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Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal
ISSN: 2380-2014 (Print) 2379-9978 (Online) Journal homepage: https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rtwt20
Grasping the empirical realities of peace in post-
war northern Mitrovica
Anna Jarstad & Sandra Segall
To cite this article: Anna Jarstad & Sandra Segall (2019): Grasping the empirical realities
of peace in post-war northern Mitrovica, Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal, DOI:
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/23802014.2019.1687012
© 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa
UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis
Published online: 13 Nov 2019.
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Grasping the empirical realities of peace in post-war northern
and Sandra Segall
Department of Political Science, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden;
Department of Government, Uppsala
University, Uppsala, Sweden
While previous research has focused on the conﬂicts and division in
Mitrovica, Kosovo, the present article explores how peace and conﬂict
are intertwined in the post-war city by focusing on sites where com-
munities live side by side in an otherwise segregated city. Akey ﬁnding
is that the most conﬂictual residential areas in northern Mitrovica also
are places where what we call peace acts, peace issues and peace
perceptions are found. Our research suggeststhateveninspacesin
the city where a history of violence is entrenched, the situation can
seldombereducedtobeseenonlyaspurelyconﬂictual; rather, these
‘hotspots’often prove to be spaces where reproduction of peace –
however quotidian –also occurs at the same time. This points us to the
complexity of the realities of peace, where remnants of war and
potential for a co-existing peace often overlap and are sometimes
Received 15 April 2019
Accepted 28 October 2019
In February 2008, Kosovo
unilaterally declared independence from Serbia. Despite years of
EU-facilitated talks between elites in Belgrade, Serbia and Pristina, Kosovo, Kosovo’slegal
status remains at the heart of a dispute between Kosovo and Serbia. During recent years, talks
between the two sides have included suggestions of a possible land swap. Under this
proposal, the Albanian-dominated Preševo Valley in southern Serbia would become part of
Kosovo while the area north of the Ibar river would become part of Serbia in order to create
more ethnically homogenous states. Such swap is strongly opposed by nationalist and liberals
on both sides (BBC, 6 September 2018). Located in northern Kosovo, the city of Mitrovica was
socially, spatially and demographically divided during and after the Kosovo War and continues
to be a fault line in the wider Serbia-Kosovo conﬂict. If the above land swap went ahead,
Mitrovica would oﬃcially be divided between Kosovo and Serbia.
There is a growing literature on Mitrovica as a post-war city, centring on the partitioning of
boundaries and divisions in the cityscape,
governmentality and urban conﬂicts
statehood and place-making,
and frictional peacebuilding.
tend to focus primarily on division in Mitrovica, and especially on the Main Bridge as the
epicentre of interethnic violence, however in this article we argue that we can achieve a more
nuanced understanding of how peace and conﬂict are intertwined in the post-war city by
CONTACT Anna Jarstad firstname.lastname@example.org
THIRD WORLD THEMATICS: A TWQ JOURNAL
© 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/
licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly
conducting a spatial analysis of the sites where communities live side by side in an otherwise
segregated city. Further, we ﬁnd that despite the overarching conﬂictual relations there are
also strands of peaceful relations between Kosovo Albanian and Kosovo Serb residents in
northern Mitrovica. Hence, we focus on the northern part of the city which is the home to the
only multi-ethnic residential neighbourhoods in Kosovo in order to grasp the nuances and
diversity such proximity provides.
ThemosteasilyaccessiblenarrativesaboutMitrovica are those presented by politicians, in
the media, and by international organisations, and these all emphasise the conﬂictual rela-
tions in the region. On the international level the region is in a state of ‘negative peace’,i.e
there is an absence of war between Serbia and Kosovo, but much of the conﬂict remains
unresolved, lacking true reconciliation. There is genuine conﬂict over territorial issues, war
memoriesarekeptalive,andthepropaganda wars continue along with economic conﬂict
actions manifested by tariﬀs raised to block imports of Serbian goods to Kosovo.
Nonetheless, in relation to many other post-war cities which still face a high level of
armed violence, Mitrovica is comparatively less violent. Moreover, in parallel to narratives
of conﬂict, there are also alternative narratives, which however may be less loud or vocal.
The purpose of this article is to investigate the narratives of those people with few links to
international donors who live or work in northern Mitrovica and how theydescribe
interethnic relations across diﬀerent sites in the city. We ﬁnd that despite the unresolved
conﬂict between Kosovo and Serbia, and ﬂares of violence in the post-war city, there are
at the same time strands of peace at the societal level. Thus we ﬁnd that even in spaces in
northern Mitrovica where a history of violence is entrenched, the situation can seldom be
reduced to be seen only as purely conﬂictual; rather, these ‘hotspots’often prove to be
spaces where reproduction of peace –however quotidian –also occurs at the same time.
This duality points us to the true complexity of the realities of peace in post-war regions –
where remnants of war and potential for a co-existing peace often overlap and are
sometimes intrinsically intertwined. A key ﬁnding is that the most conﬂictual residential
areas in northern Mitrovica also are places where what we call peace acts, peace percep-
tions and peace issues are found. This is not to say that there is no animosity at the local
level between Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo Serbs, but such animosity is often seen by
our interviewees as being fuelled by elites or as a reaction to regional events, such as
developments in transitional justice processes and international sports games.
The article is structured in the following way. First, we brieﬂy discuss our theoretical
point of departure and the methodology employed for the study. Then, we give a brief
background to the conﬂicts in Mitrovica. Next, the empirical case study begins with a
section on the spatial distribution of conﬂict and contestation in northern Mitrovica in
general before we present and discuss three residential areas in more depth. In the
concluding section we summarise our ﬁndings.
Understanding conﬂict and peace in post-war cities
This article studies the manifestations of both conﬂict and peace.
The primary level of analysis
is the everyday interactions between communities; however, such interactions are not
isolated from events and actions at the political level. McConnell et al argue that peace as
experienced by residents may be understood as ‘a fragile and contingent process that is
constituted through everyday relations and embodiments, which are also inextricably linked
2A. JARSTAD AND S. SEGALL
to geopolitical processes’.
This is indeed true in the case of many deeply divided post-war
cities as they often ‘provide a battle zone for larger proxy wars initiated and orchestrated by
agents whose interests extend beyond the municipal boundaries’
and where there are
established ‘urban frontiers’.
For McConnell et al, the concept of everyday peace is closely related to the actions and
practices of individuals, groups, institutions, and other actors in (re)producing peace. This
notion of the ‘everyday’in post-war environments refers to the ways in which people cope by
whatever means they have to make ‘their lives the best they can’.
Williams highlights how
using everyday peace as a theoretical point of departure ‘oﬀers an analytical framing for
understanding how peace as a sociospatial relation, is reproduced through and against
A key presupposition in this view is that peace is an inherently political
process, formed through the creation of both dissimilarities and connections as well as being
‘assembled and negotiated through diﬀerent techniques of power’.
While this approach
helps us to identify what people view as conﬂict and peace, in this article we also aim to
theorise in more detail the content of the conﬂictual and peaceful interactions. However, the
existing deﬁnitions of peace beyond the absence of war are not well conceptualised and the
speciﬁc meaning and constituent component are rarely analytically clear.
