13. Albania (1913-present)

 

Crisis Phase (May 30, 1913-April 1, 1914):  The Ottoman Empire relinquish its sovereignty over Albania on May 30, 1913, and the Concert of Europe’s ambassadors meeting in London recognized the independence and neutrality of the Principality of Albania on July 29, 1913.  On August 1, 1913, the Netherlands was asked by the ambassadorial conference in London to send a military mission to Albania to assist in restoring law and order and training the Albanian military.  Serbian troops and Montenegrin troops intervened in Albania beginning in September 1913.  The Netherlands agreed to provide officers for a military mission in Albania on September 19, 1913.  The ambassadorial conference in London established the International Control Commission (ICC), which consisted of one representative from each of the six European powers, to oversee the government of Albania beginning on October 16, 1913.

Essad Pasha Toptani established a rival government in Durazzo (Durrës) on October 16, 1913.  Austria-Hungary demanded the withdrawal of Serbian troops from the country on October 17, 1913, and Serbian troops and Montenegrin troops withdrew from the country in November 1913.  Several thousand Albanians were killed during the intervention.  Fifteen Dutch military officers, along with support personnel, commanded by Colonel (later General) Willem De Veer and Major (later Colonel) Lodewijk Thomson were deployed in Albania beginning on November 10, 1913.  The major powers awarded the Northern Epirus region to Albania in the Protocol of Florence signed on December 17, 1913.  President Ismail Kemal Bey (Ismail Qemal Bej) resigned on January 22, 1914, and the provisional government turned over its authority to the ICC.  Prince William of Wied (Germany) agreed to accept the invitation of the major powers to become the Prince (Mbret) of Albania on February 7, 1914, and he was formally offered the crown by a delegation of 18 Albanians led by Essad Pasha Toptani at the castle of Neuwied on February 21, 1914.  On February 21, 1914, the ambassadors of the major powers delivered a note to the Greek government demanding the withdrawal of Greek troops from the Northern Epirus (southern Albania) region.  Ethnic Greeks led by George Zoggraphos proclaimed the establishment of the Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus in Gjirokastër on February 28, 1914.  Greek troops withdrew from the district of Korcha (Korçë) in southern Albania on March 1, 1914.  Prince William of Wied arrived in Durazzo (Durrës) aboard the Austrian-Hungarian naval ship Taurus, and assumed his position as Prince (Mbret) of Albania on March 7, 1914.  Greek naval ships blockaded the port of Santi Quaranta (Sarandë) in southern Albania on March 9, 1914.  A government cabinet including Prime Minister & Foreign Minister Turhan Pasha Përmeti and Minister of War Essad Pasha Toptani was sworn in by Prince William of Albania on March 10, 1914.

