Issue No. 215 - March 17, 2001

1. Macedonia: NEARING WAR
            By Zvezdan Georgievski

            By Zoran Mamula

           By Ana Vaskubnyikova

 4. Special addition: NEW AT TOL


Macedonia: NEARING WAR
    By Zvezdan Georgievski
   Clashes between Macedonian security forces and Albanian terrorists
that have been shaking Macedonia, the only ex-Yugoslav republic
that has evaded any war so far, during past several days are more
and more acting like a reminder to events and scenarios that have
started tragic armed conflicts in other Yugoslav countries like
Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
   The center of fighting is in the town of Tetovo in western
Macedonia, mostly populated by Albanians but there is still
gunfire in the vicinity of Tanusevci, a village at the
Macedonian-Kosovar border where conflicts began. There are fears
that conflicts could start also in other Macedonian towns like
Gostivar and Kumanovo but also in the capital itself - Skopje -
with many of Albanians living there.
   Tetovo is already looking like a ghost city. Mass refugee convoys
are moving towards Skopje. Both Albanians and Macedonians are
running away. They say that a bullet doesn't chose the head it
will hit. Shops are closed, for the most part permanently. Schools
are also closed in Tetovo, Gostivar, and Kumanovo. Border crosses
towards Kosovo are closed.
   The outcome of two days of shootings in Tetovo is one dead
and 19 wounded, five of them civilians. There is no information
about victims among Albanian terrorists, but there are indications
that their wounded are transported into private hospitals.
   According to claims of Macedonian ministry of the interior,
Albanian terrorist forces in Macedonia consist of 500 armed and
uniformed individuals. According to the same source, most of them
come from Kosovo and some among them are from Macedonia, from the
vicinity of Tetovo.
   Psychosis of fear and war is governing Macedonia. People are
waiting in lines for passports. Flour is the most sought-after
product in Skopje. Prices of western currencies, especially German
mark, are rapidly rising on black market and their lack can be
seen everywhere. Some sources say that there is an increased
activity of bank accounts of Albanian individuals and
organizations in western Europe.
   Macedonian state top hasn't proclaimed the state of emergency yet,
but that possibility isn't discounted.
    Macedonian prime minister Ljupce Georgievski said resolutely
that Macedonia will defend itself with all means at its disposal,
announcing that if necessary Macedonia will address direct
intervention of NATO.
   Still, local analyses say that the situation is really bad, but
that a bigger escalation of violence or armed conflicts that
already happened in other countries of the former Yugoslavia
aren't likely.
   The main argument for this analysis is that the international
community (primarily USA) won't allow bigger conflict in Macedonia
since it could endanger peace in wide region. It is also confirmed
by the statement of American ambassador to Macedonia Mike Inick,
who said that current situation was aggression on Macedonia,
completely rejecting any legitimacy of the terrorists' actions.
Finally, although local department of Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)
that is called National Liberation Army in Macedonia came forth
with their political demands asking for federalization of
Macedonia, Albanians in Macedonia enjoy the status of constituency
nation, consensual democracy and wide autonomy so one gets the
impression that there are more prosaic reasons behind these
incidents which are provoking a wider armed conflict.
   Incidents began right after signing border-settling
agreement between Macedonia and FR Yugoslavia. Majority of
Macedonian political parties didn't acknowledge this agreement
(Albanian party in the parliament, Party of Democratic Prosperity
didn't vote for ratification of the agreement) which leads to
conclusion that behind these incidents hide certain "business"
circles who are opposed to greater borderline control.
This thesis can be defended with several arguments.
There is an impression that even the local Albanian population was
surprised by this development so that terrorists in general don't
enjoy the support which could serve them to cross the critical
level between incidents and war.
   Still, there appear political forces that want to use this new
situation to score political points, literally playing with fire
along the way.
