Source AP ©

Child is named Tonibler to honor legacy of British Premier in Kosovo

Even when Tony Blair leaves office, his legacy and his name will stay alive in one of the most corners of Kosovo.

Crediting Blair with helping to stop the brutal Serb forces' crackdown on independence-seeking ethnic Albanians, the Dajaku family named their youngest son born shortly following the war, after him.

Tonibler Dajaku, now 6, lives with his family in a remote village 65 kilometers west of Kosovo's capital Pristina.

"We were so happy to be free and well after the war," said his mother Ajnishahe. "So, we wanted to name our son after Blair because he helped us a lot, he saved us."

"He gave us his helping hand and brought us freedom. We all wanted to name him after Blair," she added praising her son as "a quiet and loving" child.

In Kosovo, Blair is admired for leading and building an international consensus to stop the Serb forces crackdown on ethnic Albanian majority in 1999. Some 10,000 ethnic Albanians were killed during the conflict and up to a million were forced to flee to neighboring Macedonia and Albania in an ethnic cleansing campaign masterminded by former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

The province, which has named a key boulevard after the former U.S. President Bill Clinton, has a Tony Blair street in the capital Pristina, a driving school, a duty free shop and wall calendars and posters with his picture.

"We are grateful and thankful for his extraordinary contribution," said Ulpiana Lama, Kosovo's government spokeswoman. "He will undoubtedly remain part of Kosovo's history."

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