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<nettime> breafing 19-03-2001
geert lovink on 20 Mar 2001 13:57:57 -0000


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<nettime> breafing 19-03-2001



From: <ebalkan {AT} soros.org.mk>
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2001 3:29 PM
Subject: breafing 19-03-2001

"EURO-BALKAN" INSTITUTE ON MACEDONIAN CRISIS

CONTENTS:

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

a) DAILY BRIEFING FROM MACEDONIAN PRESS ABOUT MACEDONIAN CRISIS
19.03.2001

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
Macedonia 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
Alliance is not prepared for that kind of situation. Owen fears that Kosovo
might become "Europian North Ireland" - "Dnevnik"


b) DAILY BRIEFING FROM INTERNATIONAL PRESS ABOUT MACEDONIAN CRISIS
19.03.2001

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 t
own 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)

c) SUPPLEMENT: POSITION OF ETHNIC MINORITIES IN MACEDONIAN CONSTITUTION
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.



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