Home Page
news 09 Sep 16

Serb Census in Northern Kosovo Faces Obstacles

While a draft proposal for a census of Kosovo's northern, Serbian-dominated municipalities awaits parliament's approval, a Kosovo Serb leader has warned that the community may refuse to take part.

Die Morina BIRN Pristina
Northern Mitrovica | Photo: BIRN

The chair of the Kosovo parliament's Commission for Public Administration, Zenun Pajaziti, told BIRN that his commission had approved a draft document for a census to be held in northern Kosovo, which now has to be put on the parliamentary agenda.

The census in the four northern municipalities was planned for this autumn, the Deputy Minister of Local Government, Bajram Gecaj, added.

He said the national agency for statistics, ASK, in cooperation with international institutions should start working on the issue.

“The census in the four northern municipalities is planned for the autumn of 2016. The draft document was approved by the competent parliamentary commission and remains only to be approved by parliament,” Gecaj told BIRN.

However, Hazbije Qeriqi, the spokesperson for the ASK, told BIRN that they would need months to work on this process, which would not be possible to complete by autumn.

“If the Assembly approves this draft document, the ASK will need at least four or five months' preparation to implement the project on the ground," he warned.

The leader of Srpska List, the Belgrade-backed ethnic Serbian party which is part of the governing coalition in Kosovo, Slavko Simic, also warned that even if parliament adopts the draft document, the northern municipalities are not ready to implement it.

“We had a meeting with representatives of Serbs and mayors and concluded that we have no political, social and economical conditions to implement the census ... the draft document will be impossible to implement if people simply do not want to take part,” Simic told BIRN.

According to one recent survey, 56 per cent of Kosovo Serbs believe the poll should not take place, while only 30 per cent think it should. If the poll takes place only 20 per cent said they will participate, while 55 per cent said they will not.

The results of the national census of 2011 showed that 91 per cent of Kosovo’s 1.8 million citizens were Albanian. Another 3.4 per cent were Serbs and the remainder belonged to other communities, including Turks, Bosnians, Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians.

However, as the entire process was boycotted by the northern municipalities of Northern Mitrovica, Zvecan, Zubin Potok and Leposavic - home to many Serbs - the percentages obtained by the 2011 census are not seen as a reliable guide to Kosovo's demography.

 

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Serbia - Kosovo Relations: Latest Headlines

rising-balkan-risks-demand-action-home-and-abroad-12-14-2017 Comment 14 Dec 17 Rising Balkan Risks Demand Action Home and Abroad

Heightened tensions and potential violence have been predicted for the Balkans in 2018, so people in the region must find the courage to seek solutions themselves, with help from Washington and Brussels.

kosovo-is-wasting-its-energy-on-recognition-battles-11-27-2017 Comment 05 Dec 17 Kosovo is Wasting its Energy on Recognition Battles

Getting diplomatic recognition by small, far-off states is far less important than having a functioning economy.

the-kosovo-serbia-dialogue-is-just-lose-lose--11-13-2017 Comment 13 Nov 17 The Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue is Just ‘Lose-Lose’

Both countries, and both peoples, stand to lose out in the long term from a ‘dialogue’ that has never advanced beyond leaders shaking hands and photo opportunities in Brussels.

serbia-s-flour-export-ignites-trade-war-with-kosovo-11-03-2017 News 03 Nov 17 Serbia Warns Kosovo Over Extra Tax on Flour

Serbia said it would introduce unspecified 'counter-measures', after Kosovo said it was sticking by its decision to raise the tax on imported Serbian flour.

serbian-monarchists-british-right-wingers-plot-kosovo-resistance--11-02-2017 Investigation 03 Nov 17 Serbian Monarchists, British Right-Wingers Plot Kosovo ‘Resistance’

Russian-linked Serbian monarchists and a British far-right organisation have been seeking to equip mystery groups in north Kosovo in order to resist what they believe will be an attack on Serbs by Kosovo Albanians.

kosovo-and-catalonia-have-little-in-common-11-02-2017 Comment 02 Nov 17 Kosovo and Catalonia Have Little in Common

Catalonia’s recent declaration of independence has prompted many to draw comparisons with events in Kosovo – but closer analysis shows the two cases are very different.

kosovo-serbs-show-theirs-fears-on-establishing-the-army-11-01-2017 news 01 Nov 17 Thaci Vows to Ease Serb Fears About Kosovo Army

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci joined a discussion on the potential creation of a regular army in Kosovo, saying Serbian fears about such a development needed addressing.

suriname-triggers-new-phase-in-kosovo-recognition-battle-11-01-2017 Comment 01 Nov 17 Suriname Triggers New Phase in Kosovo Recognition Battle

The apparent decision of a Latin American state to revoke its recognition of Kosovo shows the diplomatic struggle over Serbia’s former province is far from over.

serbian-authorities-want-wide-public-debate-on-kosovo-10-30-2017 News 30 Oct 17 Serbia Promises Broader Public Debate on Kosovo

As the Serbian government’s working group tasked to coordinate ‘internal dialogue’ on Kosovo held its first meeting, its head, Marko Djuric, said it aimed to encourage a wider public debate on this still very sensitive issue.

local-elections-reveal-different-strife-in-north-kosovo-10-18-2017 feature 19 Oct 17 Local Elections Reveal Different Strife in North Kosovo

As local elections in Kosovo draw nearer, the tensions in the Serb-dominated north are very different from the ones that haunted this region in the past.