The conversation with Minister Shekerinska took place on December 13, 2021, and is part of the activities of the CIVIL project “Past, present and future of arms control in the Republic of North Macedonia” with the support of the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime and the Resilience Fund.
Arms proliferation, radicalization, violent extremism or terrorism, are processes that feed each other, and therefore, the fight against them should be well coordinated and has to be logical. The Ministry of Defense is not the first institution to deal with this fight. As part of the National Committee for prevention from extremism and the fight against terrorism, we are participating in the efforts of the state to deal with the threat that is becoming global and that is a standard topic at all meetings of defense ministers, ministers of interior, and within NATO, Minister Shekerinska told CivilMedia.
“Terrorism is one of the key threats that NATO defines as a major security challenge. Therefore, many of our military personnel are being prepared and trained to fight against extremism and terrorism, and therefore participate in the development of standard operating procedures, together with other institutions. Thus, some of our special units have a focus on combating terrorism. This means that the army, together with the military intelligence service, are the main elements that should provide us with all the information and tools on how to fight these modern evils” – Shekerinska said.
According to the Defense Minister, Shekerinska, the Army is one of the institutions that has to be a symbol of integration. It has to be a symbol of cohesion, because it is present in different places, members of the army come from all the villages and towns of the country, it is a very useful institution for creating that type of social cohesion. The equitable representation was set from the very beginning, so it was first promoted in the army and police ranks, thus reducing the chances of radicalization within the structures, thus reducing hate speech, thus breaking stereotypes.
“A country like North Macedonia, which is really characterized by ethnic, linguistic, religious differences, has to work much harder on its internal integration to deal with the evil called violent extremism or terrorism. I think that both in the army and in the security structures we have understood that and we are working on it very seriously” – Minister Shekerinska emphasized.
Camera and photo: Dehran Muratov
Video editing: Arian Mehmeti
Translation: Natasha Cvetkovska
Editor: Diana Tahiri