   Just in the middle of this situation the new political
party of Macedonian Albanians was formed, National Party of
Albanians, which openly supports all KLA demands, thus again
drawing upon the issue of so-called Ilirida. It was the illegal
referendum of Macedonian Albanians in 1992 for separation of
western Macedonia (where Albanians form a majority) called Ilirida.
Some Albanian political leaders found it suitable to say that
Ilirida referendum was completely legal, that as much as 97 percent
of local Albanian population cast their votes, with 94 per cent of
them voting in favor of separation of Ilirida. Some Albanian political
forces (the above-mentioned National Party of Albanians) estimate that
this situation was caused by constant discrimination of Albanians
in Macedonia, adding that it is the issue as old as Macedonian
   On the other hand, shootings in Tetovo started just at the time of
great Albanian demonstrations with motto "Stop to state terror
over Albanians" during which one could hear everything but appeals
to calm down. On the contrary, demonstrators emphasized that
Albanians fought for justice and truth and that they wouldn't give
up their weapons until their demands are met.
   For now, Macedonian government isn't responding to the
provocation. Macedonian president Boris Trajkovski firmly said
that there won't be negotiations with terrorists, and prime
minister Ljupce Georgievski said that "some political structures of
Albanians in Macedonia are starting to dangerously play with fire,
which is additionally worsening the situation". Minister of the
interior Dosta Dimovska decidedly said that "terrorists are
leftovers of the former Kosovo Liberation Army and their goal is
occupation of Macedonian territories and control of Macedonian
borders". Defense minister Ljuben Faunovski said that the
provocation of Albanian extremists tried to cause war in
Macedonia. He indirectly added that Albanian political parties in
Macedonia are not active enough in stopping the Albanian
   Albanian politicians were reminded that Macedonia gave
shelter to 400,000 Albanian refugees during the Kosovo crisis,
which has now returned to it in the worst possible way. The
hidden meaning is that Albanian parties could put Albanian
terrorists under control if they wished to do so.
   But the situation is certainly more complex and Macedonian
leaders will need both courage and wisdom to overcome this
threatening situation. For now, nothing came out of expectations
that the international community could do it for them, and postponing
the solution can only worsen the conflict and cause losing control
over it.
                        *  *  *

    By Zoran Mamula
    On Wednesday happened something which has been only recently
completely unimaginable: Yugoslav Army, supported by NATO it
fought in 1999, entered land security zone near Kosovo at
the Macedonian border to prevent joining of Albanian rebels from
southern Serbia with those from Macedonian territory.
    It is the same tampon zone which was formed upon the entrance of
the international forces in Kosovo in order to disable then hostile
Yugoslav army from attacking KFOR members and Kosovar Albanians.
Only a day before, on Tuesday, Albanian rebels, heavily pressured
by NATO, accepted cease-fire.
    Now the new Yugoslav government headed by president Vojislav
Kostunica presents an element of peace while yesterday's favorites
in the region, Albanians, became a disturbing factor for its
    Western officials and media accuse them of behaving like
former regime of Slobodan Milosevic and that they have been trying
to create ethnically clean Greater Kosovo using violence against
Serbian minority in Kosovo and rebellion in southern Serbia and
    Only two months ago, dr. Ibrahim Rugova provocatively said in
an interview for the German "Spiegel" that NATO was "Albanian army".
Nobody dismissed his words. Today, after signing cease-fire in
southern Serbia and return of Yugoslav army in border zone,
Albanians feel betrayed.
    Because of it, former KLA commander Hasim Taqi nervously
warned: "Yugoslav forces mustn't get near Kosovo!" However,
disregarding reversed roles in Kosovar crisis, it is still
uncertain whether the two documents many feel historical will give
peace a chance.
    Both Yugoslav and western analysts warn that Albanians won't
consent to putting away their weapons until they have achieved
their goals, and local population is also doubting peace-keeping
intentions of Yugoslav army soldiers. As Riza Halim, leader of
Albanians living in southern Serbia, said - those are the same
people that committed crimes against Albanian civilians.
