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Northern Macedonia

Yearbook 2012

Northern Macedonia (until 2019 Macedonia). According to countryaah, violence that flared up between the country's two dominant groups at the beginning of the year was described as the worst since the country's fighting in 2001. In January, a church caught fire after Christian Macedonians violated Muslim Albanians by wearing masks at a festival. Since two Albanians were shot dead in March, riots erupted with dozens of injured and at least 20 arrested. When five Christian fishermen were found shot dead on a lake shore near Skopje in April, many perceived it as a revenge attack by Albanians.

2012 Northern Macedonia

In May, police arrested 20 people suspected of conspiring with a radical Islamist group accused of murdering the fishermen. The arrests sparked protests among Albanians who believed that the entire Albanian-Muslim population was to blame for the murders. Macedonia's Islamic community pledged in June to try to stop the influence of radical Islamists from other countries in order to curb mistrust and contradictions.

The violence also caused tensions with Albania and the Albanian-dominated Kosovo. Nationalists in neighboring countries created concern by advocating for Greater Albania, which would also include the Albanian-dominated northwestern Macedonia.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon visited Skopje in July together with UN mediators in the drawn-out name conflict with Greece. However, no progress was reported. Greece continued to insist that the neighboring country should call itself "the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", or FYROM with English abbreviation, in order not to claim the region of Greece called Macedonia. The government in Skopje opposed it. The dispute continued to block Macedonia's possibility of joining NATO and the EU.

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