Conflict Phase (April 2, 1914-October 5, 1914):  Ethnic Greeks led by George Zoggraphos rebelled against the Albanian government in the district of Korcha (Korçë) beginning on April 2, 1914.  Ethnic Greek rebels captured the town of Korcha (Korçë) on April 11, 1914, but Albanian troops commanded by Dutch military officers re-captured the town on April 15, 1914.  Greek troops intervened in support of ethnic Greeks in southern Albania on May 2, 1914. The ICC mediated negotiations between the government and George Zoggraphos beginning on May 5, 1914, resulting in the signing of the Protocol of Corfu on May 17, 1914.  Minister of War Essad Pasha Toptani offered to resigned on May 8, 1914, but Prince William of Albania did not accept the offer.  Northern Epirus was granted autonomy within Albania under the protocol.  The government of Austria-Hungary provided military assistance (artillery and two military advisors, Captain Baron Klingspor and Lieutenant Tomjenović) to the Albanian government on May 13, 1914.  After a brief clash between armed forces in Durazzo (Durrës) on May 19, 1914, Minister of War Essad Pasha Toptani was arrested by government soldier.  Minister of War Essad Pasha Toptani was exiled to Italy on May 20, 1914.  Supporters of Essad Pasha Toptani, mostly Muslim peasants led by Qamil Zyber Xhameta (Haxhi Qamili) and other Muslim leaders, launched an insurgency against the government beginning on May 20, 1914.  As a result of an Albanian insurgent attack against Durazzo (Durrës) on May 23, 1914, Prince William of Albania and his family fled to the Italian yacht Misurata, although he returned to the palace that evening.  Several individuals were killed in the attack against the town of Durazzo (Durrës) on May 23, 1914, including one Austrian military officer.  Prince William of Albania appointed Prênk Bibë Doda, a Roman Catholic from the northern District of Mirdita (Mirditë), as Foreign Minister on May 28, 1914.  Albanian insurgents attacked Durazzo (Durrës) on June 15, 1914, resulting in the death of the more than 100 insurgents and government soldiers (including the Dutch military commander in the town, Colonel Lodewijk Thomson).  Some 150 Austrian volunteers led by William Gurschner arrived in Durazzo (Durrës) on July 4, 1914.  More than 500 Romanian volunteers commanded by Captain Cristescu who arrived in Durazzo (Durrës) on July 7-17, 1914.  Ethnic Greek troops commanded by General George Tsontos captured Korcha (Korçë) on July 8, 1914, and Albanian insurgents captured Berati (Berat) on July 12, 1914.  General De Veer, commanded of the Dutch military mission in Albania, resigned on July 27, 1914, and the mission departed Albania on August 4, 1914.  Following he outbreak of the First World War, Austrian and German military officers departed from Durazzo (Durrës) beginning on August 2, 1914.  Albanian insurgents captured Valona (Vlorë) on August 21, 1914. The international multinational force, which had been deployed in Scutari (Shkodër) since June 1913, was withdrawn from Albania on August 23, 1914.  Prince William of Albania fled the country aboard the Italian yacht Misurata on September 3, 1914, and the ICC assumed control of the Albanian government on September 4, 1914.  The ICC disbanded on September 6, 1914.  Albanian insurgents captured Durazzo (Durrës) on September 7, 1914.  Essad Pasha Toptani returned to the country on September 19, 1914, and he proclaimed himself as president and prime minister of Albania on October 5, 1914.  Several thousand individuals were killed, and more than 300,000 individuals were displaced during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (October 6, 1914-May 31, 1944): Italian troops occupied Valona (Vlorë) in southern Albania beginning on December 25, 1914. President Essad Pasha Toptani fled into exile to Italy on February 24, 1916. The National Assembly elected Turhan Pasha Përmeti as prime minister of Albania during the Congress of Durazzo (Durrës) on December 25-28, 1918.  Albanian leaders met at the Congress of Lushnja on January 21-26, 1920, resulting in the formation of a four-member High Council, the election of Sulejman Bey Delvina as prime minister, and the convening of a National Assembly.  The National Assembly convened in Tirana on March 27, 1920. French occupation troops turned over the district of Korcha (Korçë) to the Albanian government on May 26, 1920.  Essad Pasha Toptani was assassinated in Paris on June 13, 1920.  Albanian nationalists attacked Italian troops near Valona (Vlorë), Tepelena, and Himara on June 20, 1920.  Albanians and Italian troops agreed to a ceasefire on August 17, 1920, and Italian troops withdrew from the Valona (Vlorë) region on September 3, 1920. Prime Minister Delvina resigned on November 14, 1920.  The High Council appointed Ilias Vrioni as prime minister on November 15, 1920. Albania was admitted to the League of Nations (LON) on December 17, 1920. Parliamentary elections were held in February 1921, and the National Assembly convened on April 21, 1921. Prime Minister Vrioni resigned on October 16, 1921, and Pandeli Evangjeli formed a government as prime minister on October 17, 1921. Prime Minister Evangjeli resigned on December 6, 1921, and Hasan Prishtina formed a government as prime minister on December 7, 1921. Prime Minister Prishtina resigned on December 11, 1921, and Xhafer Ypi formed a government as prime minister on December 24, 1921. Government troops commanded by Colonel Ahmet Zogu suppressed a rebellion in Mordita and Dibra on March 8-10, 1922. Colonel Zogu was appointed as prime minister on December 1, 1922. The High Council dissolved the National Assembly on September 30, 1923.  Elections for the Constituent Assembly were held on December 27, 1923, and Colonel Zogu’s faction won 40 out of 95 seats.  The Liberals won 36 seats in the Constituent Assembly.  The Constituent Assembly convened on January 21, 1924.  Prime Minister Zogu resigned on January 31, 1924, and Shefqet Verlaci formed a government as prime minister on February 1, 1924. Prime Minister Verlaci resigned on February 15. 1924, and Ilias Vrioni formed a government as prime minister on February 16, 1924. Opposition leader, Avni Rustem, was assassinated by supporters of Colonel Zogu in Tirane on April 22, 1924. A left-wing rebellion broke out against the government on May 25, 1924, and the government of Prime Minister Vrioni was overthrown on June 15, 1924. Fan Noli formed a left-wing government as prime minister on June 24, 1924. Colonel Zogu led a right-wing rebellion against the government from Yugoslav territory beginning on December 14, 1924. Prime Minister Noli declared a state-of-siege on December 19, 1924.  Colonel Zogu overthrew the government of Prime Minister Noli on December 24, 1924, and he formed a government as prime minister on January 6, 1925.  The Constitutional Convention proclaimed the Republic of Albania on January 21, 1925, and Prime Minister Zogu was elected as president on January 31, 1925. The Constitutional Convention approved a constitution on March 2, 1925. Opponents of the government of President Zogu established the National Revolutionary Committee (NRC) headed by Fan Noli in Vienna in March 1925. Parliamentary elections were held in May 1925, and the Chamber of Deputies convened on June 1, 1925. Government troops suppressed a rebellion among Roman Catholic tribes in northern Albania on November 26, 1926. Albanian and Italian representatives signed the Treaty of Tirana on November 27, 1926, which provided for Italian intervention in case of internal and external security threats to Albania. The NRC and the Committee for the Liberation of Kosovo (CLK) joined to form the Committee of National Liberation (CNL) headed by Fan Noli in April 1927. Elections to the Constituent Assembly were held on August 17, 1928. The Constituent Assembly proclaimed President Zogu as “Zog the First, King of the Albanians” on September 1, 1928. Britain, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, US, Uruguay, and Yugoslavia provided diplomatic assistance (recognition) to the government of King Zog I (Greece provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to King Zog I on September 4, 1928, and the U.S. government provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to King Zog I on September 15, 1928). Koco Kota formed a government as prime minister on September 5, 1928. The Constituent Assembly approved a new constitution on November 22, 1928, which provided the King with the authority to appoint and dismiss governmental ministers, to command the military and declare war, and to veto legislation.  King Zog I survived an assassination attempt by members of the National Union (Bashkimi Kombetar) on February 20, 1931. King Zog I responded to nationalist discontent by pursuing policies to curtail Italian involvement in the country beginning in September 1932. Italy responded to Albanian nationalist policies by imposing economic sanctions (suspension of economic assistance) and military sanctions (suspension of arms shipments) against the Albanian government on April 1, 1933. Government troops suppressed a rebellion against the government in Fier on August 14-15, 1935. King Zog I appointed Mehdi Bey Frasheri as prime minister on October 21, 1935. Albanian and Italian representatives signed an agreement in March 1936, which provided for a resumption of Italian economic assistance to Albania. King Zog I dismissed the government of Prime Minister Frasheri on November 7, 1936, and appointed Koco Kota as prime minister on November 9, 1936. Government troops suppressed a rebellion led by Efthem Toto in the Delvine region in southern Albania on May 15-19, 1937. King Zog I married Countess Geraldine de Nagy-Apponyi on April 27, 1938.  Italy demanded a protectorate over Albania on March 25, 1939, and the government formally rejected the demand on April 6, 1939. Some 40,000 Italian troops intervened in Albania on April 7, 1939, and King Zog I fled into exile to Greece on April 8, 1939. The Constituent Assembly abolished the 1928 constitution, and proclaimed the union of Albania with Italy on April 12, 1939. Shefqet Bey Verlaci was appointed as president of Albania on April 12, 1939. The Albanian Fascist Party (AFP) was established by Tefik Mborja on April 21, 1939. The National Front (Balli Kombetar) was established in opposition to the Italian-dominated government by Midhat Frasheri in May 1939. Italy imposed a new constitution on Albania on June 3, 1939, which provided King Victor Emmanuel III with complete governing authority within the country. Following an Italian invasion of Greece from Albanian territory on October 28, 1940, Greek troops launched a counter-offensive on November 14, 1940. Greek troops occupied southern Albania from December 28, 1940 to April 6, 1941. Italian troops reoccupied southern Albania on April 21, 1941. The Communist Party of Albania (CPA) was established in Tirana on November 8, 1941, and Enver Hoxha was chosen as party secretary. The CPA established the National Liberation Front (NLF) in opposition to the Italian occupation of Albania on November 16, 1942. The Balli Kombetar (National Front) headed by Midhat Frasheri was established in opposition to the Italian occupation in November 1942. The Italian government forced Prime Minister Mustafa Merlika Kruja to resign on January 10, 1943, and appointed Maliq Bushati as prime minister on February 22, 1943. Some 70,000 German troops occupied Albania following the Italian capitulation to the Allies on September 8, 1943. The NLF appointed Enver Hoxha as commander-in-chief of the National Liberation Army (NLA) on May 28, 1944. Several hundred individuals were killed during the crisis.