In one of the more
fully theoretically developed articles, Höglund and Söderberg Kovacs aim to capture the
diversity of peace in societies where peace agreements have been reached. Their model
builds on Galtung’sconﬂict triangle and outlines diﬀerent types of post-settlement peace
based on behaviour, attitudes and contested issues.
The work by Höglund and Söderberg
Kovacs is useful for understanding the problems in these societies and the shortcomings of
peace, but even this framework does little to conceptualise peace itself, what it is and what it
consists of. A new framework on peace as relationships, developed by Söderström, Åkebo and
Jarstad provides theoretical components of real world peace which is more than just the
absence of war, in order to allow description and analysis of diﬀerent types of peace across all
analytical levels and over time. Relational peace between two actors means that the two
actors are interdependent on each other and do not use physical violence against each other.
The framework identiﬁes the presence of behavioural interaction as key to peace and postu-
latestwoformsofpeacefulrelation.Theﬁrst type is legitimate coexistence which entails
deliberation and mutual recognition. There is no obligation to collaborate or cooperate but
simply an acceptance of the existence of the other as a legitimate other with which one can
interact. The second type is friendship peace which suggests a higher degree of intimacy and
trust, as well as some form of cooperation.
Our work builds on this framework by focusing
on where, how, and why both conﬂict and peace are present in diﬀerent everyday settings in
northern Mitrovica and charting both hostile and peaceful attitudes, behaviour and issues
between Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo Serbs.
The article is based on Segall's ﬁeldwork conducted in Mitrovica between October and
December 2017 including informal conversations, ﬁeld notes and 15 in-depth interviews.
We purposefully selected respondents who were working and/or living in Mitrovica at the
time of the study, and whose work or function was directly related to community repre-
sentation and relations (i.e. municipal political candidates, community representatives, NGO
workers). The interviewees include members of several Kosovo communities: Kosovo Serbs,
Kosovo Albanians, Kosovo Bosniaks, Kosovo Goranis, and Kosovo Turks. None of the inter-
viewees were directly aﬃliated with international organisations or foreign missions in
Kosovo. The latter selection criterion emanates from our desire to focus on local voices
THIRD WORLD THEMATICS: A TWQ JOURNAL 3
to complement the views of those employed by international organisations in our primary
and secondary sources which often reﬂect the liberal western notion of peacebuilding. The
study covered the entire urban and suburban area of Mitrovica north of the Ibar River,
however the present article focuses on three sites in Mitrovica north of the river Ibar that
were considered particularly contested ‘hotspots’for violence by respondents and in
Situating the study
Over history, Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo Serbs have been oppressed at diﬀerent times
by the rulers from the other group, although there have also been times where every day
peaceful relations have taken place. When the areas were Yugoslavia, members of
diﬀerent communities worked together in the mining industry and Mitrovica had the
highest rate in the whole country of Serbs that were proﬁcient in the Albanian language.
Although inter-communal marriages were rare in comparison to other Yugoslav cities,
residential neighbourhoods were often mixed and children from diﬀerent communities
attended the same school facilities, albeit in separate classrooms.
Kosovo Serbs and Kosovo Albanians surfaced after the death of Tito and in 1989 Kosovo
lost the autonomous status which had been granted under the 1974 Yugoslav constitu-
tion. After a period of ever-increasing violence, hostilities between the Kosovo Albanian
guerrilla force, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA, in Albanian UÇK: Ushtria Çlirimtare e
Kosovës), the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Serbian police, and
paramilitary groups escalated into outright war in 1998. The armed conﬂict ended in June
1999, and Kosovo became an international protectorate under UN auspices by approval of
the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1244. The resolution postponed
the settlement of Kosovo’s legal status and in February 2008, Kosovo unilaterally declared
its independence –an action that remains contested by Serbia.
Some of the worst destruction in Mitrovica happened after the NATO bombing
campaign ended in June 1999
as violence, looting, and house burnings forced thou-
sands to leave their homes.
In light of this widespread violence, the French KFOR
(Kosovo Force led by NATO under a UN mandate) set up checkpoints on the bridges in
the middle of the town, an action which contributed to cementing the immediate post-
war division of the city.
For many years, it was impossible to travel between north and
south without being accompanied by KFOR.
Today, two bridges are open for both
pedestrians and vehicles (the Eastern Bridge and the Suhodoll/Suvi Do Bridge), while the
Main Bridge and the small ‘walking bridge’are only open for pedestrians.
Two decades after the end of the war, the city of Mitrovica in northern Kosovo still remains
largely residentially segregated. The southern municipality has around 72,000 inhabitants, and
the vast majority are Kosovo Albanian; in 2015 only 14 inhabitants in this half of the city were
The northern municipality has population of about 29,000 including around
4,900 Kosovo Albanians who mostly live in the western outskirts of the city.
In the south, the
currency is the Euro while in the north people generally use Dinars. The two sides of the city
have diﬀerent country codes and people who move between them often carry two cell
phones or two SIM-cards in one phone.
Despite this virtual segregation, Mitrovica is the only place in Kosovo where members
of the Kosovo Serb and Kosovo Albanian communities meet outside of international
4A. JARSTAD AND S. SEGALL
workplaces on a daily basis.
In fact, Mitrovica’s northern part is home to the only truly
multi-ethnic neighbourhoods in Kosovo.
This physical proximity between diﬀerent
groups makes it possible to take the city as a focus for the empirical study of everyday
interactions between groups which of course would not be possible in places where there
is no inter-community contact.
Figure 1 shows a map of northern Mitrovica. The Main Bridge is Mitrovica’smost
publicised locality and a highly symbolic site which is contested by both sides.
Regarded as a ﬂashpoint throughout the post-settlement years, the bridge is still
constantly under watch by the Carabineri (Italian military police) and Kosovan Police
During regional events such as sports games between Serbia and Albania,
Turkey, or Kosovo there are frequently incidents on the bridge, such as young
Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo Serbs throwing stones at each other.
In a 2017
survey, Mitrovica citizens were asked about their feelings with regards to using the
bridge, and a total of 60 per cent of respondents replied that they felt uncomfor-
table, threatened or exposed when crossing it, while 24.3 per cent said they felt
normal, and 15.7 per cent stated that they never cross it.
One respondent in our
study, a Kosovo Albanian woman described how she and her friends always accom-
pany each other to the Main Bridge after dark as they live on opposite sides of the
river. She then goes on to explain how the respective zones of safety for herself and
her friends shift as soon as they reach the bridge:
Figure 1. Map of Mitrovica’s mixed neighbourhoods with names in Albanian and Serbian.
The English names of these areas are Bosniak Mahala (in Serbian: Bošnjačka Mahala and in Albanian: Lagjja e
Boshnjakëve), Miner’s Hill (in Serbian: Mikronaselje and in Albanian: Kodra e Minatoreve), Three Towers (in Serbian: Tri
Solitera and in Albanian: Tre rrokaqiejt), Doctor’s Valley (in Serbian: Dolina Doktora and in Albanian: Lagja e Doktoreve). The
areas Brdjani (in Serbian)/Kroi i Vitakut (in Albanian), and Suvi Do (in Serbian)/Suhodoll (in Albanian) have no English
The map also shows bridges and other locations mentioned in the article.
