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The Ibar River, which divides ethnic Serb and Albanian communities in Mitrovica, northern Kosovo.

The Ibar River, which divides ethnic Serb and Albanian communities in Mitrovica, northern Kosovo.

Photographer: Ben Kilb/Bloomberg

War Hangover in Divided Kosovo Is a Warning for Europe

Still scarred by division more than two decades after a fragile peace, the nation is a worrying omen for Europe mired in conflict again.

It takes just a minute to walk over the bridge linking either side of the Ibar River in the city of Mitrovica, and yet it’s a journey that takes you back years.

Renovated following NATO’s intervention to end the ethnic conflict in Kosovo, the hope was that the bridge would turn into a symbol of unity in the divided country. More than two decades later, it remains the boundary between worlds that have collided again in recent weeks.