April 19, 2012 – Washington, D.C. – The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) condemns and mourns the grave killings of the five Macedonian fishermen on April 12, 2012.
The victims were found late last Thursday night by a lake near the village Smiljkovci, north of Skopje. UMD is deeply saddened by this tragic event, and urges local and national authorities to do everything in their power to find those responsible and bring them to justice.
The victims, all ethnic Macedonians, were found shot dead. Initial reports indicate that more than one kind of weapon was used, suggesting a coordinated attack. Four were in their 20s, and the fifth was in his 40s, with media identifying the dead as Filip Slavkovski, Aleksandar Nakjevski, Tsvetanco Atsevski, Kire Trickovski and Borce Stefanovski.
“My heart goes out to the families of these five innocent men. I call on the Macedonian public to remain calm and let the approropriate authorities pursue their duties”, said UMD Chairman Stojan Nikolov.
UMD urges the government of the Republic of Macedonia to ensure that the safety and security of the Macedonian citizens is its top priority. “This latest event is part of a chain of tragic events in Macedonia that has to end,” said UMD Board Member Dame Krcoski. “Macedonia is a free country, but the people cannot enjoy that freedom if they cannot live their lives in peace and security.”
UMD expresses our sincere condolences to the family members of the victims.