Conflict Phase (June 1, 1944-November 29, 1944): German troops and National Front (NF) forces launched an offensive against the National Liberation Army (NLA) beginning on June 1, 1944, and the NLA launched a counter-offensive in September 1944. The National Liberation Front (NLF) established a provisional government headed by Enver Hoxha on October 22, 1944. NLA troops captured Korcha (Korçë) on October 24, 1944.  The British, Russian, and the U.S. governments provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the provisional Albanian government on November 10, 1944. The NLA liberated Tirana on November 17, 1944, and German troops completed their evacuation of Albania on November 29, 1944. Several hundred individuals were killed during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (November 30, 1944-December 15, 1955):  Elections were held on December 2, 1945, and the communist Democratic Front (DF) headed by Enver Hoxha won 82 out of 82 seats in the Constituent Assembly.  The Constituent Assembly abolished the monarchy, and proclaimed the Republic of Albania on January 11, 1946.  The Constituent Assembly approved a new constitution on March 14, 1946, which legitimized the communist control of the government headed by Prime Minister Enver Hoxha. The U.S. government imposed diplomatic sanctions (suspension of diplomatic relations) against the Albanian government on November 6, 1946. Minister of Interior Koci Xoxe, leader of the pro-Yugoslav faction of the CPA, ordered the arrest of nine anti-Yugoslav members of the Constituent Assembly, on May 20, 1947. The government severed diplomatic relation with Yugoslavia on July 1, 1948. Koci Xoxe was removed from the government on October 31, 1948, and the CPA purged the pro-Yugoslav faction during a Congress of the CPA (renamed the Albanian Party of Labor – APL) on November 8-22, 1948. Koci Xoxe was arrested and convicted of “Titoist” activities on June 10, 1949, and he was executed on June 11, 1949. The National Committee for a Free Albania (NCFA) was established by Midhat Frasheri in Paris on August 26, 1949.  Parliamentary elections were held on May 28, 1950, and the Democratic Front (DF) won 121 out of 121 seats in the People’s Assembly.  The People’s Assembly approved a new constitution on July 4, 1950. Some 5,235 individuals were executed by the government between April 1948 and 1952.  U.S. Secretary-of-State John F. Dulles expressed support for the NCFA on August 27, 1953.  Parliamentary elections were held in 1954, and the Democratic Front (DF) won 134 out of 134 seats in the People’s Assembly.  Prime Minister Hoxha resigned on July 20, 1954, and Lt. General Mehmet Shehu formed a government as prime minister on July 21, 1954.  The Chinese government provided economic assistance and military assistance to the Albanian government beginning in December 1954.  The U.S. government offered economic assistance to the Albanian government on March 4, 1955, but the government rejected the offer on March 7, 1955.  Albania was admitted to the United Nations (UN) on December 15, 1955. Some 6,000 individuals were killed between November 1944 and December 1955.

