SUN, 08 JUL 2001 01:33:36 GMT
Is Montenegro Threatened by the Albanians?
Who Wants an Albanian-Montenegrin War?
Certain media outlets in Belgrade and Podgorica recently launched an
anti-Albanian campaign claiming ethnic Albanians will start a war
against Montenegro this summer. Their goal, to achieve their dream of a
AIM Podgorica, June 22, 2001
Sixty percent of Montenegro's ethnic Albanians are in favor of resorting
to armed insurrection to resolve status, just like in Kosovo and
Macedonia! This shocking discovery appeared on the Yugoslav army Web
site at the beginning of June. No sources were given, and Internet users
are expected to take the Yugoslav army's word for that.
However, anybody with the slightest knowledge of conditions in
Montenegro knows very well that such a claim is nonsense, made with a
single goal in mind -- to fuel anti-Albanian sentiments in Montenegro,
as part of a systematic campaign that has been pursued for quite some
time by certain Belgrade and Podgorica media outlets.
A few days ago, the Podgorica newspaper Dan, close to the People's
Socialist Party of Momir Bulatovic, the former Montenegrin president,
announced that in the town of Plav, northern Montenegro, an ethnic
Albanian uprising could commence, as part of the ethnic Albanians'
aspirations to creating a Greater Albania! The paper added that Plav
municipality, which has a rather high percentage of ethnic Albanian
residents, is the most suitable for "armed operations" also because "a
number of leaders of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which
has two factions in the republic -- the Liberation Army of Plav and
Gusinje and the Liberation Army of Montenegro -- are originally from
According to the paper, the uprising will not be organized by the local
population but by special units that will arrive in Plav from Albania
and Kosovo with exactly that purpose in mind. Their goal is to join the
Montenegrin towns of Podgorica, Bar, Ulcinj, Petrovac, Rozaje, Plav,
Andrijevica, Berane, Mojkovac and a part of Bijelo Polje to Albania.
The paper also said that in that town "private detectives are
investigating which citizens of Plav, Gusinje, Berane, Andrijevica, and
Rozaje participated in military operations in Kosovo," saying that those
who did will be the first to be attacked not only as revenge, but
because they have fighting experience.
As part of its extensive coverage of the topic, the Dan published yet
another startling discovery. The KLA was initially organized in Plav,
and only later did it spread to Kosovo! Such articles are only a
continuation of a series of similar texts published over the past
several months in some Belgrade newspapers. They claimed that up to
20,000 ethnic Albanians were trained for the operations in Macedonia and
organizing a rebellion in Greece and in "Montenegro's municipalities
with ethnic Albanian and Muslim residents." The plans for Greece and
Montenegro, however, according to a recent issue of the Belgrade
Nedeljni Telegraf weekly, were delayed because of general elections in
Albania scheduled for June 24.
The paper explains this catastrophic vision of pending disaster in the
Balkans, which will redraw the borders of Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania as part of a U.S.
multi-phase plan of dismembering the southern Balkans, will begin with
fighting in Greece and Montenegro this summer! The paper supports the
story by quoting top Yugoslav army sources and what it calls
well-informed Kosovo Albanian circles.
On the even of April elections for the Montenegrin Legislature a
disturbing rumors began circulating that the abbreviations "KLA" and
"UCK" (which is the Albanian acronym for KLA) were spray-painted on
walls in Gusinje and Plav. It was followed by reports that three
Albanian training centers existed in Montenegro, where fighters were
only waiting for orders to start down the war path.
All these allegations were denied by Montenegro's authorities, but now,
after a short intermezzo, the Dan and Nedeljni Telegraf are again
claiming that ethnic clashes in Montenegro and its vicinity are about to
"The persistence of certain forces and their exponents in Montenegro to
see evil where there is good, to forecast instability where stability
reigns, is amazing," says Ferhat Dinosha, the whip of the Albanian
parties in the Montenegrin Legislature. Dismissing such allegations as
"fabrications and hallucinations," Dinosha adds that, unfortunately, a
part of the Montenegrin public "took this information at face value and
was disturbed by it, which is what these forces wanted to achieve." "By
disturbing the public and stirring up anti-Albanian sentiment, they are
attempting to undermine efforts to define a new status of Montenegro and
the political activities of ethnic Albanian parties and their
representatives," says Dinosha.
Srdjan Darmanovic, a Podgorica-based political analyst, recalls numerous
plans and conspiracies over the past decade, all of which were allegedly
financed by certain foreign countries and sought to redraw borders and
create new states in the Balkans. So far, says Darmanovic, none of them
have materialized. Darmanovic believes that this is yet another
fabrication, but that some of its details deserve greater attention.
"The ethnic Albanian parties are headed by moderate leaders, who, albeit
insisting on changes and coming forth with demands that do not always
seem justified, do that in a moderate manner, avoiding conflict.
Therefore it seems to me that in such circumstances, given the past and
current state of inter-ethnic relations, assaults on Montenegro's
territorial integrity are highly unlikely. I believe that Montenegro
will not be affected by the current violence in the Balkans," says
The fact that many ethnic groups peacefully coexisted in Montenegro
during the 20th century could serve as role model to all Montenegro's
neighbors. Montenegrins lived in peace and harmony with ethnic
Albanians, Muslims and Croats. Owing to this, no fascist Albanian
organizations were former in Montenegro during World War Two, which
cannot be said for other neighboring countries. Montenegro's King Nikola
strengthened the trust of ethnic Albanians by appointing their people to
high military positions and in other ways. In the Socialist Federal
Republic of Montenegro ethnic relations were successfully harmonized.
Today's multi-party Montenegro strives to adopt international standards
of positive discrimination against ethnic minorities. Simultaneously,
ethnic Albanians, together with other minority groups, responded by
being loyal citizens of Montenegro.
Ferhat Dinosha claims ethnic Albanians will not endanger Montenegro's
stability. "Albanians will not do anything to undermine a democratic
Montenegro. Our message is clear: the horsemen of the Apocalypse are
free to make a detour around Montenegro. Albanians will do nothing to
endanger it," says Dinosha.
It is obvious, however, that the instigators of anti-Albanian feelings
could not care less about reality. They prefer the reliable method --
disturb the public and create new enemies.