(B2 in Pristina and Mitrovica) For a week, I was in Kosovo both for a report on the European mission for the rule of law (EULEX Kosovo), but also to take the pulse of the country at election time legislative
On February 14, 2021, the anti-corruption party Vetëvendosje won the elections in Kosovo, with 49% of the vote
In the streets of downtown Pristina, Albanian flags (the “national” flag of Kosovo) were numerous and sometimes accompanied by American flags. Few supporters with European flags in sight…
Meeting with the Formed police unit (FPU), in Mitrovica. The 95 Polish police officers who make it up live, eat, sleep and train on their compound, on the border with the northern region of the country.
Their daily life revolves around training and patrols in the north of the country FPU has its own gym, where equipment is named after the mission Each rotation has its badge, created by a member of the Polish police officers selected for Kosovo
Passing through Mitrovica, B2 went to the bridge of discord linking the south and the north of Kosovo. Crossing it is now normal…
However, on both sides of the bridge are always present the Italian Carabinieri of KFOR, the NATO force in Kosovo, responsible for ensuring security on the bridge. Barriers and studs to prevent the passage of cars have also been installed.
The bridge remains a symbol of disagreement between Albanians to the south and Serbs to the north The renovation of the bridge was notably financed by the European Union. A sign explaining this is installed at the southern entrance to the bridge.
Once you have crossed the bridge, the first thing you notice is the difference in the flags hanging from the lampposts, the electric poles… In the north, they are Serbs, just as in the south they are Albanians or Kosovars. In this period of legislative elections, the posters of the Serbian List are plastered everywhere - no opposition in sight.
In North Mitrovica, in the Muslim cemetery, EULEX participated, with the Institute of Forensic Medicine with which it is associated, in finding the graves and mass graves of people who disappeared during the war. To date, at least 1640 people remain to be found.
Back further south, in Gračanica, a Serb-majority commune near Pristina, the capital, the sense of Serbian identity is once again everywhere.
In Pristina, B2 stops at the cafe. This one is happy to pay taxes.
Hashim Thaci and Kadri Veseli pose for the Kosovo Liberation Army (UČK) campaign. It reads: “Heroes of War and Peace”. Here, visible from a large avenue in the center of Pristina.
The UČK's "Freedom has a name" campaign can be seen on tall buildings... … like on construction sites
Hashim Thaci, former president of Kosovo, prominent UČK member, poses next to a statue of Mother Teresa, in downtown Pristina
Our report ends on February 17, the day of independence in Kosovo. For the occasion, the flags of Kosovo are out in the streets of Pristina. Albanian flags (the “national” flag of Kosovo) are becoming a little rarer.
Every year, for the anniversary of the declaration of independence, the NEWBORN monument is redecorated. This year, it's with handprints, in the colors of trellis.
On Independence Day, the Albanian, Kosovar and American flags are out. We also see some flags, caps, medical masks in the colors of the UČK. The flags of Europeans are rare. We see a few British or Germans here and there.