Post-Crisis Phase (December 16, 1955-December 27, 1989):  Parliamentary elections were held on June 1, 1958, and the Democratic Front (DF) won 188 out of 188 seats in the People’s Assembly.  With the support of the Soviet Union, an opposition faction of the APL unsuccessfully attempted to overthrow the government in July-August 13, 1960. The government of the Soviet Union imposed economic sanctions (suspension of economic assistance) against the Albanian government on April 25, 1961, and Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Union condemned the government on October 27, 1961.  The Chinese government expressed support for the Albanian government on November 8, 1961. The Soviet Union imposed diplomatic sanctions (suspension of diplomatic relations) against the government on December 3, 1961. Parliamentary elections were held on June 3, 1962, and the Democratic Front (DF) won 214 out of 214 seats in the People’s Assembly.  Parliamentary elections were held on July 10, 1966, and the Democratic Front (DF) won 240 out of 240 seats in the People’s Assembly.  Parliamentary elections were held on September 20, 1970, and the Democratic Front (DF) won 264 out of 264 seats in the People’s Assembly.  Parliamentary elections were held on October 6, 1974, and the Democratic Front (DF) won 250 out of 250 seats in the People’s Assembly.  The government adopted a new constitution in December 1976, and the country was renamed the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania.  The Chinese government ended economic and military assistance to the Albanian government on July 7, 1978.  Parliamentary elections were held on November 12, 1978, and the Democratic Front (DF) won 250 out of 250 seats in the People’s Assembly.  Parliamentary elections were held on November 14, 1982, and the Democratic Front (DF) won 250 out of 250 seats in the People’s Assembly.  Ramiz Alia was elected chairman of the People’s Assembly on November 22, 1982.  Enver Hoxha died on April 11, 1985, and Ramiz Alia was appointed as First Secretary of the APL on April 13, 1985.  Parliamentary elections were held on February 1, 1987, and the Democratic Front (DF) won 250 out of 250 seats in the People’s Assembly.

Crisis Phase (December 28, 1989-April 19, 1992): Government police suppressed anti-government demonstrations in Shkodër on December 28, 1989. Albanians demonstrated against the government beginning on June 28, 1990. On December 11, 1990, Ramiz Alia agreed to allow non-communist political parties to participate in upcoming elections. The Democratic Party of Albania (DPA) headed by Gramoz Pashko was established on December 12, 1990, and the government officially recognized the DPA on December 19, 1990.  Students demonstrated against the government in Tirana and other cities beginning on February 6, 1991, and Ramiz Alia declared presidential rule on February 20, 1991.  Ramiz Alia dismissed the government of Prime Minister Adil Carcani, and appointed a provisional government headed by Fatos Thanas Nano on February 22, 1991. Government police and demonstrators clashed in Tirana on February 23, 1991, resulting in the deaths of three individuals. Some 25,000 Albanians fled as refugees to Italy on March 1-7, 1991. Government police killed one individual in Tirana on March 6, 1991.  Elections were held between March 31 and April 14, 1991, and the communist Party of Labour of Albania (PLA) won 169 out of 250 seats in the Constituent Assembly.  The DPA won 75 seats in the Constituent Assembly.  Some 250 international election observers, including election observers representing the Council of Europe (CoE) Parliamentary Assembly, monitored the parliamentary elections. The People’s Assembly approved an interim constitution on April 29, 1991, and Ramiz Alia was elected president by the People’s Assembly on April 30, 1991. The People’s Assembly approved an interim constitution on April 29, 1991, and Ramiz Alia was elected president by the People’s Assembly on April 30, 1991. Fatos Nano was appointed as prime minister on May 9, 1991. Prime Minister Nano’s government resigned following a general strike by workers in June 1991. A coalition government headed by Ylli Bufi, which included several communist and non-communist parties, was confirmed by the People’s Assembly on June 12, 1991.  On August 25, 1991, the Italian government deployed 750 soldiers (“Operation Pelican“) in order to provide protection for humanitarian food assistance convoys within the country.  Prime Minister Bufi resigned on December 6, 1991, and Vilson Ahmeti formed a government as prime minister on December 18, 1991. Some 40 individuals were killed during riots in Lac and Fushe Arrez on December 7-9, 1991.  Parliamentary elections were held on March 22-29, 1992, and the Democratic Party of Albania (DPA) won 92 out of 140 seats in the People’s Assembly.  The Socialist Party of Albania (SPA) won 38 seats in the People’s Assembly.  The Council of Europe (CoE) Parliamentary Assembly sent seven observers to monitor the parliamentary elections, and reported that the election were “reasonably free and fair.” The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly (PA) and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)established an election observation mission to monitor the parliamentary elections.  President Ramiz Alia resigned on April 3, 1992, and Sali Berisha of the DPA was elected as president by the People’s Assembly on April 9, 1992.  Aleksander Meksi of the DPA formed a government as prime minister on April 19, 1992.  On December 21, 1992, the Albanian government and the European Community (EC) agreed on the deployment of the European Community Monitoring Mission (ECMM) to monitor the borders with the former Yugoslavia.  The ECMM eventually consisted of at least 24 monitors in Albania.  Some 100 individuals were killed and some 25,000 individuals were killed during the crisis.

