Britons urged to flee unrest in Albania

Agencies - The Foreign Office yesterday urged all British nationals to leave Albania, as the rebellion spread to the north of the country.

In a message broadcast on the BBC World Service, the Foreign Office said the longer the delay, the more difficult and dangerous any departure might become. Eighty to 100 British nationals are believed to be working in northern Albania, away from the serious troubles in the south, where security has worsened.

"All British nationals should tell the British Embassy in Tirana what they intend to do," the Foreign Office said. "At the moment, most commercial airlines and ferry companies are operating normally, but this may change."

It urged all British nationals to leave Albania "by the first available commercial means." The list of those in Albania included journalists, aid workers, businessmen and "one or two intrepid tourists".

The British charity Children in Distress, which operates a children's hospital in Saranda, southern Albania, said that it had withdrawn all British and Irish staff. The hospital now has no children left in its wards.

Albania's president, Sali Berisha, said yesterday that he had appointed a new prime minister. Bashkim Fino, an economist from the southern town of Gjirokaster and a member of the main opposition Socialist Party, replaces Aleksander Meksi, a member of the ruling Democratic Party, who resigned last month as the unrest erupted.

The appointment of a member of the Socialist Party to the premiership was seen as a concession to the opposition, although they have little or no influence over the highly-localised rebel groups in the south.

Mr Berisha told Italy that a new government would be formed within 24 hours, the Italian Foreign Ministry said.

The president, his ruling Democratic Party and nine opposition parties signed an accord at the weekend to establish a national unity government and hold early elections by June in an attempt to find a political solution to the insurrection.

Political parties in Tirana agreed on Monday to split cabinet posts evenly between the Democratic Party and the opposition. However, the two sides have been deadlocked on who gets the key portfolios, political sources said.

The country's armed unrest spread from the south yesterday, with residents of a major town north of Tirana saying insurgents there have raided a military base and carted away weapons and ammunition.

A man identifying himself as the mayor of Bajram Curri said in a telephone call that insurgents took "a lot" of arms and munitions from the base in the town, 135 miles north of the capital, in a morning raid.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Facilities Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Facilities Manager is required to join the m...

Recruitment Genius: New Business Sales Consultant - Mobile - OTE £35,000

£14000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent telecoms compa...

Recruitment Genius: New Business Sales Consultant - Unified - OTE £35,000

£14000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent telecoms compa...

Recruitment Genius: Trade Sales Consultant - Furniture

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a besp...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum