Protest gathering was held in center of Presevo against removal of monument to fallen members of OVPMB, terrorist Albanian organization who fought against Serbian army and military. The demonstrations took place without incidents ending at 13h.
Protest signs and several Albanian flags, carried by citizens, were seen at the demonstrations. Before the gathering, a meeting of Albanian political party leaders took place, but the results of that meeting are still unknown.
Representatives of OSCE mission were also present in Presevo.
United States Embassy came out with a statement in the meantime. Embassy’s press attaché Steven Stark said that the USA invite both Serbian and Albanian side to continue looking for the long-term and permanent solution in cooperation with the OSCE.
Illegally erected monument honoring fighters of the terrorist OVPMB in center of Presevo, town in south of Serbia, was removed yesterday, and the removal action took place without incidents.
After the monument to OVPMB fighters was removed from the square in Presevo, all six Albanian political parties from south of Serbia held separate meetings.
It was announced that a protest walk through the town will be organized tomorrow, and a message to the autorities in Belgrade and to the international community will be sent at the end of the protest.
President of one of the Albanian local parties Riza Halimi said that Serbia has missed a great opportunity to accept a compromise, which was prepared at yesterday’s meeting and gave priority to extraordinary measures through use of force. In his words, leaders of the Albanian parties will persevere in demanding their legitimate rights through dialogue.
Ahead of the press conference, several dozens citizens gathered at the spot where the monument was placed, enclosed it with ribbons and lit candles.
Ambassador of Albania in Belgrade, who came to Presevo today. also met with leaders of Albanian parties.
In Presevo, town in south of Serbia with majority Albanian population, the disputed monument to fighters of OVPMB, terrorist Albanian organization, who fought against Serbian army and military, was removed this morning.
Action of removing the monument took place without incidents. Gendarmerie, the elite unit of the Serbian police, secured the town center while a crane loaded the problematic monument onto a truck.
Prime Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic said that Serbia has shown plenty of patience, but also sent out a strong and firm message that the law must be abided and that nobody is above the state.
Local government in Presevo is composed of Albanian community parties who refused to remove the monument for a long time.
Albanian National Army (Armata Kombëtare Shqiptare, or AKSh) which was put on the list of terrorist organizations by the United Nations in 2003, has declared “urgent mobilization” because of “Serbian threat to secede one part of Kosovo’s territory and threats to forcibly remove monument to OVPMB in Presevo”.
Media in Pristina reported that the decision to mobilize was made at a meeting held on 9. January 2013. in Vucitrn. Headquarters of ANA, zone 2, stated that the mobilization of special unit “Cobra” was ordered due to the tense situation in Presevo valley and north of Kosovo.
ANA accuses “the fascist-like authorities of Serbia” for worsening the situation in north of Kosovo, and states that the final decision has been made to order mobilization from 10. January 2013. for all members of Albanian National Army.
The decision was signed by headquarter commander, lieutenant “Kachaku”, as well as the commander of special unit “Cobra”, who has the general rank.
Members of Presevo municipality assembly, mostly Albanians, have repeated their decision yesterday at an extraordinary assembly session that they are against removal of monument to members of the terrorist group OVPBM.
They pointed out to the decision of local authorities from 2007, when the plateau in front of the local municipality building got the name Square of The Fallen Soldiers. With that in mind, the local authorities will start an initiative for its legalization.
The assembly members also concluded that the political and security situation in the municipality is “jeopardized, mostly by the threatening statements of Serbian top officials and politicians”, referring to statements made by Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and President Tomislav Nikolic.
Presevo municipality assembly members supported the dialogue started by the Albanian political representatives with the Serbian government officials, moderated by the international community.
Serbian police stopped 14 young men from Belgrade, Sabac and Krusevac on Sunday morning who intended to go to Presevo, town in south of Serbia, and destroy the monument dedicated to Albanian terrorists erected in that town.
The police stopped them on the highway near Nis, city in south of Serbia some 150 kilometers from Presevo, and then detained them in a police station where they were interrogated for several hours.
According to Belgrade media, they didn’t have fire arms, but sledgehammers, mallets and crowbars.
The arrested men denied they were going to destroy the monument, claiming instead they just wanted to “visit” Presevo.
Monument in Presevo, town in south of Serbia with majority Albanian population, has for the last month been a conflict point between Serbian PM Ivica Dacic, who wants it removed, and the local Albanian politicians who refused to do it.
In Presevo, town in south of Serbia with majority Albanian population, a memorial plaque was set up today with names of 27 members of the so-called Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja Liberation Army (LAPBM), a terrorist organization that started armed rebellion against Serbia in 2000.
Serbian PM and Minister of the interior Ivica Dacic called upon Albanians to remove from Presevo town center the plaque with names of LAPBM members who died during the rebellion.
“The plaque must be removed and it would be best if they remove it themselves. We have no dilemma that Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja are a part of Serbia. We want the international community to know that now, because we don’t want them to say we used ‘excessive force’ afterwards”, said Dacic.