- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- All Balkan Countries
The opening of a Kosovo government administrative office in the Serb-dominated north yesterday led to protests in the town of Mitrovica.
Kosovo government sources said that Adriana Hoxhic, the head of the new administrative office in the north, held her first meeting with staff on Monday.
But reports that the office was about to open sparked brief protests among local Serbs.
Kosovo Police said around 500 Serbs gathered on King Peter Street in the northern, Serb-run part of the town of Mitrovica on Monday, dispersing at around 11am without incident.
The Kosovo government is opening the administrative office in the north of Mitrovica, with a staff of 80 people, in an attempt to extend its presence in the Serb-run north.
"Establishing the office is another step to show our determination to develop and bring prosperity to the northern part of Kosovo," Prime Minister Hashim Thaci announced in May.
"We want to make sure that Government of Kosovo funds are used for the benefit of the community," he added.
Northern Kosovo, which borders Serbia, is almost entirely inhabited by Serbs who do not recognise Kosovo's 2008 proclamation of independence or the government in Pristina.
The region remains under the de facto control of so-called parallel institutions, funded by Belgrade, which include town councils, health authorities, post offices and schools.
Donors spent hundreds of thousands of euro building a new museum in Gjirokastra - but the results were questionable and it ultimately closed over an ideological dispute.