03.05.2000112 Boys abandon school fearing vendetta
TIRANA - Blood feuds and the new rules with which they are being conducted have forced several children to stay indoors and not attend school, the Ministry of Education said this week.
Although the Ministry has not yet obtained accurate data, it said at least 112 children did not attend school this current academic year because their families are involved in blood feuds.
The problem is acute in northern and north-eastern Albania.
In Shkodra, the number of children staying indoors is 68, in Tropoja and Mirdita there are 17 and 16 children doing so, respectively, while Lezha and Malesia e Madhe have five children each locked in their houses.
From the statistics collected through surveys carried out by inspectors from the education departments in various districts of the country, it emerges that nearly one third of children who have abandoned school because of blood feuds are in elementary school, that is from 6-10 years of age.
Though the customary code of the mountains does not allow male sons younger than 16 years old to be killed in blood feud, the rule has been overturned in recent years; last month, a 14-year-old boy killed a 11-year-old boy from the family that killed his father. The reason, vendetta.