Albanians in Serbia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Albanians in Central Serbia)
Jump to: navigation, search
Albanians in Serbia
Shqiptarët në Serbi
Албанци у Србији
Donika Nuhiu - charity concert in Macedonia.jpg
Total population
61,467 (2002 census)
5,809 (2011 census-boycotted)
Estimated 50,000
Islam (majority)
Bektashi and Atheism (minority)
Related ethnic groups
Other Albanians
Part of a series on
Albanian culture
Albanian language

An estimate of 50,000[1][2][3][4] Albanians live in Serbia out of whom majority live in the municipalities of Preševo (Albanian: Preshevë), Bujanovac (Albanian: Bujanoc), and part of the municipality of Medveđa (Albanian: Medvegjë).[5] According to the results of the 2011 Census which was mostly boycotted, there are 5,809 Albanians in Serbia.


In the municipalities of Preševo and Bujanovac Albanians form the majority of population (89.1% in Preševo and 54.69% in Bujanovac according to the 2002 census). In the municipality of Medveđa, Albanians are second largest ethnic group (after Serbs), and their participation in this municipality was 28.67% in 1991 and 26.17% in 2002.[6] The region of Bujanovac and Preševo is widely known as the Preševo Valley (Serbian: Прешевска Долина, Preševska Dolina, Albanian: Lugina e Preshevës).


In 1992, the Albanians of southern Serbia organized a referendum in which they voted that Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac should join Kosovo.[citation needed] Between 1999 and 2001, an ethnic Albanian guerilla organization, the Liberation Army of Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac (in Albanian Ushtria Çlirimtare e Preshevës, Medvegjës dhe Bujanocit, UÇPMB), was operational in this region with a goal to secede these three municipalities from the FR Yugoslavia and join them to Kosovo upon achieving independence. The activities attracted less international media interest than the related events of Kosovo and Macedonia.

Since then, the Albanian Coalition from Preševo Valley has gained representation in the National Assembly of Serbia where it holds a seat.


Education in Albanian is provided for primary and secondary schools. There may be some university-level courses provided in Albanian, in the capital of Serbia, Belgrade, but students mainly do their university degree in the University of Prishtina in Kosovo, in Macedonia, or in Albanian Universities.

The main religion of Albanians in this region is Islam. Prior to the Ottoman invasion of the Balkans, the population of the Presevo Valley was mostly Roman Catholic. There are still Catholic churches in the Karadak villages, located in Kosovo today.

Prominent Albanian individuals[edit]

  • Riza Halimi, a politician, the former mayor of Preševo municipality.
  • Jonuz Musliu, head of the UCPMB political wing.
  • Donika Nuhiu, well-known pop singer.


Belgrade, has an Albanian community. In the census of 1981, 8,212 Albanians were registered. In 1991 there lived only 4,985 Albanians in Belgrade. After the Kosovo War this number decreased to 1,492.

Year 1948 1953 1961 1971 1981 1991 2002
Albanians 1,137 3,262 8,262 6,978 8,212 4,985 1,492

Notable Albanians associated with Belgrade include: Faruk Begolli, Bekim Fehmiu, and Zana Nimani.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "South Serbia Albanians Seek Community of Municipalities". Retrieved 17 July 2013. "South Serbia is home to 50,000 or so Albanians." 
  2. ^ . BBC Retrieved 24 October 2013. "Initially, the guerrillas' publicly acknowledged objective was to protect the local ethnic Albanian population of some 70,000 people from the repressive actions of the Serb security forces."  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "The Presevo Valley of Southern Serbia alongside Kosovo The Case for Decentralisation and Minority Protection". Retrieved 24 October 2013. "The total population of the Valley is around 86,000 inhabitants of whom around 57,000 are Albanians and the rest are Serbs and Roma" 
  4. ^ "Yugoslavia: Serbia Offers Peace Plan For Presevo Valley". Retrieved 24 October 2013. "The Serbian peace proposal calls for integrating the Presevo valley's 70,000 ethnic Albanian residents into mainstream Serbian political and social life." 
  5. ^ (Serbian) Official Results of Serbian Census 2011–Population PDF (441 KB), pp. 12–13
  6. ^ Popis stanovništva, domaćinstava i Stanova 2002. Knjiga 1: Nacionalna ili etnička pripadnost po naseljima (in Serbian). Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia. 2003. ISBN 86-84433-00-9. 

External links[edit]