Post-Crisis Phase (April 20, 1992-February 28, 1997):  Italy’s Operation Pelican ended on December 2, 1993.  A proposed constitution was rejected in a referendum held on November 6, 1994. The OSCE/ODIHR sent observers to monitor the referendum.  Parliamentary elections were held on May 26 and June 2, 1996, and the Democratic Party of Albania (DPA) won 122 out of 140 seats in the People’s Assembly. The Socialist Party of Albania (SPA) won 10 seats in the People’s Assembly.  Several opposition parties, including the SPA, boycotted the parliamentary elections. The OSCE/ODIHR established an election observation mission consisting of three long-term observers and 46 short-term observers from 11 countries headed by Anders Eriksson of Sweden to monitor the parliamentary elections beginning on April 25, 1996. Three former communist government officials were sentenced to death on May 24, 1996. On June 12, 1996, the OSCE/ODIHR mission reported that the elections were not free and fair. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) sent nine observers headed by Bjorn Engesland to monitor the parliamentary elections beginning on May 20, 1996. The European Union (EU) sent observers from the European Community Monitoring Mission (ECMM) to monitor the parliamentary elections. The British Helsinki Human Rights Group (BHHRG) sent observers to monitor the parliamentary elections. The NHC issued a report on the parliamentary elections on June 3, 1996. The International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) sent observers to monitor the parliamentary elections. The People’s Assembly convened on July 2, 1996, and Aleksander Meksi of the Democratic Party of Albania (DPA) formed a new government as prime minister.  Municipal elections were held on October 20-27, 1996, and the DPA won mayoral elections in 58 out of 64 cities. The OSCE/ODIHR withdrew its election observers from Albania on October 15, 1996 after the Albanian government refused to allow the municipal elections to be monitored by 37 OSCE/ODIHR election observers. The CoE Parliamentary Assembly and Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (CLRA) sent 34 observers headed by Victor Ruffy of Switzerland to monitor the municipal elections beginning on October 17, 1996. The CoE mission reported on October 29, 1996 that the elections were sufficiently free and fair. The NDI sent observers to monitor the municipal elections. The International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) sent two individuals from Britain to provide electoral assistance to the Central Election Commission (CEC) on October 7-November 1, 1996.  On January 26-27, 1997, demonstrators clashed with government police in Tirana following the collapsed of several pyramid investment schemes. Opposition political parties established the Forum for Democracy (FD) in opposition to the government on January 30, 1997, and anti-government demonstrations occurred throughout the country during February 1997.

