Saturday, February 21, 2009
Montenegro's Albanians seeking autonomy in areas inhabited by them.
As parliamentary elections near in Montenegro, much speculation is surfacing in regions heavily populated with Albanians that the minority’s status quo is not acceptable, especially in a country that has repeatedly assured that sociopolitical conditions would improve the lives of its sizeable ethnic Albanian population since Montenegro declared independence in 2006.
Concerns most salient for Albanians living in Montenegro are fundamental minority protection and property rights, which have dominated the political landscape over recent years.
"We expect to have a territorial regime for Albanians to address their demands, where territorial autonomy would be the best solution," says the Tuz politician, Nikolle Camaj.
But the Albanian deputy in the Montenegrin Parliament, Vasel Sinishtaj, says the Albanians of Montenegro must show patience. "We must wait, such demands can not transpire in a year, where it has not happened for several years prior. Albanians must have faith and patience, asserts Sinishtaj.
Angjell Gojcaj, a resident Tuz, says that minority rights in Montenegro are not respected, despite the government’s assertions. "Montenegro has agreed to protect the rights of minorities and has claimed that arrangements are in order to accomplish this, but the opposite is happening as Albanians in Montenegro are not respected at all,” he says.
Regardless of the intent of such assertions, discussions surrounding the upcoming elections have left some to wonder whether Albanian politicians are serious about their comments, or whether they just testing the pulse of their constituents.
Posted by Conference Organizer at 5:01 PM