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<nettime> Army vs. police conflict in Belgrade
Aleksandar Gubas on 31 Mar 2001 16:20:28 -0000


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<nettime> Army vs. police conflict in Belgrade


Of course, when I woke up, Milosevic was still in his residence. The
number of his supporters gathered around increased: some 150 of them
came around noon, and now there are 400-500 people there, mainly elder
than 60, hysterically defending Milosevic and aggressive to the
journalists. It's a pathetic remnant of the former army of Milosevic's
adorers from the late '80s.
Some thing are clearer now. First of all, some key people from Yugoslav
Army (and from the Federal Government as well) obstructed police action
last night. During last months, the residence of Milosevic was guarded
by the Army. The Army enabled militant Milosevic supporters to get armed
and to position themselves inside the residence. The Army blocked the
police when trying to enter and arrest ex-president. It seems that the
key role in this was played by general Pavkovic, still The Man Number 1
in Yugoslav Army, and some other highly ranked officers and members of
the Federal Government.
General Pavkovic, arrogant man who made his fast career during the NATO
bombing and who was remembered since then as Milosevic's right (and
armed) hand, refused to send tanks to demonstrators on October 5, 2000,
when Milosevic was overthrown. But his true intentions remained unclear
since then - until last night.
The Serbian authorities make hard pressure on the federal authorities to
make order in the Army. It's the clash between Serbian police, loyal to
Djindjic, and federal Army, whose some key people still seem to be loyal
to Milosevic. The following hours and days will be exciting.
It's very likely that Milosevic and the people who helped and protected
him last night using arms will now be accused for armed rebellion and
terrorism. General Pavkovic is seen as one of them.
Currently, there are no significant Army troops movements. It seems that
the police forces keep control around the residence, restraining from
the use of force and trying to avoid the bloodshed. But how long? Since
last night, Milosevic is not treated as an ordinary former politician
any more - now he is some kind of Dillinger, a gangster barricaded in
his house and shooting at the police.
You could guess what it means...

Aleksandar Gubas

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