Crisis Phase (March 1, 1997-July 24, 1997): President Berisha ordered the resignation of Prime Minister Meksi on March 1, 1997. The People’s Assembly declared a state-of-emergency on March 1, 1997, and re-elected President Berisha for a second five-year term on March 3, 1997. Government troops launched a military offensive against rebels in southern Albania on March 4, 1997. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) established a mission consisting of 15 international personnel from Britain, Canada, Germany, Greece, Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland and 15 local personnel to provide humanitarian assistance to Albanians beginning on March 4, 1997.  Franz Vranitzky of Austria was appointed as OSCE special envoy to Albania on March 4, 1997.  The Council of European (CoE) Parliamentary Assembly sent a four-member good offices mission to Albania to facilitate dialogue between the government and opposition beginning on March 5, 1997.  President Berisha announced the formation of a provisional government of national reconciliation headed by Bashkim Fino of the Socialist Party of Albania (SPA) on March 11, 1997. Prime Minister Fino appealed to European countries to intervene to help restore law and order on March 12, 1997. The UN Security Council appealed for a cessation of hostilities on March 14, 1997. Some 17,000 Albanians fled as refugees to Italy. On March 27, 1997, the OSCE Permanent Council established the OSCE Presence in Albania to promote human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.  The OSCE mission, which consisted of some 50 personnel, was deployed in Tirana on April 3, 1997. On March 28, 1997, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1101, which authorized the deployment of the Multi-National Protection Force (MNPF) to “to establish a temporary and limited multinational protection force to facilitate the safe and prompt delivery of humanitarian assistance, and to help create a secure environment for the missions of international organizations in Albania, including those providing humanitarian assistance”.  The Italian-led MNPF, which consisted of some 7,000 peacekeeping troops from Italy, France, Spain, Romania, Austria, Denmark, Greece, and Turkey, was deployed beginning on April 15, 1997.  The OSCE/ODIHR sent a fact-finding mission on April 4-7, 1997. The Western European Union (WEU) Permanent Council established the Multinational Advisory Police Element in Albania (MAPE-Albania) on May 2, 1997. MAPE-Albania, which consisted of some 150 personnel headed by Colonel Gilles Janvier of France, assisted in the training of government police in Tirana and Durrës.  OSCE Special Envoy Franz Vranitzky mediated an agreement between representatives of the government and political opposition on May 22, 1997, which provided for the holding of parliamentary elections. Parliamentary elections were held on June 29 and July 6, 1997, and the Socialist Party of Albania (SPA) won 101 out of 155 seats in the People’s Assembly. The DPA won 29 seats in the People’s Assembly. Three individuals were killed in election-related violence on July 6, 1997. The OSCE/ODIHR established an election observation mission consisting of 26 long-term observers and 445 short-term observers from 32 countries headed by Catherine Lalumiere to monitor the parliamentary elections from May 27 to July 7, 1997. The OSCE/ODIHR mission reported that the elections were reasonably free and fair. The CoE Parliamentary Assembly sent 30 observers from 12 countries headed by Sir Russell Johnston of Britain to monitor the parliamentary elections. The NDI sent observers to monitor the parliamentary elections. The BHHRG sent observers to monitor the parliamentary elections. The ICRC resumed humanitarian assistance on July 23, 1997. President Sali Berisha resigned on July 23, 1997, and Rexhep Mejdani of the SPA was elected president by the People’s Assembly on July 24, 1997. The People’s Assembly lifted the state-of-emergency on July 24, 1997.  Some 2,000 individuals were killed and some 25,000 individuals were displaced during the crisis.

