August 13, 2001 |
Today's scheduled signing of a peace deal by this country's main political parties is being kept quiet: Neither the time nor the place will be disclosed, and a single television camera will record the event, according to a government spokesman. Officials are afraid that, given the continuing armed conflict between Macedonian security forces and ethnic Albanian rebels, there could be a backlash if the ceremony was made public.
September 2, 2001 |
NATO's role in Macedonia's peace process could be in jeopardy after parliament suspended debate on reforms to grant greater rights to ethnic Albanians, an alliance envoy warned Saturday. Hans Joerg Eiff, NATO's ambassador to Macedonia, told Macedonian officials that parliament cannot put up new conditions that would stall a deal to end a six-month insurgency.
September 4, 2001 |
Legislators resumed debate on reforms crucial to peace with ethnic Albanians on Monday as Western officials hinted that NATO, now collecting guerrilla weapons, may need to consider a future security role. A NATO spokesman agreed that a serious security vacuum looms in Macedonia after the alliance winds up its 30-day collection of rebel arms later this month.
September 5, 2001 |
Parliament wrestled with a crucial vote on Macedonia's peace process Tuesday, with many lawmakers criticizing the pact but conceding that intense international pressure left little room for defiance. But as the debate dragged on, a series of legislators came down clearly against the accord. The assembly was scheduled to reconvene today.
October 28, 2001 |
A long-stalled peace deal for Macedonia could be adopted by the parliament as early as this week, a top European Union official said after meeting with leaders of the country's rival ethnic groups. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana announced Friday that ethnic Macedonian and ethnic Albanian leaders had resolved their differences over constitutional changes envisaged by the Aug. 13 peace accord.
November 16, 2001 |
Macedonia's parliament voted today to improve the civil rights of minority Albanians after a long delay that menaced a peace accord designed to defuse a guerrilla uprising. The vote came days after the agreement almost unraveled when the interior minister sent special forces into the ethnic Albanian heartland, leading to fighting, arrests and retaliatory kidnappings. Parliament adopted each of 15 constitutional amendments by a two-thirds majority.
June 15, 2001 |
Ethnic Albanian rebels demanded a deployment of NATO peacekeepers in Macedonia before accepting any peace proposal offered by the government to end the nation's crisis. The demand came as Macedonian Slav and key ethnic Albanian political leaders prepared to consider a peace plan drafted by President Boris Trajkovski. The rebels are insisting that NATO guarantee a proposed cease-fire and that a political agreement be policed by alliance troops.
May 6, 2001 |
Macedonia's troops shelled positions of ethnic Albanian rebels while the president hurriedly examined political concessions to the Albanian minority aimed at averting civil war. A senior ethnic Albanian politician said there were unconfirmed reports that as many as 10 civilians had been killed in the latest upsurge in fighting.
March 15, 2001 |
Ethnic Albanian guerrillas brought their insurgency from Macedonia's countryside to its second-largest city, exchanging gunfire with police Wednesday in an escalation of violence near Kosovo that threatens to flare into a new Balkan war. Southern Serbia, the other potential tinderbox, was edgy but without reported violence as Yugoslav troops moved into an area held by ethnic Albanian insurgents.
March 20, 2001 |
The two-room school is empty, its windows shattered by the blast of a mortar round that landed outside the front door. As ethnic Albanian rebels fight to hold their ground here, only three people in the village remain unarmed. One is an English teacher, an ethnic Albanian man named Azem Bajrami, who looks oddly jaunty in his blue beret, with a dark coat draped over his shoulders. At 60, he can still do a quick, weaving sprint to dodge snipers' bullets.