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Latest update : 2017-05-12

Video: Kosovo, the impossible nation-state

For over a year, Kosovo has been in mired in political crisis, which reached a climax this week when the government collapsed and the president called snap parliamentary elections for June 11. Our reporters returned to this tiny, dysfunctional nation at the heart of Europe.

On 17 February 2008, Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia, a move immediately denounced by Belgrade and Moscow. Today, the small Balkan country is only recognised by 114 of the 193 UN member states. It remains dysfunctional and divided.

The south, which looks towards Albania, is predominantly Muslim, uses the Latin alphabet and pays in euros. In the north, the Serbian flag floats from buildings, the Cyrillic script is used, Serbian dinars are exchanged, and the population is predominantly Orthodox.

The tensions between the Albanian majority and the Serb community (which makes up just 6% of the population), a product of history fuelled by regional rivalries, eat away at the youngest country in Europe. Kosovo remains under international surveillance: some 4,300 NATO troops are deployed there and a European mission, EULEX, supervises the police, justice and local administrations.

The only glimmer of hope in this bleak landscape is the younger generation, which did not live through the war and could break the vicious circle of hatred between communities. One third of the population is under the age of 15. In order to digest its history and finally look to the future, Kosovo will have to rely on its young people and their energy.

By Séverine BARDON , Michaël SZTANKE , Marie DUBOIS

Archives

2017-07-07 Americas

From Rust Belt to Tech Belt: US city of Youngstown set on reinventing itself

The US city of Youngstown, in the state of Ohio, once symbolised the glory days of the "Steel Belt", an industrial area in the northeast. For decades, the US steel industry put...

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2017-06-23 Africa

Senegal’s Casamance hopes for new era of peace

"Neither war nor peace." That’s how residents of Casamance, a region in southern Senegal, describe the conflict that long blighted their fertile land. With the lull in violence...

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2017-06-02 Middle East

Exclusive: Beyond the notorious prison cells in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib

Located on the outskirts of Baghdad, Abu Ghraib prison shot to worldwide fame for all the wrong reasons after it was revealed that US security forces had systematically and...

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2017-04-27 Americas

What remains of Nicaragua’s revolution?

In 1979, Daniel Ortega was a revolutionary commander who overthrew Nicaragua's pro-American dictatorship and took power. Today, after a long period in the wilderness, he is...

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