Kalina Bunevska Isakovska on 22 Mar 2001 12:10:02 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Briefing 21.03.2001 "EURO-BALKAN" INSTITUTE ON MACEDONIAN CRISIS




Daily briefing from Macedonian press about Macedonian crisis

Daily briefing from international press about Macedonian crisis

Supplement: The yesterday signed joint declaration of the parliamentary parties of Albanians in Macedonia 


Intense offensive of the Macedonian security forces

Yesterday at 4:00 p.m., an intense artillery crossfire from various caliber types was poured over the terrorists positions on the hillsides of Shar Planina, in the region of the Old Tetovo Fortress, Drenoec, Poroj, Germo, Selce, Lavce and the municipality Baltepe. The Macedonian artillery acted from several positions in Gorni Polog. The terrorists answered with weak fire from machine guns. The Macedonian soldiers and policemen were still at their positions yesterday in the late afternoon hours in the announced clearing of the terrain, expecting the artillery preparation for the final operation to end. ("Dnevnik")

Press-conference of the Ministries of Defense and Internal Affairs

A short machine gun fire was opened yesterday at the military watchtower "Goshince" at the Macedonian-Yugoslav border at the part towards Kosovo. The Macedonian border patrol responded immediately to the provocation directed from the side of Kosovo, stated the spokesman of the Ministry of Defense, Gjorgji Trendafilov.

The Deputy Information Minister in The Ministry of Internal Affairs, Stevo Pendarovski, stated yesterday that the armed conflict between the Albanian terrorists and the Macedonian security forces in Tetovo, from day to day decrease in intensity. It is assumed that this is a result of the successful action to break the terrorist hideouts in Beltepe conducted by the Macedonian security forces in the past two days. ("Dnevnik")

Ultimatum: The security forces appeal the extremists to put down arms

The Macedonian security forces sent a clear message to the terrorists in the region of Tetovo, but also to all others trying to harm the integrity and sovereignty of our country, that they would answer without compromise and strongly with all available forces. In order to avoid unnecessary civil casualties and loss of lives of innocent citizens who are held as hostages by the terrorists, the Macedonian security structures set an ultimatum to them to put down arms and to surrender to the competent authorities or to leave the territory of Macedonia. In accordance with this, in the period from 21.03.2001, 0:00 a.m. until 22.03.2001, 0:00 a.m., the members of the Macedonian security forces will restrain from fire over the terrorists' positions, except in case of attack from the counter side. ("Utrinski Vesnik")

Javier Solana - European Union foreign policy chief in Skopje: "There will be no negotiation with the terrorists"

EU supports the territorial integrity and security of Macedonia and convicts all kinds of violence. No negotiations whatsoever should be undertaken with the terrorists, and the violence will not affect the foreseen signing of the Stability and Association Agreement with the EU on 9th April. Solana refused all possibilities for pressure from the side of the EU to be made for the change of the Macedonian Constitution after the end of the crisis. "There were enough elections in this country and enough activities, and if it was necessary, the Constitution would already have been changed. We have no intention to insist on change because the Constitution is democratic", stated Solana. ("Dnevnik")

Common declaration of the parliament parties of the Albanians in Macedonia

The leaders of the Albanian political parties in the Macedonian Parliament, DPA (Democratic Party of the Albanians) and PDP (Party for Democratic Prosperity)- Arben Xhaferi and Imer Imeri, met yesterday with the European Union foreign policy chief, Javier Solana where a common declaration was signed in which it is stated "they stand united for peace" and call the armed groups acting on the territory of Macedonia to put down arms and peacefully withdraw to their homes. In the declaration, they call the Government to hurry up with the reforms that it has set for previously, and they ask the EU to support their implementation. ("MIA")

Skopje: Conference of the Southeast European Parliaments

On the conference, the presidents of parliament of the countries from the Process for Cooperation in Southeastern Europe condemned the violence of the extremists and supported Macedonia's steps for eliminating the crisis.

