June 16, 2001 |
Ethnic Albanian rebels on Friday extended a ragged truce with Macedonian forces for 12 days as political leaders across the ethnic divide met to hammer out terms for preventing a new Balkan civil war. European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana predicted that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would help collect weapons from the rebels if they agreed to disarm under the peace deal being worked out. The guerrillas have demanded full NATO military intervention.
June 26, 2001 |
Armed police reservists broke into Macedonia's parliament Monday, firing into the air from a balcony to the cheers of thousands of demonstrators, as Slav anger erupted over government handling of an Albanian revolt. The protests in the Balkan country's capital came as fighting raged around a west Macedonian town even as NATO helped evacuate ethnic Albanian guerrillas from a strategic village under a cease-fire deal.
July 6, 2001 |
The government of Macedonia and ethnic Albanian guerrillas agreed Thursday to a Western-brokered truce, bringing hope that the country's slide toward civil war can be reversed. But diplomats warned that any true solution to the nation's political and military crisis remains far off.
July 8, 2001 |
In another signal of Western powers' deepening involvement in strife-torn Macedonia, U.S. and European envoys presented the Balkan nation's politicians Saturday with a framework for constitutional reforms aimed at defusing ethnic conflict and reversing a slide toward civil war. "It is the basis for further negotiations," European Union representative Francois Leotard told reporters in Skopje, the Macedonian capital. "Now we need to have reactions, comments and amendments to this document."
July 10, 2001 |
Macedonian leaders began talks Monday on a Western-drafted framework for political reforms aimed at defusing an ethnic Albanian insurgency that threatens to plunge the Balkan nation into civil war. Although ethnic Albanian politicians have said the proposals are inadequate, American and European Union representatives were upbeat after the first round of negotiations. "All parties are committed to working productively with the document, so we are very pleased with the first meeting," U.S.
July 26, 2001 |
After several days of localized clashes, ethnic Albanian guerrillas and the Macedonian government agreed Wednesday to restore a cease-fire, with the rebels promising in the NATO-brokered deal that they will withdraw to positions held early this month, Western diplomats said. The agreement, signed by the defense and interior ministers and the political representative of the rebels, restored hope that reform talks aimed at addressing ethnic Albanian grievances might move forward.
August 2, 2001 |
Leaders of the main ethnic Macedonian and ethnic Albanian political parties reached a tentative agreement Wednesday on whether Albanian should be an official language of the country, one of the difficult issues dividing the two groups, according to Western envoys. U.S. special envoy James Pardew and the European Union's envoy to Macedonia, Francois Leotard, made the announcement after peace talks broke up late Wednesday in preparation for a national holiday today.
August 10, 2001 |
Macedonian forces and ethnic Albanian rebels battled in a northwestern town Thursday, injuring 12 people and dimming hopes that a newly agreed-upon peace plan could end six months of bloodshed. The Macedonian army's chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Pande Petrevski, stepped down from his post to take responsibility after 10 soldiers died Wednesday in a rebel ambush, according to officials. A policeman was killed in fighting overnight. The government declared Thursday a day of national mourning.
August 12, 2001 |
Heavy fighting between ethnic Albanian guerrillas and government forces erupted in Macedonia's second-largest city Saturday, two days before political leaders are scheduled to sign a peace agreement. At least three people, including a policeman, were injured in clashes in Tetovo, a majority ethnic Albanian city in the northwest. "But the number of casualties could be higher. Our teams can't get out," Tetovo medical center director Rahim Thaci said.
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.