Albanians in south Serbia

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Albanians in Serbia
Албанци у Србији
Shqiptarët në Serbi
Total population
5,809 (2011 census-largely boycotted)
~50,000 (estimate)
Related ethnic groups
Other Albanians
Part of a series on
Albanian culture
Albanian language

According to the results of the 2011 Census which was mostly boycotted, there are 5,809 Albanians in Serbia (excluding Kosovo). An estimate of total of 50,000[1] Albanians live in Serbia out of whom majority live in the municipalities of Preševo (Albanian: Preshevë) and Bujanovac (Albanian: Bujanoc).[2] The region of Bujanovac and Preševo is widely known as the Preševo Valley (Serbian: Прешевска Долина, Preševska Dolina, Albanian: Lugina e Preshevës).


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). [3]


In 1992, the Albanians of southern Serbia organized a referendum in which they voted that Preševo, Bujanovac and Medveđa 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 in 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 Universiteti i Prishtinës in Kosovo, in Macedonia, or in Albanian universities.

The main religion of Albanians in this region is Islam.

Notable people[edit]

  • Riza Halimi, a politician, the former mayor of Preševo municipality.
  • Jonuz Musliu, head of the UCPMB political wing.
  • Skender Destani, paediatrician, leader of the Democratic Union of the Preševo Valley (DUD).

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. ^ (Serbian) Official Results of Serbian Census 2011–Population PDF (441 KB), pp. 12–13
  3. ^ 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]