BELGRADE – Armed members of the so-called “Albanian National Army” (ANA) called for the mobilization of its fighters in the region of Kosovska Mitrovica, reported Albanian portal Veriu.info.
In the video, published on the portal, carried by Serbian portal “Kossev”, the fighters were called to a fight and give the oath.
“I urge fighters to prepare for further fighting for the protection of our national interests because parallel structures in the north of Kosovska Mitrovica torture indigenous Albanians, while our former collaborators, who are now in power in Kosovo, greedily fill their pockets with money. On the other hand, this does not explain the agreement on the Community of Serbian municipalities. Parallel structures that exist today in Mitrovica torture indigenous Albanians and do not allow them to return to their homes. I, as the chief commander of the ANA, urge you to prepare for further work on the protection of national interests,” says the anonymous commander in a letter read at the gathering.
Veriu.info further quoted “one of the leaders of the brigade” who said that the ANA was present “in different parts of Kosovo, but also in Albania, Macedonia and the Presevo Valley,” and that they are organized and well trained, and that they can quickly mobilize.
Veriu.info also alleges that members of the brigade consider NATO member states as their friends.
“NATO is ANA’s friend and friend of Kosovo institutions,” says one of the members of the brigade. The same unnamed member of the terrorist group claims that ANA has the support of “a large part of the population in all parts of Kosovo”. They are allegedly also supported by “units, battalions and brigades”.
General Momir Stojanovic, former director of the Military Security Agency, belives that the video recording of ANA members is a proof that representatives of the international authorities since June 1999 haven’t disarmed the former KLA (“Kosovo Liberation Army” / UCK), nor put the weapons under control.
According to him, the majority of these weapons remains with former KLA members, and the latest recording shows that the situation in Kosovo could escalate.
“The goal of the recording is to have the psychological impact on the Serbs in Kosovo and show them that KLA is still there and what might happen to them if they do not recognize the so-called state of Kosovo. All this is a confirmation that the international community has failed in efforts to have the Serbs and other national minorities feel safe, as well as that Albanians haven’t given up from creating the Greater Albania and that they will not choose the means to make this dream come true. If the international community wants to calm the situation, it has to disarm all former members of KLA, to put the weapons under control, but also to have the Court for KLA crimes start working as soon as possible,” said Stojanovic.
He said that “it is important that the international community answers whether ANA is on the list of terrorist organizations”.
“I do not exclude the possibility of armed provocations,” said Stojanovic.
ANA first appeared in Kosovo in 1999. Although its existence was denied by the international forces in Kosovo in the beginning, number of reports of attacks against citizens of Serbian nationality increased, followed by press releases of the organization. The most famous ANA’s military action was the bombing of bridges in Loziste, in northern Kosovo, when two of their members Islam Berisa and Hamza Behrami were killed, and UNMIK indirectly acknowledged their existence by marking them as a terrorist organization.
Zoran Dragisic, a professor at the Faculty of Security in Belgrade, says that this is an association of “young forces” inspired by senior members of KLA.
“Threats should be taken seriously because the situation in Kosovo is such that conflicts are still possible. There are enough weapons, and people are radicalized. I am afraid that there are fanatics among Albanians,” said Dragisic.