    Estimations claiming that Albanians were skeptical towards the
new government in Belgrade proved true also when Serbian forces
entered border zone, even if it was the part that hasn't suffered
any armed conflicts since the beginning of the crisis. In an
Albanian village, two soldiers neared local school which was seen
as an incident by the headmaster who asked them to leave. Field
commanders immediately withdrew their soldiers to the nearby road,
but classes were interrupted and hundred Albanians gathered in the
village, "silently protesting" as they said.
    So, unpleasant situations like this one will be hard to avoid
although NATO imposed many restrictions on Yugoslav security
forces in order to avoid conflicts. Karl Kabidjozu, KFOR commander
who has jurisdiction over all activities in the "border zone" said
that Yugoslav troops stationed in parts of security zone
encompassing Kosovo will have to respect ban of introducing armed
vehicles into the area as well as the use of rocket launchers,
anti-tank weapons, helicopters and mines. Also, Yugoslav forces
cannot occupy houses and enter villages. On the other hand,
Yugoslav soldiers are allowed to use mortars and to fight the
terrorists - but in cooperation with KFOR high command and with
background artillery support. NATO representatives said that
Yugoslav soldiers will receive their orders from Belgrade, but
will be under the "surveillance" of NATO and EU teams. It wasn't
explained, however, whether the observers will follow soldiers all
the time.
    Estimating possible Albanian response to stationing of Serbian
forces in border zone, one shouldn't forget the statement  issued
by the leader of armed Albanian extremists Sevcet Musliju who
clearly said when he signed the armistice that he couldn't
constrain his fighters if they spotted Yugoslav soldiers and
policemen in their sectors.
    Tomislav Kresovic, political associate of the Institute for
geopolitical studies in Belgrade called crisis in south, or to be
more precise south-eastern Serbia, limited war with tendency of
growing into a regional hot-spot. He doesn't believe that this
temporary peace will last for long and that problem in this part
of Yugoslavia bordering with Macedonia will only be solved with
agreements between Serbia, Macedonia, and NATO.
    "Only in that way can one prevent or localize the conflict. It
can be controlled with political and diplomatic methods, threating
extremists with consequences for peace in region" - said Kresovic,
reminding that terrorists want the status of politicians and
application of Kosovar scenario from 1998 and 1999, when the chief
Albanian negotiator was Hasim Taqi.
    However, Kresovic warns that Albanian extremists now use a
chance to make their status internationally recognized. At the
same time, they are trying to forcefully get concessions from USA
and NATO to use their pressure on Serbian authorities regarding
models and outlines of their dialogue.
    War is favorable to Albanian mafia which sees their chance in
this crisis for arms smuggling, robbery and infiltration into
political parties. Presevo is the key point of narcotics road that
is connecting narco-kartels with Macedonia, Serbia and Western
Europe. Potential conflict also looks good to the so-called
Albanian lobby (Dole, Diogardi, Liebermann) in the USA.
    In this Albanian rebellion, they see the chance for Macedonia
to become an American protectorate on one hand, and to put Serbia
under constant pressure to yield under USA and NATO patronage, on
the other.
    It is also suitable for extremists among proponents of
Milosevic's politics that were defeated at the last year's
elections. Faced with possibility of trials for crimes in Serbia
and other ex-Yugoslav countries, they could see their way out in
radicalization of the situation in southern Serbia and give
support to war conflict - said Kresovic.
    Leader of Kosovar Serbs Oliver Ivanovic thinks that problems
both in southern Serbia and Kosovo should be resolved peacefully-
"We generally support peace process. It yielded its first good
solutions and we hope such principle will also be applied to
Kosovo" - said Ivanovic.
