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Tuesday, 26 June, 2001, 16:12 GMT 17:12 UK
Viewpoint: 'They want us to leave'
Albanian refugees leaving Macedonia for Kosovo on Monday
Albanian tradition is never to leave your home, but many are becoming refugees
Adelina is a 30-year-old ethnic Albanian living in the Macedonian capital Skopje. She is a doctor and the mother of a one-month-old girl. Her husband is currently in the United States training to be an actor. She spoke to BBC News Online - about the current crisis, and her fears for the future - from her parents' home in a town known as Dibra to ethnic Albanians and Debar to Macedonians.

"I have been surprised all through this conflict by the kind of anger and fear and frustration that we have seen from the Macedonian nation.


[The Macedonians] are trying to tell us that we have to leave the country, because we do not belong here

"I just cannot understand it when Macedonians voice anger at all ethnic Albanians in this country. They are trying to tell us that we have to leave the country, because we do not belong here, because we have other countries to go to - Kosovo and Albania.

Click here for a Macedonian view on the conflict.

"Intellectually it makes me smile, it is ridiculous. But from a human perspective, it makes me cry sometimes... I mean I am losing my hopes for a better future.

"But how can I explain this situation? At the start of the conflict, I thought it was a joke. I thought that the Serbian part of the Macedonian population was trying to escalate the conflict and bring it over from Kosovo.


I now believe that this is a period of both Albanian and Macedonian awakening

"But as time passed I realised that I was very wrong. I thought that it was a real process of Albanian awakening in Macedonia. But I was wrong again, and I now believe that this is a period of both Albanian and Macedonian awakening.

"Albanians are not terrorists. There is no way to solve the crisis with the gun, we can do this with political dialogue, and these young guys, I will never call them terrorists... these guys want to be a part of that process, that is their goal.


Macedonian leaders need to be more understanding... and winning democratic elections cannot be worth pushing their nation into this absurd war

"I believe that Macedonian leaders, I am not saying the Macedonian nation, do not have a clear political vision. They still do not know whether they want to live with us or whether they want to separate from us.

"Macedonian politicians are looking to the parliamentary elections in January. They are trying to stay in government by backing this war.

"Sincerely, we are afraid. We are afraid because we are sick of wars. We are talking about two nations who have lived together for ages without hate or basic human problems. Macedonian leaders need to be more understanding... and winning democratic elections cannot be worth pushing their nation into this absurd war.

"The Albanian tradition is never to leave your home, even in war. I am always surprised when the Macedonian media exaggerate the number of Albanians becoming refugees.

"My husband is from a village near Kumanovo. I was in regular contact with his parents. They stayed in their home for more than a month during the fighting, but they were pushed to leave because it was claimed that the Macedonian army was going to launch a massive attack on the villages. This never happened.

"Macedonian police and army are trying to drive Albanians out by fear and propaganda."


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