Site Profiles: Interviewee Areas of Kosovo
Obilic/ Obiliq & Vučitrn/ Vushtrri Municipality: Plemetina Village, Plemetina Camp, Crkvena Vodica and Prilužje
Serb graveyard in Bresje was burned on
infamous murder of three Ashkalija heads of family and one teenager in the
Drenica in November of 2000 occurred when they, as IDPs in Kosovo Polje, sought
to return and rebuild their destroyed homes. They were all shot on the first
and Serbs have access to Preoce, Gracanica and the other minority areas of
southwestern Pristina municipality via the KFOR roads that run through Bresje
kidnappings and murders occurred when Kosovo Polje residents ventured into
Pristina. Minorities have increased their security precautions accordingly and
no longer go to Pristina.
1999, KEK employed thousands of Kosovo Polje Serbs and hundreds of Roma/
Ashkalija. The Kosovo Polje train station and Ramizadak Construction Company
were also primary employers of minorities. All were fired after the war. Outside
of a few token Ashkalija hires, none have gotten their jobs back. UNMIK employs
many Serbs, Ashkalija and Roma in the civil service sector.
are no shops or businesses in Kosovo Polje’s Mahalas. Unemployment is close to
100%. Serb areas are economically characterized by shops selling beer and
cigarettes, a few cafes, and locally grown produce sold in front yards.
areas were cultivated by Serbs. Many of these fields can no longer be safely
is intermittent. Kosovo Polje has a severe water shortage.
400 minorities received UNMIK social assistance. Many Ashkalija & Roma
families were entirely dependent on these payments.
NGOs were initially involved in the municipality, providing food aid,
reconstruction & winterization assistance and education/ children’s
programs. The NGO presence in Kosovo is currently waning.
minority areas of KP are laces with primary and secondary schools, often
underfunded and understaffed. IDPs reside in some schools. Theoretically,
Ashkalija have access to Albanian schools; in reality parents fear for their
children’s safety there, and many children are kept at home because of
harassment- sometimes in school, and sometimes on the route the children must
travel to get there. Poverty and its manifestation in poor clothes and hygiene
keep many Ashkalija and Roma children at home.
International Rescue Committee conducted remedial education programs for
Ashkalija, and vocational/ technical training for Ashkalija teens and young
Information- Roma & Ashkalija
Roma families and 477 Ashkalija families live in Kosovo Polje town. 23% are IDPs.
Lismir is a return site for Ashkalija who fled the village in 1999.
3500 Serbs live in Kosovo Polje and its environs, from a pre-war population of
8240. Currently 38,000 Albanians live in the municipality. 22 Ashkalija houses
have been reconstructed, while 150 Serb families are waiting for housing.
Roma/ Ashkalija population is unstable. Numbers have increased in already
overpopulated Mahalas due to the influx of IDPs from less-secure areas of Kosovo.
Many IDPs reside in collective centers- the Viaduct Barracks, Klanica Barracks
Who We Were, Who We Are: Kosovo Roma Oral Histories
©Bobby Anderson 2003-2009. All rights reserved.
This project was made possible by the generous financial support of the Open Society Institute Roma Culture Initiative.
Additional thanks to all other
donors & implementers
This study may be freely distributed, in whole or part, so long as the source is cited:
Who We Were, Who We Are: Kosovo Roma Oral Histories © Bobby Anderson 2003-2009
Is there something you feel we're missing? Do you have any comments, suggestions, or need additional information? Please write Bobby Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org