2012 Republic of Macedonia inter-ethnic violence

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2012 Republic of Macedonia inter-ethnic violence
Date 14 January 2012 – 11 May 2012
(3 months, 3 weeks and 6 days)
Location  Republic of Macedonia
Parties to the civil conflict
Casualties
Death(s) 7
Injuries 10[1]

The 2012 Republic of Macedonia inter-ethnic violence started in early 2012 and involved ethnic Macedonians and Albanians of the Republic of Macedonia.

Religious incidents[edit]

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.[2]

Ethnic violence[edit]

On February 28, a policeman killed two ethnic Albanians in Gostivar, Macedonia after the policeman stated he was attacked by the Albanians for refusing to park in a different location.[3]

By March 9, there has been a wave of inter-ethnic violent acts. On March 7, five persons were beaten in a bus in the capital, Skopje.[4]

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.[1] In Tetovo, ethnic Albanians beat a 16-year-old girl.[5] Also, a policeman was physically assaulted. Five people were arrested.[1]

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.[6]

Macedonian protests[edit]

Throughout Macedonia many protests were organised in a variety of cities and villages, two of which turned violent: the village Smilkovci from where the victims came from and in the city of Skopje.

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.[7] The protesters were recorded chanting “a good Shqiptar is a dead Shqiptar” and “gas chambers for Shqiptars”.[8][9][10][11]

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.[12]

Albanian protests[edit]

Albanian Protesters holding various signs, including at least one stating "I am Muslim I am not a terrorist." At least one other protester is instead holding the Black Flag of Jihad or the Saudi flag.

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.[13][14][15][14][15][16][17]

On 11 May 2012, 5,000 [18]-10,000[19] 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.[20][21][22][23][24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Pritvor za učesnike incidenata u Makedoniji | Al Jazeera Balkans". Retrieved 2012-03-27. 
  2. ^ "Church Almost Burned in Struga, Macedonia :: Balkan Insight". Retrieved 2012-03-27. 
  3. ^ "Milka Smilevska o dvostrukom ubistvu u Makedoniji | Al Jazeera Balkans". Retrieved 2012-03-27. 
  4. ^ "Talas međuetničkih incidenata u Makedoniji | Al Jazeera Balkans". Retrieved 2012-03-27. 
  5. ^ "Kamenovanje, tuča i požar u Skoplju | Al Jazeera Balkans". Retrieved 2012-03-27. 
  6. ^ http://balkans.aljazeera.net/makale/nadena-tijela-pet-muskaraca-blizu-skoplja
  7. ^ http://bukvar.mk/news/protest-poradi-petkratnoto-ubistvo?newsid=WXHm
  8. ^ "Skopje, anti-Albanian protest - Top Channel". Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  9. ^ http://alsat-m.tv/lajme/vendi/127294.html
  10. ^ http://www.necn.com/04/16/12/Macedonian-youngsters-clash-with-riot-po/landing_nation.html?&apID=d8a4d8ea86ed444e8fa39eec3a3f4517
  11. ^ "Përleshje mes policisë dhe protestuesve në Shkup". YouTube. Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "Марш низ Битола во знак на сочувство - ТВ ТЕРА". YouTube. Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  13. ^ http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/135995/radical-islam-poses-regional-threat-.html
  14. ^ a b "Radical oIslamist insurgents protest in Skopje-Macedonia". CNN iReport. Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  15. ^ a b http://umdiaspora.org/content/view/662/1/
  16. ^ "FOCUS Information Agency". FOCUS Information Agency. Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  17. ^ "FOCUS Information Agency". FOCUS Information Agency. Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  18. ^ "In Macedonia, Ethnic Albanians Protest Arrests Of Murder Suspects". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  19. ^ "PROTEST AGAINST “STAGED” PROCESSES AGAINST ALBANIANS – INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON TREATMENT OF ARRESTED REQUIRED - MIC - Macedonian Information Centre". Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  20. ^ http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Protests-in-Macedonia-after-arrests-for-5-slayings-3552002.php
  21. ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/thousands-protest-in-macedonia-to-demand-fair-trial-for-5-suspects-in-fishermens-murders/2012/05/11/gIQA1TGTIU_story.html
  22. ^ "B92 - News - Ethnic Albanians stone Macedonian govt. headquarters". B92. Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  23. ^ "Macedonian Govt Building Assaulted in Albanian Protest - Report". Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  24. ^ "MINA Breaking News - Radical Albanian Islamists stage protests in Skopje, Tetovo, Kumanovo". Retrieved 13 December 2014.