Monday, September 03, 2007

B92:Ethnic Albanians, police exchage fire in Macedonia

SKOPJE -- A former ethnic Albanian guerrilla leader said Friday his men had a short exchange of gunfire with police.

The officers then allegedly retreated from Tanuševci, which BIRN describes in its report from Skopje as "secession-minded" village near Macedonia's border with Kosovo.

Xhezair Shakiri, who was known as "Commander Hoxha" during the 2001 armed conflict in Macedonia, told local media Friday that police retreated from the mountain village on the border with Kosovo he claims to control.

The 2001 fighting between the Macedonian security forces and ethnic Albanian guerillas started when the guerillas took over Tanuševci and proclaimed it as “liberated territory."

The conflict ended later that year with a peace accord that gave greater rights to ethnic minorities in the country.

Police officials refused to comment on Shakiri’s claims, instead saying in a prepared statement: “The police are regularly practicing their everyday activities on the whole territory of the country.”

“We have information that around ten shots from automatic weapons have been heard from the area of Tanuševci, but we do not know who fired them,” police spokesman Ivo Kotevski told Balkan Insight.

Local A1 TV cited people claiming they witnessed a third version of events. These people said Shakiri and his armed group fired shots from grenade launchers and personal weapons into the air, and that police did not return fire.

Shakiri last week challenged the central government when he said that villagers in Tanuševci want to unite with Kosovo.

He said in an interview that the Macedonian police are not welcome in the village. Shakiri also accused Macedonian authorities of disinterest in his village’s problems and of leaving the community “in the hands of destiny.”

“That is why we ask for the unification with Kosovo. Furthermore, our geographic position and family bonds tie us to that country,” Shakiri said.

Shakiri is a former deputy to the Macedonian parliament who is charged with kidnapping the former mayor of the municipality of Studeničani during the 2001 armed conflict.

He refuses to face the charges and claims that he is being framed by the police.

The largest ethnic Albanian opposition party formed by the former guerrilla fighters, Democratic Union for Integration, DUI, held an emergency meeting that lasted late into Thursday night to discuss mounting friction with the police.

DUI Vice President Teuta Arifi said after the meeting that Macedonian authorities are harassing the former guerrilla fighters.

For example, DUI members contend that party president Ali Ahmeti’s bodyguard was questioned and searched for illegal weapons recently.


Anonymous said...

We all know that Kosovo is 90% albanian. And about 90% of those albanians live in 50% of kosovo land.

Why don't we just cut off that 50% and get on with living our lives?

What is the motivation of keeping the land our for fathers mistakenly sold to the Albanians during Tito's era?

Is it purely pride?

Is the 100 square kilometers a status symbol?

There is no good reason for keeping rat infested land, other than keeping Serbia out of the EU. said...

Do you really think that Albanians taking Kosovo is the end of it? It is just the beginning -- next is the Sandzak, a piece of Montenegro, a piece of Macedonia, then Greece, at which point you will have a "Green" swath from Albania on the West to Bulgaria in the East, from Northhern Greece in the South all the way North through Bosnia. You think Serbia has problems now? The scenario I just mentioned is a formula for the Balkans to explode into another war and for Islam to destroy Europe -- take your pick as to which comes first.

What are you talking about "your fathers mistakenly sold to Albanians"? There was no "sale", there was THEFT. Seems I know your history better than you do.

There is no more "getting on with your lives" like spoiled children. Those days are over. Wake up. You are facing the same fight every generation of Serbs has faced at some time in their life -- the problem is that communism and atheism didn't leave you with the moral equipment to see it and resist with all your being.

Talk to ordinary people in countries who have joined the EU -- like Greece and Italy -- I have. These people can barely afford their houses and apartments anymore -- they have Big Brother EU telling them what they can & can't do in virtually every aspect of their lives and businesses. And virtually all of them wish their countries had never joined the EU. Only the wealthiest EU countries like Germany feel otherwise.

