Ethnic Serbs, citizens of Northern Kosovo, wave Serbian national flags and messages against the Brussels Agreement, during a rally that gathered 15,000 people from Northern Kosovo in the ethnically divided city of Mitrovica, Kosovo, Serbia, 22 April 2013. The demonstrators were protesting against an EU-brokered reconciliation agreement between Serbia and Kosovo. The deal is a major prerequisite for Serbia to move closer to EU membership. It is also seen as a first large step toward the normalization of relations between Serbia and its former province, which declared independence in 2008. Belgrade has refused to recognize the mostly ethnic-Albanian entity. Kosovo Serbs, whose autonomy in the north was the toughest sticking point in the negotiations, rejected the agreement in a protest drawing thousands to their hub, the town of Mitrovica.
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