Gorani want to join community of Serb municipalities

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Gora municipality President Murselj Huseini has stated that the Gorani people want to be a part of a community of Serb municipalities in Kosovo.

(Beta, file)
(Beta, file)

He said that around 900 Gorani children in Kosovo were studying in schools under the curriculum of the Serbian Education Ministry.

“The Serbian government supports the residents of Gora by offering them social and health care services, which is motive enough for the Gorani to want to join the association of Serb municipalities once it is formed,” Huseini explained.

He thanked Serbian government’s Office for Kosovo Director Aleksandar Vulin for visiting Gora and expressed hope they would soon host another representative of the Serbian government.

Vulin visited Gora on Wednesday and informed the municipal leaders about the progress in the dialogue with Priština and that Belgrade had requested that the Gorani community be part of the community of Serb municipalities in Kosovo.

Gora is an area in the southwest of Kosovo, which was home to some 30,000 Gorani prior to the ethnic Albanian rebellion and the NATO aggression against Serbia. Now only around 10,000 remain.

The Gorani are mostly Muslim and speak a Torlakian dialect of Serbian. They were a recognized ethnic minority in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia until 1945 when the Communists rose to power.

Their minority rights were restored by the state of Serbia in 1991.

However, their Gora municipality was forcibly abolished when the UN interim administration was introduced following the 1999 NATO aggression in Kosovo. It was replaced by a new, expanded Dragaš municipality, which has a majority Albanian population.

In 2007 the interim Kosovo institutions opened schools teaching the Bosnian language in Gora but with the provision that the principals had to be Albanian.

Many of the Gorani refused to send their children to schools, instead choosing to educate them in accordance with the Serbian state curriculum.