Kosovo Plans Municipality for Ethnic Bosniaks

Bosniaks are soon to have their own municipality, with a choice of two localities currently under consideration for the plan, one in the west and the other in the southeast.Kosovo’s Bosniak minority is soon to run its own municipality, which has been made possible by the decentralization programme, President Atifete Jahjaga has announced.

Vitomirica in Peja and Recan in Prizren, both villages with a majority Bosniak community, are two possible choices being assessed for a feasibility study to be carried out by the government.“President Jahjaga is looking into the possibility of creating a new municipality for the Bosniak community in a location where they compose the majority of the population,” the President’s advisor, Arber Vllahiu, said on Friday.

Kosovo Serbs and ethnic Turks already benefit from the decentralization process foreseen in the country’s Western-supervised independence plan.

Six new municipalities have been created for the Kosovo Serb community, whereas the Turks have one, in Mamushe, western Kosovo.

The Bosniak community is concentrated mainly in the southeastern Peja region and in the western town of Prizren, where they compose about 10 per cent of the local population.

In a related development, a month ago, Jahjaga said a broad political consensus had been reached to include Kosovo Croats as a Constitutional Minority, and reserve the community a seat in parliament.

According to the government of Kosovo, the Bosniak minority composes 3 per cent of the population of 1.7 million inhabitants, just over 55,000 people.

President Jahjaga recently spoke about closening relations between Pristina and Sarajevo, although Bosnia does not recognise Kosovo’s independence, proclaimed in 2008.

She also met a group of lawmakers from Bosnia and Herzegovina few days ago, who were part of a broader delegation from Sarajevo of civil society activists and artists.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008. Since then 89 states, including 22 EU member states and the US, have recognized it.

The Bosniak community in Kosovo is a recognized as a constitutional minority, and already has one reserved seat in parliament.

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