Kalina Bunevska Isakovska on 20 Mar 2001 10:58:22 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] breafing 19-03-2001 "EURO-BALKAN" INSTITUTE ON MACEDONIAN CRISIS



Daily briefing from Macedonian press about Macedonian crisis

Daily briefing from international press about Macedonian crisis

c) Supplement: Position of ethnic minorities in Macedonian Constitution



The police resisted the terrorists’ attempts to enter Tetovo

Two days earlier, in the evening, after midnight, the terrorists attempted with a 3 hour  massive attack to enter Tetovo through the municipality Koltuk, but they were stopped and  withdrew with 40 dead. During the last 24 hours the Macedonian police managed to stop 4 major  attacks of the terrorists in the Tetovo region. There are no casualties from the Macedonian  side, and highly security sources unofficially inform that the extremists in the furious fights  had more than 40 casualties. According to eyewitnesses, the police suceeded to bring  serious damage to the terrorists that attempted to penetrate the city in three attempts. In the  difficult battles the police didn’t have any losses or injuries. The security service operatives  detained several foreign citizens for who there is a founded assumption that they have been  involved in destructive activities in the country. - "Dnevnik”

The parliament members support the Government in its battle against the extremists

The security situation in the country is getting worse as a result of the activities of the armed  extremist groups, this brings under question the countries territorial integrity and sovereignty,  concluded the Macedonian Parliament. The conclusions were voted for by 97 members of  parliament while the following used their right not to vote: Nazmi Kadriu, Muhamed Tairi, Hisni  Shaciri from the political party DPA and Nenad Ristovski, Vangel Simev, Zlatko Stojmenov from  the Real Macedonian Reform Option (VMRO).

An appeal was made to the political parties to avoid destructive scenarios and to direct their  activity for the country’s interest, in the name of peace, stability and democracy in opposition  to violence and ethnic hatred. – “Dnevnik”

Ljubco Georgievski’s, Macedonia’s Prime Minister, address 

Macedonia is under aggression from Kosovo, if necessary we will involve the Army. Macedonia is  faced with aggression from Kosovo which is logistically supported by its political  structures. Georgievski stated that the response of our security authorities to the terrorist  attacks will increase in intensity because Macedonia daily receives about 30 trucks  carrying weapons and ammunition. “No one will negotiate with the terrorists, nor will the  Constitution be changed. After the victory, we will continue to develop the inter-ethnic life  in Macedonia. – We cannot agree with the evaluations of the international diplomats and  media that this is not an aggression coming from Kosovo and that this is the doing of the ethnic  Albanians in Macedonia. KFOR has hundreds of evidence that this a well planned action from  Kosovo. The international community refuses to confess the failure of the politics in Kosovo –  said the Prime Minister of the Macedonian Government. “No one in Maced!
onia can be  convinced to believe that the American or German government don’t know the names of the leaders  of the gangs fighting in Macedonia and that if they enforce a much firmer politics, those  leaders will not be stopped”, alerted Georgievski. In all frontal battles so far, he  added, the terrorists are defeated and overcome, and he added that more and more Albanian  families are fleeing form Tetovo because they don’t want to submit to the death threats to  give their sons to join the terrorist groups. “The media and political vultures have to leave  their petty political and profit interests and let the Macedonian police do its work”, he  stressed. – It should not be forgotten that in the moment Macedonia achieves victory, we will  have to live together again and the interrelation between Macedonians and Albanians  will continue. – “Dnevnik”

The macedonian president’s, Boris Trajkovski, address to the citizens of Tetovo gathered  before the Macedonian parliament building in Skopje

The Macedonian president said that the real reason for this unreasonable violence lays not  in Macedonia. “The real reason for this violence comes from Kosovo, SR Yugoslavia. This is a  battle between those that still live from hatred and violence and all of us who want to live in  peace and democracy. President Trajkovski said “ The truth is that Tetovo is a Macedonian town  and it is going to say that way. We should all return and live together with out friends, no  matter whether they’re Albanian, Turk, Vlah, Serb or a Macedonian” – “Vest”

