Today, the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) and all Macedonians worldwide are commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the start of the First Balkan War, on October 8th, which was the start of a massive campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Macedonian people, particularly by the governments of Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia.
The Balkan Wars led to the unjust division of ethnic and geographic Macedonia, and caused immense suffering to the Macedonian people. Many were forced into exile, to other parts of Europe, to Australia and to North America. UMD pays tribute to the memory of the victims of the First Balkan War, and calls on Macedonians today to continue the fight to ensure civil and human rights for Macedonian people worldwide, especially in Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, and Serbia.
“We urge Macedonians today to look to the future, while never forgetting the injustices committed against our people during this tragic period of our past,” said UMD President Metodija A. Koloski. “It is time we put an end to the double-standard inherent in many historical accounts, and it is time we educated the public on what happened to the Macedonians during and after the Balkan Wars.”
The Balkan Wars concluded with the signing of the Treaty of Bucharest in 1913, which partitioned Macedonia into three main parts: Aegean Macedonia, which was annexed by Greece, Pirin Macedonia, which was annexed Bulgaria, and what is now today’s independent Republic of Macedonia, which had been annexed by Serbia at that time. Also, smaller territories such as Golo Brdo and Mala Prespa were eventually annexed by Albania. Today, Macedonians continue to live on their ancestral lands in Greece, Bulgaria and Albania, but they are subjected to various kinds of oppression and abuse at the hands of their respective state governments.
Leading up to the 100th Anniversaries of the Second Balkan War (June 16, 2013), and the signing of the Treaty of Bucharest (August 10, 2013), UMD will undertake projects to highlight the last century of Macedonian struggle, including the efforts of Macedonia and the Macedonian people to determine their own destiny. UMD will also organize a conference exploring the implications of the Treaty on domestic and regional politics.
UMD strongly believes that the current governments of Bulgaria and Greece must come to terms with atrocities committed by their past governments against the Macedonian people during the Balkan Wars period and following; such recognition will serve the interests of peaceful reconciliation in the region.