    Leaders of Kosovar Albanians Rugova and Taqi support
cease-fire in southern Serbia, but they claim this region won't
see peace until Kosovo is granted full independence. It is certain
that possible renewal of fighting is the least acceptable to new
authorities in Belgrade,
    Due to constant tensions in southern Serbia there are no
foreign investments which are very necessary for revival of the
economy left in ruins by Slobodan Milosevic's regime. Reservation
of security forces towards Albanian extremists is labeled by
Milosevic's supporters as treason and they threat with
demonstrations and uprisings. It is very certain that the outcome
of this crisis will be primarily decided by the international
community, especially USA which have been lately keeping constant
pressure on Kosovar Albanian leaders to leave extremism and
realize that the time of war and changes is gone. If Kosovar
leaders still don't understand it, it can easily happen for them
to lose not only the international support but also financial aid
and face what has already happened to Milosevic's regime.

                          *  *  *

    By Ana Vaskubnyikova
    Lower House of Russian parliament Duma refused last Wednesday
to vote on removing prime minister Mikhail Kasjanov. The voting
was proposed by the Communist party. Only communists and their
allies from the Agrarian party supported the proposal with 127
votes out of 226 necessary to remove the PM.
    In mid February, a fraction of Russian communist party, the
strongest parliamentary party, said that it would ask for voting
on confidence in government.
    In their unique populist manner, they proved to be true to
their principles: opposing to promised Putin's economical reforms,
especially those painful for the population like the apartment reform.
Communist party is also displeased with the upcoming plans of the
next stage of privatization, government's dismissal of the chief of
Unique Russian energy-system Anatoly Chubais and even the decision
to cancel space program "Mir".
    But, voting on the government was even more exciting, before
the voting itself, than the results show. Second largest fraction
in Duma, "Unity", treated completely seriously the proposal of the
Communist party. Its leadership considered the possibility to
support CP initiative although it seemed pointless for a fraction
that presents the basic parliamentary support for the government
to vote against it.
    "Unity" movement was created in 1999, just before
parliamentary elections, to found the "government party" on which the
former president Yeltsin could always count. "Unity" was
fulfilling the function of transmitting Kremlin in Duma.
    And then came a surprise when "Unity" thought about siding with
the communists. Moscow analysts feel that Putin is also
dissatisfied with the government, but for different reasons than
communists and therefore "Unity" is executing order from Kremlin and
at the same time giving an eye to the communist populists. Such
version shouldn't be completely discounted: Putin wasn't satisfied
with the style of present prime minister Mikhail Kasjanov
(actually, Putin himself often played the role of prime minister)
and he used the parliament to scare him.
    The essence of Moscow's byzantine intrigues is still thought
to be something else: in the second year of Putin's mandate,
Kremlin is ready to rebuild Duma's composition and get rid of
fractions which don't show enough loyalty to the president. It is
especially true for the "Homeland" movement led by former prime
minister Yevgeny Primakov and Moscow mayor Yuri Luzkov.
    The situation was simple: if proposal to dismiss the government
had passed (majority of 226 out of 450 votes in Duma) and then it
had given the same result again, after three months, Putin would
have had to make the move. According to the constitution, he can
either release the government or save it and set new parliamentary
    For now, a major parliamentary crisis in Russia was evaded. If
it escalated, it could benefit Putin. Taking into account Russian
political situation, if new parliamentary elections are an option,
one can expect formation of new pro-president majority which would
secure implementation of non-popular economic reforms. Still,
Putin is playing with fire and is repeating Yeltsin's mistakes by
constantly trying to manipulate the parliament, threatening to
disband it.
    One gets the impression that the whole crisis was orchestrated
in Kremlin, primarily in Putin's interest - both communists and
the government were pictured as losers in this case, while Putin
showed to be the master of the parliament via fraction "Unity".

                     *  *  *

 Special addition : NEW AT TOL
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     --- OUR TAKE: The Gradualist Makes a Move ---
     When Ethnic Politics and Democracy Collide in Bosnia.
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    --- TOL WEEK IN REVIEW ---
    Extra-Judicial Executions
    Photographs of a mass grave outside Grozny bring renewed
international attention to human rights violations in Chechnya.
    by Maria Antonenko
    Dayton in Danger?