Post-Crisis Phase (July 25, 1997-present):  Fatos Nano of the SPA formed a coalition government as prime minister on July 25, 1997. MNPF troops completed their withdrawal from Albania on August 11, 1997 (one member of the MNPF was killed in an explosion in Vlore on July 9, 1997). OSCE Special Envoy Franz Vranitzky ended his efforts in Albania in November 1997.  Ambassador Daan Everts of the Netherlands took over as Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania on December 15, 1997.  On March 11, 1998, the OSCE expanded the OSCE Presence in Albania to include a Albania-Kosovo border monitoring mission consisting of 30 monitors from some 15 countries.  On March 31, 1998, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1160, which endorsed the OSCE bordering monitoring mission in Albania.  The Democratic Party of Albania (DPA) ended its boycott of the People’s Assembly on March 12, 1998. Local elections were held on June 21, 1998. The CoE CLRA sent eight observers from six countries to monitor the local elections from June 19-23, 1998. The DPA boycotted the parliament beginning in July 1998.  Azem Hajdari, a leader of the DPA, was assassinated on September 12, 1998, and seven individuals were killed during demonstrations on September 13-18, 1998. The CoE Parliamentary Assembly condemned the assassination of Azem Hajdari on September 24, 1998. Prime Minister Nano resigned on September 28, 1998, and President Mejdani appointed Pandeli Majko of the Socialist Party of Albania (SPA) as prime minister on September 29, 1998. The parliament approved a new constitution on October 21, 1998, and the constitution was approved in a referendum on November 22, 1998. The OSCE/ODIHR established an election observation mission consisting of 23 long-term observers and 185 observers headed by Tana de Zulueta of Italy and Kare Vollan of Norway to monitor the referendum. The OSCE mission issued its final report on February 1, 1999. The CoE Parliamentary Assembly sent 15 observers headed by Victor Ruffy of Switzerland to monitor the referendum from November 20-23, 1998, and reported that the referendum had been free and fair. The BHHRG sent observers to monitor the referendum beginning on November 21, 1998. The BHHRG mission issued a preliminary report on November 30, 1998. The Democratic Party of Albania (DPA) ended its parliamentary boycott on July 17, 1999.  The OSCE appointed Geert-Hinrich Ahrens of Germany as head of the OSCE Presence in Albania on August 2, 1999. Prime Minister Pandeli Majko resigned on October 26, 1999, and Ilir Meta of the SPA formed a government as prime minister on October 27, 1999.  CoE Secretary-General Walter Schwimmer appointed Jorgen Grunnet of Denmark as special representative to Albania on May 22, 2000. Local government elections were held on October 1 and October 15, 2000. The OSCE/ODIHR sent 18 long-term election observers and 251 short-term election observers from 26 countries headed by Eugenio Polizzi of Italy monitored the local government elections beginning on August 25, 2000. The CoE CLRA sent six observers from Britain, Czech Republic, and Italy headed by Moreno Bucci of Italy to monitor the local government elections. The SPA won control of 252 out of 398 towns and municipalities, and the Democratic Party of Albania (DPA) won control of 118 towns and municipalities.  The DPA accused the government of election fraud, and boycotted the second round of local government elections. Government police and supporters of former President Sali Berisha of the DPA clashed in Bajram Curri in the Tropoja area on November 28, 2000, resulting in the deaths of two individuals.  CoE Secretary-General Walter Schwimmer and OSCE Secretary-General Benita Ferrero-Waldner condemned the political violence in Bajram Curri on November 29, 2000.  The National Democratic Institute (NDI) sent a six-member pre-election assessment mission to the country on May 9-14, 2001. MAPE-Albania was disbanded on May 31, 2001. Parliamentary elections were held on June 24, 2001, and the Socialist Party of Albania (SPA) won 73 out of 140 seats in the People’s Assembly. The DPA’s Union for Victory coalition won 46 seats in the People’s Assembly. The OSCE/ODIHR sent 28 long-term observers and 250 short-term observers from 30 countries headed by Bruce George of Britain to monitor the parliamentary elections from May 22 to June 25, 2001. The CoE Parliamentary Assembly sent 12 observers from 11 countries to monitor the parliamentary elections on June 21-26, 2001.  Prime Minister Ilir Meta resigned on January 29, 2002, and Pandeli Majko of the SPA formed a government as prime minister on February 22, 2002. Alfred Moisiu of the DPA was elected president by the People’s Assembly on June 24, 2002.  On September 1, 2002, Ambassador Osmo Lipponen of Finland replaced Ambassador Geert-Hinrich Ahrens of Germany as Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania.  Local government elections were held on October 12, 2003.  The OSCE/ODIHR sent some 30 long-term observers and 220 short-term observers to monitor the local government elections from September 10 to October 24, 2003.  The CoE CLRA sent nine observers to monitor the local government elections.  On October 6, 2004, Ambassador Pavel Vacek of the Czech Republic replaced Ambassador Osmo Lipponen of Finland as Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania.  Parliamentary elections were held on July 3, 2005, and the Democratic Party of Albania (DPA) won 56 out of 140 seats in the People’s Assembly.  The Socialist Party of Albania (SPA) won 42 seats in the People’s Assembly.  Two individuals were killed in election-related violence.  The European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO) sent 60 short-term observers to monitor the parliamentary elections.  The OSCE/ODIHR sent some 40 long-term observers and 380 short-term observers to monitor the parliamentary elections beginning on May 18, 2005.  The CoE Parliamentary Assembly sent 40 observers headed by Jerzy Smorawinski of Poland to monitor the parliamentary elections from June 30 to July 4, 2005.  The EU’s European Parliament sent nine observers to monitor the parliamentary elections.  The European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM), formerly the European Community Monitoring Mission (ECMM), was disbanded in Albania on December 31, 2006.  Local elections were held on February 18, 2007.  The OSCE/ODIHR sent 33 long-term observers from 15 countries and 345 short-term observers from 39 countries to monitor the local elections from December 13, 2006 to February 19, 2007.  The Council of Europe (CoE) sent 17 short-term observers to monitor the local elections.  Bamir Topi of the Democratic Party of Albania (DPA) was elected president in the fourth round of voting in the People’s Assembly on July 20, 2007.  On October 25, 2007, Ambassador Robert Bosch of the Netherlands replaced Ambassador Pavel Vacek of the Czech Republic as Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania.  Parliamentary elections were held on June 28, 2009, and the DPA won 68 out of 140 seats in the People’s Assembly.  The SPA won 65 seats in the People’s Assembly.  The OSCE/ODIHR sent 26 long-term observers and 12 experts from 20 countries, along with some 300 short-term observers, to monitor the parliamentary elections beginning on May 8, 2009.  The CoE Parliamentary sent 22 short-term observers, and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly sent five observers to monitor the parliamentary elections.  The result of the June 28th parliamentary elections were disputed, and the SPA members of parliamentary boycotted the parliament until February 25, 2010.  The Socialist Party of Albania (SPA) organized anti-government protests in Tirana on January 21, 2011, resulting in the deaths of four individuals.  EU Special Envoy Miroslav Lajcak attempted to mediate between the parties from January 26 to March 23, 2011.  Local elections were held on May 8, 2011.  The OSCE/ODIHR sent 24 long-term observers and 16 experts headed by Jonathan Stonestreet of the U.S., along with 298 short-term observers, to monitor the local elections from March 28 to May 15, 2011.  The SPA disputed the results of the mayoral election in Tirana, and SPA members of parliament boycotted the parliament until September 5, 2011.  Bujar Nishani of the Democratic Party of Albania (DPA), who was unopposed, was elected president in the fourth round of voting by the People’s Assembly on June 11, 2012.  The opposition party, Socialist Party of Albania (SPA), boycotted the fourth round of the presidential vote in the People’s Assembly.  Parliamentary elections were held on June 23, 2013, and the SPA-led coalition Alliance for a European Albania won 84 out of 140 seats in the People’s Assembly.  The DPA-led coalition Alliance for Employment, Prosperity, and Integration won 56 seats in the People’s Assembly.  The OSCE-ODIHR sent 15 election experts from 14 countries, 30 long-term observers, and 400 short-term observers led by Conny McCormack of the U.S. to monitor the parliamentary elections from May 13 to July 9, 2013.  The Council of Europe (CoE) sent 20 observers led by Luca Volonte of Italy to monitor the parliamentary elections from June 21 to June 24, 2013.  One individual was killed in election-related violence in the Lac region.