THIRD WORLD THEMATICS: A TWQ JOURNAL 5
Some of my closest friends are Serbs (. ..) we always walk each other up to the bridge at night.
I leave them by the bridge when we have been out in the south, and they always escort me
up to the bridge if we have gone out in the north. It’s an act of caring and being worried
about your friends’well-being, but you are limited at the same time, because one step further
can be dangerous sometimes, especially by night, one step is enough to reverse the roles at
the bridge, if you know what I mean (. ..) Frankly, that’s why we stop exactly at the bridge and
do not escort each other further, it’s because when I escort my friends, I cannot proceed, as
there is where my safety ends, and theirs begins and vice versa. It’s also a bit paradoxical,
when one really thinks of it.
This act of caring and friendship is an example of a story seldom told about Mitrovica. It is
an instance of mutual trust, a reciprocal act that is only limited by the boundary that the
bridge poses after nightfall. This border exists even for those who pass it problem-free in
daylight on an everyday basis.
Members of the two groups in Mitrovica generally have limited everyday contact and
the city is often portrayed by outside observers as an extremely polarised context.
Nevertheless it is worth pointing out that according to a 2014 community attitude survey,
the vast majority of Kosovo Serb and Kosovo Albanian residents (73.9 per cent) would
accept a member of the other group as a friend. Similarly, in Mitrovica South a total of 72.3
per cent stated that they would agree to having a boss who is a member of the other
community, and in Mitrovica North a total of 63 per cent said they would accept such an
arrangement in their workplace.
The urban and suburban area of Mitrovica north of the Ibar river are rather diverse, despite
the relatively small size in terms of population and territory. For instance, in the centre of the
northern part of the city Serbian ﬂags hang in the pedestrian area and the roundabout has a
statue of Serbian icon Tsar Lazar at its centre,
and this is perceived as a place where the
Kosovo Albanian community would be hesitant to go.
In contrast, on the street that runs
parallel to the river towards the Western parts of the city (7 September/Kolašinska Street) you
can ﬁnd bilingual signage on shops and graﬃti points to the presence of both Kosovo Serb
and Kosovo Albanian communities. This is also where the Tri Solitera high-rises are located,
three buildings which are home to members of both groups.
Miner’sHillisanothernorthernareawhichishome to members of both communities. In
this neighbourhood, the communities live in close proximity to one another. Children here
have shared the playgrounds in this neighbourhood since the immediate post-war years,
and they also play football together.
While most Kosovo Albanians in the north seek medical
care in the south, there is a small health facility in Miner’s Hill where since Yugoslav times a
doctor has attended to members of all communities in the neighbourhood.
Albanian-language educational facility with some 18 pupils in Miner’sHill.
In our interview,
one Kosovo Serb resident of this neighbourhood described the level of interaction between
the residents in Miner’sHillasfollows:‘we never had some kind of conﬂicts, I know that they are
Albanians, I don’t have connections with them, they don’t have connections with me (. . .) we are
like “hi”,“hello”,that’s all, because they respect me I respect them’.
Similar accounts of co-
existence have been voiced by residents in other research and documentary material on
community relations in Miner’s Hill, and residents in the area also organised meetings
between representatives from both communities in the immediate post-war years.
6A. JARSTAD AND S. SEGALL
While the areas close to the river and Tri Solitera are places where interactions between
Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo Serbs take place, our interviews show that there are three
neighbourhoods where peace and conﬂict are particularly intertwined in slightly diﬀerent
ways. Thus, this article focuses on the centric residential and commercial neighbourhood
of Bosniak Mahala; the area of Brdjani/Kroi i Vitakut on the Western hills on the outskirts of
the city: as well as the Suhodoll/Suvi Do and Doctor’s Valley areas which are located on the
Western outskirts of the city, with residents mostly living along the road parallel to the
river Ibar. The sites were selected based on the criterion that they are residential neigh-
bourhoods where both Kosovo Serbs and Kosovo Albanians reside.
Bosniak Mahala: the paradox of insecurity and ‘normalisation’
The Bosniak Mahala neighbourhood stretches from the Main Bridge beyond the Eastern
Bridge in northern Mitrovica, and is home to several communities, including Kosovo
Albanians and Kosovo Serbs. The Eastern Bridge is the most frequently used bridge in
the city and some see this as a bridge that connects rather than divides the two sides.
After the war, Bosniak Mahala suﬀered the most serious violent incidents and saw the
largest number of casualties in the whole of Mitrovica.
As it was located on the banks of
the Ibar, in early 2000 the area became part of the conﬁdence zone established by UNMIK
and controlled by the French KFOR.
Given its mixed population and its proximity to the
river it became a strategic site after the war. According to one respondent, a representa-
tive of the Kosovo Bosniak community: ‘they wanted to make a buﬀer zone . . . because
extremes were coming from both sides, we had a conﬁdence zone, and then there was
the attempt to ethnically cleanse this zone. (. ..) the biggest and the most serious incidents
were in Bošnjačka Mahala. And the biggest number of victims, casualties, was in Bošnjačka
Today, Bosniak Mahala is perceived as one neighbourhood with a particular high level of
and this can also be observed in the cityscape. Here ethnically charged murals are
more pronounced and oﬀensive and written on top of each other. Whenever there is a violent
incident in close proximity to the Main Bridge, a revenge ﬁght often takes place in other
neighbourhoods, particularly in Bosniak Mahala.
This area is considered to be particularly
unsafe at night, especially because of a lack of police presence.
However, there is also the
belief that the situation in Bosniak Mahala has improved, mostly due to the eﬀorts of citizens
in this residential neighbourhood.
At the same time, it was emphasised that the truth about
many incidents seldom surfaces and that violent incidents may be framedas inter-ethnic even
when it is related to something else, such as debt or crime.
Bosniak Mahala is the area which shows the most obvious signs of mixing. For instance,
licence plates continue to impede travels between north and south; someone with a KM-
registered car (from Kosovska Mitrovica, a licence plate issued by Serbia) would never drive to
the south for fear of provoking violence while those with a RKS car (Republic of Kosovo) are
wary of showing their plates in the north. While this matter has been resolved in theory, in
practice it is still problematic and many people therefore stop at the Eastern Bridge or further
up on the Knjaza Miloša/Princi Millosh Street to either change licence plates as they go in
whichever direction, or remove them entirely, going from the south to the north. People thus
stop to change their licence plates in Bosniak Mahala, and both licence plates are seen here, so
as such this can be said to be a place where such duality is tolerated. Another example of
THIRD WORLD THEMATICS: A TWQ JOURNAL 7
compromise shown in this neighbourhood concerns the show of ﬂags. For Albanian ﬂag day,
celebrated on 28 November 2017, ﬂagswerehungalongthelamppostsontheEastern
Bridge all the way through the ﬁrst intersection on the northern side on the lower part of
Knjaza Miloša/Princi Millosh Street. Several weeks later, the Albanian ﬂags remained in place,
which was interpreted as a sign of tolerance by one respondent, a Kosovo Albanian NGO
There are plenty of other physical signs of co-existence in Bosniak Mahala; the shops
commonly display their business names in both Serbian and Albanian, for example bakery
(pekara/furra) and butcher shop (mesara/mishtore), while some prices are shown in Euros
instead of Dinars. It is not uncommon to hear Serbian being spoken by people shopping
for goods in shops which bear Albanian names. The level of trust between some of the
vendors and clients was exempliﬁed by one interviewee who overheard a conversation in
a fruit and vegetable shop:
A Serbian comes and buys lots of veggies for his store in the north. Then he tells the Albanian
owner ‘Hey, I’m getting all these tomatoes but I’ll give you the money when I sell them’.(...)
and he says ‘don’t worry for the money, whenever you have it, you bring it to me’. And that
was beautiful because right there you see some trust. They’re building some trust and that’s
really important, to trust each other.
