September 16, 1998 |
About 3,000 followers of former Albanian President Sali Berisha defied a government ban and staged a peaceful march through the center of the capital, Tirana, as heavily armed state security forces looked on. Socialist Prime Minister Fatos Nano, emerging from hiding after violence Monday during which his office and residence were looted, accused Berisha of trying to stage a coup and demanded that opposition supporters surrender their arms. Two tanks were handed over.
February 24, 1998 |
Government forces regained control of the northern town of Shkoder from armed gangs that looted and burned public buildings in two days of rioting. The violence was the worst in the country since a revolt in early 1997 triggered by the collapse of nationwide pyramid schemes. It was sparked by protests in which demonstrators demanded the release of two men loyal to former President Sali Berisha, whom many Albanians blame for that debacle.
July 5, 1997 |
In their greatest show of strength yet, international troops patrolled this capital Friday after the government requested help protecting election officials. The Socialist-led government condemned Thursday's shootout between police and pro-monarchy protesters in front of Central Electoral Commission offices. One person was killed and five were wounded in that clash. "We declare that the Central Electoral Commission is the future of Albania," the government said.
July 4, 1997 |
A pro-monarchy demonstration in Tirana, the capital, erupted into a firefight between royalists and police, fueling the volatile political climate that emerged from Sunday's parliamentary elections. State television reported two dead and five injured in the 15-minute shootout outside the Central Election Commission. Albania's would-be king, Leka, has alleged electoral fraud in a referendum, also held Sunday, on returning the monarchy to the nation.
March 9, 1997 |
Rebels angrily wave assault rifles and badger occupants of cars that navigate helter-skelter through the main boulevard of this southern city, past barricades of broken concrete and metal bars. Few women dare venture outside. Gunfire and explosions cut the air and reverberate over the Adriatic Sea.
March 6, 1997 |
President Sali Berisha, parts of his country in open revolt, deepened his own diplomatic isolation Wednesday by refusing the helping hand of Western mediators. Foreign Minister Tritan Shehu said the "timing" was wrong for an international peace mission, even as a military assault appeared imminent against Albanians in revolt in three southern cities.