The ministry of defense and the government spokesmans press-conference

In some of the houses in Tanushevci, Macedonian army found large quantity of dried food with  UNCHR and KFOR insignia on. In Mijak, KFOR soldiers assisted the natives in digging the  food out of the terrorist’s hiding nests, said ARM spokesmen, Gjorgji Trendafilov. Trendafilov  stated that some international organization stationed in Kosovo, instead of doing their job,  are acting like compass, allaying the terrorists to unnoticed, and yet without hiding, enter  Macedonian territory and to undisrupted move within the SRJ border zone, in the Kosovo area.  If this indication shows correct, the Government, as the spokesmen Antonio Milososki  underlined, will address demarche to the international organizations uncharged.  Trendafilov confirms that there’s been a reserve infantry mobilisation, according to the needs  and the Macedonian Army Headquarters plan. –“Makedonija Denes”

The Internal affair minister Dosta Dimovska in Tetovo

Macedonian police will undertake more decisive measures to enclose the problem and to provide  conditions for the citizens of Tetovo to return to their homes – said the internal affair  minister, Dosta Dimovska, who yesterday with Lube Boskovski, high MVR officer, visited  Tetovo. She declared information about the arrival of new groups from Kosovo and said KFOR  will be informed. – “Utrinski Vesnik” 

Fatos Nano, former Albanian prime minister and SP leader, statement for the Spanish “Republica”

Fatos Nano qualified the events in Macedonia and in the Presevo valley as a “Normal reaction to  the primitive traditional factor, connected to the interests of individuals and groups not  chosen through the democratic process, which are turning towards the already outlived violence.”  “Everyone reaching towards violence suffice information, or a vision of a constitute process  which will guaranty state crating equality among the Albanians and the Macedonians in the Former  Yugoslav Republic. Concerning the accusations toward Albanians he stated:”there is no Great  Albania doctrine, no nationalist panalbaninan program is coming true through violence.” –  “Makedonija Denes”

Actions in Tetovo led by terrorist trained by the CIA and SAS

London “Sunday Times” claims that the armed Albanian extremists rebellion is led by people  trained by the CIA and SAS as the part of the NATO aggression on SRJ preparations. The  extremist called Bilal, according to “Sunday Times”, organized the Albanian extremists  weaponry and their shifting from Kosovo to Macedonia. The other person is Adem Bajrami, who  led the rebellion actions  around Tetovo and coordinated the extremists attacks. Both of  them, according to the paper, were trained under the British SAS instructions, in the Bajram Curi  secret center, Albania, in 1998-99. Obviously, the Albanians are applying the tactics learnt  from the SAS. Albanian extremists believe that NATO has betrayed them  and because of that  there is a chance they redirect their armed actions  towards the NATO and KFOR soldiers,  warns the former peace mediator for the Balkans, Lord David Owen. He predicts that the Albanian  extremists will shortly attack the NATO soldiers and that the Allian!
ce is not prepared for that  kind of situation. Owen fears that Kosovo might become “Europian North Ireland” – “Dnevnik”



COMKFOR Statement Following the Incident in Tetovo  Following the recent incident in Tetovo Lt. Gen Carlo Cabigiosu has made the following statement:  "I warn the Albanian extremist groups that KFOR will not tolerate or allow any attacks against KFOR soldiers in the  FYROM. We have responded vigorously to the concerns of the FYROM government, KFOR continues  robust and successful military operations inside the Kosovo border and co-operates with the FYROM  authorities to ensure that the border is as secure as is possible. The Albanian extremist groups  need to understand that their actions may harm the stabilization of the whole area and  that this is not in the interests of the ethnic Albanian communities. The extremists' violent  actions are damaging to all the people of the region and may undermine the KFOR mission to  ensure the normalization of life in Kosovo." 