These interactions may be characterised simply as engagement based on needs; however,
even the smallest steps in inter-group contacts can be understood as acts of peace given
the basic trust they require.
Also, while respondents see the majority of these exchanges
in Bosniak Mahala as merely shallow conversations on practicalities such as prices and
features of the product at hand,
there are instances when these encounters go beyond
merely need-based factors and are described as friendship:
I ran into another Serbian who just came to buy something for his household there, from the
north to the Bošnjačka Mahala, and I asked him ‘so why do you come here among all the
stores over there?’He said, ‘well the food is really fresh, vegetables are always fresh, prices are
good, and I know the owner, he is my friend, so that’s why I come here’. Beautiful, you know?
If that was my only story about Mitrovica, oh my God, life is beautiful, you know. So I think
people sometimes really can (. . .) without prejudice, they can co-exist, but then you always
have these extremists on both sides who are ruining their normal life.
Similarly, there is a space in Bosniak Mahala where young people from all communities
study and interact on an everyday basis
: the International Business College Mitrovica
(IBCM). The language of instruction is English and speaking in English with us, one
interviewee, a Kosovo Serb student council member described this context of everyday
co-existence as unproblematic and distanced from problems associated with the conﬂict:
I have colleagues who are Albanians, Roma, they are Bosnians (. . .) and we are talking, there’s
no problem, we are functioning very well (. ..) people are usually oriented on the studies and
they are not looking on something that have happened twenty years ago. We are looking
more in the future and how cooperation between each other can help us more, and try to
actually proﬁt out of that (. . .) while [my colleagues] were having break they go to drink a
coﬀee and nobody asks them what is your ethnicity, and they have coﬀee, chatting. We are
actually speaking a lot and we’re honest, we share the same problems the same issues, for
instance, same taste in music and similar.
8A. JARSTAD AND S. SEGALL
According to this student, the International Business College has thus become a space
where students experience frequent problem-free engagement. For instance, the faculty
and student council also comprise members of diﬀerent communities. In this sense, the
college can be seen as a space where everyday peace acts take place. One Kosovo Serb
[the school is] full of young students who have the same goal. They cooperate good, there’s
no problems there. Why? You just need to create space where they will all pursue a common
goal, or a huge company where all of them will get the salary at the end of the month and
they will be happy. They will. Because when people were employed here and had monthly
revenues they didn’t have time to think about this bullshit like, I will kill Albanian or I will kill
Serb. They were friends because they were satisﬁed; they were able to provide money for
supporting their families, on the other hand to be friends with everybody, and to, I don’t
know, enjoy life in the end.
In contrast, teenagers overall were considered a high-risk group in terms of feelings of
animosity or hostility towards members of the other community. While many young
people didn’t experience the war, negative attitudes towards the other community are
often transmitted from older generations.
One example of a project which actively
addresses this problem is a neighbourhood committee of residents in Bosniak Mahala
which tries to reduce quarrels between groups of teenagers. The committee organises for
the teenagers to be taken out of the neighbourhood for a weekend to play sports and get
to know one another. After this, the ﬁghts in Bosniak Mahala stopped and now these
teenagers say hi to one another in the street.
These examples from everyday life in Bosniak Mahala clearly demonstrate the paradox
of insecurity and ‘normalisation’. Despite their fear of violence due to the unsolved
conﬂict between Kosovo and Serbia, the interviewees also experience everyday peace.
This normalisation is manifested by peace acts of communication, meetings and coopera-
tion; expressed in peace perceptions such as tolerance and trust; and identiﬁed as peace
issues, based on common ground in shared life goals and hobbies, as well as shared
spaces in shops, school and work places.
Brdjani/Kroi i Vitakut: co-existence despite (re)settlement policies
In the more suburban neighbourhood of Brdjani/Kroi i Vitakut, the most contested issues
relate to housing (re)construction, (re)settlement, and returns. Almost two decades after the
end of the war, some houses are still in ruins. In Mitrovica as a whole, the overall return process
has been modest with only a small number of returnees.
In 2014, UNHCR ﬁgures suggested
that some 6,945 Kosovo Serbs were still displaced from the south side of Mitrovica to the four
northern municipalities, while some 7,121 Kosovo Albanians remained displaced from the
northern municipalities to Mitrovica South.
Returns to the Brdjani/Kroi i Vitakut neighbourhood have been particularly diﬃcult.
After the war, only Kosovo Serbs remained in this area.
When the reconstruction of
houses began, the Kosovo Serb community demanded that any returns to Brdjani/Kroi i
Vitakut should be undertaken reciprocally –meaning that the authorities should facilitate
displaced Kosovo Serbs to returning to their properties in the south at the same time.
The Kosovo Serb residents also claimed that many of the intended Kosovo Albanian
returnees had never been residents of the neighbourhood nor did they have valid
THIRD WORLD THEMATICS: A TWQ JOURNAL 9
construction permits. Tensions related to returns in this neighbourhood have ﬂuctuated
over the years, with repeated protests (from both sides) between the years of 2012 and
The heart of the conﬂict is the fear of becoming a minority group surrounded by a
majority, one Kosovo Serb CSO worker stated:
we are here at risk of being overpopulated or basically being subjected to the Albanian
majority which we don’t want to be done, because we have seen what happened to Serbs
south of Ibar who are subjected to the Albanian majority. So either they don’t exist, they were
expelled. They didn’t return or their cattle and agricultural equipment is stolen on the daily
basis. So, like, we don’t want that.
The Kosovo Government holds that Serbia is trying to change the ethnic structure in the
two areas of Suvi Do/Suhodoll and Brdjani/Kroi i Vitakut
and the north through illegal
construction of apartment buildings.
The Serbian Government has mirrored Pristina’s
claims by saying that the Kosovo Government is attempting to ‘artiﬁcially change the
demographic picture’through ‘land usurpation and illegal construction’in Brdjani/Kroi i
Vitakut and the entire northern Mitrovica region.
One perception is that the latest protests in Brdjani/Kroi i Vitakut were in fact largely
orchestrated, as they ended so abruptly after just a few months –or that they were
speciﬁcally a reaction to a statement by a Kosovo Albanian political party calling a new
residential area, Sunčana Dolina
in the neighbouring Municipality of Zvecan, ‘Serbia’s
colonisation of the north’.
