Thousands of Kosovo Serbs Protest Against Independence

Thousands of Serbs in Kosovo protested the independence announcement today.
And, the Serbian Parliament annulled the independence declaration on Monday.

Kosovo Serbs attend a protest near the main bridge in the ethnically divided Kosovo town of Mitrovica February 18, 2008. Kosovo said Western recognition of its independence was coming any minute on Monday, but the first EU decision went against the new republic as Spain said “no”. (REUTERS/Marko Djurica)

Thousands of ethnic Serbs living in Kosovo protested the move for independence today in Mitrovica.
The Miami Herald reported:

Thousands of angry Serbs demonstrated in this northern Kosovo town Monday, chanting “This is Serbia” and “Down with America” a day after the territory’s ethnic Albanian leadership declared independence from Serbia.

Carrying banners reading “Russia Help!” and posters of U.S. flags with Nazi swastikas scribbled over them, about 5,000 protesters demanded that the Kosovo areas where ethnic Serbs live remain part of Serbia.

Russia has supported Serbia’s claim to keep Kosovo, while the United States supported the drive for independence. President Bush on Monday recognized Kosovo’s declaration, saying that “the Kosovars are now independent.”

“America is no longer the single world power,” Marko Jaksic, the Kosovo Serbs’ hard-line leader, told a noisy gathering in Kosovska Mitrovica, a drab mining town divided into Serb and Albanian sections.

“The Russians are coming. As long as there is Russia and Serbia, there will never be an independent Kosovo,” Jaksic said.

The crowd, singing nationalist songs, marched to a bridge spanning the river that bisects Kosovska Mitrovica, with ethnic Serbs living in the north and ethnic Albanians in the south.

They faced NATO peacekeepers guarding the bridge, but there were no violent incidents.

And… The Serbian parliament met late on Monday to approve the government’s declaration annulling self-proclaimed independence of breakaway Kosovo province.


Thousands of Kosovo Serbs protest against the independence of Kosovo, Monday, Feb. 18, 2008, at the main bridge over the Ibar river linking the southern Albanian dominated and the northern Serb populated part of ethnically divided town of Kosovska Mitrovica. Thousands of Kosovo Serbs chanting ‘This is Serbia’ demonstrated in the town Monday, a day after the ethnic Albanian leadership declared the province’s independence from Serbia. (AP Photo/Srdjan Ilic)

Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia yesterday.

(TIME Map)
Ethnic Albanians who make up 95 percent of the population of Kosovo.
The US, France and Great Britain recognized Kosovo today.

John Bolton said yesterday that an Independent Kosovo will endanger the stability in the Balkans once more:

Kosovo will be a weak country submissive to Islamic radical forces which will spread its influence in the area with the support of singular Albanians and so potentially open the door to radicals in Europe, Bolton estimated.

Those are pretty strong words from the former UN ambassador.

Previously:
Kosovo Declares Independence From Serbia

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