Shqipëria etnike sot?
Revista e njohur në të gjithë botën “The Economist” në një shkrim për Maqedoninë dhe konfliktin e fundit në Kumanovë, ndër të tjera e ka zbuluar hartën etnike të shtrirjes së shqiptarëve në Ballkan.
Shkrimi flet për dhunën e fundjavës së kaluar në Kumanovë dhe për raportet etnike në mes shqiptarëve dhe maqedonaseve atje.
“Disa gjëra janë të qarta. Çfarë ndodhi këtë muaj në Kumanovë të Maqedonisë, ishte dhuna më e keqe në Ballkan që nga viti 2004, dhe në të vërtetë më e keqja në atë vend pasi ka lëkundur marrëdhëniet në buzë të luftës ndëretnik njëjtë si në vitin 2001. Gjatë 9 dhe 10 Majit 2015 policia bëri një sulm ushtarak në shkallë të gjerë mbi atë që ata e quajtën "terroristëve shqiptarë”, transmeton “The Economist”.
Tutje ky shkrim flet për pretendimet që thuhet se ka pasur grupi i të vrarëve në Kumanovë për “Shqipërinë e Madhe” të përbërë nga Shqipëria, Kosova dhe një pjesë e Maqedonisë.
“ Një e katërta e 2 milionë banorëve të Maqedonisë janë shqiptarë; pasi lufta ishte shmangur 14 vjet më parë, pushteti ka qenë i ndarë nga koalicionet që përfaqëson të dy shumicat etnike, të cilët janë të krishterë ortodoks dhe flasin një gjuhë sllave, dhe shqiptarëve kryesisht myslimanë”, shkruan revista e njohur.
Danger or distraction?
After a long political ferment, a short burst of fighting
May 16th 2015 |
SOME things are clear. What happened this month in Kumanovo, Macedonia’s second city, was the worst violence in the Balkans since 2004—and indeed the worst in that fissile country since it teetered on the edge of inter-ethnic war in 2001. Over May 9th and 10th, police made a full-scale military assault on what they called “Albanian terrorists”. Eight policemen were killed, as were 14 Albanians. Fear of a new Balkan conflict rippled across the region.
But for anybody trying to work out what it all means, there are more questions than answers. According to the authorities, the alleged terrorists, many of whom came from neighbouring Kosovo, were starting a battle for a “Greater Albania” comprising Albania, Kosovo and parts of Macedonia. A quarter of Macedonia’s 2m people are Albanian; since war was averted 14 years ago, power has been shared uneasily by coalitions representing both the ethnic majority, who are Orthodox Christian and speak a Slavic language, and the mainly Muslim Albanians.
It may be that the gunmen did plan such attacks. But the group is reported to have overlapped with criminal fraternities plying the border between Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia: gangs which may have had some leeway from Macedonia’s police, thanks to political connections.
So turning on the gunmen seemed like a change of tactics by Macedonia’s government, headed by Nikola Gruevski since 2006. He is hard-pressed on other fronts: since February his Social Democratic opponents have been making hugely embarrassing leaks of information, based on phone taps of up to 20,000 people which were made by the security services and somehow reached the opposition.
Plenty of people have an interest in taking the public’s mind off that mess. The tapes seem to implicate members of the government in judge-fixing and vote-rigging. The next set of revelations could embarrass senior ethnic-Albanian figures. Also expected are fresh insights into the killing of five fishermen in 2012, which the state blames on Islamists. A big anti-government rally is planned for May 17th.
In what seemed like a sop to public anger, the country’s intelligence chief and ministers of transport and the interior resigned on May 12th. This followed stern warnings from Western governments about the need to preserve stability. In this feverish climate, says Veton Latifi, a political scientist, few believe the official claim that the recent burst of killings was just a terrorist plot foiled; most assume that whoever stoked the fires of violence was interested in a distraction.
The public mood was captured in a viral video in which a Kumanovo Albanian tells a news crew that “nobody wants war” and exchanges a hug with a neighbour from the country’s ethnic majority. The Albanian then declares that he and his friend know they are being manipulated.
The violence is a setback for a country which longs for diplomatic respectability. Macedonia has been a candidate for European Union membership since 2005, and every year the European Commission vainly calls for entry talks to start. One obstacle is posed by Greece, which objects to its neighbour’s use of the name Macedonia and has also stopped it joining NATO. In this glum climate, the country has seen a dip in indicators of political health, such as press and judicial freedom. Macedonia is small, and few outsiders follow it. But it plays its part in a wider Balkan pathology of ethnic tension and misrule. “The EU will learn the hard way, there is no such thing as benign neglect,” says one veteran Balkan diplomat.