2012 Republic of Macedonia inter-ethnic violence
|This article is outdated. (July 2013)|
|2012 Republic of Macedonia inter-ethnic violence|
|Date||14 January 2012 – May 2012|
|Location||Republic of Macedonia|
|Parties to the civil conflict|
The 2012 Republic of Macedonia inter-ethnic violence started in early 2012 and involved ethnic Macedonians and Albanians of the Republic of Macedonia.
Some Muslims took offense to costumes worn by ethnic Macedonians on January 14, 2012 at the annual carnival in Vevčani. It was followed by several protests by ethnic Albanians. On January 30, arsonists set fire to an Orthodox church near Struga in southwest Macedonia.
On March 10, several acts of violence were recorded in Skopje and Tetovo. In Skopje, a group of youngsters beat a 66 year old. In addition, a wooden bridge over the Vardar river was burned. In Tetovo, ethnic Albanians beat a 16-year-old girl. Also, a policeman was physically assaulted. Five people were arrested.
On late April 12, four young men were abducted and killed in an execution-style killing near the capital, Skopje. A fifth man was killed soon afterwards, probably because he witnessed the event. The dead were confirmed as being ethnic Macedonian, and anti-Albanian protests erupted soon afterwards.
The Skopje protest was organised by youths. The protesters wanted to march in the Saraj Municipality where there is an Albanian-speaking majority. The protesters ware stopped by the police and there started a 10-minute conflict between the police and the protesters. The protesters were recorded chanting “a good Shqiptar is a dead Shqiptar” and “gas chambers for Shqiptars”.
Another large peaceful protest was organised in Bitola where the Macedonian demonstrators marched through the main street of Shirok Sokak and lit candles for the victims under Bitola's Clock Tower. The protest was said to have been organised by Čkembari.
On 4 May 2012, 1,500-3,000 ethnic Albanians protested in Skopje demanding the release of the arrested Albanians, chanting "God is One", "To be an Albanian is not a Crime","UÇK", "See you in the Mountains", and "Greater Albania". The protestors later hurled stones at police and also managed to smash the windows of a bus stop. Shukri Alia, blacklisted by the EU and sought by the Macedonian police for murder and armed attacks on two Skopje police stations, is leading the efforts to organize new protests. Police said they believe he is hiding in Kosovo.
On 11 May 2012, 5,000 -10,000 Albanians protested in front of the government building in Skopje, Macedonia. They waved Albanian flags, Saudi flags and shouted "Muslims are not Terrorists!", “We are not Terrorists, we are Muslims”, “KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army)”, “Greater Albania”, "Murderers", "UÇK" and smashed windows in government offices and court buildings. Six policemen, one reporter and one cameraman were lightly injured. The demonstrators also carried banners saying that “Serbs and ethnic-Macedonians” were responsible for the quintuple murder.
- "Pritvor za učesnike incidenata u Makedoniji | Al Jazeera Balkans". Retrieved 2012-03-27.
- "Church Almost Burned in Struga, Macedonia :: Balkan Insight". Retrieved 2012-03-27.
- "Milka Smilevska o dvostrukom ubistvu u Makedoniji | Al Jazeera Balkans". Retrieved 2012-03-27.
- "Talas međuetničkih incidenata u Makedoniji | Al Jazeera Balkans". Retrieved 2012-03-27.
- "Kamenovanje, tuča i požar u Skoplju | Al Jazeera Balkans". Retrieved 2012-03-27.