North and South Mitrovica citizens clash over new footbridge on the Ibar


 An incident took place today between the two groups of residents of North and South Mitrovica. The confrontation occurred in the middle of the Ibar River towards the settlement of Suvi Do, at a new footbridge under construction. No one was injured, the Kosovo Police confirmed for KoSSev.

The situation was quickly stabilized as soon as the police arrived with reinforcements, after which the residents pulled back.

Two excavators, one from the north and one from the south side of the city, located in the vicinity of the site of the incident, also retreated after police intervened.

„The police quickly intervened, both from the north and from the south, we are on the field. The situation is calm. No one was injured. It was a minor incident, a brawl, without any heavy physical contact between citizens,” Deputy Commander of the Kosovo Police in the region north, Besim Hoti told KoSSev.

Hoti could not fully confirm the cause of the conflict. He, however, revealed that an argument broke out between the two groups of people from the north and the south regarding the construction of the footbridge – i.e. over the issue of which side has the jurisdiction over that part of the Mitrovica municipality territory.

The footbridge under construction is located near the main bridge on the Ibar, in the vicinity of the footbridge KFOR built in the early 2000s, primarily intended for the Albanian population living in the north, as the main bridge – a site of recurring conflicts – which was frequently closed.

Today marks the 16th anniversary of the March pogrom. The first conflict of the three day long ethnic violence against the Kosovo Serb population took place precisely on the main bridge on the Ibar, after three Albanian children drowned in the river – for which the Albanians blamed the Serbs.

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