Main topic

ESSAYS AND STUDIES

THE SECESSION OF MONTENEGRO (2006): NEW STATEHOOD, NOT RENEWED STATEHOOD

Abstract

Montenegro of the Petrović Njegoš dynasty (1697–1918),
internationally recognized as an independent Princedom of Montenegro
(1878), proclaimed Kingdom of Montenegro (1910), was the Serb
state. Basic criteria of the Montenegro’s statehood, concluded with the
Kingdom of Montenegro were Serbian population (95%), state territory
with Metohija as sacred Serbian Kosovo-Metohija goal and Serbdom
as state ideology. Elements of identity were the Serbian Orthodoxy,
Serbian language, Cyrillic alphabet, while the symbols of the statehood
were Serbian red-blue-white tricolour flag, two-headed white eagle as
a coat of arms with roots in the medieval Serbian Nemanjić heraldry,
people’s anthem “Onam’, onamo” known as the Serbian Marseillaise
and currency perper named after currency of the medieval Serbian
Empire.
Two Serbian statehoods of the Kingdom of Montenegro and
the Kingdom of Serbia merged in 1918 and then unified with other
Serbs and Yugoslavs in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes/
Yugoslavia. The Communist Party of Yugoslavia, after its victory in the
WWII, established socialist Yugoslavia (1945–1991) as a federation of
six republics. The People’s Republic/Socialist Republic of Montenegro
still had Serbian tricolour flag but Montenegrins were officially
considered separate ethnicity, known as “the different Serbs“. Although
it was a dual identity, the door were opened for deserbisation, also led
by the Roman Catholic Church and Croat ideologists who considered
Montenegrins descendents of so-called “medieval Red Croats“.
The break-up of the socialist Yugoslavia split Montenegrin
identity into two parts: Serbs and Montenegrins. Serbs claimed Serbdom
of historical Montenegro, while many Montenegrins – but not all –
claimed Montenegrin roots within medieval Diocletia, considered by
Croat ideologists a synonym to “the Red Croatia”. After Montenegrin
president Milo Đukanović in 1997 accepted a path of separatism
from joint state with Serbia, so-called “Diocletian ideology” became
mainstream within the ruling elite. Montenegrin separatists, together
with the minority population (Bosniaks, Albanians and Croats, together
around 24% of Montenegro’s population) began to outvote Serbs
(around 33% of Montenegro’s population) and Montenegrins of the
Serbian mother tongue (still “the different Serbs”) with 55% against
45% on almost all elections and independence referendum (2006).
During the process of secession and after secession of Montenegro,
the ruling elite of Montenegrin separatists and ethnic minorities totally
changed the identity of Montenegro. According to basic criteria, the
Montenegro’s new statehood was claimed by the ruling elite just
Montenegrin, in 2018 Montenegro sent troops to southern Serbian
province Kosovo and Metohija to join occupying NATO forces, while
serbophobia is considered main narrative. Elements of new identity are
so-called “Montenegrin Orthodoxy”, “Montenegrin language”, Latin
alphabet, while the symbols of the statehood are historical red military
flag of the Kingdom of Montenegro now as a state flag, two-headed
white eagle is now painted yellow, a version of a song “Oj svijetla
majska zoro”, similar to one published in the book Red Croatia (1937)
is accepted as a state anthem.
The Kingdom of Montenegro and present-day Montenegro are
two totally different states with the same name. There is nothing to
connect them in basic criteria of the statehood, elements of identity
and symbols of the statehood. The Kingdom of Montenegro had its
Serbian statehood while present-day Montenegro has its Montenegrin
statehood. Thus, secession of Montenegro in 2006 led to completely
new statehood, and not renewed statehood.

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References

PERIODICS Srpska politička misao 2/2018 2/2018 УДК 321.013(497.16)“2006“ 195-210
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