Le Sandjak de Novi Pazar. Un foyer de tensions en Europe du Sud-EstJean-Arnault DERENS
The formation of the Novi Pazar Sandjak has much to do with recent history. A sandjak was an administrative unit of the Ottoman Empire. That of Novi Pazar took its particular form after the Congress of Berlin (1878) as this strip of land was to separate independent Serbia and Monte-negro on behalf of the Empire. Today, approximately 300,000 of the 500,000 inhabitants of the Sandjak are Slavic Moslems, who increasingly refer to themselves as . The area is no longer a single administrative area, and it is even divided between the Republics of Serbia and Montenegro. Bordering on Bosnia Herzegovina in the west and Kosovo in the east, the Sandjak is a major crossroads for the trafficking of drugs and human beings, stemming from poverty and underdevelopment, marginalized from Belgrade and Podgorica. The Sandjak is also being cultivated by Muslim and orthodox nationalists and integrists. The authors ask whether this area is condemned to isolation or whether it might on the contrary find a way to return to its vocation as a crossroads. It concentrates all of the area’s contradictions and evils but its economic and democratic development is one of the keys to long lasting stability in the Balkans.