The municipality of Mitrovicė/Mitrovica lies approximately 40 kilometers north of Prishtina, covering an area of
350 square kilometers. It contains one town and 49 villages. The town itself and two of the villages are ethnically mixed,
while the remainder is Kosovar Albanian.
Places and Culture
The vast majority of the population of the municipality is Muslim, including the Roma population. The Kosovo Serbs are
Serbian Orthodox. There is also a small number of Catholics, who live both in the north and in the south part of the town.
The Catholic Church, also in the south of the town, was built in 1981. It had a congregation of approximately 500 before
the conflict. Currently, there are an estimated 60 Catholics (Albanians, Croatians, and Slovenes) in Mitrovicė/Mitrovica
south, while figures are not available for the number of Catholics living in the north.
The oldest and largest Muslim cemetery is in the northern part of Mitrovicė/Mitrovica, to the left of the road to
Zvečan/Zveēan. Another Muslim
cemetery is in Shupkovc, approximately two kilometres south of the town, on the western side of the main road to
Prishtinė/Pritina. For security reasons, the only accessible Muslim cemetery at the moment is in Shipol.
There is extensive unemployment among all communities throughout the municipality. This is due to a number of factors,
including the closure of the Trepēa mine and Lead smelting plant, looting and destruction at the battery and fertilizer
factories, and influx of IDPs in the north and south. To some extent, it is offset by employment opportunities with
While a number of small businesses have been established, particularly in the retail and catering sectors, sustainable
long-term growth will require the provision of reliable energy and water supplies, the development of local banking and
investment services, and above all, the reestablishment of confidence between the communities. To this end, the
Kosovo Serb and Kosovo Albanian communities, together with UNMIK, have developed proposals for the creation of an
economic development zone in Mitrovicė/Mitrovica City that will provide approximately 200 job opportunities in 11
different businesses. The main focus will be on the agricultural sector both in Mitrovicė/Mitrovica and the surrounding
region. Funds for these programs are being sought. The banking problem has also been addressed by the opening of
UNMIK approved branches of Kosovo bank agencies.
In spring a donor conference in Toronto, Canada discussed the issue of privatization of the viable parts of the Trepēa
complex. If successful, this approach could provide for an economic nucleus in the municipality and encourage new
economic development. However, the complex is unlikely to employ the number of personnel as it did in the past,
approximately 20,000 persons.
The roads are generally in a poor condition, although they tend to be better in the north. The street across the Shipoll
quarter towards Skėnderaj/Srbica is one of the worst roads in Kosovo. Some significant repairs have been completed;
however, a general overhaul is yet to be done. Setting up road signs and traffic lights has considerably increased traffic
discipline, but the rapidly increasing number of cars leads to a chaotic and slow flow of traffic. Rail passenger services
operate twice daily in each direction between Fushė Kosovė/Kosovo Polje and Zvečan/Zveēan, although occasionally
interrupted due to security reasons. In Mitrovicė/Mitrovica, only Kosovo Serbs use them. However, other communities
also use the rail service as the train stops in different stations. Private bus services operate in the south, some with NGO
support and there is extensive traffic with taxis and private vehicles. In the north, there are regular services to Zubin
Potok and to Serbia proper (Novi Pazar and Belgrade) run by a publicly owned company from Serbia.
Considerable work has been done to improve the water network, with support from the EU, EAR, and USAID. The
network covers Mitrovicė/Mitrovica, Vushtrri/Vucitrn, Skėnderaj/Srbica, and Zvečan/Zveēan. Two separate companies
operate under the supervision of the Infrastructure Directorate in the UN Regional Office. Water is taken from the
Gazivodė/Gazivode Lake near Zubin Potok and treated in Shipolj (in the south of Mitrovicė/Mitrovica).
Electricity supplies are reasonably stable compared to the rest of Kosovo, although extreme disturbances have occurred
during winter. Power is taken both from Obiliq/Obilić and from Serbia proper, through the Vallac station in
Zvečan/Zveēan. Again, separate companies operate north and south, with technical co-operation being handled through
By Kosovo standards, telephone links, both land and mobile, are reasonably good. Two different companies (PTK in the
south and PTT in the north) run the services. Co-operation between them is poor. Serbian Telecommunication set up a
new exchange, providing services in the north. While this has technically improved services there considerably, it leads
to a situation that new telephone connections there can no longer be reached from the south. Mobile networks Mobtel
and Alcatel cover the area, with Alcatel operational mainly in the southern parts of the region.
