Suva Reka

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Suva Reka
Town and municipality
Albanian: Suharekë
Serbian: Сува Река/Suva Reka
The street that runs through the city's center
The street that runs through the city's center
Official seal of Suva RekaSuharekë
Location of the municipality of Suva Reka within Kosovo
Location of the municipality of Suva Reka within Kosovo
Coordinates: 42°22′48″N 20°49′19″E / 42.38000°N 20.82194°E / 42.38000; 20.82194Coordinates: 42°22′48″N 20°49′19″E / 42.38000°N 20.82194°E / 42.38000; 20.82194
Country Kosovo[a]
District District of Prizren
 • Mayor Bali Muharremaj
 • Municipal 361 km2 (139 sq mi)
Elevation 389 m (1,276 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Urban 10,422
 • Municipal 59,722
 • Municipal density 170/km2 (430/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 23000
Area code(s) +383 29
Car plates 04
Climate Cfb

Suva Reka (Serbian: Сува Река) or Suharekë is a town and municipality located in the Prizren district of central-southern Kosovo.[a] According to the 2011 census, the town has 10,422 inhabitants, while the municipality has 59,722 inhabitants.

Suva Reka is located 18 km (11 mi) from the city of Prizren, and 57 km (35 mi) from Kosovo's capital, Pristina.


Suva Reka means "dry river" in Serbian.[1] The Albanian spellings are Suharekë[2] or Suhareka (derived from Serbian), while an alternative[3] name was recently created by the Albanological Institute,[4] Therandë,[5] adopted from an unlocated Roman site (possibly in Suva Reka or Ljubižda in the Miruša valley[6]), as part of the Albanian nationalistic renaming of Serbian placenames (itself part of state-building Kosovo as Albanian).[7]


Historical background[edit]

The municipality includes several medieval Serbian sites and old settlements, such as the villages of Banja, Dulje, Mušutište, Popovljane, Rečane, and churches of Virgin Hodegetria, St. George, Holy Trinity, St. Nicholas, among others. The settlement of Suva Reka itself was first mentioned in 1465.

Yugoslav period[edit]

From 1929 to 1941, Suva Reka was a village part of the Vardar Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

On the night of 9–10 June 1984, ethnic Albanians desecrated 29 tombstones of the Church of the Holy Saviour.[8][9]

Kosovo War and aftermath[edit]

During the Kosovo War (1998–99), the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) operated in the region and it was reported that it had killed and wounded several Serbian policemen and civilians. Among KLA attacks against police officers recorded in 1998 in the municipality were: on 16 August in Blace (one badly wounded), on 23 August in Dulje (three badly, four lightly wounded) and in Reštane (one badly wounded), on 25 August in Dulje (one badly wounded), on 28 September in Budakovo (three badly wounded) and in Vranić (one lightly wounded).[10] KLA shot at an OSCE vehicle driving behind a FR Yugoslav military convoy between Suva Reka and Štimlje on 5 November 1998.[11] In 10–16 January 1999, FR Yugoslav forces conducted counter-insurgency operations in Suva Reka.[12] UNHCR estimated on 18 March 1999 that the Suva Reka municipality had 6,100 displaced and 5,600 returns.[13] On 25 March, the town was surrounded by the Yugoslav army and police, and U.S. documents claim reports of at least 30 Albanians killed.[14] There were reports that Serb forces extorted Albanians in Belanica on 27 March.[15] In April and May 1999, Serb paramilitary repeatedly attacked the villages in the municipality, forcing the population to leave and gather in KLA territory.[15] On 11–12 June 1999, a Serb family of four was kidnapped in Dvorane and never located.[16][17] On 12 June 1999, KLA attacked Mušutište and kidnapped eighteen Serb civilians.[18][19]

After the war, Serbian heritage was destroyed all over Kosovo; the churches (including cemeteries) of Virgin Hodegetria, St. George, Holy Trinity, St. Nicholas and others were completely destroyed in 1999 after the arrival of KFOR (and end of war).[20]

NATO set up a military base in the municipality, Camp Casablanca.




Municipal historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1948 27,044 —    
1953 30,184 +2.22%
1961 34,729 +1.77%
1971 45,316 +2.70%
1981 59,434 +2.75%
1991 72,229 +1.97%
2011 59,722 −0.95%
59,681 −0.01%
Source: Division of Kosovo

According to the 2011 census done by the Government of Kosovo, the municipality of Suhareka had 59,722 inhabitants of which 98.9% were Kosovo Albanians.[21] However, these results should be taken with caution, due to the partial boycott by Kosovo Serbs. According to OSCE, the whereabouts of the displaced Serb and Roma communities is unknown.[22]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Suva Reka is twinned with:

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b 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 110 out of 193 United Nations member states.
  1. ^ Grujić, Petar V. (2014). Kosovo knot. Pittsburgh: Dorrance Publishing. p. 248. ISBN 9781480998452. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Robert Elsie (15 November 2010). Historical Dictionary of Kosovo. Scarecrow Press. pp. 298–. ISBN 978-0-8108-7483-1. 
  4. ^ Saskia Drude (2008). Hundert Wochen Kosovo: Alltag in einem unfertigen Land. Karin Fischer Verlag. pp. 99–. ISBN 978-3-89514-836-1. 
  5. ^ Elsie,R. Historical Dictionary of Kosovo. p. 268. 
  6. ^ Arheološko blago Kosova i Metohije: Text. Srpska Akademija nauka i umetnosti. 1998. p. 286. 
  7. ^ Andreas Wittkowsky (2011). Grand Hotel Kosovo: Schlaglichter einer europäischen Staatsbildung. LIT Verlag Münster. pp. 69–. ISBN 978-3-643-11425-9. 
  8. ^ "—". Православље. 1 February 1985. Archived from the original on 27 November 2011. 
  9. ^ Antonije Isaković (1990). "Kosovsko-metohijski zbornik". SANU: 84. 
  10. ^ Members of the Ministry of the Interior - Victims of Albanian Terrorism in 1998, March 10, 1999
  11. ^ Krieger 2001, p. 227.
  12. ^ Krieger 2001, p. 248.
  13. ^ Krieger 2001, p. 67.
  14. ^ Krieger 2001, pp. 88, 528.
  15. ^ a b Krieger 2001, p. 56.
  16. ^ Government of the Republic of Serbia, SPISAK KIDNAPOVANIH I NESTALIH LICA NA KOSOVU I METOHIJI
  17. ^ Humanitarian Law Center, Abductions and Disappearances of non-Albanians in Kosovo: Prizren
  18. ^ "Kosovo (1998-2000)". (in Serbian). Retrieved 2 September 2017. 
  19. ^ "Српско село Мушутиште на КиМ: Старци бачени у бунаре, манастир порушен" [Serb village Mušutište, in Kosovo: elders were thrown into wells, monastery demolished]. (in Serbian). 1 June 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2017. 
  20. ^ Влада Републике Србије за Косово и Метохију. "Уништена и оштећена културна добра на Косову и Метохији у периоду од 1999. до 2004. године" (PDF). 
  21. ^
  22. ^ Cite error: The named reference osce2015 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  23. ^ "Komuna Suhareke - Suhareka & Fellbach". Retrieved 2017-01-31. 
  24. ^ Lilburn Becomes a 'Sister City' With Kosovo Town

External links[edit]