One of the results of the agreement between Prime Minister Edi Rama and opposition leader Lulzim Basha will be the installation of Dritan Demiraj as Minister of Interior Affairs, who is expected to seriously ramp up the battle against cannabis cultivation in the country.
Former Minister Saimir Tahiri’s policies have recently been unmasked as largely ineffective, while many of his “results” in the battle against drug cultivation in Albania appear to have been fabricated. Meanwhile, current Minister Fatmir Xhafaj never got rid of his alleged past as inspector during the dictatorship, and never distanced himself from the drug trafficking activities of his brother.
With Demiraj, who made several tours of duty in Afghanistan and is considered the “father” of the Special Forces, the battle against drug cultivation will for the first time in this government have a credible face.
Demiraj embarked on his military career since age 14, and served the Armed Forces for 31 years until he was unexpectedly fired by Minister of Defense Mimi Kodheli, in a gesture that Demiraj himself has described as “political.”
In an interview with Albeu from October 2016, Demiraj expressed himself clearly about the state of the army and the cannabization of the country:
Look at what capacity we have today, we are not in the state to impose order and control upon the territory of Albania, which is filled everywhere with drugs, a phenomenon which today may be evaluated as a risk and threat, but tomorrow it will be too late. One of the main problems today in the world is the war against drugs and trafficking, because it is known that organized crime is very much linked with terrorist groups and terrorist attacks.
As regards the current political situation in the country, including his former boss Minister Kodheli, Demiraj was also very clear:
I think that the time of ignorant, criminal, murderous deputies has gone and that the time has come to clean politics from this trash and those who put them into politics. I have to assure every colleague or former colleague in the army and not only them, that I have been, am, and will be determined until the end to fight for soldiers, to be their voice and I will be an unbreakable advocate of their rights.
Every colleague and civilian, including also Mimi Kodheli and Jeronim Bazo, who have abused, signed, and violated against the laws of the Albanian state over the backs of our colleagues, will respond one by one before the law. Today it may seem that they are strong, untouchable, but let’s not forget that justice one day will be victorious.