2012 Republic of Macedonia inter-ethnic violence

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2012 Republic of Macedonia inter-ethnic violence
Albanian Protesters.jpg
Albanian Protesters with Albanian national flags and Islamic flags
Date 14 January 2012 – 11 May 2012
(3 months, 3 weeks and 6 days)
Location  Republic of Macedonia
Parties to the civil conflict
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.


From February to March 2012, there was a wave of inter-ethnic and inter-religious violence throughout Macedonia.

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.[2]

On March 7, five persons were beaten in a bus in the capital, Skopje.[3]

On March 10, several acts of violence were recorded in Skopje and Tetovo. In Skopje, a group of youngsters, ethnic Albanians, 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.[4] 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, possibly because he witnessed the event. The dead were confirmed as being ethnic Macedonian, and anti-Albanian protests erupted soon afterwards.[5]

Religious incidents[edit]

News agencies reported that Muslims took offense to costumes worn by ethnic Macedonians on January 14, 2012 at an annual carnival in Vevčani. It was followed by several protests by ethnic Albanians. Seemingly in retaliation, an Orthodox church near Struga in southwest Macedonia was burned on January 30.[6]

Macedonian protests[edit]

Throughout Macedonia many protests were organised in a various 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 majority. The protesters were 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 signs reading "I am Muslim I am not a terrorist," and green or black flags bearing the shahada, an Islamic declaration of faith.

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". Some protestors later hurled stones at police and smashed 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, reportedly led 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]


  1. ^ a b c "Pritvor za učesnike incidenata u Makedoniji | Al Jazeera Balkans". Archived from the original on 2012-03-13. Retrieved 2012-03-27. 
  2. ^ "Milka Smilevska o dvostrukom ubistvu u Makedoniji | Al Jazeera Balkans". Retrieved 2012-03-27. 
  3. ^ "Talas međuetničkih incidenata u Makedoniji | Al Jazeera Balkans". Archived from the original on 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2012-03-27. 
  4. ^ "Kamenovanje, tuča i požar u Skoplju | Al Jazeera Balkans". Archived from the original on 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2012-03-27. 
  5. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20120416050502/http://balkans.aljazeera.net/makale/nadena-tijela-pet-muskaraca-blizu-skoplja. Archived from the original on April 16, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Church Almost Burned in Struga, Macedonia :: Balkan Insight". Retrieved 2012-03-27. 
  7. ^ "Протест поради петкратното убиство". Bukvar.mk. Retrieved 2015-04-29. 
  8. ^ "Skopje, anti-Albanian protest - Top Channel". Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  9. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20120501061944/http://alsat-m.tv/lajme/vendi/127294.html. Archived from the original on May 1, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ http://www.necn.com/04/16/12/Macedonian-youngsters-clash-with-riot-po/landing_nation.html?&apID=d8a4d8ea86ed444e8fa39eec3a3f4517. Retrieved May 12, 2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  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. ^ "Aame". Turkishweekly.net. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 2015-04-30. 
  14. ^ a b "Radical oIslamist insurgents protest in Skopje-Macedonia". CNN iReport. Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  15. ^ a b https://web.archive.org/web/20120528103830/http://umdiaspora.org/content/view/662/1. Archived from the original on May 28, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  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. 
  20. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20120512040827/http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Protests-in-Macedonia-after-arrests-for-5-slayings-3552002.php. Archived from the original on May 12, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ [1][dead link]
  22. ^ "B92 - News - Ethnic Albanians stone Macedonian govt. headquarters". B92. Archived from the original on 16 December 2014. 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.