Montenegrin citizens protest Kosovo's independence, 2008

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Timing
Time Period:  
13 October
2008
to
27 October
2008
Location and Goals
Country: 
Montenegro
Location City/State/Province: 
Podgorica
Location Description: 
Outside of Parliament building
Goals: 
Persuade Montenegrin officials to revoke recognition of Kosovo independence
 

On Thursday, October 9, Montenegro announced its official recognition of the independent country of Kosovo, a breakaway province of Serbia. Four separate opposition political parties worked in conjunction and called for a protest in response to the recognition. They declared that the government's decision to recognize Kosovo was illegal. Reports say that on Monday, October 13, approximately 10,000 protestersappeared at the rally. The protesters demanded that Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic's cabinet revoke its recognition of Kosovo, chanted phrases declaring that Kosovo was a part of Serbia, and accused Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic of treason. They demanded that by 11:00 AM on the following Wednesday, the parliament call for a referendum regarding whether or not Montenegro should recognize Kosovo's independence. The protesters declared that if the government did not meet their demands, they would attempt to topple it via extra-parliamentary means.

The protest had a large crowd and seemed to be going well in terms of rallying support and maintaining a nonviolent approach to the cause. Unfortunately, near the end of the official protest, a number of the protesters began throwing stones and flares at the police guarding the Parliament building. The police force responded by throwing tear gas into the crowd of demonstrators. The crowd reportedly dispersed within twenty minutes; however, it is reported that protesters and members of the police force continued to clash in side streets over the following hour. It is unclear how many were injured during the event. Numbers vary from at least four to at least thirty-four injured and admitted to Podgorica's emergency medical center. Following the protest, the Montenegrin government banned any further demonstrations - reportedly to prevent further violence from the protesters - including one that was planned for later in the week.

However, this did not stop the anti-Kosovo efforts. The same day as the original protest, Andrija Mandic, the leader of the largest pro-Serbian opposition party, began a hunger strike outside of the Parliament building and continued the hunger strike for two weeks. On the 17th of October the campaigners announced their possession of 123,400 signatures of people who opposed the recognition of Kosovo. Leaders of the campaign implied that two thirds of the Montenegrin population was anti-Kosovo and pro-Serbia.

Whether this was true or not, the campaign was ultimately unsuccessful. The deadline the protesters imposed on the government came and went without instance, the recognition of Kosovo was never revoked, and Andrija Mandic eventually ended his hunger strike.

Research Notes
Sources: 
Tanjug. "Serb leader continues hunger strike." B 92. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://www.b92.net/eng/news/region-article.php%3Fyyyy%3D2008%26mm%3D10%26dd%3D18%26nav_id%3D54315>

"Anti-Kosovo Protests Turn Violent in Montenegro." Deutsche Welle. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,3709057,00.html>

AFP. "Violence erupts at anti-Kosovo protest in Montenegro." International News Safety Institute. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://www.newssafety.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10241:violence-erupts-at-anti-kosovo-protest-in-montenegro&catid=324:serbia-security&Itemid=100350>

"Several injured in anti-Kosovo protests." France 24. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://www.france24.com/en/20081014-anti-kosovo-protests-turn-violent-montenegro-serbia-independence>

"Violence erupts at anti-Kosovo protest in Montenegro." Channelnewsasia.com. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/382621/1/.html>

"Montenegro ups anti-Kosovo stakes." BalkanInsight. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/montenegro-ups-anti-kosovo-stakes>

"Montenegro Protests Turn Violent." Sky News HD. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Montenegro-Dozens-Hurt-In-Clashes-As-Pro-Serbians-Protest-Against-Recogition-Of-Kosovo-Independence/Article/200810215120017>

"Clashes in Montenegro over Kosovo." BBC News. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7668597.stm>

Howarth, Angus. "Pro-Serbia protests rock Montenegro." NEWS.scotsman.com. 14 Oct 2008. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://news.scotsman.com/world/ProSerbia-protests-rock-Montenegro.4587647.jp>

BLIC. "Andrija Mandic ended strike." AllVoices. 27 Oct 2008. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://www.allvoices.com/news/1633033/s/21804729-andrija-mandic-ended-strike>

Tanner, Adam. "Saying 'no' to old ally Serbia unsettles Montenegro." Reuters. 16 Oct 2008. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://www.allvoices.com/news/1633033/s/21804729-andrija-mandic-ended-strike>

"Violent clashes in Montenegro over Kosovo recognition." inthenews.co.uk. 14 Oct 2008. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://www.inthenews.co.uk/news/world/autocodes/autocodes/serbia/violent-clashes-in-montenegro-over-kosovo-recognition-%241244749.htm>

"Podgorica peaceful after protests." B 92. 14 Oct 2008. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://www.b92.net/eng/news/region-article.php%3Fyyyy%3D2008%26mm%3D10%26dd%3D14%26nav_id%3D54211>

BalkanInsight.com. "Clashes erupt in Montenegro over Kosovo." The Sofia Echo. 14 Oct 2008. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://sofiaecho.com/2008/10/14/660807_clashes-erupt-in-montenegro-over-kosovo>

"Montenegro police clash with pro-Serb protesters." The Seattle Times. 14 Oct 2008. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2008263546_wdig14.html>

Milic, Predrag. "Montenegro opposition: police incited violence." Sign on San Diego. 14 Oct 2008. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://legacy.signonsandiego.com/news/world/20081014-0842-eu-montenegro-kosovo-serbia.html>

"Dukanovic: Recognition was inevitable." B 92. 15 Oct 2008. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php%3Fyyyy%3D2008%26mm%3D10%26dd%3D15%26nav_id%3D54247>

"Recognition of Kosovo protested." UPI. 15 Oct 2008. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/10/15/Recognition_of_Kosovo_protested/UPI-60911224044571>

BalkanInsight. "Montenegro opposition to rally over Kosovo." The Sofia Echo. 13 Oct 2008. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://sofiaecho.com/2008/10/13/664038_montenegro-opposition-to-rally-over-kosovo>

"Montenegro formally recognises Kosovo's independence." SETimes. 13 Oct 2008. Web. Accessed 15 Jul 2011. <http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2008/10/13/feature-01>

Additional Notes: 
Photos of the protest can be found here:

http://www.kyivpost.com/gallery/album/404/photo/1/

A video of the protest can be found here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7668595.stm

Edited by Max Rennebohm (15/07/2011)

Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy: 
Ashley Banks, 27/02/2011