Montenegro police teargas protesters in opposition to Serbian Orthodox church

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Police in Montenegro have fired teargas at protesters as the brand new head of the Serbian Orthodox church within the nation arrived through helicopter for his inauguration.

The resolution to anoint Bishop Joanikije as the brand new metropolitan of Montenegro on the historical monastery of Cetinje has annoyed ethnic rigidity within the tiny Balkan state.

Protesters had blocked roads since Saturday in an try to save you get admission to to the small the city, each the headquarters of the Serbian Orthodox church (SPC) and an emblem of sovereignty for some Montenegrins.

Montenegro broke clear of Serbia in 2006, however a 3rd of its 620,000 population determine as Serbs and a few deny Montenegro must be a separate entity. Opponents accuse the SPC of serving Belgrades pursuits.

According to pictures launched through the SPC, Joanikije used to be dropped off through helicopter at the monasterys garden and rushed in beneath the sound of bells.

A safety perimeter have been arrange through police across the Fifteenth-century construction to give protection to the transient enthronement rite, and police fired teargas and sound bombs to transparent the protesters from the monastery.

Metropolitan Joanikije used to be named to his new submit in May, after the loss of life of his predecessor Metropolitan Amfilohije from Covid-19.

Thousands of protesters had on Saturday used vehicles or piled up rocks to dam roads, with many spending the night time huddled round fires to stay heat.

I’m right here to turn my love for the rustic, stated one protester, Saska Brajovic, 50. We aren’t inquiring for the rest from somebody else, however we’re brushed aside through the occupying Serbian church. We are right here protecting our dignity.

The protesters are subsidized through the Democratic celebration of Socialists of President Milo ukanovi, which has accused neighbouring Serbia and the SPC of disregarding Montenegro and Montenegrins, in addition to the integrity of his nation.

Djukanovic have been desperate to curb the SPCs clout in Montenegro and building up an unbiased Orthodox church however his celebration misplaced elections in August 2020 and the present govt led through the top minister, Zdravko Krivokapi, has accused him of intentionally stoking the hot tensions for political functions.


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