Two separate companies (Unitet and Standard) provide sewage and refuse collection services with support from
DANIDA, who have invested heavily in new equipment. The landfill site in the south of Mitrovicė/Mitrovica has been
restored by DANIDA. It is used by Mitrovicė/Mitrovica South and Vushtrri/Vucitrn. There is no official landfill site in the
north; a new site is being sought. Charges for public utilities are being introduced, but their collection raises economic,
political, and security issues.
There are medical facilities in both the south and the north. The Regional General Hospital in the north is currently only
accessible to Kosovo Serb patients living in the northern municipalities as well as Kosovo Serbs from other areas of
Kosovo, which have no access to medical facilities. Its staff does not receive stipends from UNMIK. The Paediatric
Hospital is also located in the north; it includes a primary health facility. The Health House in the south provides
outpatient services; in-patients are sent either to the KFOR Moroccan Hospital in the south or to Prishtinė/Pritina Hospital. The Health House runs 12 ambulanta (local clinics) covering southern Mitrovicė/Mitrovica. Kosovo Albanian
communities in the north who cannot travel to the south for security reasons are presently transported by KFOR to the
southern facilities. Once a week, mobile teams visit a number of Kosovo Serb enclaves within the region, with a KFOR
escort. The Institute for Public Health, located in the south, covers only this part of the town. Kosovo Serb staff is
presently operating from the Institute for Public Health in Zvečan/Zveēan.
Restrictions on freedom of movement and displacement of the population have had a significant impact on education.
Educational establishments are accessible only to a specific ethnic community. In the southern part of the municipality
there are two kindergartens, 10 primary schools (two of them attended by children displaced from the north), and four
secondary schools (including three specialist schools of medicine, technical studies and economics respectively). There
are also two high schools specializing in computing and electrical engineering. Four faculties of Prishtinė/Pritina
University are based in the south, including Technology, Mining, Metallurgy and Geology. This reflects the traditional
economic basis of the region. KFOR provides transport to the south for those Kosovo Albanian children less than ten
years of age whose freedom of movement is restricted for security reasons. The Kosovo Muslim Slav and the Turkish
communities hold classes in a school in the south of the town.
In the north, there is one kindergarten, eight primary schools, and four secondary schools (three specializing in medical,
technical, and economics). There are also two high schools specializing in computing and electrical engineering
respectively. Finally, there is the Faculty of Mining and Metallurgy. In addition, there are five primary schools and one
secondary school, which are attended by IDPs from other municipalities in Kosovo. In autumn 2001, a Kosovo Serb
university was founded, comprising of the former rectorate and four faculties (Electro-technical, Mechanical Engineering,
Architecture/Civil Engineering and Law) of the pre-conflict University of Prishtinė/Pritina. The establishments attended
by the Kosovo Serb students follow the Serb curriculum, but is attached to the UNMIK structure. There are two student
dormitories in the north of Mitrovicė/Mitrovica.
The cultural and the sport centers are located within the Confidence Area, just at the south end of the main bridge, and a
KFOR checkpoint is based in its immediate vicinity. The Cultural Centre contains a significant number of facilities
including a big hall and a theatre/cinema. The Centre was recently refurbished by Kosovo Albanian and Kosovo Serb
companies funded by the EU, UNDP, and Bolzano Province of Italy. It is under the supervision of the UN Municipal
Representative and some celebrations and other events have taken place there. Also located in the south part of the
town is the City Library that provides functioning library and internet facilities, run by the International Organization for
Migration (IOM). The City Library is used for public tribunes and for different cultural performances. There is also a city
museum that is in need of refurbishment. The Sport Centre is opposite the Cultural Centre. It is used for sport activities
and concerts. There are also two stadiums in the south of the town, but there are no sport facilities in the north of the
town. The UN Administration has established two commissions, on culture and on sport, in which members of both
Kosovo Albanian and Kosovo Serb communities are represented.
Sources: OSCE Mission in Kosovo
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