As Donald Trump builds a wall, this European village is tearing them down

Florent Bajrami
Sunday 05 February 2017 16:48 GMT
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Bulldozers demolish a wall following weeks of tensions between Kosovo and Serbia, in the ethnically divided town of Mitrovica, Kosovo
Bulldozers demolish a wall following weeks of tensions between Kosovo and Serbia, in the ethnically divided town of Mitrovica, Kosovo (Reuters)

While Donald Trump seems intent on erecting a wall to divide people, a village in Europe has been tearing one down.

A concrete wall in the northern Kosovo city of Mitrovica that had provoked tensions between Kosovo and neighboring Serbia has been pulled down.

The move followed an agreement between the government and the country's ethnic Serb minority, facilitated by the European Union and the United States embassy.


Kosovo Serbs look as bulldozers tear down a concrete wall erected in the northern city of Mitrovica , that has provoked tensions between Kosovo and neighboring Serbia. The wall removal followed an agreement between the government with the country's ethnic Serb minority, facilitated by the European Union and the United States embassy 

 Kosovo Serbs look as bulldozers tear down a concrete wall erected in the northern city of Mitrovica , that has provoked tensions between Kosovo and neighboring Serbia. The wall removal followed an agreement between the government with the country's ethnic Serb minority, facilitated by the European Union and the United States embassy 
 (AP)
Kosovo Serbs look as bulldozers tear down a concrete wall erected in the northern city of Mitrovica
Kosovo Serbs look as bulldozers tear down a concrete wall erected in the northern city of Mitrovica (AP)
Bulldozers demolish a wall following weeks of tensions between Kosovo and Serbia, in the ethnically divided town of Mitrovica, Kosovo
Bulldozers demolish a wall following weeks of tensions between Kosovo and Serbia, in the ethnically divided town of Mitrovica, Kosovo (Reuters)

The wall's destruction by two excavators on Sunday was not accompanied by any protests or disturbances. However, police forces were on high alert.

Other than journalists, only a few people watched as bulldozers tore down the wall.

"We did not enter into a show of force or demonstrate populism," Prime Minister Isa Mustafa also thanking Mitrovica citizens, "The best democratic methods prevailed."

The head of the EU Office in Kosovo, Nataliya Apostolova, hailed the agreement.

The border tensions started with the wall in December and increased in January, when a Serbian nationalist train that was stopped at the border.

Ethnic Serbs in northern Mitrovica, where most of the Serb minority lives in Kosovo, erected the two-meter (yard) tall and 50-meter- (yard-) long wall, calling it a barrier against a landslide.

The Kosovo government saw it as a provocation, and parliament voted to pull it down.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but Serbia has not recognized it as a separate country, seeking to maintain influence in northern Kosovo where most of the Serb minority lives.

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