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Operazione Colomba – monthly report of activities in Albania – October 2019

Present situation
The political situation in Albania is still uncertain. The new local elections, expected to take place on October 13th have never occurred. A new mayor has not yet been elected in the municipality of Shkodër, after the withdrawal of the last elected one because of a scandal over his conviction for drug trafficking in Italy. Meanwhile, the municipality is still run by the outgoing mayor.
Furthermore, the European Union has postponed the opening of access negotiations for Albania and Northern Macedonia: despite the European Commission accordance in its accession, France strongly opposed opening. Conte, the Prime Minister of Italy, defined this decision as “A historical mistake“. The European Parliament has also expressed its disappointment due to the lack of agreement through a resolution.
In regard to the crime news, at the beginning of October, a murder occured in the northern region of Mirdita: a 34-year-old man was probably killed because of a blood feud. In fact, on February 24th, his brother had killed a 45-year-old man in a gunfight in Durrës. Because of what his brother committed, it seems that the victim lived in a self-isolation condition because he feared for his life. From media, we learnt that the alleged culprit for this murder was a victim’s childhood friend and his family members now live, in turn, self-isolated.
This month an important mention was given, through an award ceremony, to Dritan Prroj, Protestant minister of the Fjala e Krishtit (Word of Christ) church, killed in 2010 for blood feuds reasons. His death led to the foundation of the Association “Jo gjakmarrjes, Po Jetes” (No to blood feud, Yes to Life) which deals with combating the phenomenon, with particular attention to minors’ education and women support. (more…)

Beyond the sea

Al di là del mare” (Beyond the sea) is the video directed by the students of the Scientific High School ‘Da Vinci’ in Trento. The report describes their educational journey in Albania with Trentino Con i Balcani Association on April 2019. During the trip, the guys met Operazione Colomba’s volunteers in Shkodër who guided them to visit the most important historical and religious sites in the city. The volunteers also caught the opportunity to tell the students Operazione Colomba’s activities, talking about what they carry out against blood feuds phenomenon in Albania every day. In this regard, the students interviewed Operazione Colomba’s volunteers, proving to be interested in their work.

The “Angiolino Acquisti” Scholarship

On Friday 25 October, at the high schools of Sansepolcro, the “Angiolino Acquisti” Scholarship was awarded to Dr. Nadia Cadrobbi, a long term volunteer who recently completed her mission in Albania with Operazione Colomba. The Scholarship is intended for the Non-violence issue with the aim of disseminating scientific studies about non-violent conflict management, resolution and transformation. (more…)

Operazione Colomba – monthly report of activities in Albania – September 2019

Present situation
At the beginning of September, the blood feuds phenomenon emerged from the chronicles because of a murder case in Bulqizë (Dibër region). A young man killed his friend for reasons that are still unclear, and the police – for fear of reprisals by the victim’s family – oversaw the house of the culprit’s family.
Moreover, a long analysis of the phenomenon and its consequences appeared in the Albanian media, starting from the description of a conflict that arose in 1997 and degenerated into a blood feud until today. The editorial aims to remind the Albanian institutions that they should eradicate this social plague once and for all, since it is in stark contrast to the demands of modernity and development of the European Union. (more…)

42nd session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations in Geneva

During the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations in Geneva (9-27 September 2019), on September 19th were announced the outcomes of the third cycle of Albania’s Universal Periodic Review. On this occasion, the Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII Association read an oral statement to recommend and strengthen the commitment of the Albanian Government to combat different social plagues in the Country, such as the blood feud phenomenon, domestic violence, discrimination against minorities and failure to respect children’s rights.