MINELRES: Announcement: New website on Kosovo Roma

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Jan 7 14:17:10 2008


Original sender: Kosovo Roma <kosovoroma@googlemail.com>


New website on Kosovo - Nevo websajto pal Kosovo

About http://kosovoroma.wordpress.com 

The aim of this new website is to inform about the situation of Roma in
Kosovo and Kosovo Roma in Diaspora. Before the war, Kosovo was the home
to 120,000 to 150,000 Roma. A first Romani presence in Kosovo has been
traced back to the 14th century (1394) in the town of Prizren. 

Roma in Kosovo enjoyed a comparatively high living standard. They had
their own institutions, news papers and theatres. The Roma Mahala in
Kosovska Mitrovica was one of the oldest and largest Romani settlements
in the region with its own infrastructure. 

Kosovo Roma became the biggest "collateral damage" of the nationalist
conflict between Kosovo Serbs and Albanians. More than 100,000 Roma were
chased from Kosovo in the aftermath of war. Romani settlements such as
the Fabricka Mahala in Kosovska Mitrovica and the Roma Mahala in
Pristina were burned down and looted in acts of reprisal and
retaliation. 

Today, the Roma community in Kosovo counts merely a few thousand people.
Most of them live in a destitute condition at the margins of the Kosovo
society. They have no voice in Kosovo society. Political participation
including in the negotiations surrounding the Kosovo status does not
exist. 

The majority of Kosovo Roma live in diaspora, most of them in Serbia and
Montenegro, many in refugee or IDP camps. There are also smaller Kosovo
Roma 
communities in Macedonia and in Bosnia. Eight years after the end of the
war, their status as well as the status of many of the ten thousands
Roma who escaped to Western Europe is still not resolved. 

By creating this website, we want to inform about a community which has
fallen into oblivion. We also aim to provide a platform for exchange
between Roma from Kosovo hoping that we can still bring about a
policy-change necessary to put an end to years of suffering and to
restore human dignity. 

Devlesa!

The Kosovo Roma Website Team

E-mail: kosovoroma@gmail.com 
 
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