“Terror group memorial will be removed by Jan. 17”

BELGRADE -- Serbian Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ivica Dačić has reiterated that authorities will remove a monument to a terror group by January 17.

The controversial monument in downtown Preševo (Beta, file)
The controversial monument in downtown Preševo (Beta, file)

The memorial plaque, which was illegally built in the southern Serbian town of Preševo, honors members of the so-called Liberation Army of Preševo, Bujanovac and Medveđa (UCPMB).

Dačić told reporters late on Saturday that it would be good if an agreement was reached and added that Albanians from southern Serbia should remove the monument by themselves. He stated that in case they failed to do so, government bodies would act in keeping with the law.

He recalled that the monument was not the only one built in southern Serbia to honor Albanian terrorists and noted that flags of the neighboring Republic of Albania were flying in Preševo and Bujanovac.

“We are facing a situation in which ethnic Albanians and not Kosovo citizens are living in southern Serbia and a situation in which it is the Albanian flag that is flying in the area and not the Kosovo flag, which means that Albanians want to have two countries in the Balkans,” the Serbian prime minister said and underscored that this was contrary to logic and unacceptable.

On December 31, Dačić announced that authorities would take down the monument in downtown Preševo, in which ethnic Albanians constitute the majority population, and underscored that monuments could not be built to honor members of terrorist organizations and those who were directly involved in the assassinations of police officers and soldiers.