May 10, 2001 |
Macedonian troops pounded suspected ethnic Albanian rebel positions with artillery Wednesday and besieged part of the border with Kosovo amid fading hopes for a political settlement. The chances that parties representing the majority Slavs and minority Albanians would form a national unity government dimmed Tuesday when a key ethnic Albanian party demanded that the offensive end before talks begin.
May 31, 2001 |
Government leaders proposed major concessions to this country's ethnic Albanians on Wednesday in an effort to head off a slide toward civil war by defusing support for a guerrilla insurgency. The Macedonian Slav parties that dominate a new multiethnic unity government have adopted a peacemaking agenda in which "the only goal is to make the Republic of Macedonia the kind of place Albanians want to see," Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski told reporters before an evening meeting of leaders.
June 3, 2001 |
Ethnic Albanian rebels clashed anew with government forces in Matejce, a village in northern Macedonia, and the army claimed that some militants were killed as troops battled to keep them from regaining lost ground. Smoke could be seen rising from Matejce, about 15 miles northeast of the capital, Skopje. Army spokesman Col. Blagoja Markovski said the rebels engaged in "fierce fighting" with security forces.
June 11, 2001 |
Thousands of ethnic Albanians fled to Kosovo from Aracinovo, a suburb of Macedonia's capital, Skopje, as government forces waited for orders to attack rebels who have seized the town. Locals said that only a few thousand people remained in the town, which has a normal population of about 13,000. Meanwhile, the rebels threatened to fire shells into downtown Skopje if the army keeps attacking villages held by the insurgents.
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 22, 2001 |
European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana held talks Thursday with Macedonian leaders and is expected back in the Balkan nation in the coming days in an effort to end a four-month guerrilla insurgency. With ethnic Albanian rebels entrenched in a string of mountain villages near the nation's northwestern border, Macedonian politicians are deadlocked as they negotiate political and social reforms that might convince the guerrillas to lay down their arms.
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.
June 30, 2001 |
The members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization gave final approval Friday to a plan to send up to 3,000 troops to Macedonia to collect and destroy the weapons of ethnic Albanian rebels there if a political settlement can be reached. NATO Secretary-General George Robertson said it is up to the Macedonian government to conclude political negotiations to resolve ethnic Albanian grievances and observe a truce so the alliance can provide assistance.
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."