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The Leader Of "The National Liberation Army"

On the road to power, Ali Ahmeti, Albanian rebel leader in Macedonia, cannot be ignored

by Stavros Tzimas

Kathimerini, August 23, 2001
Posted at globalresearch.ca 29 August 2001


Ali Ahmeti has been denounced as a criminal by the FYROM government. Hardline Interior Minister Ljube Boshkovski wants Ahmeti arrested and then brought before what he calls "independent Macedonian courts." But this has not prevented the hunted political leader of the Albanian rebels from traveling unhindered from Kosovo to the village of Sivkovica, north of Tetovo, for an interview. He went through the Slav-Macedonian checkpoints, and in a state-owned vehicle his fellow Albanians had put at his disposal. The armed Albanian rebel movement he represents has become a powerful political force which is soon expected to demand legal participation in the political life of FYROM and possibly form a party.

Ali Ahmeti has been denounced as a criminal by the FYROM government. Hardline Interior Minister Ljube Boshkovski wants Ahmeti arrested and then brought before what he calls "independent Macedonian courts." But this has not prevented the hunted political leader of the Albanian rebels from traveling unhindered from Kosovo to the village of Sivkovica, north of Tetovo, for an interview. He went through the Slav-Macedonian checkpoints, and in a state-owned vehicle his fellow Albanians had put at his disposal. The armed Albanian rebel movement he represents has become a powerful political force which is soon expected to demand legal participation in the political life of FYROM and possibly form a party.

In the future the rebels, in or out of uniform, will be the ones to make decisions about developments on behalf of the ethnic Albanians, whose traditional leadership is on the brink of political disappearance. The Albanians of Tetovo and the other western regions of FYROM are on the side of the rebels who have become heroes in their eyes.

A Western diplomat who recently visited the so-called liberated zones told Kathimerini that the young boys and girls there wear ribbons bearing the initials of the National Liberation Army (NLA), and that the walls in all the villages are covered with slogans supporting the NLA.

Arben Xhaferi and Imer Imeri have signed an agreement in which the Albanians have registered their historic claims, but in fact it is Ali Ahmeti and his armed men who have dictated the stance of the leaders of the two legal political parties. Without the consent of the rebels, no agreement would have been signed, nor indeed could the peace process have made any progress. Now that their armed struggle has succeeded, Ali Ahmeti and the other rebel commanders will want to make political capital from their military action, as did Hakim Thaci and the other captains in Kosovo. The amnesty granted by President Boris Trajkovski allows the rebels to participate unimpeded in society, and this will happen, says their leader, after they have attended social reintegration seminars. Ali Ahmeti is waiting it out at Prizren in Kosovo, directing political developments from there. His triumphant appearance in Tetovo is considered only a matter of time. Similarly, as the new situation demands, it won't be long until he is no longer branded a war criminal and common murderer.


The URL of this article is:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/TZI108A.html