ISSN 2330-717X

Macedonia: Outrage Grows Over Mystery Killings

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By Sinisa Jakov Marusic and Darko Duridanski

The discovery of the bodies of five murdered men, found on Thursday night near Zelezarsko Ezero in the northern outskirt of the capital, has sharply fuelled tensions in the country between Macedonians and Albanians.

Hundreds of Macedonians gathered to block a road in the northern part of Skopje to demand that the killers of five men be brought to justice.

Earlier, dozens of angry protesters tried to enter an area populated by ethnic Albanians, seeking revenge for the murdered men, although there is nothing to suggest that their killers were Albanian.

Police stopped the men from proceeding but did not prevent them from attacking a media crew from a local TV station and their vehicle.

The five bodies were found on the outskirts of Skopje on Thursday night. Media reports said four of the men appeared to be between 18 to 20 while one appeared to be in his forties.

Eyewitnesses said they were found by a local fisherman and the victims were believed to be fishermen too. The bodies had been lined up and appeared to have been executed with firearms. Two cars were found in the vicinity with open doors.

Interior Minister Gordana Jankulovska told reporters that the victims had been shot and that cartidges had been found at the crime scene. She expressed condolences to the families of the victims and said police were doing everything to resolve the murders.

30 people were brought in by police for questioning in relation to the murders.

“We have to practice restraint because the perpetrator or the perpetrators are still at large”, Jankuloвska said.

She said that police commanders have been mobilised and that there will be an increased police presence in order to prevent further escalation of violence. As for the protests at several locations in Skopje, she appealed for calm and restraint.

“We appeal for patience and restraint from any speculations that may lead to fueling inter-ethnic tensions. We hope that we can soon come out with more information and reveal more details and the perpetrators.”

Meanwhile, all political parties across the ethnic board offered condolences to the families of the victims called for swift investigation and appealed for calm and restraint.

President Gjorgje Ivanov said that, “in these moments of deep sorrow, we should not allow political misuse of this tragic event. I appeal for wisdom and responsibility”.

The EU mission to Skopje and the US embassy also condemned the incident and called for restraint.

The shocking incident, on the eve of Orthodox Good Friday and ahead of Orthodox Easter, seemed bound to cause more ethnic turbulence in the country between Macedonians and the country’s large ethnic Albanian minority.

Tension between the two communities has been rising since February when an off-duty Macedonian policeman shot dead two young Albanians in the northwestern town of Gostivar.

After that, the Balkan country experienced the worst outbreak of inter-ethnic gang violence since 2001, when it narrowly avoided civil war.

During first half of March gangs of mainly young people attacked people in commuter buses and on the streets in capital and in other towns, leaving at least 15 injured. After police apprehended more than 30 suspects the incidents began to subside.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

9 thoughts on “Macedonia: Outrage Grows Over Mystery Killings

  • April 14, 2012 at 9:40 am
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    These Yugislavs think they own the country. About time the real Illyrian descendents have taken revenge an eye for an eye. Those poor Albanians killled for no more than just being Albaina is irreprehensible. These Yugislavs should know that their fascism cannot exist much longer in this skojian land.

    Reply
  • April 14, 2012 at 9:48 am
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    Once these Yugislavs remember that they started the killing they will know their place in Skopjia. So much for Yugi’s thinking they have the upper hand in skopjia. As much as it is the young people of Skopjia know that this skopjian government with its Yugi’s in canada are on their way out forever.

    We are so lucky in Ohrid. Most of our people are Albanians and the Yugi’s here are afraid to say or do anything. One day they will all move out and even here Ohrid will be without any Yugi’s from skopjiana.

    Reply
  • April 15, 2012 at 12:54 am
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    Rememeber these skopjians started this by insulting our people at their carnival earlier this year where many of our young were beaten and later some found killed execution style. Now the long arm of retribution is reaching all these Yugislav skopjians to show them that our roots have been here a lot longer than their Yugislav Titoistic fabrication.

    Albanian youth have united against these skopjian Yugis who think they come from some ancient time. All the Yugis of today are simple skopjians feeding on the histories of the Illyrian Albanians, the ancient Greek speaking Macedonians, and Bulgarians.

    Shame you have none, but no matter the world knows of your Yugi ways and skopjian lies. Your fascism will never break our peoples will as we have been here on this land of skopjia for thousands of years while you were created only yesterday by Tito and his communistic veneer of fascism.

    Reply
  • April 15, 2012 at 11:01 am
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    Tragedy, even more so if they were killed to make a political statement.
    Its 10 years since the Government murdered 7 youths to make friends with America.
    c/o BBC 2004
    Macedonian officials have admitted that seven alleged Pakistani militants killed in March 2002 were in fact illegal immigrants shot in cold blood to “impress” the international community

    Reply
  • April 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm
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    The filth above needs no comments. It’s filth no matter how you interpret it.

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  • April 16, 2012 at 12:46 am
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    Sam, you speak as if Yugoslavia exists still, but that ended many years ago. Macedonia is it’s own independent, democratic country. I don’t know why everyone can’t just live with each other. You keep spreading your nationalistic hate and are no different than these people you are chastising. Why should people be afraid of other ethnic groups and why are you proud of this? Any violence is horrible and should not be tolerated no matter who it is. People like you are the reason there are so many ethnic, religious etc. tensions in the world. Please stop being naive and ignorant. Live in peace!

    Reply
  • April 16, 2012 at 6:12 am
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    Wrong, why people are cray! The reason is that these Yugis hate us. We have tired to live with them for years but now its worse than ever because they have a fascist Yugi leading them the skopjia Gruevski who thinks he is from antiquity.

    Albanians have a right to live here like everyone else, but the skopjians don’t want us so they try to beat and kill.

    An eye for an eye.

    Reply
  • April 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm
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    Terry what does the Pakistan migrant workers have to do with this. Lets keep on topic here. Lets not forget that the Pakistani’s where in Macedonia at a time of WAR.. Anyone traveling through a war zone should know better. Especialy a bunch of Taliban looking men..Most Albanians are caucasians not asian. These men where not in Macedonia on holiday!

    Reply
  • April 17, 2012 at 11:27 pm
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    Skopje is a city ( a given name by the Romans) not a country, the capital of Macedonia, there is great shame of killing on most holy of Christian Orthodox Holidays… Good Friday.

    Those often forget conflict is two sided, the Macedonians have a right to defend themselves, their land and their people.

    FYI -Slavic colonization and influence in the region did not begin with Tito, it began in 5th century. SAM I sincerely recommend you take a history class, so you can base your arguments on facts instead of your delusions.

    Reply

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