„Republic of Chameria“ Leader assassinated in the Netherlands

Photo: Bota Sot

Kosovo media reported recently that the self-proclaimed president of the so-called „Republic of Chameria,“ Festim Lato was murdered in the Netherlands. Bota Sot revealed unofficial details about Lato’s assassination, claiming that he was kidnapped on July 15th and tortured for 48 hours, after which his body was reportedly dismembered by a chain saw and thrown into a river.

Lato declared the independence of the “Republic of Chameria” from Greece on October 30th, 2016 while self-declared himself as the president on the same day. According to Bota Sot, Lato announced in 2017 that he would start issuing “Republic of Chameria” passports.

The news of Lato’s assassination was confirmed by the Prime Minister of the “Republic of Chameria,” Ali Aliu. Aliu claims that it is a political murder.

What is Chameria?

Chameria is an Albanian name for the coastal area of ​​Epirus in the south of Albania and northwestern Greece. Chameria (with the exception of the city of Butrint and the seven surrounding villages) and the rest of the northern Epirus were given to Greece at the Ambassador’s Conference in 1913, when the borders between Greece and Albania were established. As a consequence of the First World War, the Greeks did not have control over that area until the 1920s and the Paris Peace Conference. The decision was strongly opposed by both Albania, and ethnic Albanians living in the region.

As per some reports, the KLA allegedly ordered the establishment of the „Chameria Liberation Army“ (CLA) in 1995.

“In the Netherlands, the President of the Republic of Chameria, Mr. Festim Lato, has been assassinated. The Dutch Police informed Festim Lato’s family in Vlora on his assassination. The Government of the Republic of Chameria, headed by Prime Minister Ali Aliu is saddened and expresses condolences to the Lato Family from Vlora and his friends. The murder of the President of the Republic of Chameria, Mr. Festim Lato is a politically motivated murder. Festim Lato is the first hero of the Chameria Republic. “Festim Lato, light let it be your blood, brave hero! „Chameria is our blood, which will not be wasted! Glory, that we had you!“ – reads the statement of the Prime Minister, Ali Aliu, Pristina-based Koha reported.

Bota Sot also reports that debts may have been the motive of Lato’s murder.

Greek media wrote about this at length, while some of them described Lato as a man that poses risk to the country. Greece even accused Lato of committing crimes against humanity, including the news that he was also tried at the International Criminal Court in Hague. Initially, there were rumors that the murder was political and carried out by secret services. In the meantime, Bota Sot alleged that Lato was murdered because of his debts.

Lato’s body arrived in his hometown in Albania yesterday, escorted with the „Greater Albania“ flag – the same one that was flown over the pitch by a drone during a soccer match between Serbia and Albania in Belgrade, Bota Sot noted.

The same media also wrote that Lato had lived and worked in the Netherlands for the last 25 years.

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