News of Talat Xhaferi’s appointment to Minister of Defense of Macedonia is being met with dismay across the worldwide Macedonian Diaspora community. The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) expressed its deepest concern and regret regarding the appointment of Xhaferi, known as “Commandant Forina” during the ethnic Albanian terrorist attacks on Macedonian armed forces and civilians in 2001.
“The ARM (Army of the Republic of Macedonia) is a fundamental institution, dedicated to protecting the state’s territorial integrity and the lives of all Macedonian citizens. When circumstances and political maneuvering result in handing over the sensitive role of Defense Minister to a former UCK Commander, it is only understandable why the Macedonian Diaspora is outraged, as are Macedonian citizens regardless of their ethnicity,” said UMD Board Chairman Stojan Nikolov. “Based on his past actions, Xhaferi clearly has no moral authority to direct the Army that he formerly mutinied against.”
In 1999, Macedonia sheltered some 400,000 ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo. Only two years later, in 2001, the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army returned the favor by attacking Macedonia. After changing its name to National Liberation Army, it carried out hundreds of attacks in Macedonia, with the assistance of local terrorist cells, along with funding from mafia trafficking of organs, prostitutes, and narcotics. 250 people ultimately lost their lives and 1,000 more were injured. War crimes against both military and civilian targets at Vejce and elsewhere went unpunished, and 14th Century Macedonian Orthodox monasteries at Leshok and Matejce were firebombed. The final result was the Ohrid Framework Agreement, which continues to destabilize the country today, and reward the former terrorists with power and fortune.
Talat Xhaferi (aka Commandant Forina) was born in the area of Gostivar, Macedonia, in 1962. Educated in Belgrade, he joined the Yugoslav National Army, and after independence in 1991, Xhaferi went on to become a high-ranking officer in the ARM, in command of the Tetovo Barracks. When war broke out in 2001, Xhaferi deserted his post, and joined an NLA terrorist cell, calling itself the 116th Brigade, in the mountains surrounding Gostivar. After the war, the Amnesty Law legally absolved him of his crimes, and he became a Member of Parliament for the DUI, a political party and governing coalition partner, headed by former NLA terrorist leader Ali Ahmeti.
In his post-terrorism career as an ultra-nationalist politician, Xhaferi gained widespread notoriety for taking advantage of parliamentary rules that allow unlimited time for speeches to take control of the microphone but not say anything for hours. Xhaferi used this filibuster technique to obstruct VMRO-DPMNE’s bill to provide financial assistance to ARM veterans of the 2001 war, which was also supported by the main opposition party, SDSM.
DUI has taken the absurd position that former NLA terrorists — who are only “veterans” of 2001, in the sense that they were murdering ARM soldiers and Macedonian civilians at the time — should also receive the same financial benefits from the Macedonian State as ARM soldiers do. DUI has also introduced 15,000 amendments to the bill, which some media sources have calculated would take 42 years to fully debate under current parliamentary rules.