Ethnic Albanians to decide on controversial memorial

PREŠEVO -- A session of ethnic Albanian councilors from southern Serbia started at 12:30 CET in Preševo where they should decide on the fate of a controversial memorial.

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

The decision will be made by the highest political body of ethnic Albanians, the assembly of all councilors from Bujanovac, Preševo and Medveđa.

A basis for the debate will be a conclusion from yesterday’s sessions of local assemblies – that the municipal assemblies “support the location of the monument”.

This confirms information that no agreement was reached between the ethnic Albanians and the Coordination Body for Bujanovac, Preševo and Medveđa.

On November 16, 2012, a memorial honoring members of the so-called Liberation Army of Preševo, Bujanovac and Medveđa (UCPMB) killed in a 2000 armed rebellion aimed at uniting this part of southern Serbia with Kosovo was unveiled in downtown Preševo.

Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić has said that the Serbian government will remove the contentious monument in Preševo if no agreement with the local authorities is reached.

“It is definitely a provocation. I have said several times that the problems are being created deliberately and artificially, and the Serbian government does not want to make any move that would complicate the situation even further, but that monument cannot stay there,” Dačić told Belgrade-based TV Pink.