Albanian rebels in Macedonia appoint their "political leader" Albanian rebels in Macedonia have made a step  towards becoming an organized opposition force by appointing a political leader, according to  press reports in Kosovo. The National Liberation Army (UCK) have named Ali Ahmeti as their chief,  the newspaper Koha Ditore reported on Sunday. The UCK handed Ahmeti a mandate "to try to find  a way to advance the negotiation process with the Macedonian government", the paper reported.  Ahmeti, from Kicevo in Macedonia, is believed to have been active for many years in the banned  Popular Front for Kosovo (LPK), Koha Ditore said. Skopje has said the Macedonian UCK  comprises many veteran fighters from Kosovo's own 1998-99 struggle for independence from  Belgrade. (Excerpts from Agence France Presse)

KFOR finds weapons cache near Kosovo boundary U.S. forces in Kosovo say they have discovered a  large cache of weapons, including more than 40 mortar and grenade rounds, close to the boundary  with Serbia proper. The peacekeepers found the weapons in a white Volkswagen Golf car near the  town of Lovce on Friday morning, they said in a statement released late on Friday night.  The cache included two rocket launchers, 43 mortar and grenade rounds, four rockets, three machine guns and a  sniper rifle as well as other military accessories and a radio, the NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping  force said in the statement. (Excerpts from Reuters)

Mischief in Macedonia

Balkan rebels open second front. In confronting this challenge, Western powers have two  advantages. The first is the experience gained in the region over the past 10 years. The second  is the relative military weakness of the ethnic Albanians compared with that of the Yugoslav  army in the 1990s. What is lacking among Nato allies is a coherent plan

and the will to execute it. On the military front, much greater effort should be made to  block the passage of the guerrillas between Kosovo and and Macedonia. And the alliance  presence in the latter should be reinforced; Skopje's feeble, largely conscript army is  obviously incapable of defeating the guerrillas on its own. On the political side, Kosovo should be  presented with a clear road map towards independence. More than a year after Nato began  bombing Yugoslavia, it is absurd that the prospect for the province should be indefinite constitutional  attachment to the federation which for so long oppressed it. (Excerpts from Daily Telegraph)

NLA issues a general call to al Albanian men to take up arms 

The rebel National Liberation Army (NLA) has occupied several areas in north-west Macedonia,  and over the weekend issued a general call to all Albanian men to take up arms and join its  ranks. Mr Georgievski said Macedonia was rapidly arming itself. The country's military is small  and poorly equipped, and Western diplomats say it is already at full stretch fighting the  rebels. Belgium and Germany have sent troops to defend military bases in Macedonia used to  support their peacekeeping operations in Kosovo. The NLA is reported to be gaining recruits, and  the rebels claim their forces number 2,000. Two weeks ago, there were believed to be no more  than 200. (Excerpts from Independent News)

Statement of the editor of Albanian language magazine

"I don't want somebody from the outside to come and liberate me. I really thought we had rid  Macedonia from politics of ethnic extremism, but now I'm very worried," says Iso Rusi, editor of  the Albanian language magazine Lobi. He warned against a heavy-handed response, saying such  action would raise nationalist sentiment: "That would be like oil on fire." (Excerpts from Financial Times)

Macedonian Foreign Minister Kerim visits the EU and NATO 

Macedonia's worried government will get maximum political support in its struggle against ethnic  Albanian guerrillas Monday as Foreign Minister Srgan Kerim visits the European Union and NATO.  Western diplomatic sources said a strong message to Kerim would stress determination to isolate  the insurgents and engage moderate Albanian leaders in dialogue, with full support from the  major powers. (Excerpts from Reuters)

What are Macedonia's options for dealing with the crisis?

The Macedonian government has allowed its army to join the police in fighting the rebels, and  is considering a general mobilization and state of emergency. But what are Macedonia's options  for dealing with this crisis? They face a major dilemma now, because the rebels appear to be  holding a suburb of Tetovo, and they appear to have the support of a lot of local people. So  the Macedonians will either have to use overwhelming force to restore control over the  town, which would risk serious casualties on both sides in heavy street fighting — and the  West is urging them to show restraint — or else they'll simply have to accept the situation that  they've lost a piece of territory and concentrate on preventing similar things from happening  elsewhere in Western Macedonia where there is a large Albanian population. (The Time,  statement of Dejan Anastasijevic)

Solana strongly condemns the attacks by ethnic Albanians 

Mr. Solana said in a BBC interview that he strongly condemned the attacks by ethnic  Albanians. He described the Albanian guerrillas as men of violence who must accept the  democratic process and he praised the Macedonian Government for the restraint it had shown so  far. (From BBC)


The Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, guarantees all citizens a full equality in their  rights, regardless of ethnic background.

