Kosovo Serbs convene parliament

Serb defiance likely to exacerbate tensions with Kosovo Albanian majority.

    The Serbian minority has been opposed
    to Kosovo Albanian secession [AFP]

    Marko Jaksic, a Serb leader, said: "The assembly is the foundation of the Serb protection of Kosovo. We will not allow the formation of another Albanian state in this part of Europe."

    Fatmir Sejdiu, Kosovo's president, said that the Kosovo Serb leaders are trying to destabilise the new country by creating a separate assembly, adding that a proposed self-proclaimed parliament is part of their "illegal structures".

    Rivalry

    Creation of the new assembly is likely to further raise tensions between the Kosovo Albanians, 90 per cent of Kosovo's two million people, and the Serb minority. Their rivalry has brought the fledgling state to the verge of partition.

    The Serb representatives met as they marked Vidovdan, or St Vitus Daym, the anniversary of the 1389 battle in which a Christian army led by Lazar, a Serbian prince, was defeated in Kosovo by invading Ottoman forces.

    The battle came to symbolise Serbs' historic resolve not to give up Kosovo, the heartland of their statehood and religion.

    Kosovo police have strengthened security and diverted traffic away from Serb enclaves throughout Kosovo to prevent clashes with ethnic Albanians as Serb pilgrims visited the site of the battle.

    However, Serbia and Russia have declared Kosovo's move towards indepenence as illegal under international law, although the new state had won recognitiion from the US and most EU nations.Kosovo's constitution came into force on June 15, granting broad autonomy to the Serb minority in Kosovo.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Just another Indian': Surviving Canada's residential schools

    'Just another Indian': Surviving Canada's residential schools

    A survivor of schools that took Indigenous children from their families shares her story of abuse, neglect and healing.

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    Kenya banned FGM in 2011, but Europeans still bring their daughters to underground clinics there to be cut.

    What it means to love a dead child

    What it means to love a dead child

    You must forget all you thought you knew about grief when the landscape of your life has been demolished.