July 2018

PRESENT SITUATION

At the end of the month, an explosion has damaged a man’s house, fortunately leaving no one wounded. According to the victim, the bombing was a form of retaliation for a homicide committed by his son in 2015. Ever since, this family has

sustained four attacks with explosive and a further assassination attempt directed to their son in jail. The family has stated that they will take justice into their own hands if there will not be any intervention from State justice.

Also, in the same days, someone has fired some gunshots at a man’s house in Fierza, a village in the Tropoja mountains. In the press the episode is thought to be linked to an escalation of violence between the alleged aggressors and a local minivan driver. Allegedly, the spiral of violence had begun when some gunshots were fired against the minivan, followed by armed threats by the driver’s son. Situations like this one can often degenerate into cases of blood feud.


SHARING WITH OTHERS, ACTIVITIES AND NEWS ABOUT THE PEACEWORKERS

In July we have visited many families who endure hardships because of the blood feud phenomenon. In particular, the presence of Fabrizio, a long-term volunteer and former representative of the project in Albania, gave us the chance to visit a man who is still suffering from the killing of his son. The deep care and sympathy that we have towards him and his family is

helpful to soothe the pain and regain self confidence and trust in the future.

Visits to families in blood feud can take place even outside the Albanian borders. In Italy, we met with members of a family, native of the Tropoja region, who have to decide how to react to the killing of one of their relatives in the past. We are monitoring the situation, trying to exert a positive pressure that could help them lean towards pacification with the other party and demand for state justice. Regarding this case, we are also in contact with the Albanian General Public Prosecutor’s

Office.

Unfortunately, in July, a family we know has suffered two losses. During the visit, we offered the family our condolences and we tried to support its members to overcome the pain. One of them thanked us for our closeness, telling us that he has no words to describe how extraordinary people we are.
During the month of July, we spent a day at the beach with the group of youth involved in the blood feuds phenomenon with which we usually work in Shkodër. It was a very funny and important moment to strengthen the group relationships and to

chat with those who find it hard to open up.
At the end of the month we went to Tropoja where, like every year since 2012, we organized the summer camp for children, women and now also for teenage girls. This year the theme of the camp is “Everyone can be heroes”. Our goal is to raise awareness among participants of the fundamental role they can play to improve their community.

Relatinsship with institution and civil society

Following the delivery to the Albanian institutions of our three-year report on the phenomenon of blood feuds, we received a positive answer from the General Prosecutor’s Director of the Cabinet. In a meeting held with her in Tirane, the Director has made herself available to collaborate with us on cases, in particular, where justice is yet to be done.
Also this month, some journalists and scholars have made contact with us to receive information about our activities and the phenomenon of blood feud. It is rewarding to know that the work of Operazione Colomba in Albania is being valued in several fields of study and communication.

This project is financed by European Union, Save the Children and CILSP.