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Site Profiles: Interviewee Areas of Kosovo

Obilic/ Obiliq & Vučitrn/ Vushtrri Municipality: Plemetina Village, Plemetina Camp, Crkvena Vodica and Prilužje
Site Profiles: Plemetina Village & Plemetina Camp | Crkvena Vodica | Prilužje  | Kosovo Polje

Obilic/ Obiliq & Vučitrn/ Vushtrri Municipality : Plemetina Village , Plemetina Camp, Crkvena Vodica and Prilužje

Location

Obilić was the economic center of this area until June of 1999, when it became off-limits to the surrounding minority communities.

Plemetina Camp lies 2 KM Northwest of Obilić town; Plemetina Village is a further 1-2 KM further north. Prilužje is 4-5 KM north of Plemetina Village . Crkvena Vodica lies 1 KM west of Obilić town.

Security & Transportation

Norwegian KFOR is responsible for area security. They are well-regarded by the communities here. A small French KFOR group is stationed in Prilužje.

A Serbian family in Obilić town was beaten to death, in their beds, in June of 2003. Since then several potential witnesses- also Serbs- have had grenades thrown at their homes in an effort to intimidate them. Two Ashkalija and a Serb from Plemetina Camp were assaulted by KEK security guards in 2002; the case was misfiled and no police actions were taken. All IDP returns to Obilić have subsequently halted; most Obilić Serbs have now stated their intention to leave. An elderly Serb woman in Obilić was shot to death in December of 2001 while walking with her husband. Minorities (in majority areas) are constant targets of stone-throwing, verbal abuse and physical assaults. One Serb continued to run a pizzeria in Obilić town until spring of 2002; in that time his restaurant was attacked 29 times, with automatic weapons fire, hand grenades, homemade explosive devices and rocks. He eventually sold the business and moved to Serbia .

Minorities in majority areas are under immense pressure to sell their homes. Polite requests to buy a home, when declined, are followed by verbal threats, harassing telephone calls, and eventually, gunshots.

The Ashkalija in this area have some freedom of movement, due to their fluency in Albanian. For Serbs and Roma, freedom of movement is severely restricted, especially in Obilić Town and Crkvena Vodica. Only minorities with private cars can move.

Plemetina Camp, Plemetina Village , and Prilužje are all interconnected; Serbs and Roma move freely throughout this area. UNMIK offers a minorities shuttle several times per week, from Prilužje to Gracanica, via Plemetina Village , Plemetina Camp, Crkvena Vodica and Obilić town.

The Kosovo Polje- Mitrovica/ Zvečan train runs twice a day; it stops in Obilić town and Plemetina Village . From Zvečan, connections are made to Serbia proper and Belgrade . The train’s path through Albanian areas is a dangerous one; the train is regularly stoned, and sometimes shot at. The Albanian National Army attempted to blow up a Zvečan railway trestle, but its bombers proved incompetent. The train is protected by KFOR soldiers on board. Some Albanians utilize the train.

Economy & Infrastructure

Many area minorities worked in Obilić town before June of 1999; since then, the area is too dangerous to travel to. Korporata Energjetike e Kosovës (KEK hereafter) - Kosovo’s electrical company, with its main plants, Kosovo A & B dominating the skyline, was the main regional employer. All Serbs and Roma working for KEK in 1999 were summarily fired and have not been reinstated, despite UNMIK judicial orders to do so.

Prilužje and Plemetina Village are agriculture/ livestock areas. Access to fields is good. Other villages- Babin Most and Miloševo- have had their livestock stolen and their land seized.

Education

Prilužje has a primary school and a medical secondary school; Plemetina Village has a primary school and a pedagogic secondary school. Enfants Du Monde ran a kindergarten that has since closed; Balkan Sunflowers runs a Roma resource center that has remedial education programs for Roma children. IRC ran remedial school programs in Plemetina Camp. Several younger camp children attend Balkan Sunflowers programs in Plemetina Village . Several Ashkalija from Plemetina camp attend an Albanian school in Obilić town; the children are well-integrated. Serb and Roma students living in Obilić town are transported to other minority areas to attend school.

There are no opportunities for higher education in the area. University students attend school via correspondence, in North Mitrovica or in Serbia proper.



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