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Geographical Features:
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is situated in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula, occupying an area of 25,433 km².. It is situated in a mountainous and dry area, with a few lakes and some small rivers. The capital is Skopje.
The Albanians in Macedonia mainly inhabit the western part of the country. The largest Albanian communities live in Tetovo, Skopje, Gostivar, Dibra, Kėrcova, Struga and Kumanovo. .

Before Macedonia became part of Yugoslavia, in 1944, western Macedonia was part of Albania. In this area, the Albanians are the original inhabitants. The Albanians are the second largest population group in Macedonia (40% of the population), after the Slavs-Macedonians (50% of the population). The remaining 10% of the population is formed by a combination of Turks, Vlasies, Roma and Bulgars. Approximately, 700,000 Albanians are living in Macedonia.

Culture and language:

The Albanians of Macedonia are overwhelmingly Muslim although there are a few Christian Orthodox villages. (Meanwhile, the largest population group, the Macedonian, is Christian Orthodox.) Their language is Albanian. Like other Albanians in the Balkan, they have a strong Albanian identity.

Agriculture is relatively well developed, although the soil is poor. There is little industry. A major part of the population, primarily Albanians, work abroad as a result of the lack of opportunities inside Macedonia. The figures showed that the country's workforce is 84.5% ethnic Macedonian and 9.4% ethnic Albanian. At this moment 30 to 40 % of the Albanian workforce are abroad for jobs.

Party for Democratic Prosperity (PPD) It is the largest Albanian party in Macedonia. It is the third party by participation in the Macedonian Parliament. President is Ymer Ymeri. Party for Democracy of Albanians in Macedonia (PPDSH) Second largest Albanian party in Macedonia. It was formed 3 years from a wing that separated from the PPD. This party's main strongholds are Tetova and Gostivar. President is Arben Xhaferi.


In the 1950`s and 60`s during the reign of the interior minister Aleksander Rankovic, more than 450.000 Albanians were deported to Turkey, and tens of thousands were tortured. This led to the purification of cities like Shkup (Skopje) and Monsatir (Bitola) of Albanians.
At present in Bitola, Albanian houses are once again destroyed and the Albanian population chased away from their homes.
Before the independence of Macedonia in 1992, the Albanians enjoyed the same constitutional rights as the Slav-Macedonians. However, the Albanians were discriminated against in everyday life. After 1992, Macedonia changed its constitution at the expense of the non-Slav people living in Macedonia. Although the Albanians compose around 40% of the whole population in Macedonia, the Macedonian government asserts that Albanians are only one of the minority populations in Macedonia and cannot, therefore, make claims of equality as a people.
Tensions between the Albanians and Macedonia started well before the republic?s declaration of independence. Since 1981 many Albanians have been dismissed from their jobs by the Macedonian authorities. The army, the police, the judiciary and the economy have largely been dominated by Macedonians and they have generally decided who is to get jobs and licenses. A large portion of the Albanian population was forced to seek work abroad since there have not been enough job opportunities in the FYROM.
In 1992, Macedonia changed its constitution, as above, so that all “national rights? belong to the Slavic-Macedonians in the new situation, which means that Albanians in Macedonia have no national rights. According to it, currently, an Albanian must gather about 3 times as many votes as a Slavic-Macedonian in order to be elected into the Parliament. (2,500 for a Slavic-Macedonian/ and in some districts 8000 to18,000 for an Albanian). More than 25 % of the Albanian population are deprived of their former citizenship, and thus denied the opportunity to vote. Albanians who work abroad lose their right to vote as well. This means that the Albanians will never be able to change any legislation. At this moment, 2001, only 1/6 are in the parliament .Because of the disproportianed high number of votes an Albanian representative must have to get into parliament, the Albanians are not able to get the 1/3rd of votes required to stop discriminatory laws.

In January 1992, the Albanians in Macedonia organized a successful referendum on territorial autonomy. The Slavic Macedonian government interpreted this as a first step toward secession and declared the referendum illegal. Shortly thereafter, the Council of Albanian Political Parties in the Former Yugoslavia -an umbrella organization of ethnic Albanians in Kosova, Montenegro, Serbia proper and Macedonia- decided that autonomy would only be an option for the Albanians in Macedonia if other democratic efforts to gain political and cultural rights fail.

