Thursday, June 19, 2014

Balkans: Kosovo Serbs Remove Mitrovica Barricade

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Kosovo Serbs Remove Mitrovica Barricade 

Serbs in Kosovo’s ethnically-divided town of Mitrovica have dismantled a barricade that had been blocking the main bridge for three years.

Local media showed pictures of a bulldozer and ethnic Serbs clearing the bridge overnight on June 18.

Mitrovica is divided between Serbs and Albanians on either side of the Ibar River.

The Serbs erected the barricade in 2011 to block Pristina from asserting its authority over the north, home to Kosovo's largest Serb enclave.

Both Belgrade and Serbs in northern Kosovo reject Kosovo’s independence from Serbia.

But a deal brokered by the European Union last year between Serbia and majority-Albanian Kosovo committed the Serbs to join Kosovo institutions and remove all barricades.  
Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa