1. Area and Population
The municipality of Gjilan/Gnjilane is located in southeastern Kosovo. It covers an area of approximately 385 km² and includes Gjilan/Gnjilane city and 42 villages. The total population is approximately 90,000 (90,178 according to the Kosovo Population and Housing Census 2011).
1. Kosovo Albanians: 87,814
2. Kosovo Turks: 978
3. Kosovo Serbs: 624
4. Kosovo Roma: 361
5. Kosovo Bosnian: 121
6. Kosovo Gorani: 69
7. Kosovo Ashkali: 15
8. Kosovo Egyptian: 1
9. Others: 95
10. Not specified: 100
(Source: Kosovo Agency of Statistics)
Prior to the 1999 conflict, approximately 25,000 Kosovo Serbs and 6,000 Kosovo Roma lived in Gjilan/Gnjilane municipality. Despite some returns in the last ten years, almost 22,000 Kosovo Serbs and over 5,000 Kosovo Roma still remain displaced (source: municipal office for communities and return).
2. Governing Structures and Political Overview
The total number of voters in Gjilan/Gnjilane municipality registered for the last municipal elections held in November 2013 was 95,530, including out-of-Kosovo voters. The voter turnout was 51.6 per cent/49,265 voters (source: Central Election Commission).
The municipal assembly has 35 seats distributed amongst eleven (11) political entities; 33 members are Kosovo Albanians; one (1) Kosovo Serb, one (1) is Kosovo Turk. Thirteen (13) municipal assembly members are female. The municipal assembly chairperson is Valentina Bunjaku-Rexhepi (LDK).
According to the law on local self-government, municipalities with more than ten (10) per cent of residents belonging to communities not in majority in that municipality is required to appoint a deputy municipal assembly chairperson for communities. Although this is not the case in Gjilan/Gnjilane, the municipal assembly plans to appoint a deputy chairperson for communities in a near future.
Structure of municipal executive and the executive’s political affiliations
Gjilan/Gnjilane municipality is headed by the mayor Lutfi Haziri (LDK), deputy mayor Rexhep Kadriu (AAK). It has 10 departments and department directors: education (LDK); health and social welfare (PD); budget and finance (LDK); urban and environmental protection (LDK); general administration (AAK); public services (AAK); agriculture and forestry (LDK); cadastre and geodesy (LDK); protection and rescue (LDK); and economy and development (LDK). One (1) appointed director is female (source: municipal website).
Gjilan/Gnjilane basic court has 20 judges, all Kosovo Albanian; four (4) are female and 16 are male. It has branches in Kamenicë/Kamenica with four (4) judges, one female, three male, all Kosovo Albanian; Novo Brdo/ Novobërdë with one (1) Kosovo Albanian male judge; and Viti/Vitina with eight (8) judges, one (1) female, seven (7) male, all Kosovo Albanian and also covers Klokot/Kllokot, Parteš/Partesh and Ranilug/Ranillug municipalities (source: Gjilan/Gnjilane basic court).
Gjilan/Gnjilane basic prosecutor’s office has 15 prosecutors, all Kosovo Albanian; four (4) female and 11 male. In addition to Gjilan/Gnjilane it covers Kamenicë/ Kamenica, Klokot/Kllokot Novo Brdo/Novobërdë, Parteš/ Partesh, Ranilug/Ranillug and Viti/Vitina municipalities (source: Gjilan/Gnjilane basic prosecutor’s office).
4. Security Presence
The Kosovo Police station in Gjilan/Gnjilane municipality has 169 police officers; 143 Kosovo Albanians, 20 Kosovo Serbs and six (6) Kosovo Turks; ten (10) are stationed in the police sub-station in Zhegër/Žegra village. Forty two police officers are female.
The Kosovo Police regional directorate and specialized regional units are located in Gjilan/Gnjilane city and employ 152 officers; 135 Kosovo Albanians, 11 Kosovo Serbs, three (3) Kosovo Turks, two (2) Kosovo Bosniaks and one (1) Kosovo Montenegrin; 25 are female.
As for the international military presence, the United States and Turkish KFOR cover the area (source: Kosovo Police).
The economy of the municipality of Gjilan/Gnjilane is mainly based on small businesses. There are over 3,400 registered private active businesses operating in the municipality employing over 8,900 people (source: municipal directorate of economy and development).
6. Public Services
The overall status of infrastructure in the municipality of Gjilan/Gnjilane is assessed as good.
All the main roads connecting major villages with the urban centre are asphalted. Gjilan/Gnjilane city and fourteen (14) out of 42 villages are connected to the water supply system, while Gjilan/Gnjilane city and ten (10) villages are connected to the sewage systems.
Power supply is no longer a problem (source: municipal directorate of public services).
The primary health care system includes one (1) main municipal family health centre, 13 municipal family health centres and seven (7) health houses and one (1) mobile health house. The municipal health sector has 282 employees (260 Kosovo Albanians, ten (10) Kosovo Serbs, ten (10) Kosovo Turks, and one (1) Kosovo Roma and one (1) other) (source: municipal directorate of health and social welfare).
In addition Gjilan/Gnjilane also has a regional hospital located in the city that employs 545 staff members: 537 Kosovo Albanians, four (4) Kosovo Turks, two (2) Kosovo Serbs, one (1) Kosovo Bosniak and one (1) other.
All communities have access to health care and facilities. However, many Kosovo Serbs travel to Gračanica/ Graçanicë and Mitrovica/Mitrovicë North municipality, or out of Kosovo, for secondary health care services (source: Personnel Office of Gjilan/Gnjilane Regional Hospital).
There are 29 primary schools (25 following Kosovo curriculum, 4 following Serbian curriculum) with 14,388 pupils (13,930 Kosovo Albanians; 302 Kosovo Serbs; 108 Kosovo Roma and 48 Kosovo Turks) and 1,053 teachers (972 Kosovo Albanians; 55 Kosovo Serbs; five (5) Kosovo Roma and 21 Kosovo Turks); nine (9) secondary schools (7 following Kosovo curriculum, two (2) following Serbian curriculum) with 5,566 students (5,343 Kosovo Albanians; 176 Kosovo Serbs; 20 Kosovo Roma and 27 Kosovo Turks) and 434 teachers (416 Kosovo Albanians, 15 Kosovo Serbs and three (3) Kosovo Turks); and four (4) preschools (three (3) with primarily Kosovo Albanians in city and one (1) with primarily Kosovo Serbs in Šilovo/ Shillovë village) financed by Kosovo government with 366 pupils (333 Kosovo Albanians and 33 Kosovo Serb), with 38 teachers (35 Kosovo Albanians and three (3) Kosovo Serbs). A public university and two (2) private colleges are also based in Gjilan/Gnjilane municipality (source: municipal directorate of education).
7. Religious and Cultural Sites
There are 41 mosques in Gjilan/Gnjilane. Approximately 20 mosques were renovated after the 1999 conflict and one (1) of 41 is not in use. There are eight (8) Orthodox churches in Gjilan/Gnjilane. Two (2) were destroyed following the 1999 conflict and are not in use. One (1) was damaged after the 1999 conflict but was immediately renovated and has since been in use. The remaining five churches were not damaged and are in use (source: representatives of religious communities).