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RFE/RL Reports: Where is Kosovo Five Years After Independence?


Kosovars mark the fifth anniversary of their independence on February 17, but not all citizens will be celebrating. The small ethnic Serb minority still live mostly in enclaves and do not recognize the country’s independent status, a position they share with nearly half of UN members, including Serbia proper. Nearly 14 years after a brutal war ravaged the then-province, Kosovo is still plagued by ethnic tensions, corruption, and economic inertia. RFE/RL's Balkan Service and RFE/RL senior correspondent Ron Synovitz report on the mood of the country ahead of the anniversary:

# Barricades, checkpoints and clashes have divided the city of Mitrovica, an historic flashpoint of conflict between ethnic Serbs and NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) troops and Kosovo police, reports Synovitz.

# In the capital of Pristina, Synovitz met with young people discouraged by high unemployment and a lack of economic opportunities. Adding to the bleak economic outlook are foreign investors wary about corruption as a cost of doing business in the country.

# In an exclusive interview with former Croatian President Stjepan Mesić, a staunch supporter of Kosovo independence, correspondent Enis Zebić Mesić discusses the difficult relations between Kosovo and Serbia.

# This week's “Friday Photos From” Facebook gallery, shares compelling images from a struggling country.

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