The Constitution, which has a civic concept, by special provisions pertaining to minorities,  provides an effective equality, based on the protection of their ethnic, cultural and  religious identity.

For the units of local government, with a considerable number of citizens who belong to  ethnic minorities, the Constitution provides guarantees by which the language and the  alphabet of the minorities are in official use in addition to the Macedonian language. Those  rights are further regulated in the Law for Local Self-Government, which was prepared in  accordance with the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

The Constitution of Republic of Macedonia also guarantees free and public  expression of religious beliefs. All religious communities are equal before the  law.

The ethic minorities have a right to foster and express their ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural identity.

The Constitution guarantees the ethnic minorities rights to establish their own cultural and art institutions.

The ethnic minorities have a right to education in their language in the state primary and  secondary schools as well as in the state faculties for teachers or artists for the needs of those minority institutions.  This education is entirely free. The Law on Higher Education provides a possibility to establish  a private university in any language. Besides that, there are numerous affirmative actions conducted  in order to increase the participation of the Albanian students in all levels.

The Law on Identity Cards provides that the names of the citizens belonging to  ethnic minorities are written in their language and alphabet as well.

The Criminal procedure Act and the Civil Procedure Act guarantee the participants in the  proceedings the right to use their language, and provide free services for an interpreter.

The Constitution obliges the Parliament to establish a Council for Inter-ethnic relations with  obligatory multiethnic composition. The Council makes decisions with regards to initiatives and  proposals in the sphere of inter ethnic relations.

In the first multiparty parliamentary elections in 1990, the number of the Albanians among  the elected members of Parliament  was 19% ; in the Parliament elected in 1994 - 16% and  in the present Parliament (elected in 1998) - it is 19,2%.

In all 3 parliaments, there was a Vice president of the parliament - Albanian.  In 2001, during elections for a President of the parliament, there was a candidate Albanian,  who received the votes of the majority of the Macedonian MPs, but was not elected  because the Albanians from the competing Albanian party did not vote for him.

The last 3 Governments of the Republic of Macedonia (from 1992 to present) were  coalitions with an Albanian political party. The number of the Albanian  Ministers in the Government always exceeded the percentage of the Albanian  participation in the Parliament.

The establishment of the judiciary power was done with a consideration for the  proper participation of ethnic minorities.

Republic of Macedonia makes enormous financial efforts to enable the minorities  to receive information through media in the minority languages.

The National television has a program in Albanian since 1967. Today The  National radio has an Albanian program since 1948. In the Republic of Macedonia  there are 3 daily newspapers in Albanian.

The country has a long tradition in functioning of Albanian arts and cultural  institutions. In the capital Skopje, there is a Theatre for minorities  including Albanian Drama as a unit. There are numerous Albanian arts and  culture institutions which are financed by the state. 

The above facts undoubtedly show that the standard regarding the rights of the  minorities in Republic of Macedonia are not only with accordance to all international  conventions and documents, but are in many segments a step ahead. The presented legal  framework confirms the inclusion and respect of all principles contained in: the  International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Framework Convention for the  Protection of National Minorities, the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, the  Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic  Minorities, the OSCE Helsinki Final Act, the Document of Copenhagen and the Paris Charter.

______________________ Kalina Bunevska Isakovska Visual Arts Program Coordinator CAC - Skopje, Macedonia Address: Orce Nikolov 109, 1000 Skopje, Republic of Macedonia tel./fax: ++389.91/133-541; 214-495 e-mail: kalina@scca.org.mk http://www.scca.org.mk

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