Albanian Politician Forebodes Border Redrawal in Southern Serbia, Balkans

World | March 29, 2011, Tuesday // 09:19|  views

Presevo is located in the very southeast of Serbia near the Kosovo border. Map by BBC

An ethnic Albanian politician from Southern Serbia has forecast a redrawing of the borders in the Balkans as a result of the negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo. 

Orhan Rejepi, deputy head of the city council in Presevo, a town with an Albanian majority in Southern Serbia, told the Albanian state TV in Tirana that he expects the ongoing Serbia-Kosovo talks - the first since Kosovo declared independence in 2008 – will end by "regulating the borders" in the region.

The Presevo Municipality in Southern Serbia together with the neighboring municipalities of Medveda and Bujanovac has an ethnic Albanian majority but is technically outside the borders of the former Serbian province of Kosovo.

Back in 1999-2001, a paramilitary group called Liberation Army of Presevo, Medveda and Bujanovac modeled after the Kosovo Liberation Army was active in the region.

The Liberation Army of Pre?evo, Medve?a and Bujanovac even has a Facebook fan page, and one fan as of March 29, 2011.

"It is clear for everybody that the talks between Kosovo and Serbia are not dealing solely with technical matters. They started in the direction of solving big issues, and especially regulating the borders in the region. At the beginning this regulation of the borders will happen between Serbia and Kosovo but very soon after that it will encompass the entire region," Rejepi told the Albanian state TV as cited by BGNES.

He made clear his views that Southern Serbia's Presevo, Bujanovac and Medveda must be a part of Albania.

"In this sense the Presevo valley must anyway become a part of Kosovo, i.e. of Albania," he is quoted as saying, citing the UN human rights charter and the right of self-determination.

His statement appears to be the most recent one in the spirit of calling for the creation of a "Greater Albania." In 2010, a poll found that a majority of the ethnic Albanians in Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia were in favor of a "Greater Albania."

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Tags: Greater Albania, Presevo, Orhan Rejepi. Liberation Army of Presevo, Medveda and Bujanovac, kosovo, Kosovo Liberation Army, Serbia, ethnic Albanians


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