Albanians protest in Mitrovica South following call for “March for the North”


Despite the appeals by the Kosovo Police for the Kosovo Albanians not to respond to calls to “unnecessary gatherings” posted on social media, a protest was held Thursday on the south side of the bridge over the Ibar River in northern Kosovo.

The protest, which started at noon and lasted for about an hour, was attended by not more than 100 young men, said N1’s reporter.

They told her that they came to express their support for Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti, that “they stand by him and that they will defend Kosovo if needed.”

In the midst of heightened tensions in northern Kosovo due to the forced entry of Kosovo special units and newly-elected Kosovo Albanian mayors into three municipal administration buildings on Friday and clashes between the Serbs and KFOR troops at the beginning of the week, a call for a “March for the North” in Albanian language was shared on social media starting Wednesday.

The police previously said that many of the profiles sharing the information are malicious.

“The calls to a protest in Mitrovica South in order to march to the northern part of the country are unnecessary and do not help Kosovo,” said Kosovo Internal Affairs Minister Xhelal Svecla.

He added that “unnecessary gatherings” are encouraged on social media and that these calls are made and shared by unidentified persons and “suspicious profiles” on social media.

Increased police and KFOR presence was noticeable during the protest.

The protesters shouted “The police are ours,” and there was occasional cursing and use of derogatory words for Serbs.
The protesters carryed several Albanian flags, a Greater Albania flag and a flag of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK).

The situation in Mitrovica North is calm, said N1 reporters.