Northern Macedonia (until 2019 Macedonia). According to
changed government for the first time since independence
from Yugoslavia in 1991. In the fall general election, the
sitting Social Democrats, SDSM, were defeated by the
nationalist right-wing coalition VMRO-DPMNE (Inner
Macedonian Revolutionary Organization-Democratic Party for
Macedonian National Unity), and formed government together
with the DA (Democratic alternative) and the Albanian
election alliance PDPA-NDP (Albanian Prosperity
Party-Democratic People's Party).
These two Albanian parties merged in the summer under the
name Albanian Democratic Party (DPA). However, at year-end
the authorities had not yet formally registered the party
under this name because it uses Albanian symbols in its
emblem. For this reason, the DPA formally went for election
as a coalition consisting of the incoming parties PDPA and
NDP. Party leader Arben Xhaferi is not part of the
government, but five of the 14 ministers are Albanians. The
new government promised to improve the economy and create
120,000 new jobs to reduce unemployment, which amounts to
The conflict between the Slavic Macedonians and the
ethnic Albanians intensified as a result of the summer and
autumn battles in the Kosovo province of southern Yugoslavia
between the Yugoslav military alliance and the Kosovo
Albanian guerrilla UCK, Ushtria Clirimtare e Kosovės (Kosovo
Liberation Army). Demonstrations in support of UCK gathered
tens of thousands of Albanians from all over Macedonia in
Skopje. According to official data, Albanians in Macedonia
make up 23% of the population, but more than 30% are likely.
They demand complete equality with the Slavic Macedonians.
in terms of the right to use one's own language, one's own
national symbols and to be able to make a career in the
public sector. Most of them live in the north and west along
the borders of Kosovo and Albania.
Sweden took over the leadership of the Nordic battalion
within the UN force that monitors the border of Macedonia
and whose mission is to report incidents and deter from
military threats, but it has no mandate to intervene
militarily. The strength was strengthened in connection with
the Kosovo crisis and amounted to 1,050 men at the end of
the year, 187 of whom were Swedes.