In 2015, the two Mayors (Mitrovica South and Mitrovica North in the Kosovo system)
called for mutual compromise and introduced a moratorium on construction in this
neighbourhood and this helped relieve the tensions.
News media recorded how the
local government oﬃcials shook hands in the neighbourhood
and a working group was
established to discuss these issues, including central and local level Kosovo government
oﬃcials, as well as representatives of the communities in Kroi i Vitakut/Brdjani.
the violent conﬂict over housing (re)construction in Brdjani/Kroi i Vitakut was viewed as
having ﬁnished. One Kosovo Serb interviewee in 2017 explained how tension had been
instrumentalised by politicians, and suggested that this tension was easily resolved by
stopping the project of housing reconstruction:
both sides want to move people who never lived there. That is the biggest problem. So, when
they want to resettle people, usually they want to resettle people who never lived there. (. ..)
they are resettling people just maybe they need some additional votes for the elections (. ..)
But these are political games that they play, and you know, they want to use, to change this
ethnic situation in every way (. ..) Now when they don’t try to rebuild or to build new houses,
both of the communities, you don’t hear about problems in Brdjani. There is nothing about
Brdjani in the news, everything is normal. There is no even single incident happening in the
Brdjani and people are living together, why? Because political attention is not anymore on
Brdjani, it’s on something else.
Several of the respondents perceived politics as the main obstacle to peaceful co-existence,
enhanced inter-community cooperation, and improved neighbourhood communication. The
interviews show that the general perception is that inter-community relations between the
Kosovo Serb and the Kosovo Albanian communities in Mitrovica have improved in compar-
ison to previous years, although it is still not satisfactory. Instances of cooperation are unusual
and only take place on isolated occasions, related to issues that concern both communities.
10 A. JARSTAD AND S. SEGALL
These matters tend to be related to infrastructural problems and not to conﬂictive issues.
Politics and lack of trust between communities makes cooperation more diﬃcult, but there
are examples where this takes place, for instance when Kosovo Serbs and Kosovo Albanians
came together to ﬁnance a new power supply in 2016.
Moreover, other strategies were
applied to maintain constructive relations, such as avoiding topics related to politics and more
‘charged’issues. One Kosovo Albanian resident of the Kroi i Vitakut/Brdjani neighbourhood
They communicate, but not some tough topics, they discuss mainly about daily work (. . .) The
people I know, both Serbs and Albanians, are good people. Most of the places I frequent and
know people, it’s good, like, my circle, my neighbourhood, we speak freely. If I go elsewhere I
don’t feel the same, other Serbs who live in neighbourhood never give me a reason to talk to
them. The current state of relations is in between good and bad, I cannot say it is perfect but it
is not the worst case.
Brdjani/Kroi i Vitakut is one of the places where the ruins are both material reminders and
symbols of the unresolved issue of returns of Kosovo Serbs and Kosovo Albanians
displaced during and after the war. The conﬂict manifests in the attitudes of fear of
changed demography and becoming an ethnic minority in the area. Despite the tensions
that the (re)settlement policies create, interviewees also describe everyday peace acts of
communication such as refraining from talking about politics and the perception of
Our interpretation of the responses by the interviewees is that in Brdjani/Kroi i Vitakut
there is, in parallel to the conﬂict, also a sort of co-existence that exists despite the
resettlement policies. While there is a fear that an inﬂux of new residents or the return
of displaced persons would upset the delicate balance in the area, there is at the same
time a functioning everyday peace which is manifested by peace acts of deliberation and
compromises; expressed in peace perceptions such as acceptance of people of other
ethnicities than your own as residents in the neighbourhood, and peace issues such as
concerns for joint problems.
Suvi Do/Suhodoll and Doctor’s Valley: freedom of movement despite
municipal boundary conﬂict
These two areas are in the West of the city and the residents of Doctor’sValleylivein
close proximity to one another, while Suvi Do/Suhodoll is largely separated into two
diﬀerent settlement: one is seen as the Kosovo Albanian one (located closest to the
northern urban centre) and the one further away from the city is regarded as the
Kosovo Serb settlement. The Albanian-majority area in Suhodoll/Suvi Do is clearly
demarcated in symbolic terms: through ﬂag display (both Albanian and Kosovo
ﬂags), street signs in the Albanian language and in Kosovo format, and graﬃti
dominated by UÇK (KLA, the Kosovo Albanian guerrilla group during the war).
Entering Suhodoll/Suvi Do from the south, visitors also see a concrete cylinder with
‘UÇK’and the Albanian escutcheon with the two-headed eagle sprayed on it. On the
other hand, the places where the Serbian settlement starts and ends are only subtly
marked, just by the licence plates on the cars, the small health facility with a sign in
Cyrillic, and the absence of street signs in Albanian.
THIRD WORLD THEMATICS: A TWQ JOURNAL 11
Mitrovica’s institutional landscape is characterised by duplication of public service
provision where both Serbian and Kosovo institutions provide services through separate
Some public services such as the university –the only institution that provides
higher education in the Serbian language in Kosovo –and the hospital, are administered
and ﬁnanced by Serbia.
Suhodoll/Suvi Do and Doctor’s Valley are also the site of a highly contested issue,
namely, the municipal boundary between the Municipality of Mitrovica North and
Mitrovica South in the Kosovo system. This boundary matters both for political represen-
tation and service provisions, but could also become the state boundary between Kosovo
and Serbia should a land swap take place. Before the Ahtisaari Plan (Comprehensive
Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement) was presented by the UN Special Envoy in
2007, the city was de facto divided but there was no formal political and administrative
boundary. The Ahtisaari Plan paid particular attention to the Suvi Do/Suhodoll area and
included a map which marked the municipal boundary north of the Ibar River, meaning
that both the Doctor’s Valley neighbourhood and Suvi Do/Suhodoll were included in the
southern municipal jurisdiction. However, no formal agreement has been reached
between the Serbian and Kosovo governments, nor is there an agreement between the
The Kosovo Government argues that the municipal boundary as outlined in the
Ahtisaari Plan should be the ﬁnal one.
The Government of Serbia, however, refers to
another map found with the Kosovo Cadastral Agency which includes Suhodoll/Suvi Do in
the northern municipality. In the local Kosovo elections in 2013, the Suhodoll/Suvi Do
residents formed part of the northern municipality’s electorate.
The Mayor of the
Municipality of Mitrovica South has suggested that the demarcation is a non-issue by
stating that the area eﬀectively belongs to the southern municipality (KoSSev, 25 October
2015). In the local elections of 2017, the Kosovo Serb residents were registered as voters of
the northern electorate,
while members of the Kosovo Albanian community were
registered as voters in the southern municipality.
The Serbian Government argues
that this means a de facto delineation was made as Kosovo Serbs were allowed to vote
in the north and therefore insists on demarcating the area into a Kosovo Albanian part
administered by the southern municipality and a Kosovo Serb part administered by the
Municipality of Mitrovica North.
