The “Muslim Macedonians” should be included in Kosovo’s constitution. This is the main contents of an official request filed by Macedonia’s president Gjorge Ivanov, tells ECMI Kosovo’s July Newsletter.
A request by Macedonia’s President Gjorge Ivanov to include “Macedonian Muslims” in the Kosovo constitution, has been rejected by Kosovo’s President Atifete Jahjaga. Jahjaga has rejected the request on the basis of not having obtained the final results of a recent population census.
“Muslim Macedonians” and the Gorani community
President Ivanov’s request refers to the Gorani community, located in the South-Western region of Kosovo. Some of the community’s villages are bordering Macedonia, and many have citizenship in Macedonia (the Republic). “Muslim Macedonians” are then approximately 30.000 citizens of Kosovo who live in Gora.
“Muslim Macedonians” are not recognized as a minority community in Kosovo’s current Constitution. However, the Gorani community has the status of a constitutional category and enjoys the provisions for community protection as other communities in Kosovo.
Different views on the “Macedonian” identification
According to ECMI Kosovo’s contacts, the request is supported by Mr. Ismail Bojda, from the village of Brod, who heads the Association of Muslim Macedonians in Kosovo. Brod shares a border with Macedonia, where most of the villagers have relatives on the other side of the boundary.
However, there is general opposition to the move to identifying the Gorani community as “Muslim Macedonians”. The opposition emanates from both political parties representing the Gorani community in Kosovo, the SDSG and GIG, as well as most of the Gorani civil society organizations.