03 Apr 15
Montenegrin Honour For Thaci Outrages Serbs
Pro-Serbian party voices indignation, after Montenegrin town says it will make Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and Kosovo Foreign Minister Hashim Thaci ‘honorary citizens’.
The mainly ethnic town of Ulcinj on the coast of Montenegro says it will declare Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and Kosovo Foreign Minister Hashim Thaci honorary citizens at a ceremony scheduled for Saturday.
The Mayor of Ulcinj, Fatmir Djeka, revealed the decision, and officials say top Montenegrin officials, including President Filip Vujanovic, will be in attendance.
While Montenegro’s small Albanian community is delighted, more numerous ethnic Serbs and pro-Serbian Montenegrins are outraged by the idea of awards going to Albanians – whom nationalist Serbs see as their nation’s historic foe.
The pro-Serbian opposition NOVA party said Thaci and Rama had done nothing for Montenegro or for Ulcinj to earn such recognition.
“What kind of message is sent to the citizens of Montenegro when a person who was at the head of a terrorist organization and who is charged with the most monstrous crimes against Serbs and Montenegrins, and even organ trafficking, receives recognition in Montenegro?” the party said in a statement.
The remark was a reference to Thaci’s past history as a leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, a paramilitary force that took on the Serbian police and military in Kosovo in the 1990s. He and other ex-KLA chiefs have been accused of a number of war crimes related to the conflict.
Opposition representatives in Ulcinj also criticized the plan, claiming that the decision was made illegally and without the consent of the city assembly.
On Thaci’s first official visit to Montenegro in January, several hundred people rallied in capital, Podgorica to express anger about his role in the KLA.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)