    Bosnian Croats threaten peace process by declaring self rule.
    by Daria Sito and Mirna Solic
    Not Such Good Neighbors
    A book implicating Poles in a wartime massacre of Jews is
whipping up a storm-and a reevaluation of an uncomfortable past.
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    The Taliban's destruction of historical artifacts in
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closest neighbors are keeping quiet.
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    Demonstrators and police in Ukraine up the ante.
    by Oleg Varfolomeyev
    Rebel Crisis Continues in Macedonia
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    Eight Hungarian Roma Granted Asylum in France
    Russia Says Last Good-bye to MIR
    Yugoslavia and Republika Srpska Forge ?Special Relationship?
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    A religious sect in Uzbekistan preaches spiritual tolerance
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    by Adeeb Khalid
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     --- ANALYSIS: Crisis in Macedonia ---
     Gaining Ground
     A new guerilla band in Macedonia is taking its lead from
similar groups in the region by using violence to get into the
political spotlight.
     by Altin Raxhimi
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     --- OPINIONS ---
    Thanks, But No Thanks
    Some former Soviet states-like Moldova-are ready to lean
toward Russia again. But does Russia want them?
    by Elena Chinyaeva
    Has Anyone Seen Moiseyev?
    The little-known espionage trial of a Russian diplomat has
gone way too far on sketchy evidence.
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    Cast Away
    Afghan refugees fleeing to Tajikistan battle Taliban
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    by Konstantin Parshin
    Living on a Prayer
    The brutal conditions of life in the ?islands? are not only a
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    --- OUR TAKE: The Gradualist Makes a Move ---
    When Ethnic Politics and Democracy Collide in Bosnia
    The international community's High Representative in Bosnia,
Wolfgang Petritsch, was right last week to exercise his power in
full by removing obstructionist officials through dismissing
extremist Bosnian Croat leader Ante Jelavic from the country's
joint presidency. Until now, Petritsch has been reluctant to
intervene at the highest levels of the public office.
    So far, Petritsch's rather cautious approach has been partly
motivated by the rather poor results of his predecessor Carlos
Westendorp's tough interference in the affairs of Republika
Srpska, the Bosnian Serb entity that together with the
Bosnian-Croat Federation constitutes today's Bosnia. In March
1999, Westendorp dismissed then Republika Srpska President Nikola
Poplasen, an extreme nationalist. Although no unmanageable
backlash followed the move, there were no significantly positive
results either. In fact, the Republika Srpska electorate has since
given a consistently large share of votes to radical parties.
    Shortly after taking over in July 1999, Petritsch proclaimed
what he called the principle of Bosnian leaders' "ownership" of
the country's problems. He said that the new concept would
require a tremendous leap of faith from Bosnia's political
leaders, who were all in power during the war, and whose ways of
thinking are still blurred by outdated ideologies. If Petritsch
harbored hopes that Jelavic and others were likely to make that
leap, he was ill-prepared for the job. However, it seems likely
that the new High Representative deliberately avoided head-on
clashes with top-ranking extremists, and instead, has sought, to
outflank them and successfully put in place a valuable gradualist
    Since summer 1999, Petritsch has barred from office a number
of low- and mid-ranking politicians and has used extensively his
powers to impose legislation, such as the Law on State Border
Service in January 2000. Petritsch resisted pressure from
Washington to ban the extremist Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) from
participating in last November's elections. He instead successfully
maneuvered to install a non-SDS government with a solid support base,
even though the SDS emerged as the strongest single party in Republika
Srpska's parliament.
