World

2,000 ethnic Albanians in march calling on Macedonia's conservative government to resign

  • Ethnic Albanians wave Albanian flags and carry banners reading "Albanian protest" while marching through a street in Skopje, Macedonia, on Saturday, June 13, 2015. About 2,000 ethnic Albanians marched peacefully Saturday afternoon protesting conservative government policies toward the largest ethnic minority in Macedonia, a tiny Balkan country shaken with one of the deepest political crises since it declared independence from former Yugoslavia in 1991. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

    Ethnic Albanians wave Albanian flags and carry banners reading "Albanian protest" while marching through a street in Skopje, Macedonia, on Saturday, June 13, 2015. About 2,000 ethnic Albanians marched peacefully Saturday afternoon protesting conservative government policies toward the largest ethnic minority in Macedonia, a tiny Balkan country shaken with one of the deepest political crises since it declared independence from former Yugoslavia in 1991. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)  (The Associated Press)

  • A boy with his face painted in the colours of the Albanian flag, gestures, during a protest in Skopje, Macedonia, Saturday, June 13, 2015. About 2,000 ethnic Albanians marched peacefully Saturday afternoon protesting conservative government policies toward the largest ethnic minority in Macedonia, a tiny Balkan country shaken with one of the deepest political crises since it declared independence from former Yugoslavia in 1991. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

    A boy with his face painted in the colours of the Albanian flag, gestures, during a protest in Skopje, Macedonia, Saturday, June 13, 2015. About 2,000 ethnic Albanians marched peacefully Saturday afternoon protesting conservative government policies toward the largest ethnic minority in Macedonia, a tiny Balkan country shaken with one of the deepest political crises since it declared independence from former Yugoslavia in 1991. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ethnic Albanians wave Albanian flags and carry banners reading "Albanian protest" while marching through a street in Skopje, Macedonia, on Saturday, June 13, 2015. About 2,000 ethnic Albanians marched peacefully Saturday afternoon protesting conservative government policies toward the largest ethnic minority in Macedonia, a tiny Balkan country shaken with one of the deepest political crises since it declared independence from former Yugoslavia in 1991. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

    Ethnic Albanians wave Albanian flags and carry banners reading "Albanian protest" while marching through a street in Skopje, Macedonia, on Saturday, June 13, 2015. About 2,000 ethnic Albanians marched peacefully Saturday afternoon protesting conservative government policies toward the largest ethnic minority in Macedonia, a tiny Balkan country shaken with one of the deepest political crises since it declared independence from former Yugoslavia in 1991. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)  (The Associated Press)

About 2,000 ethnic Albanians have marched peacefully in the Macedonian capital, protesting against government policies toward the country's largest ethnic minority.

About 40 ethnic Albanian civic organizations and associations called for collective protests Saturday demanding the resignation of the conservative coalition government of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski's VMRO-DPMNE party and its junior partner, the ethnic Albanian Democratic Union for Integrations.

The organizers also demand a new investigation of several court cases involving ethnic Albanians sentenced in allegedly politically motivated trials.

Skender Rexhepi, senior official of one of the organizers, told local TV that Macedonia needs "a new agreement of all citizens" that will "open a...redefinition of the state where Albanians are a constituent element, equal with Macedonians."

Ethnic Albanians comprise a quarter of Macedonia's population of 2 million.