[QODLink]
Europe

Kosovo Albanians angered by Serbia talks

Demonstrators in Mitrovica raise anti-government slogans in lead-up to meeting to decide fate of Serb-dominated north.

Last Modified: 30 Mar 2013 19:21
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Mitrovica has often been the site of clashes of clashes between ethnic Albanians and Serbs [Reuters]

Around 2,000 ethnic Albanians have taken to the streets of the ethnically split town of Mitrovica in Kosovo, to protest against ongoing talks with Serbia.

The protesters waved Albanian flags and chanted anti-government slogans during the demonstration on Saturday.

"I am protesting against the division of Mitrovica. I am a former member of the [Kosovo] Liberation Army and I am very unhappy with what is going on," Bexhet Gashi, an ethnic Albanian resident, said.

The demonstration comes before a crucial meeting on April 2 between Hashim Thaci, Kosovo's prime minister, and his Serbian counterpart, Ivica Dacic, which is expected to result in an agreement which will also decide the future of the north of the country.

Mitrovica has often been a site of clashes between ethnic Albanians and Serbs, with international UN peacekeepers caught in the middle.

The deal, if reached with EU mediation in Brussels, should settle the dispute between the two former foes.

Some ethnic Albanians believe it paves the way for the Serb-run north to join Serbia by giving the local Serbs decision making power.

Serbs in the region do not recognise Kosovo's ethnic Albanian-dominated institutions and want to join Serbia.

To obstruct any attempts by Kosovo to assert control over the area, they have blocked a main bridge with dirt.

Kosovo seceded from Serbia in 2008, but Serbia has pledged not to recognise the move.

227

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.