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Clean up Kondovo, Opposition Urges as Situation Bubbles Along

December 4, 2004


( Research Service)- The unresolved enigma surrounding armed Albanian militants in the village of Kondovo took on political dimensions Friday when the leader of the opposition, VMRO-DPMNE’s Nikola Gruevski, urged incoming PM Vlade Buckovski to neutralize the situation and end the embarrassing situation.

However, the picture is still somewhat murky as to who is actually involved in the village lying only a couple of kilometers above Skopje’s western extremities.Television crews surveyed locals last week, and predictably enough, Macedonian residents backed claims that armed, uniformed Albanians were prowling the area, whereas Albanian citizens questioned denied these allegations.

However, Macedonian military intelligence sources have told that “the Kosovars are there [in Kondovo]. They have been coming across the border since before the referendum to stir up trouble.” This came as a reaffirmation of earlier information acquired just after the referendum.

A-1 TV recently expanded on assertions made earlier in Vreme that the group is being led by two local Albanians, Lirim Jakupi and Agim Krasniqi. Jakupi is in direct relation with self-styled liberation leader Gafur Adili, who spent time in an Albanian prison earlier this year for his role in stoking ethnic violence as chief of the FBKSH, reported A1 TV. The station also claimed that he was behind the September 15th attacks on three policemen in Skopje’s Roma neighborhood of Suto Orizari.

While the government denies this allegation, it confirmed another claim, this one from Vreme, that Krasniqi’s brother Besim has gone AWOL from his post in the Macedonian Army. The paper claims that the controversial Krasniqi owed this appointment solely to the intervention of DUI’s Rizvan Sulejmani, deputy-minister of defense.

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