Like a pincer movement little Montenegro is getting squeezed between corrupt politicians at home and toxic brew of radical Islam from within and without. Upcoming elections are scheduled for October 16th, and all manner of foul play can be expected.
Today, according to official data, there are more than 30,000 ethnic Albanians in Montenegro, i.e., 5% of the population. Traditionally they live in the Southern and Eastern areas adjacent to the border with Albania and Kosovo. Opinion polls show three quarters of Albanians are unhappy with their lot in Montenegro, and they're not particularly interested in the fate and progress of this small, historically Christian nation on the Adriatic Sea.
Another aspect of this lack of assimilation, is that radical Islam and terrorism are inextricably linked with Albanian nationalism. Such a situation represents a real threat to Montenegro. Simply put, the Albanians in Montenegro harbor a huge number of Islamic extremists.
And while Albanians make up 5% of the population, almost 20% of the population of Montenegro is comprised of Muslims. Muslims from Kosovo, Albania, Bosnia. All border Montenegro and they form a "breeding ground" for extreme Islamic movements and recruiters from the well known international terrorist organizations.
There is quite a bit of evidence showing that in the early '90s and 2000s the Albanian and Bosnian militants established close ties with terrorist organizations, often traveling to the Middle East for military training. In recent years hundreds of residents of the countries of former Yugoslavia have gone on "Jihad" in Syria and Iraq. Small Montenegro is becoming a target for the "radicals" to organize and provoke in the region.
In 2006 the special prosecutor for the fight against organized crime, Stoyanka Radovic, indicted 18 Albanians, five of whom have American citizenship. They were indicted on charges of anti-state and anti-constitutional activity and terror acts. According to Radovic the representatives of Albanian Diaspora from the United States played the leading role in the group inciting the Montenegrin Albanians to the creation of a criminal community with the purpose of carrying out terrorist acts.
Recently, representatives of the ultra-nationalist Kosovo-Albanian party "Self-determination" organized provocations in the border area of Montenegro. They said they were protesting against a treacherous (according to them) Montenegro-Kosovo agreement to finalize national borders, and that more protests and provocations can only be expected. The perpetrators though, are simply put, Albanian and Muslim nationalists less worried about borders and more interested in destabilizing a region for their benefit.
Something like adding "oil to fire", their lack of assimilation adds to an already difficult political situation in the country. Ongoing mass protests against the policies of the Montenegrin Prime Minister Djukanovic, who is gradually leading the Republic to a political and economic collapse, are just one indication of that difficult political situation.
The Prime Minister apparently will try to implement a "backup plan" which will help him to preserve power. And in the end he will attempt to "disrupt" the upcoming elections or to postpone them for some time. There is room to suspect that besides mobilizing all the country's military resources to impose a state of emergency, the PM Djukanovic will try and prevent Montenegrins from deciding the fate of their native country on the 16th of October.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. United against the Prime Minister and his ruling clique, members of the opposition have turned into a powerful force. Djukanovic's ruling Democratic Party of Socialists will face the opposition coalitions "Democratic front" and "Key" – the most powerful opposition groups in the country, which absorbed a dozen parliamentary and non-parliamentary parties and movements.
For Djukanovic to hold on to power will be very difficult – even if he can manipulate the vote to an extent. In spite of having glad-handed with the Obamas, and having been in power virtually since Communist times, he is losing control.
The fate of Djukanovic has long "hung by a thread" – and he clearly understands it.
Polin Goossens is Serbian & Dutch and lives, writes, and makes music in Amsterdam. You can follow her on fb.