of Rights”, visits to the Health Centers have been regularly organized for minority members.
The Kosovo Albanian children are served by 19 primary schools and one secondary school with two branches in two villages, where five of the primary schools are in Orahovac town. Kosovo Serbs have access to two primary schools and one gymnasium. In 2001 the Municipality, together with World Vision, UNICEF and the Japanese government, attempted to bring Kosovo Albanian, Kosovo Serb and Kosovo Romani students together in a newly built multi-ethnic primary school.
Since then, no progress has been made in this field. In summer 2005, the director of education initiated a series of meetings with minority teachers and parents with the aim to begin the reintegration of minority pupils in the primary school but without success. Serb community refuses to send their children to the multi-ethnic school as there were fears from the community that the acceptance of the Kosovo authority over education of Serb pupils would exempt them from further education in Serbia proper, either secondary schooling or university education. There are also questions related to different curricula and the issue of language. As a result, the school presently accommodates only Kosovo Albanian and Kosovo Roma/Egyptian children with education being carried out in the Albanian language.
|Ethnic Composition, Including IDPs|
|Current figure||76,577||App. 1,300||1,7||App. 420||1,1||76,577|
|Source:1991 census, OSCE/KVM Report (January 1999), UNHCR/HCIC Kosovo, Database (December 1999), Community leaders’ information. 2002 -Directorate of Urbanism (only figures concerning Kosovo Albanian part of the population), Local Community Office, Community leaders’ information. All population figures are subject to a wide margin of error. It is noted that the 1991 census was highly politicized and is thus unreliable..
Ref: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe 
- Ukshin Hoti, activist, politician, and phylosopher from Velika Kruša.
- 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.
- Marijana Milosavljević (NIN, 15/12/05)
- Municipality of Orahovac
- Rahoveci.NET (Albanian)
- BBC article concerning March 2004 riots
- Association of Kosovo Municipalities (Albanian)
- Statistical Office of Kosovo (SOK) (Albanian)
- OSCE Mission in Kosovo > Municipal profiles
- International Organization for Mifration (IOM)
- Survivors describe massacre in Orahovac
- Human Rights Publication-Massacre in Pastasel, Orahovac
- Photographic Evidence of Kosovo Genocide and Conflict
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Orahovac.|