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Kosovo | Serbian women accuse the government of wanting to “ghettoize” the Serbian minority

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(Mitrovica) Several hundred Serbian women demonstrated peacefully Wednesday in Mitrovica, an ethnically divided town in northern Kosovo, to protest against the government they accuse of wanting to “ghettoize” the Serbian minority.

The protest came as Serbian and Kosovar officials negotiated in EU-brokered Brussels to try to end the row over license plates after talks between Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic broke down on Monday. and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti.

This dispute concerns some 10,000 members of the Kosovo Serb minority whose vehicles carry plates issued by Serbia. Albin Kurti has decreed that they should be replaced in stages by April by Republic of Kosovo plates.

Subject to intense international pressure and accused by the EU of being responsible for the blockage, Albin Kurti announced on the night of Monday to Tuesday that he had postponed for 48 hours at the request of Washington a controversial decision on the subject, namely the entry into force of fines of 150 euros (207 dollars) for offenders.


PHOTO BOJAN SLAVKOVIC, ASSOCIATED PRESS

The city of Mitrovica remained divided between the predominantly Serb north and the predominantly Albanian south after the war between Serb forces and Albanian rebels (1998-99).

In this regard, the demonstrators accused Albin Kurti of “terror” and “inhuman treatment” and marched through the streets of northern Mitrovica.

Some held up placards on which it was written “women united to liberate the ghetto” and “it is not a whim, I want peace”.

“Our goal is to bring peace, freedom and a peaceful childhood to our children,” Gordana Savic, head nurse at the Mitrovica hospital, told protesters.

The dispute over the plates angered Kosovo Serbs who resigned en masse from Kosovo institutions. Hundreds of police, judges, prosecutors and other officials have left their posts, causing a breakdown in the rule of law that raises fears of heightened tensions.

The city of Mitrovica remained divided between the predominantly Serb north and the predominantly Albanian south after the war between Serb forces and Albanian rebels (1998-99).

Belgrade refuses to recognize the independence proclaimed in 2008 by Kosovo. Kosovo’s Serb minority, which altogether numbers about 120,000, refuses its loyalty to Pristina with encouragement from Belgrade.



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