The question of the municipal boundary is indeed profound and the stakes are high
ranging from municipal electorates and representation in local government
to notions of
partitioning Kosovo –a proposal which was openly discussed in late 2018 when, as
mentioned above, Kosovo and Serb politicians discussed a possible land swap (RFERL, 29
September 2018). Among both Kosovo Serbs and Kosovo Albanians there is a feeling that
politicians are prioritising geo-political concerns and territory over citizens.
Despite being in a contested area, the transition between the urban centre and the
Suhodoll/Suvi Do area is seamless. Both people and cars move both ways, and even cars
with KM (‘Kosovska Mitrovica’) licence plates drive through the Kosovo Albanian-majority
part of Suvi Do/Suhodoll,
while there is also a small health facility administered by
Serbia in the Kosovo Serb majority part of the area. In the Kosovo Albanian-majority part
of Suhodoll/Suvi Do there is a mosque that was built in 2016 and there is an Albanian-
language primary school.
Suhodoll/Suvi Do is indeed a grey zone and the strategies for
‘claiming’and demarcating the area are also present in the linguistic landscape. In early
12 A. JARSTAD AND S. SEGALL
2017, street signs in the Albanian language and Kosovo format were placed in the
Suhodoll/Suvi Do area (Radio televizija Srbije, 28 February 2017). According to local
news media, some of the signs bore names of KLA soldiers. The signs were disputed by
the Kosovo Serb community and removed shortly after they had been placed there.
However, the representative of the Kosovo Serb community said actually, the signs had
possibly been removed by members of the Kosovo Albanian community in order to avoid
any neighbourhood conﬂict.
In this sense, there seems to be instances when residents
attempt to diﬀuse potential tensions in these adjacent settlements. In late 2017, there
were no observable Albanian-language signs in the Serb-majority part of the town,
however, in the surrounding areas there were street signs allocated by the Kosovo
Disentangling the nature of actual relations is a truly nitty-gritty task as there are often
diverse accounts of the same neighbourhood, however our research suggests that there is
a general sense that relations between Kosovo Serbs and Kosovo Albanians in this site
have improved. One Kosovo Serb interviewee explained that people had been:
cutting each other’s telephone lines, water supply lines and whatever (. . .) and in the end they
just realized that they are harming each other, not anybody else, like, if you cut my telephone,
I will cut your water and that’s it. Simple problem and they stopped.
In a similar vein, the Kosovo Albanian former head of the Suhodoll/Suvi Do neighbour-
hood council said that there had been no incidents for a decade, stating ﬁrmly that:
for the Serbian and Albanian community in Suhodoll, there are no interethnic problems
for many years now. (. . .) in the last 10 years we didn’t have even the smallest incident.
The cooperation is satisfactory, I don’t know how to say this, moving up and down
through Suhodoll is possible either by foot or vehicles. We don’thavethoseproblems.
Our properties are deﬁned, we don’thavethisproblemaswell(...)Iwouldliketo
openly say that the Albanian community and the Serb community in Suhodoll
Despite facing the highly contested issue of municipal boundaries, and living in an area where
the proposed land swap would divide the residents between Serbia and Kosovo, the freedom
of movement for both cars and people of diﬀerent ethnicities along this road stands in bright
contrast to other clearly ‘etched boundaries’inthecity,suchastheMainBridgeandthe
Our conclusions concerning Suvi Do/Suhodoll and Doctor’s Valley is that there exists a
sort of freedom of movement despite the conﬂict over the municipal boundary which
aﬀects representation in local government and would become an acute issue if the parties
moved forward with a land swap deal. Hence, in parallel to the conﬂicts, peace is
manifested by peace acts such as communication, deliberation and compromises. There
are also peace perceptions such as co-existence based on tolerance, and a peace issue of
freedom of movement; the transition between the urban centre and the Suhodoll/Suvi Do
area is seamless and both people and cars move both ways.
Bringing it all together
It is paramount to emphasise that in the Mitrovica case violent incidents and publicising
violence is also used to uphold divisions in the city, including the fabrication of so called
THIRD WORLD THEMATICS: A TWQ JOURNAL 13
This is not to say that there are no animosities or violent incidents
which are the result of strained community relations. One Kosovo Bosniak local-level
politician and community representative stated that:
when it comes to that destabilization of the situation they have their own people on
both sides where they raise the nationalism when necessary, but for the incidents
occurring in the north such as like putting cars on ﬁre, throwing hand grenades on
the properties, it’s not conducted by ordinary citizens, there are groups which are paid
to do so from both sides.
We believe that in order to interpret and contextualise events in this post-war city, it is
important to include this understanding and perspective on conﬂicts, contestation, and
the occurrence of violence in Mitrovica, as expressed in the quotation. However, it is also
imperative to consider the interests and potential gains surrounding the portrayal of both
peace and conﬂict. For while we do not want to diminish the fundamental negative
eﬀects of conﬂict in Mitrovica, our research shows that alongside the conﬂict there are
also multiple strands of everyday peace at the societal level. After a civil war, even
everyday acts such as greetings can have a positive eﬀect on interethnic relations and
contribute to a sense of peace. In addition, respondents emphasised the fact that
disagreements on the micro-level were quite normal and that most often these do not
result in violent actions.
Such everyday peace manifests parallel to sentiments of fear
and distrust between Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo Serbs in Mitrovica. While tensions on
the ground are exaggerated by top-down measures and political elites, the conﬂicts are
not created by the elites alone, and some violent incidents are initiated from below.
Our research suggests that even in spaces in the city where a history of violence is
entrenched, the situation can seldom be reduced to be seen only as purely conﬂictual;
rather, these ‘hotspots’often prove to be spaces where reproduction of peace –however
quotidian –also occurs at the same time. In general, we can say that the places that are
understood as most conﬂict-ridden or contested, are those that are home to mixed
communities and which are also located on the edges of what are the boundaries of
the urban settlement of northern Mitrovica. This could be interpreted as what Calame and
Charlesworth have called boundary etching in contested cities:
the Ibar river is the
more obvious boundary in the wider dispute, but in fact micro-boundaries are also etched
within mixed areas. However, this does not fully explain the peace as co-existence or
friendship which we have encountered in the residential areas, in the sense that the
boundaries do not simply become frontiers, but also function as shared spaces. There,
people make eﬀorts to maintain peace, but these are often impeded or limited by political
events beyond the community level. Hence, violent behaviours and incompatible issues are
easily ignited by both local and external actors, while what we call peace acts, peace
perceptions and peace issues are seen as the embodiments of peace produced in these
Table 1 summarises the embodiment of peaceful and hostile relations identiﬁed in
northern Mitrovica. These categories of behaviour, attitudes and issues inﬂuence each
other. Peace acts can take the form of casual communication, for instance in relation to
trade in Bosniak Mahala, or cooperation on practical matters such as the power supply in
Brdjani/Kroi i Vitakut. While such contacts decrease social distance, there are also more
profound peace acts of cooperation, for example, actively discouraging conﬂict behaviour
14 A. JARSTAD AND S. SEGALL
by rivalry teenagers in Bosniak Mahala or introducing a moratorium on construction of
new buildings in Brdjani/Kroi i Vitakut. Peace perceived as co-existence is characterised by
casual communication on need-based matters of mutual concern and tolerance of
ethnically charged symbols, whereas friendship is a more intimate relationship related
to trust. Peace issues, such as a sense of common ground can take the form of shared life
goals or hobbies. Spatiality and the build environment shapes the possibilities for peace
to evolve. The instances of shared space in shops, work places and the international
in northern Mitrovica allows for a web of interactions where people can transcend
The interviews conducted for this study show competing narratives of peaceful
and conﬂictual everyday relations in the mixed neighbourhoods in northern
Mitrovica. These views were expressed by interviewees that were not directly
aﬃliated with international organisations and foreign missions in Kosovo, thus we
seek to complement other more well-known expressions on the relations in the
region. This article has highlighted stories seldom told of peaceful co-existence and
friendship amidst violence and tension and points to the political issues that threa-
ten everyday peace. In particular, if the land swap took place and the border
between Serbia and Kosovo was drawn through the city of Mitrovica, some people
would feel forced to move and the possibilities for mixing and everyday peace in
these particular areas would thus be gravely undermined.
