Sunday, November 17, 2019

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Article Index

Kosovo

Ethnic minorities, which included Serb, Romani, Ashkali, Egyptian, Turkish, Bosniak, Gorani, Croat, and Montenegrin communities, faced varied levels of institutional and societal discrimination, in areas such as employment, education, social services, language use, freedom of movement, IDPs' right to return, and other basic rights.

Members of the Romani, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities were subject to pervasive social and economic discrimination; often lacked access to basic hygiene, medical care, and education; and were heavily dependent on humanitarian aid for survival. An OSCE report in May found that, despite steps taken by the government to implement an action plan for the integration of Romani, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities, governmental institutions had fallen

short of fulfilling their commitments to create appropriate conditions for their integration. Reports of violence and other crimes directed at minorities and their property persisted.

There were clashes between groups of Kosovo-Albanians and Kosovo-Serbs during the year as well as incidents of interethnic violence at border points from July through late November.

On November 9, in the ethnically mixed neighborhood of Brdjani/Kroi i Vitakut in North Mitrovica, a fight broke out which resulted in the shooting of two Kosovo-Serb civilians and one KP officer (also a Kosovo-Serb). One Kosovo-Serb civilian later died of his injuries. The fight reportedly began after a

Kosovo-Albanian security guard in the neighborhood saw Kosovo-Serbs removing construction materials from a Kosovo-Albanian house under renovation there. The case remained under investigation at year's end.

On October 20, a Kosovo-Albanian, Nasif Visoqi, shot and killed one Kosovo-Serb man and injured two others in Dobrusa village in Istog/Istok municipality
in a land dispute. Visoqi turned himself in to police, confessed to the attack, and remained in custody at year's end. No date was set for a trial in the case.

During events to mark the Serbian Vidovdan holiday in the country on June 27 and 28, unknown persons stoned three Serbian busses, causing reported damage to windows and light injuries to several passengers. KP arrested two Kosovo-Serbs for "inciting national hatred when they dressed in the full military uniform of the extremist Chetnik movement during the Vidovdan events.

On September 22, September 26, October 6, October 12, and October 30, ethnic Albanian Vetevendosje activists attacked trucks with Serbian license plates carrying commercial goods into the country. In the attacks the Vetevendosje activists dressed as road workers and stopped the trucks, removed and damaged the goods they carried, and in four instances rolled the trucks over. In the September26 attack, the driver reported that the activists assaulted him, and he received medical attention afterwards. All cases were under investigation by the KP at the year's end.

The KP arrested and later released two ethnic Albanians for stoning a bus carrying Serbs to visit a cemetery in Gjakove/Gjakova for All Souls' Day on June 11. There were no injuries or material damage reported in the case.

According to a 2010 report prepared by the prime minister's Office of Community Affairs, minority employment in public institutions was limited and

generally confined to lower levels of the government. The report recommended that the government more actively reach out to minorities and implement reporting, recruiting, training, equal opportunity, and language procedures. There was no effective mechanism for monitoring levels of minority employment in public institutions.

In education the law requires equal conditions for schoolchildren regardless of mother tongue and provides the bright to native-language public education for

minority students through secondary school. However, the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology and international organizations reported that school enrollment rates were lowest among non-Serb minority communities (Ashkali, Bosniak, Egyptian, Gorani, Romani, Turkish, and others), and the European Commission's Progress Report on Kosovo 2011 noted little improvement in access to education for minority communities. The UNDP's 2010 Kosovo Human Development Report stated that nearly all Kosovo-Albanian and Kosovo-Serb children were enrolled in primary school, while only 77

percent of children of other ethnic groups were enrolled. Romani, Ashkali, and Egyptian children attended mixed schools with Kosovo-Albanian and Kosovo-Serb children and reportedly faced intimidation and bullying in some majority Albanian areas. Romani children tended to be disadvantaged by poverty, leading many to start work at an early age to contribute to family income.

There were numerous reports that Kosovo-Serbs had difficulty accessing their property, which was sometimes occupied or used by Kosovo-Albanians. The KPA reported it faced frequent cases of illegal occupation and reoccupation of properties, with many properties vandalized or destroyed.

Vernellia R. Randall
Founder and Editor
Professor Emerita of Law
The University of Dayton School of Law

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