The Macedonian President, Boris Trajkovski, addressed the participants: "The country at this moment is being confronted with extremely brutal violence and terrorist acts of the Albanian extremists. There will be no negotiation with terrorism and elements of ethnic hatred directed at our endeavors and efforts to build a healthy multi-ethnic society. We are strong and determined enough to stand up against terrorism. ("Dnevnik")

DPA on the situation in Tetovo  Arben Xhaferi and Menduh Thaci organized a press conference and presented the party standings regarding the latest situation. "We presented our standings to Javier Solana, stressing that the crisis has a local origin, not from abroad as some claim," Xhaferi declared. "We requested from Solana the opening of a quality dialogue in order to solve the problems. We signed an agreement (together with PDP), requesting a peaceful way out of the crisis, through democratic means and a dialogue. We made our remarks regarding to extensive use of force, as many private houses were destroyed and the situation is only going for worse. We are not satisfied with the present relations in the Government and we demand a bigger participation in the process of establishing peace. We are outraged by the uncontrolled use of force against the population and we demand to stop the violence. We are not leaving the Government, but we want to be equal on vital issue that the!
 Government is deciding upon. We must certainly avoid the Yugoslav model of using violence," Xhaferi stated. ("FAKTI"-Albanian language daily)

Massive mobilization in Kosovo

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has information that efforts for mobilization from the other side are noticed, especially in the inhabited areas along the border. The Ministry of Internal Affairs doesn't disclose any details concerning the frequency of the mobilization. The Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesman, Stevo Pendarovski said that except for certain unofficial information on the forced mobilization as tax in blood, one male person from each Albanian family in the Lipkovo region, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has no other information for other parts of Macedonia. ("Vest")

Sniper fire and bomb directed at the journalists of the Macedonian State Television and A1 Television

The terrorists in Tetovo started to attack journalists as well, it was said in yesterday's report of the Macedonian State Television reporters. The journalist teams from the Macedonian State Television and A1 Television were shot at from sniper weapon by an armed group settled in the vicinity of the city center and later, form other positions as well. The terrorist groups previously threw a bomb at the point where the Macedonian State Television journalist team was recording a statement of the State Secretary of Internal Affairs, Ljube Boshkovski. ("Nova Makedonija")


Peacekeeping forces out of question US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the US was exploring ways that Nato could give more support to the Macedonian Government without committing soldiers of its own. Involving any of the region's peacekeeping forces directly in fighting the Albanian rebels was out of the question for now. (Excerpts from New York Times, http://nytimes.com)

At an EU foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels, the German foreign minister Fischer rejected a call by Austria that UN Security Council Resolution 1244 should be extended to allow NATO's KFOR operating in Macedonia. (Excerpts from The Scotsman)

Nato pleas for more troops in Balkans ignored

Not a single Nato government has responded to urgent requests from their hard-pressed military commanders in Kosovo for reinforcements to help deal with ethnic Albanian extremists infiltrating neighboring Macedonia, Nato sources disclosed last night. (Excerpts from The Guardian)

Terrorists stems from NATO's deadly sin

The UN Security Council opened debate on a French-backed resolution condemning the guerrillas. Russia labeled "armed groups of ethnic Albanians" as engaging in "terrorist activities". (Excerpts from BBC)

Albanian guerrillas were described by Robin Cook, the foreign secretary, as terrorists.(Excerpts from Guardian)

The situation in FYROM is the result of NATO's "deadly sin", i.e. its policy in Kosovo where it encouraged the Albanians' secessionist tendencies, according to Greece's former Foreign Minister Pangalos.(Excerpts from MPA)

Britain will train Macedonia for guerilla war

Macedonian army is unprepared to fight a guerrilla war, said Ivo Daalder, a former U.S. National Security Council aide and now a fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington."It is highly improbable that just by deploying a lot of tanks and a lot of howitzers that they will be able to defeat a committed guerrilla force." said Edward Luttwak, a military expert affiliated with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington."You can't send units that contain 35% or 40% Albanians against Albanian insurgents," Luttwak said. (Excerpts from The Times) 

Britain has announced that it is sending two additional military advisers to Skopje to assist the Macedonian Ministry of Defense and to provide wide-ranging advice, drawing upon their Northern Ireland experience to help with counter-insurgency operations if required. (Excerpts from BBC)