[Sources: Associated Press (AP), June 29, 1997, November 23, 1998; Banks and Muller, 1998, 9-15; Beigbeder, 1994, 251; Brecher and Wilkenfeld, 1997, 247-249; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), July 17, 1999, July 1, 2005, July 4, 2005, July 5, 2005, July 6, 2005, September 1, 2005, February 18, 2007, July 1, 2009, July 27, 2009, May 3, 2010, May 14, 2010, January 21, 2011, January 22, 2011, January 27, 2011, June 24, 2013, ; Clodfelter, 1992, 612; Council of Europe (CoE) press release, June 24, 1997, June 18, 1998, May 22, 2000, October 12, 2000, October 17, 2000, November 29, 2000, June 20, 2001, June 30, 2005, June 19, 2013; Council of Europe (CoE) report, September 12, 2005; European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO) report, July 7, 2005; Ference, 1994, 1-60; Foreign Relations of the US (FRUS), 1928 (vol.I), 845-852; Helsinki Monitor, 1996 (vol.7); International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) press release, March 10, 1997, March 13, 1997, April 14, 1997, June 25, 1997, July 23, 1997; Jessup, 1998, 13-14; Keesing’s Record of World Events, January 1-5, 1946, February 1991, March 1991, December 1991, March 1992, April 1992, June 1996, July 1996, January 1997, February 1997, March 1997, June 1997, July 1997, March 1998, September 1998, October 1998, October 1999; Kondis 1976; Langer, 1972, 1023-1024; National Democratic Institute (NDI) report, May 14, 2001; New York Times (NYT), January 24, 2011; Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)newsletter, April 1997, June 1997, August 1997; Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) press release, August 2, 1999, August 7, 2002, October 16, 2007; Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly (PA)/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)press release, August 2, 1999, August 25, 2000, November 29, 2000, May 22, 2001, June 13, 2001, June 22, 2001; OSCE/ODIHR report, February 1, 1999, February 25, 2004, November 7, 2005, June 7, 2007, September 14, 2009, August 11, 2011, June 7, 2013; OSCE/ODIHR statement, May 27, 1996, November 3, 1998, October 2, 2000, October 16, 2000; Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), May 29, 1996, June 13, 1996, February 5, 1997, March 3, 1997, March 5, 1997, March 13, 1997, March 14, 1997, April 4, 1997, April 15, 1997, May 7, 1997, May 22, 1997, June 17, 1997, July 11, 1997, July 23, 1997, July 25, 1997, October 9, 2000, June 21, 2001, June 22, 2001, June 25, 2001, June 26, 2001, January 30, 2002, February 6, 2002, February 22, 2002, June 25, 2002; Reuters, May 27, 1997, June 9, 1997, June 18, 1997, June 25, 1997, November 23, 1998, July 17, 1999, November 29, 2000, June 24, 2001, September 7, 2001, January 21, 2011, January 23, 2011, January 26, 2011, January 27, 2011, February 5, 2011, February 9, 2011, May 8, 2011, May 10, 2011, May 19, 2011, April 30, 2012, May 30, 2012, June 11, 2012, April 3, 2013, June 23, 2013, June 25, 2013, June 26, 2013; Survey of International Affairs (SIA), 1925 (supplement), 4, 1926, 511-512; Western European Union (WEU) press release, May 13, 1997.]

 

Selected Bibliography:

Biberaj, Elez. 1998. Albania in Transition: The Rocky Road to Democracy. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Jacques, Edwin E. 1995. The Albanians: An Ethnic History from Prehistoric Times to the Present. Jefferson, NC and
London: McFarland & Company, Inc.

Kondis, Basil. 1976. Greece and Albania, 1908-1914. Thessaloniki: Institute for Balkan Studies.

Pollo, Stefanaq and Arben Puto. 1981. The History of Albania from its Origins to the Present Day. London, Boston, and Henley: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Schmidl, Erwin A. 1999. “The International Operation in Albania, 1913-1914.” International Peacekeeping, vol. 6, 1-10.

Skendi, Stavro. 1967. The Albanian National Awakening, 1878-1912. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Swire, J. 1971. Albania – The Rise of a Kingdom. New York: Arno Press & The New York Times.