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Albanian National Army

Albanian National Army

The Albanian National Army (ANA; Albanian: Armata Kombëtare Shqiptare, AKSh) is an Albanian paramilitary organization which operates in North Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo. The group opposes the Ohrid Framework Agreement which ended the 2001 insurgency in Macedonia between members of the National Liberation Army and Macedonian security forces.

It was formed in July 2001 in Macedonia, and announced themselves on 3 August 2001. The organization is associated with FBKSh (National Front for Reunification of Albanians), its political wing.

On April 26, 2002, ANA members attacked former National Liberation Army (NLA) members in the village of Mala Rečica near Tetovo. The battle lasted four hours with around 100 militants participating. According to some sources, two people were killed and 5 were injured.

The ANA appeared in Kosovo in 2003, where on March 7, two members trying to detonate a bomb were shot and killed by Serbian police. In 2004 and 2005 a group of 80 militants led by Agim Krasniqi controlled the village of Kondovo twice. Through the media, Krasniqi threatened to shell Skopje and his men kidnapped and beat four police officers. After this the ANA withdrew into Kosovo.

In 2004, Avdil Jakupi surrendered to authorities in Kosovo, were he was sentenced to fourteen years in prison for kidnapping two policemen and attempting to bomb railway lines.

In 2007, a video was aired by Kosovar television stations depicting a band of medium-armed, masked individuals intercepting cars. In October 2007 the unit declared it would seize the Serb exclave of North Kosovo by force if the Kosovo Protection Force did not occupy it by November 1, 2007. The ANA has claimed that it is patrolling North Kosovo to prevent incursions by the Tsar Lazar Guard.

On November 7, 2007, insurgents of the "Jakupi Group" controlled the region of the village Brodec on the Šar Mountains. The Macedonian police force later crackdown on the group, dubbed Operation Mountain Storm. The operation was carried out by a multi-ethnic police force, and according to Macedonian authorities, six members of the ANA were killed.

On November 13, 2007, a video was aired to the public, an exclusive interview with a leader of the ANA, nicknamed "Commander Preka", patrolling in the covert areas of North Kosovo, recruiting 20 new men. The leader stated that ANA stands at 12,000 men altogether and has called the Kosovar population for a boycott of upcoming parliamentary elections.

"The talks will fail, there will be no success. From the year 2000 they [the government] have all lied to us, they say this meeting then the next meeting. We do not believe in them. We do not believe in our leaders, they all lie to us. Therefore we call upon all members, civilian and military, that belong to ANA, to boycott the upcoming elections."

In early September 2010, Lirim Jakupi, one of the members of the ANA, was arrested in Pristina, Kosovo by the Kosovo Police, along with an AK-47, hand grenades, and pistols. In the year of 2015 the group has been removed from the list of terrorist groups. Despite this, in 2016 Albanian militiamen presenting themselves as the "21st Brigade" published a video showing their weapons and threatening to move through northern Albania and the Presevo Valley. They also mentioned that they had the support of the population and that they had hundreds of men.

  • List of conflicts involving Albanian rebel groups in the post–Cold War era
  • Kosovo Liberation Army
  • Liberation Army of Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac
  • National Liberation Army
  • Liberation Army of Chameria
  • Greater Albania
  • Albanian nationalism
  • Status of Albanian National Army (Taken Question)

Text submitted to CC-BY-SA license. Source: Albanian National Army by Wikipedia (Historical)