Albanian people have no national rights, nevertheless, they are forced to pay the same taxes as Slavic-Macedonians. A major factor in improving living conditions for Albanians is education. The Albanians in Macedonia have long demanded higher education in the Albanian language. Admission to middle and higher education is made very difficult for Albanians, most higher education is in the Macedonian language. In reaction the Albanian population built an Albanian language university in Tetovo. The Macedonian government has not legalized the university yet and has therefore been illegal so far. As a consequence 4,000 graduates left the university without a recognized diploma. Even for Slavic-Macedonian universities, only 3 % of Albanian students are allowed to go to these universities. It is very difficult for Albanians to find proper employment. Therefore, Albanians go abroad for jobs and at this moment 30-40 % of Albanian working population are abroad for jobs.
Albanians have suffered from forced moving, they are not allowed their own school and cultural activities or weapons which is allowed for Slavic-Macedonians. They have no right to demonstrate, and are suppressed, tortured and shot. The Macedonian army and special security forces control the Albanian population and their villages.
The only way to get peace is to change the constitution and for the Slavic Macedonians to accept a multi ethnic state. But inequality and absolute advantages of the voting system have made it almost impossible to accomplish this.Western countries have neglected all of these violations of the Macedonian government in order to avoid war and conflict.

Current events:
13 August Macedonia signed Peace Accord

Key events in Macedonia `s Standoff

7 May 2001 Macedonia forms unity government
Macedonia has formed a national unity government with ethnic Albanian representatives. NATO and EU supported the coalition announcement between the main ruling and opposition parties. The government would include the ethnic Albanians. Two of the ethnic Albanian parties were still arguing internally about how to provide the situation of the Albanian people with better access to higher education.

6 May 2001 Macedonian government almost declared a state of war against Albanian protest
As fighting in Macedonia has spread with Albanian protesters attacking checkpoints in the north-west of Tetovo, Macedonian security forces have continued and intensified bombardment of Albanian villages in a bid to dislodge ethnic-Albanian guerrillas, The National Liberation Army. The Macedonian government had considered a declaration of war but postponed it thanks to European Union efforts. Nearly 3,000 ethnic Albanian refugees crossed into Kosova from Macedonia so far.

15 March 2001 Violence breaks out
From the end of February there has been fighting between Albanians and the Macedonian army along the border with Kosova. After two soldiers were killed by Albanians, Macedonian security forces closed its Kosova border and launched an offensive against ethnic Albanians using helicopters, gun ships, tanks and artillery. On March 30th, Macedonian forces claimed victory. However, they resumed attacks on Albanians in Tetovo 10 hours after the end of a ceasefire. International fora such as NATO, EU and UN blamed Macedonia for its excessive attacks and urged to stop them. As a result of the violence, hundreds of Albanians fled to neighboring Kosova and an estimated 5 civilians were killed.

10 September 2000 Macedonia election 'fell short'
The municipal elections were held in Macedonia but there were many violations on the Slavic-Macedonian part according to The European security organization, the OSCE. There was violence and intimidation in the western part of Macedonia - home to a large ethnic Albanian community-, major irregularities, and ballot boxes were destroyed in at least fourteen polling stations. There was much international criticism of local elections in Macedonia that fell short of democratic standards in a number of respects.

25 July 2000 Macedonia legalizes Albanian-language university
A new law, which establishes a privately funded Albanian-language university to serve the country?s large ethnic Albanian minority, was passed by Macedonian parliament. The new university is co-funded by western governments, the Council of Europe and the Soros Foundation. But, the government denied funding and required that students must pass an examination in the Macedonian language to have their degrees validated in Macedonia. Therefore, graduates have no diploma approved officially, which makes finding jobs after graduation very difficult.

Census 2002

Above informations presented by UNPO

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Albanian populated area in Macedonia

Shqip / Albanian

Makedonski/ Macedonian

























Informations about Macedonia