Kosovo’s government has announced plans to invest 500,000 euro in infrastructure projects in the Serb-majority north of the flashpoint city of Mitrovica.
The funding comes nearly a month after one man died and 11 other people were injured when a bomb exploded in the city as Serb protestors marched against the Kosovo government’s opening of a civil registry office there.
Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said on Wednesday: “We have proposed to allocate 500,000 euros for capital projects, taking into account the opening of the office there,” referring to the contested office which remains open.
“The Government has continued to make capital investments across the territory of Kosovo,” he said, following a meeting of the government during which the funds were approved..
Mitrovica, in Kosovo’s north, has been the scene of the most violent unrest in Kosovo since the 1999 conflict between the Yugoslav army and Kosovo Albanian fighters.
The river Ibar, which runs through the town, has become the dividing line between ethnic Albanians and Serbs and between the Pristina-controlled area to the south and Belgrade region to the north.
Belgrade remains the most important player in North Mitrovica as well as the north of Kosovo, running almost all state services within the area, holding elections and controlling capital investments.
But Pristina authorities and the International Civilian Office, which is supervising Kosovo’s independence, is seeking to bring the area under the control of Kosovo’s government.