Yet, "EU Membership" is held up like some great ""prize to Serbia because they think you are stupid enough to drool over the bait. Are you?

Serbs ARE Europeans -- you don't need some "stamp of approval" from Western bureaucrats, do you? Because if you do, then you have bigger problems than Kosovo and those problems aren't political, they are personal!

Anonymous said...

Karadjordje defended Shumadia and defined Shumadia as Serbia. Montenegro split from Serbia, Macedonia split from Serbia. There is absolutely no reason why any Shumadian should fight to save those countries from Islam.

This mantle that serbs are defenders of europe agains islam is so retarded it makes my brain hurt. Are we going to save France when all the Algerians ask for their own country in Paris? No, because its retarded to even think of that. Besides, if there was a real threat from Arabia to take over europe, we have Nukes.

Sure you can say that Kosovo was stolen from the Serbs, but the fact is so called Serbs fought for Tito and put that Croat in power to ruin the country. So next time you visit Serbia tell those bastards to leave or hurry up and drop dead, and maybe then we can fix the country.

Greece and Italy can't survive in the EU because they are stupid. Don't compare Serbs to those idiots. Serbia has the most natural resources in Europe and the highest educated working force. Now Serbian's who are young and smart enough to start a new life are running away from Serbia to find better jobs. While old the bastards who brought Tito to power sit on Serbian land and worry about Kosovo and Islam. What a load of bullshit. said...

With a few points excepted, must admit that you do make some interesting points.

You can't save Europe from itself, any more than you can save a person from themselves, because they seldom allow you to really help and they usually wind up hating you for it anyway. Either Europeans want to stand up and fight for their homes & way of life or they don't. And these days, they don't.

However, Greeks and Italians are NOT stupid people, they are however headstrong and individualistic, as are Serbs. Education is not intelligence, and cultural values usually win over "the mind" anyway, just as emotions do.

Re not "defending any country except Serbia" is a little short-sighted as some threats are bigger than Serbia and need a multi-national response.

Further, if I were to point out what I see as one of Serbia's biggest weaknesses, it is that it has never been good at forming proper coalitions and it has always
arrogantly gone its own way.

As for "young people leaving Serbia" for greener pastures, it has always been so. Largely because, the Balkans are inherently, geopolitically unstable. The Balkans sit on the equivalent of a geopolitical "fault-line", where, based on the will & movement of outside powers, the Balkans will always suffer from wars and political upheavals. It comes with the territory and the EU can't save you from that. Nor will giving up Kosovo save you from it. Because someone is always going to find an excuse to meddle in your backyard.

If you are a person who wants to write your own story that doesn't involve wars and upheavals, Serbia is not the place for you, because if you think about it, there hasn't been a single generation of Serbs who have been spared a war or the sacrifice of a political struggle. This is bigger than Tito or Milosevic or the political flavor of the moment, because it has always been so for the last 500 years. You really think that you can change that?

Anonymous said...

You win. See you in Kosovo when you get your draft letter.

Zlatan Vrabac said...

We need to save Kosovo because if we don’t then there is nothing stopping anyone destroying Republika Srpska or taking away Vojvoda. We also have to remember that Albanians have no right over Serbs when it comes to Kosovo. Like it or not, the fate of Serbs as a whole will be determined to how we as a people handle the situation in Kosovo. said...

Doubt that Anonymous, since neither of us are in Serbia and I am a little beyond "draft age".

Anonymous said...

Lucky you. I am of drafting age and would like to move back to my home land, but I don't want to fight another loosing war. said...

If you assume "defeat" before you even start, then you shouldn't go back because you are useless as a soldier with that mindset.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's better that I stay here and pretend I am a fighter by blogging instead. said...

Different people have different talents. Do what you are good at.

bozidar said...

The reasoning that "anonymous" has put forth in this argument resembles an impostor pretending to be a Serb. Although, I must admit, I have encountered some Serbs with prominent defeatist mentality, this one reeks of falsehood.

One does not abandon his land just because it has been infested with vermin but gets to work to rectify the problem.