The nub of the problem is delaying the self-rule of Kosovo

KFOR and NATO must work closely with the Macedonia government to interdict the flow of arms and fighters across the border, said Wesley Clark, Retired General and former supreme allied commander in Europe. The use of force will only worsen the underlying problem, a discussion of the constitutional status of Macedonian Albanians should begin without delay. Kosovo's new leaders, must know that NATO will not step in again to protect them from the consequences of their own extremist actions. Renewed conflict will postpone, the day when they can take full charge of their own affairs. The nub of the problem is the continuing delay in moving the province toward democratic self-rule. Kosovo's leaders must understand that Albanians have nothing to gain -- and everything to lose -- by exporting or inflaming conflict in the Balkans. (Excerpts from Washington Post)

Macedonia and Kosovo both lose

The exchange of goods and services between Macedonia and Kosova in 2000 amounted to 160 to 170 million US dollars, according to the Macedonian Institute for Statistics, the Macedonia Head of Customs and Kosova's Chamber of Commerce. The closing of the Kosova-Macedonia border has caused big loses to the daily Kosovar budget of from 600,000 to 800,000 DEM. Macedonia has also suffered loses, sources from Kosova's Chamber of Commerce told. (Excerpts from KosovaLive)

Solana doesn't recommend negotiation

"We are determined to realize our demands, and urge Macedonian authorities and non-government figures to make public as soon as possible if they want this to be resolved peacefully or not," the rebels said in a communique. If talks are rejected, "we will bear no responsibility for the future chain of events," said the statement, signed by the "National Liberation Army - Tetovo branch." (Excerpts from Associated Press)

"Nothing, and I mean nothing, will be obtained by violent means," The European Union's security affairs chief Javier Solana told reporters during an official visit to Skopje. "It is a mistake to negotiate with the terrorists, and we do not recommend it." (Excerpts from The Times)

UNHCR Briefing Notes

Over the past six days, more than 2,300 ethnic Albanians have crossed the border to Albania - a tenfold increase from the usual number of crossings, according to Albanian authorities. Nearly half of them merely transited Albanian territory and entered Kosovo. Some 1,400 people, predominantly ethnic Albanians but also Macedonian Slavs, have crossed from Macedonia to southern Serbia in buses and private vehicles. There has also been a movement of people within Macedonia. The International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent has registered a total of 3,700 people internally displaced within Macedonia. 

US groups send arms to rebels

Albanian-Americans are contributing recruits, money and weapons to the rebellion in Macedonia. The rebel National Liberation Army (NLA) published advertisements in US Albanian-language newspapers calling for volunteers and donations, and held recruitment campaigns at the weekend. "About 20 people have gone already, and hundreds will go, more than went to Kosovo perhaps." said Dervish Jahjaga, editor of Bota Sot, an Albanian-language newspaper in New York. The New York Times reported that the NLA had succeeded in raising $500,000 in donations from Albanian-Americans. (Excerpts from Guardian)

Q: There is a news reports on the activity of the Albanian community in the USA, both financially and as far as volunteers are concerning going to Macedonia to fight on the Albanian side. Would you comment on that?

Mr. Boucher: I don't really have any knowledge of that or any information. ..

Q: If you have an proof of that, will you apply the Anti-Terror Act to the Albanians getting money here and sending it there?

Mr. Boucher: That depends on the whole lot of things… (Excerpts from State Department Briefing)


"We appeal to the groups that took arms in their hands on the territory of our country, to put down the arms and to peacefully return to their homes. We condemn the use of violence for the purpose of achieving political goals. There can be no place for it in a democratic state. It makes political dialogue impossible. It blocks the road to Europe that we, as citizens of Macedonia and as Albanians, have chosen. It can be tragic for us as Macedonian citizens and for the whole region. We believe that once the situation will be calm again, a new dialogue and a more productive one will be established among all political factors in Macedonia. We appeal to the Government to increase the intensity of those reforms that concern the inter-ethnic relations, and which it has decided to follow a long time ago, and we appeal to the European Union to help the implementation. Important questions are left open. But, we refuse to believe that we, the citizens of this country - Macedonians and Al!
banians - are forced to choose between solutions that make only one side satisfied, or, represent a threat for the other. If the old ideas did not give solutions acceptable for all, then we all have to seek for new ones. But, this cannot be achieved until we have a more relaxed atmosphere."

______________________ 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

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