National Liberation Army (Macedonia)

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The National Liberation Army (Albanian: Ushtria Çlirimtare Kombëtare - UÇK ; Macedonian: Ослободителна национална армија - ОНА) is a pro-Albanian terrorist group which was active in Macedonia from 1999-2001, around the time of the 2001 Macedonia conflict.

One of the NLA commanders stated their object was to combat "a decade of oppression by the Slav Macedonian government. We do not want to endanger the stability and the territorial integrity of Macedonia, but we will fight a guerrilla war until we have won our basic rights, until we are accepted as an equal people inside Macedonia." [1] This is contrary to the stance taken by the United States government, which "condemns in strongest terms the extremist actions of the so-called National Liberation Army and opposes their violent tactics, which aim to undermine Macedonian democracy and threaten regional stability."[2] The US officially recognizes the group as a terrorist organization. The government of Macedonia maintains that they are a terrorist organization who promotes the breakaway of ethnic Albanian areas, and the uniting of those areas with Albania.

The NLA has been committed various human rights abuses and war crimes, including torture, sexual abuse, mutilation, kidnappings, and illegal detentions.[3] They blew up a 13th-century Orthodox monastery[4].

The Orhid agreement, signed August 13 2001, brought an end to the fighting. The NLA was to agree to dissolve, disarm and give up any separatist aspirations, and for the most part they have, though terrorist attacks against Macedonians still went on after the agreement. It is not officially known if these attacks were involved with the NLA.[5]

References

  1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1231596.stm
  2. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2001/3408.htm
  3. http://hrw.org/english/docs/2001/08/11/macedo1067.htm
  4. http://www.guardian.co.uk/macedonia/story/0,,540417,00.html
  5. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1650954.stm
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