Culture Supplement

1903: Belgrade sets gangs in motion, disarms Albanians in Kosovo

Belgrade was committed to arming the Serbian population under the pretext of protecting it from the insecurity of the Ottoman authorities and from "Albanian atrocities". The supply of weapons and ammunition was taken over by the staff of the Serbian Consulate in Pristina, which operated from 1889 to 1912 (pictured) and in Skopje
 

The Mürzsteg program of 1903 stirred Serbia. Belgrade mobilized armed gangs to cause unrest in Kosovo and sent various religious and political emissaries to disorient the Albanian factor and their national movement. Apart from that, Serbia, on the one hand, insisted on the pursuit and annihilation of the Albanian comite squads, as well as the complete disarmament of the Albanian population, while, on the other hand, it paved the way and financially supported the organization and operation of the Serbian comity squads.

Serbian politics was alarmed by the Mürzstegu Program of 1903, which provided for the establishment of the Austro-Hungarian mission in the southeastern territory of Kosovo, which was defined as the Serbian state. From the Serbian point of view, the establishment of such a mission presented an obstacle to the realization of the idea of ​​Greater Serbia, namely an obstacle to the invasion of Kosovo. But, in the areas where there were objections, it was decided to exclude them from the reform process. Therefore, Belgrade mobilized armed gangs to cause unrest and sent various religious and political emissaries to disorient the Albanian factor and their national movement.

Apart from that, Serbia, on the one hand, insisted on the pursuit and annihilation of the Albanian comite squads, as well as the complete disarmament of the Albanian population, while, on the other hand, it paved the way and financially supported the organization and operation of the Serbian comity squads.