Albanians in Serbia’s South Snub Elections

Bujanovac — Ethnic Albanian leaders from Serbia’s southern region bordering Kosovo and Macedonia announced on Wednesday that they will not openly call on citizens to vote in the February 3 presidential elections runoff.

The Party for Democratic Action, PDD, led by Riza Hallimi, announced that it will “leave the decision to the people.“

“I do not expect that a significant number of (ethnic) Albanians will cast ballots on Sunday,” Shaip Kamberi of the PDD told Balkan Insight.

The Party for Democratic Progress, led by Jonuz Musliu, a former rebel commander in the 2000-2001 ethnic Albanian insurgency in the region, called for an open boycott.

According to observers from Belgrade’s Center for Free Elections and Democracy, only about 1,000 out of 45,000 Albanians from the region cast their ballots in the first round of voting on January 20.

An overwhelming majority of Serbs in the three municipalities, Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, just outside Kosovo voted for Nikolic, CeSID said.

The three municipalities are still recovering from the insurgency that ended in a 2001 NATO-brokered peace agreement resulting in the disarmament of ethnic Albanian rebels.

Now ask yourself why Americans didn’t hear anything about an Albanian insurgency on the heels of the Kosovo “genocide/ethnic cleansing”. What American knows that there was a full-on civil war in Macedonia straight away, much less a similar flare-up in southern Serbia?

I guess that’s what happens when you “contain” a conflict, as Clinton explained we were doing, by serving as the terrorists’ air force.

In closing, here’s even more evidence of the “Serbian myth” of Greater Albania:

31 January 2008

The ethnic Albanian politician and ex-guerrilla says Serbia’s presidential candidates are pursuing the same policy towards Serbia’s Albanians, and insists that his Preshevo region should be allowed to join Kosovo.

During the 2000-01 insurgency in Serbia’s southern region bordering Kosovo and Macedonia, Jonuz Musliu, 48, the current deputy mayor of the town of Bujanovac, was a key leader of ethnic Albanian guerillas also known as the Liberation Army of Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac, OVPMB, that fought Serbian security forces.

The conflict ended on May 21, 2001, when insurgents agreed to disarm and integrate into society under a NATO-brokered peace deal, dubbed the Konculj Agreement, after Musliu’s village of Konculj, just outside Kosovo.

The region comprised of the three municipalities, Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, is still recovering from the conflict, and the government in Belgrade has never made public the number of casualties from the insurgency.

Following the end of hostilities, Musliu, a political prisoner in now-defunct communist Yugoslavia, formed the Movement for Democratic Progress party, PDP, which currently shares power in the town of Bujanovac which has a sizable ethnic Albanian minority.

Q: Recently you proposed some sort of a special status for the Presevo valley with a international military presence.

A: Because of the problems I mentioned earlier, we have asked for a special status for the Presevo valley. That means that we would be part of neither Serbia nor Kosovo, and that an international military presence would be required as a guarantee for the safety of all citizens.

Q: Belgrade believes that such a proposal is unacceptable. What were the reactions of the international community?

A: We have sent a written note about the initiative to all the Western embassies [in Belgrade] and to the international organizations present in Serbia.

Q: Does your initiative mean that you and your party could abandon your basic principle that the Presevo valley should be a part of Kosovo?

A: The special status is just the first step in preventing possible troubles. Regarding the real needs of Albanians, there is no dilemma.

At the 1992 referendum that the then authorities did not recognize, the vast majority of local Albanians voted to join Kosovo. Implementation of the referendum results would mean a fulfilment of the people’s will.