Serbian enclaves in Kosovo

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Serb population of Kosovo in 2011
A street in Gračanica, 2008.

Serbian enclaves refers to settlements in Kosovo[a] outside North Kosovo ("south of the Ibar") where Serbs form a majority. After the initial outflow after the Kosovo War the situation of the Kosovo Serb communities has improved and under the Ahtisaari plan minority rights have been promoted.[1]

Serbs have often built roadblocks and barricades, to prevent access by Kosovo Police and customs officers.[2] The 2013 Brussels Agreement allowed full operation of Kosovo Police and customs officials, while the Community of Serb Municipalities is planned to be created within the Republic of Kosovo legal framework.

History[edit]

According to the 1991 census in Yugoslavia, there were five municipalities with a Serb majority in the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. Those were: Leposavić, Zvečan, Zubin Potok, Štrpce and Novo Brdo. The remaining municipalities had an Albanian majority, while other significant ethnic minorities (such as Muslims and Romani) did not form majority in any of the municipalities. The 1991 census was boycotted by most Albanians, and is generally seen as unreliable.

Serbs in enclaves during 2004 unrest

Prior to the 1999 Kosovo War, there were many more Serbs living in the territory of Kosovo. Many of them left in 1999, and some more left during the 2004 unrest, when the Serb community and Serbian cultural heritage were targeted, and as a result 35 churches, including 18 monuments of culture, were demolished, burnt or severely damaged. Estimates of the number of Serbs thus displaced range from 65,000 to 250,000[3][4][5][6] Only about 3.000 of them have returned since. Based on Serbian former Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija, 312 of 437 towns and villages in which Serbs lived were completely ethnically cleansed, and in the ensuing violence, more than 1.000 Serbs were killed, while 841 were kidnapped and 960 wounded.[7][8]

Between 2000 and 2008, the UNMIK administration created eight new municipalities on the territory of Kosovo, three of which have an ethnic Serb majority: Gračanica, Klokot-Vrbovac and Ranilug. In 2008, the Community Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija was created to coordinate the efforts of the Serbian minority in Kosovo. There are some 120,000 Serbs in Kosovo, of whom about a third are in the north. They believe that if Republic of Kosovo government officials are deployed on the border, Kosovo will eventually take control of the north, which is now a de facto part of Serbia. Kosovo's Serbs, especially in the north, reject its independence.[2]

During the ethnic tensions in the 2004 unrest in Kosovo, numerous Serb enclaves were assaulted by Kosovo Albanian rioters.

Demographics[edit]

Municipalities[edit]

According to the 2011 census, which was boycotted in North Kosovo and partially boycotted by Serbs in southern Kosovo,[9] the municipalities of Gračanica, Parteš and Ranilug (enclaves, outside North Kosovo) have a Serb majority, while Serbs form about 45% of the total population of Novo Brdo, Štrpce and Klokot.[10]

Towns and villages[edit]

The administrative division given there represents settlements within their former municipalities. From 2009 to 2010, the new municipalities were formed of settlements with Serbian ethnic majority, in order to establish Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo. These municipalities are: Gračanica, Klokot, Ranilug, Parteš and Novo Brdo.

The former administrative division of municipalities with Serbian settlements:

Smaller Serbian communities are also present in Prizren, Gnjilane and Obilić.

Serbian-language media in enclaves[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes
a.   ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has received formal recognition as an independent state from 111 out of 193 United Nations member states.
References
  1. ^ "Serb community in Kosovo" (PDF). Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia. June 2012. p. 11. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Serbia and Kosovo: On the border of conflict". The Economist. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  3. ^ European Stability Initiative (ESI): The Lausanne Principle: Multiethnicity, Territory and the Future of Kosovo's Serbs (.pdf) , 7 June 2004.
  4. ^ Coordinating Centre of Serbia for Kosovo-Metohija: Principles of the program for return of internally displaced persons from Kosovo and Metohija.
  5. ^ US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI): Country report: Serbia and Montenegro 2006.
  6. ^ International Relations and Security Network (ISN): Serbians return to Kosovo not impossible, says report (.pdf) , by Tim Judah, 7 June 2004.
  7. ^ B92: Interesovanje za povratak na Kosovo (The Interest for Returning to Kosovo), 8 Jun 2009 (in Serbian)
  8. ^ "Raseljeni Srbi žele povratak na Kosovo". RTS. 8 Jun 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "ECMI: Minority figures in Kosovo census to be used with reservations". ECMI. 
  10. ^ "REKOS 2011: Results". Statistical Office of Kosovo. September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Blic:"Struja se mora plaćati", 15. 05. 2009. (in Serbian)
  12. ^ Glas Javnosti: Setva u okruženju, 1 Apr 2000 (Retrieved 29 Nov 2010) (in Serbian)
  13. ^ B92: Sukob Srba i KPS-a na protestima, 10 May 2009 (in Serbian)
  14. ^ B92: Zadušnice na Kosovu, 6 Jun 2009(in Serbian)

External links[edit]