Albanian PM accuses Serbia of "Albanophobia"

TIRANA -- Albanian PM Sali Berisha has accused Serbia of "Albanophobia" over the removal of a memorial for what he said were "the heroes from the Preševo valley".

The memorial in Preševo is being removed on Sunday (Beta)
The memorial in Preševo is being removed on Sunday (Beta)

On Sunday, the authorities removed the memorial that was placed in Preševo without a permit.

The monument was built in honor of the members of the so-called Liberation Army of Preševo, Medveđa, and Bujanovac (UCPMB) - a now disbanded terrorist group that in 2000 and 2001 organized attacks against security forces and civilians in southern Serbia.

According to Berisha, who posted his message on Facebook, the removal of the structure was also "proof that a unification of Albanian people was of crucial importance not only for its future, but also, in order to free its neighbors from the uncertainty of Albanophobia."

The Albanian prime minister sent his full support to the citizens and political leaders in Preševo, appealing on them "not to respond to provocations and to keep their cool faced with the police terror perpetrated by Belgrade".

He also told ethnic Albanians in southern Serbia that he would "do everything in international institutions in order to prevent the terror against Albanians".

Meanwhile on Monday, a protest in Preševo ended without incidents, while Serb cemeteries and holy places were desecrated throughout Kosovo.