Serbs in Kosovo have demonstrated against elections due to be held in the UN-run province this weekend. A peaceful protest took place in the flashpoint town of Mitrovica, an ethnically divided area which has seen some of the worst post-war clashes between Serbs and Albanians. Protest organisers have called on the Serb minority to boycott Saturday’s poll, accusing the UN of failing to guarantee human rights.
The boycott call is backed by the Serb Prime Minister and the Orthodox Church. Tens of thousands of Serbs fled Kosovo when NATO launched a bombing campaign in 1999 to stop Serb repression of the ethnic Albanian majority. The 100,000 Serbs who stayed in the province now live apart from the 1.8 million Albanians, many in enclaves guarded by a NATO-led peacekeeping force.