Albanian Daily News
Disarmament action to spread north

Apl 06, 2000

KUKES- Authorities of Kukes Governing Administrative Council and heads of local police pledged in a meeting on Monday to initiate a campaign, aimed at collecting weapons, sources close to the Kukes police said.

The meeting of Kukes Administrative Council discussed over the platform of disarmament envisaged for the two north-eastern districts of Kukes and Tropoja.

The General Director of police Albert Dervish attended the meeting and the head of local Police Directorate, Lieutenant-Colonel Gani Malushi pledged that a concerted effort of local police and the local government is to "initiate a collecting weapons campaign, supposed to end up by the end of August... when some 80-90 percent of the weapons looted from the Army warehouses in March 1997, will be turned in," sources said.

Malushi acknowledged that the preparatory work has been already done, while the heads of Kukes police have had contacts with scores of people from the area to sensitize them of handing over the weapons willingly.

A disarmament police department, set up after a law passed recently by Parliament, is to start its work soon, giving a further rise to the police work on the issue.

Some 20,000 weapons were looted from the military warehouses of Kukes Prefecture, which comprises the district of Tropoja and Has as well, sources from the army division bases in Kukes said. Meanwhile, some 3,000 weapons have been handled over to the police in between '97-'98.

During the last year "not a single weapon has been handed over to the police due to Kosovo crisis," sources said.

Kukes is situated near the borderline, dividing Albania from Kosovo and carried a big deal of the work, last year, in providing shelter for Kosovo refugees, evicted from their homes during the NATO-Serbia conflict.

After the conflict in Kosovo was over, scores of Albanian citizens crossed the border to meet their friends in Kosovo and to deal with them in business too. But Kosovo resulted to offer shelter for Albanian citizens, resulted of having problems with the justice as well, who started to set up lines of contraband and illegal traffics.

Original article