1. Given the fact that place names are highly contested, English names will be used throughout this
paper. When there is no English alternative, the order of place names in Serbian and Albanian
does not carry assumptions of whether an area is considered a Kosovo Serb-majority or a Kosovo
Albanian-majority municipality or location. Place names in respondents’accounts have not been
2. Lemay-Hébert, “Multiethnicité ou ghettoïsation?”.
3. Pinos, “Mitrovica.”
4. Gusic, Contesting Peace in the Post-War City.
5. Björkdahl and Kappler. Peacebuilding and Spatial Transformation.
6. Björkdahl and Gusic, “The Divided City.”
7. For an overview of the literature on conﬂict manifestations in the post-war city see the
introductory chapter to this collection.
8. McConnell et al., “Introduction,”11.
9. Calame and Charlesworth, Divided Cities,11–12.
Table 1. The embodiment of peaceful and hostile relations in northern Mitrovica.
Category Manifestation of peace Manifestation of conﬂict
Behaviour Peace act, such as communication, deliberation and
Symbols of exclusive ownership by ﬂag
display and graﬃti.
Attitudes Peace perceptions, such as co-existence based on tolerance,
and friendship based on trust.
Fear of moving towards a status of a
Issues Peace issues such as common ground based on shared life
goals and hobbies.
Shared space, such as shops, school, work places.
Freedom of movement.
Municipal boundaries and state borders.
Resettlement policies and returns.
THIRD WORLD THEMATICS: A TWQ JOURNAL 15
10. Pullan and Baillie, Locating urban conﬂicts,20–21.
11. Roberts, “Saving Liberal Peacebuilding from Itself,”369.
12. Williams, Everyday Peace? 190.
13. Ibid., 178.
14. See e.g. Davenport, Melander, and Regan, The Peace Continuum; Firchow and Mac Ginty,
“Measuring Peace”; and Gleditsch, Nordkvelle, and Strand, “Peace Research”.
15. Höglund and Söderberg Kovacs, “Beyond the Absence of War.”
16. Söderström, Åkebo and Jarstad, Friends, Fellows and Foes.
17. Leonardsson and Rudd, “The “local turn”” 832.
18. Schwartze, ‘Symbols of Reconstruction,”222.
19. Gusic, Contesting Peace in the Post-War City, chapter 5.
20. Later, as tensions rose, Serbian and Albanian children attended school in shifts (Interview
with Kosovo Albanian civil society activist, 19 December 2017).
21. For the background to events leading up to the declaration of independence in 2008, refer e.
g. to Glenny, The Balkans; Jarstad, “To Share or to Divide?”227–242; Judah, Kosovo; and
Malcolm, Kosovo, 2002.
22. See note 18 above.
23. Boyle, “Revenge and Reprisal Violence in Kosovo,”199–201.
24. O’Neill, Kosovo: An Unﬁnished Peace,45–46.
25. ESI, “People or Territory?”4.
26. OSCE, “Municipality Proﬁle Mitrovica South.”
28. See note 19 above.
29. Interview with Kosovo Serb public policy NGO activist, 30 November 2017, Mitrovica.
30. Mac Ginty, “Everyday Peace”, 558–559.
31. OSCE, “Kosovo Communities Proﬁle,”4. Mixed neighbourhoods (see Figure 1) are understood
as settlements where members of the Kosovo Serb and Kosovo Albanian reside in the same
area, it does not take into account other minorities such as Kosovo-Bosniaks, Kosovo-Roma,
Kosovo-Turks, and Kosovo-Gorani.
32. Author’sobservation 2017; HRW, “Failure to Protect,”28.
33. Interview with Kosovo Serb public policy NGO activist. See note 29 above.
34. ADRC, Beyond the Bridge, 22.
35. Conversation with Kosovo Albanian NGO worker in mediation, 29 November 2017, Mitrovica.
36. Jovic, “ASurvey of Ethnic Distance in Kosovo,”265–266.
37. The statue of Tsar Lazar was inaugurated in the summer of 2016. Lazar was a medieval ruler
from the fourteenth century and a symbol for Serbia’s armed struggle against the Ottoman
Empire, the statue’s presence resulted in the square being rendered a violation of the Kosovo
Constitution by the Kosovo Ombudsman (Ombudsman, Annual Report, 80).
38. Interview with Municipal Assembly member and shop owner in Mitrovica North, 7 December
39. ICG, “Bridging Kosovo’s Mitrovica Divide,”15; and Conversation with Kosovo Serb resident, 29
40. OSCE, “Skills for the Future.”
41. Interview with Kosovo Albanian director of a women’srights association, 29 November 2017,
42. OSCE, “Municipality Proﬁle Mitrovica North.”
43. Interview with Kosovo Serb member of the student council at International Business College
Mitrovica, 28 November 2017, Mitrovica.
44. ESI, “Mitrovica Past and Future,”; UNHCR, “Fresh Start for Mixed Community in Kosovo,”; and
KIPRED, “Grass-Root Approaches to Inter-Ethnic Reconciliation,”25–26.
45. In a recent survey on citizen movements across the north-south divide only 9.9 per cent of
respondents stated that they had never used it (ADRC, Beyond the Bridge, 22); Interview with
Project oﬃcer, 12 December 2017, Mitrovica.
16 A. JARSTAD AND S. SEGALL
46. Interview with Kosovo Bosniak Municipal Assembly candidate to the Municipality of Mitrovica
North representing the political party Koalicija Vakat; member of the Council for Peace and
Tolerance, 2 December 2017, Mitrovica.
47. Visoka and Beha, Clearing up the Fog, 24; and Interview with Kosovo Bosniak Municipal
Assembly candidate, see note 46 above.
48. Interview with Kosovo Bosniak Municipal Assembly candidate, see note 46 above.
49. Interview with Kosovo Serb member of the student council, see note 42 above; Interview with
project oﬃcer, see note 45 above; and Interview with Kosovo Serb public policy NGO activist,
see note 29 above.
50. Interview with Kosovo Serb public policy NGO activist, see note 29 above; and Interview with
Kosovo Bosniak Municipal Assembly candidate, see note 46 above.
