No weddings without gunfire
The weapons are illegal, but the police are to be blamed for not giving licenses, says Ilir Nurish, resident of the village
Two shots from a pistol echo, while we are heading towards Vesala, Tetovo village at the foot of Sar Mountain.
- Here they are, they started – says our guide from Sipkovica, referring to the shootings that can be heard over the summer near these villages.
We visited Vesala in the mid-July, when the wedding season has just climaxed. Today, the celebration was in the house of one immigrant in Germany.
There are shootings only at the weddings. No wedding, no gunfire. There is weaponry in the village, but is kept for personal use only. The weapons are illegal, but we are not to be blamed. People ask for license, the police do not give – says Ilir Nurish, resident of Vesala.
The police say many of the celebrations end up in family tragedies because of the weapons.
- Six out of 11 incidents last years happened at family celebrations. Shootings are registered on the streets and in the stores. In most cases, illegal weapons were used – says Borce Pesevski, police spokesperson.
You can reach Vesala through Sipkovica and Brodec, a region considered to be NLA’s stronghold. A shepherd, in March earlier this year, has discovered on this road larger quantities of various weaponry hidden in the field. Machineguns, mortar grenades and antitank mines were discovered. The police announced the weapons were left there several days after they received an anonymous call.
The experts warn the most dangerous are the owners of illegal weapons that do not trust the police.
- Such are the cases in former crisis regions. Their residents possess military weapons, Kalashnikov and pistols. They do not legalize even the weapons for which they can get license, having no confidence in the state and believing they can protect themselves more efficiently – Colonel Blagoja Markovski shares his experience from the disarmament operation.
The problem with illegal weapons is still serious, despite the generally improved security and reduced number of crimes committed with illegal weaponry.
- The weapons are on the streets again and we cannot stop it – says Xhabir Derala, head of NGO “Civil”, on the occasion of September 21, International Day of Peace.