Kurti Worried About Efforts to Depopulate Albanians in Southern Serbia

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti expressed concern over what he said are administrative efforts to “depopulate Albanian majority municipalities” in southern Serbia. 

A press release from the prime minister’s cabinet said that Kurti discussed the situation in southern Serbia with a focus on what he called the “passivization of the addresses” of local Albanians with Albanian National Council in Serbia Chairman Ragmi Mustafa. Kurti is quoted as saying that he is “carefully following the situation with the passivization of the addresses of Albanians”. “Serbia has tried to depopulate the Albanian majority municipalities with violence and tanks in the past and is now doing that administratively”, he said. 

Under Serbian law on the residency of its citizens, and address can be rendered passive if a resident does not live at the address listed in their personal documents. That article of the law is enforced for people who live abroad and are not permanent residents of the address they list in their personal documents. A large percentage of the ethnic Albanian population of the municipalities of Bujanovac, Medvedja, and Presevo live abroad but have addresses in Serbia. 

“This campaign against the Albanian residents of the Presevo valley is unacceptable and should be stopped as soon as possible”, Kurti said, referring to the three municipalities in southern Serbia.