    The removal of Jelavic, however, does not necessarily herald
Petritsch's departure from the gradualist strategy. The move comes
as a logical finale of a particular chapter in the history of the
implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords. Last November's
elections produced results that at first disappointed those who
had expected the Bosnian electorate would reject
extremists--following the example set by neighboring Croatia and
Serbia. Rather than indulging in the international liberal outcry
over the supposed hopelessness of Bosnia, Petritsch seemed to have
realized that a shift toward moderates was taking place slowly but
surely. More acutely, the election results, imperfect as they
were, actually did present a skillful operator with an opportunity
to engineer the installment of moderate administrations at most
    Along with putting in place a non-SDS government in Republika
Srpska, Petritsch helped form a non-extremist coalition, the
Democratic Alliance for Change, in the federation. The development
left Jelavic's Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Bosnian
Muslim Party for Democratic Action in the minority at both federal
and state levels. The two nationalist parties have been in power
since 1990. Jelavic's attempt to set up an illegal executive
structure in the Croat-majority territories had much more to do
with the HDZ's exclusion from government than with the OSCE's
controversial electoral rule that, in effect, introduced a
one-man, one-vote system in elections for the upper house of the
federation parliament. Likewise, Jelavic's dismissal is much more
about rounding off this phase of the international community's
efforts to undermine the Bosnian nationalist structures than it is
about punishing a crooked official and his associates for the sake
of punishing crookedness.
    What big risks did Petritsch take then? The move took place in
a very favorable context. Since the death of Croatian President
Franjo Tudjman in December 1999, the authorities in Zagreb have
kept a safe distance from Jelavic and the HDZ. On the other hand,
over the last decade, the HDZ leaders have amassed frightening
wealth that could be utilized for any purpose---and, among other
things, the party has a terrorist record.
    Zagreb's disapproval of the HDZ's policies, however, has taken
the wind out of HDZ's sails and any upheaval is likely to be
    None of this, however, is to say that Bosnian ethnic groups
don't have some legitimate concerns regarding their
positions--Bosnian Croats perhaps more than the other two. The
battle between the antagonist nationalist camps has been very much
about numbers. Demographic statistics are practically the only
scientific criteria Bosnian nationalists ever took into
consideration. By all accounts, the Bosnian Croats have been the
biggest losers in the demographic game.
    That is a misery of the Croats' own making, though. In 1992,
Tudjman--through his Bosnian cronies, one of whom was
Jelavic--endeavored to cleanse non-Croats from parts of central
and south
tern Bosnia to form an ethnically pure chunk of land
adjacent to Croatia. The Croats lost badly in the war against
Bosnian Muslims. The pieces of ethnically cleansed territory they
managed to keep were then packed into what is today the
Bosnian-Croat Federation, where Bosnian Muslims outnumber Croats
by four to one. In addition, the conduct of Tudjman's death-squads
worsened the position of those Croats who lived elsewhere in
Bosnia as well-integrated minorities. The net result of this
catastrophic policy is that the 800,000-strong Bosnian Croat
population, which before the war constituted 17.5 percent of the
country's population, has shrunk dramatically.
    As long as politics in Bosnia are ethnically based, Bosnian
Croats will emerge as the prime losers of many political races.
To a very large extent, Bosnian politics is and will be for the
foreseeable future about ethnic issues. What's more, the Dayton
Peace Accord sanctions ethnically based politics. No wonder
Jelavic and others felt a share of power at both federal and state
levels belonged to them by the sheer virtue of their party
receiving the majority of ethnic-Croat vote.
    Much more relevant, though, is the mood of ordinary Bosnian
Croats. The federal and state governments Petritsch helped forge
will, of course, include Croats, some of whom are indeed the most
outstanding public figures in this part of the world. But the
national pride of many Croats will still be hurt by the simple
fact that those governments were elected mostly by Bosnian Muslim
and Serb votes. Many will feel that the party they gave their
votes to ended up in the minority only because the Croats are,
in effect, a minority. And that's certainly not how they feel it
should be, nor what they understand the Dayton Accords guarantees
    This clash between the ethnically driven Bosnian reality and
straightforward democratic principles is at the heart of the
Bosnian problem. Petritsch and other international officials must
never fail to take it into account and should devote time and
energy to finding adequate long-term constitutional arrangements
to reconcile ethnicity and democracy in Bosnia.
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