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New constitution replaces UN rule

Article published on the 2008-06-15 Latest update 2008-06-16 08:36 TU

Serbs from Mitrovica pay respects at a vandalised graveyard(Credit: Reuters)

Serbs from Mitrovica pay respects at a vandalised graveyard
(Credit: Reuters)

Newly independent Kosovo's constitution entered into force on Sunday, four months after it split from neighbouring Serbia. This paves the way for Albanians to take up the reins from the United Nations, which had administered the area for nine years after fighting between Serb and Albanian Kosovars.

A two-thousand-strong European Union police and justice mission, labelled Eulex, is slated to replace the UN mission.

Serbia, which regards Kosovo as an integral part of its territory and its medieval heartland, says the constitution is illegal and at best symbolic.

Serbian President Boris Tadic said Sunday that he was willing to to go back to the negotiating table to discuss the matter with Kosovo.

"That will be our strategy and our response to the illegal proclamation of the constitution of the illegal, so-called state of Kosovo," said Tadic.

It is unclear how the constitution will be imposed in areas populated by Serbs, particularly in the ethnically-divided Kosovo town of Mitrovica, where violence has repeatedly flared up since independence. 

This week Kosovo passed a law on a national anthem, which has no words in order to avoid partisan references.

RFI spoke to to Anamari Repic, editor-in-chief of Serbian programmes on Radio Blue Sky, part of the RTK public-service station that broadcasts in Serbian, Albanian and other languages in Pristina.