51. Interview with Kosovo Serb project oﬃcer at peacebuilding grassroots organisation, 8
December 2017, Mitrovica.
52. See note 46 above.
53. Interview with Kosovo Serb project oﬃcer at peacebuilding grassroots organisation, see note
45 above; and Interview with journalist at Radio Free Europe and Radio Television of Kosovo,
24 November 2017.
54. Conversation with Kosovo Albanian NGO worker in mediation, see note 35 above.
55. Interview with journalist, see note 53 above.
56. Simonsen, “Addressing Ethnic Divisions,”306.
57. Interview with Kosovo Serb representative of the Youth Educational Club Sinergija, 6
December 2017, Mitrovica.
58. See note 53 above.
59. Interview with Kosovo Serb project oﬃcer at peacebuilding grassroots organisation, see note
50 above; and Interview with Kosovo Serb member of the student council, see note 43 above.
60. IBCM is registered as an international foundation. It is supported by external donors and was
founded by a foreign NGO.
61. Interview with Kosovo Serb member of the student council, see note 43 above.
62. Interview with Kosovo Serb project oﬃcer at peacebuilding grassroots organisation, see note
63. Interview with project oﬃcer, see note 45 above.
64. Conversation with Kosovo Serb resident, 5 December 2017.
65. Interview with civil servant in the Department of Local Communities and Returns,
Municipality of Mitrovica North, 23 November 2017, Mitrovica.
66. OSCE, “An Assessment of the Voluntary Returns,”6 (reference to UNHCR).
67. OSCE, “An Assessment of the Voluntary Returns,”18; and Interview with civil servant in the
Department of Local Communities and Returns, Municipality of Mitrovica North, see note 65
68. ICG, “Serb Integration in Kosovo,”24–25; OSCE, “Kosovo Communities Proﬁle,”12.
69. UNMIK, “Report of the Secretary-General,”3–4; and OSCE, “An Assessment of the Voluntary
70. Interview with Kosovo Serb representative of the Youth Educational Club Sinergija, see note
71. Oﬃce of the Prime Minister, “Implementation of the Agreement on the Removal of the
72. Oﬃce of the Prime Minister, “Brussels Agreements Implementation”,11–12.
73. Vucic, Statement by H.E. Mr. Aleksandar Vucic,6–7.
74. Sunčana Dolina (Sunny Valley) is a residential area under construction in the Kosovo Serb
majority municipality of Zvecan. It is a project initiated by Serbia intended for some 1,500
people that were displaced from Kosovo to central Serbia (Oﬃce for Kosovo and Metohija,
“Predstavlјen projekat izgradnje povratničkog naselјa‘Sunčana dolina”).
75. Interview with Kosovo Serb public policy NGO activist, see note 29 above.
76. UNMIK, “Report of the Secretary-General.”
77. Balkans, “Sukob u Mitrovici.”
THIRD WORLD THEMATICS: A TWQ JOURNAL 17
78. MCR, “Annual Bulletin.”
79. Interview with Kosovo Serb project oﬃcer at peacebuilding grassroots organisation, see note
80. Interview with Kosovo Albanian Municipal Assembly Candidate to the Municipality of
Mitrovica North, representing the political party ‘Vetëvendosje’, 5 December 2017, Mitrovica.
81. Interview with Kosovo Albanian Municipal Assembly candidate, see note 80 above.
82. Mijačić,Jakovljevic, and Vlaskovic, Municipal Administrations in North Kosovo,1–4.
83. See note 42 above.
84. Map of Suhodoll/Suvi Do area. Addendum to the Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo
Status Settlement (2007). The matter was supposed to have been solved in October 2015
through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on issues related to spatial plan-
ning documents, such as the Municipal Development Plans and zoning maps (EEAS, “WG
Freedom of Movement/Bridge Conclusions”); and Interview Project oﬃcer at peacebuilding
grassroots organisation, see note 49 above.
85. Oﬃce of the Prime Minister, “Brussels Agreements Implementation”, 17.
86. Oﬃce for Kosovo and Metohija, “Progress Report”,19–20.
87. Interview with Kosovo Serb project oﬃcer at peacebuilding grassroots organisation, see note
88. Interview with Municipal Assembly member, see note 38 above.
89. Oﬃce for Kosovo and Metohija, “Progress Report,”27–28.
90. According to the Kosovo Law on Self Government (Law No. 03/L-040 2008), non-majority
communities comprising at least 10 per cent of a municipality’s total population, should have
a non-majority community representative as the Deputy Chair of the Municipal Assembly.
The number of assembly members is based on the population size of the municipality: the
Municipality of Mitrovica North has 19 municipal assembly members while the Municipality
of Mitrovica South has 35 seats.
91. Interview with Kosovo Albanian civil society activist, 19 December 2017; and Interview with
Kosovo Serb representative of the Youth Educational Club Sinergija, see note 57 above.
93. Author’sobservation; OSCE, “Municipality Proﬁle Mitrovica North”; and Interview with Kosovo
Albanian community representative and former head of the Suhodoll/Suvi Do neighbour-
hood council of the Municipality of Mitrovica South, 10 November 2917, Mitrovica.
94. KoSSev, “Suvi Do.”
95. Author’sobservation 2017.
96. Interview with Kosovo Serb project oﬃcer at peacebuilding grassroots organisation, see note
97. Interview with Kosovo Albanian Suhodoll/Suvi Do Community representative, see note 93
98. Interview with Kosovo Albanian civil society activist, see note 91 above; Interview with
Kosovo Serb project oﬃcer at peacebuilding grassroots organisation, see note 51 above;
and Interview with Kosovo Bosniak Municipal Assembly candidate, see note 46 above.
99. See above 46 above.
100. Interview with Kosovo Serb member of student council, see note 43 above.
101. Calame and Charlesworth, Divided Cities, 213–217.
This work was supported by a MFS stipend granted by the Swedish International Development
Cooperation Agency and the Swedish Research Council project number [2013-6334]. It also forms
part of the Varieties of Peace research program, which is generously ﬁnanced by The Swedish
Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, project number [M16-
18 A. JARSTAD AND S. SEGALL
Notes on contributors
Anna Jarstad is Professor of Peace and Conﬂict Studies at the Department of Political Science, Umeå
University and Professor at the Department of Government, Uppsala University (ORCID ID 0000-
0001-8048-1868). Jarstad leads the Varieties of Peace research program (varietiesofpeace.net)
funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Sweden, and a project on the interactions between inter-
national and local democracy initiatives funded by Swedish Research Council. Her research focuses
on the nexus of democratisation and peacebuilding. Email: email@example.com
Sandra Segall is a Bilateral Associate Expert in Gender and Peacebuilding based in Bogotá,
Colombia. She holds a Master of Science degree in Peace and Conﬂict Studies from Umeå
University and has a bachelor’s degree in the same ﬁeld. Previously, Sandra has worked in women’s
rights and communications in Chile and New Zealand. In 2017 she was a graduate intern in Kosovo
focusing on urban peacebuilding and was awarded the Olof Palme Memorial Fund Scholarship.
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