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James Pardew, U.S. peace envoy (L) listens to the EU special envoy Francois Leotard (R) at Skopje Petrovac airport, August 13, 2001. Macedonia's politicians are to sign a peace plan on Monday meant to defuse a six-month rebellion by ethnic Albanian rebels, but huge hurdles remain to averting war in the Balkan state. REUTERS/Oleg Popov

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Arben Xhaferi, the leader of Albanian Democratic Party (C) speaks to the press as Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski (R) and Branko Crvenkovski, the leader of the biggest Macedonian opposition Party (L) listen to him after the signing ceremony of the NATO brokered peace agreement in Macedonian capital on August 13, 2001. REUTERS/Ognen Tofilovski

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European commissioner Javier Solana (L) and NATO Secretary-General George Robertson (C) listen to the speech of Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski (not pictured) with Romanian Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana (R) after the signing ceremony of the NATO brokered peace agreement in Macedonian capital on August 13, 2001. The Macedonian government and minority ethnic Albanian political leaders signed a peace agreement on Monday meant to end a guerrilla uprising and avert the fifth Balkan war in a decade. REUTERS/Ognen Tofilovski

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NATO Secretary-General George Robertson (C) walks in front of (L-R) Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubcho Georgievski, Branko Crvenkovski, the leader of the biggest Macedonian opposition Party, Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski and James Pardew, U.S. peace envoy as they meet the press after the signing ceremony of the NATO brokered peace agreement in Macedonian capital on August 13, 2001. The Macedonian government and minority ethnic Albanian political leaders signed a peace agreement on Monday meant to end a guerrilla uprising and avert the fifth Balkan war in a decade. REUTERS/Ognen Tofilovski

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Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski (C) speaks to the press as James Pardew, U.S. peace envoy (L) and EU special envoy Francois Leotard (R) listen to him after the signing ceremony of the NATO brokered peace agreement in Macedonian capital on August 13, 2001. The Macedonian government and minority ethnic Albanian political leaders signed a peace agreement on Monday meant to end a guerrilla uprising and avert the fifth Balkan war in a decade. REUTERS/Ognen Teofilovski

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Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubco Georgevski (R) looks down as he shakes hand with Arben Xhaferi, the leader of Albanian Democratic Party (L) after signing ceremony of the NATO brokered peace agreement in Macedonian capital on August 13, 2001. REUTERS/Vladko Perkovski/POOL

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Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubco Georgevski (R) covers his face as Arben Xhaperi, the leader of Albanian Democratic Party (L) signs the NATO brokered peace agreement in Macedonian capital on August 13, 2001. REUTERS/Vladko Perkovski/MIA/POOL

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Macedonian political leaders (L-R) Arben Xhaferi, the leader of Albanian Democratic Party, Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubco Georgevski, Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski, Branko Crvenkovski, the leader of the biggest Macedonian opposition Party sign a NATO brokered peace agreement in Macedonian capital on August 13, 2001.. REUTERS/Vladko Perkovski/MIA/POOL

imdf13082001135257a.jpg

Macedonian political leaders (L-R) Arben Xhaperi, the leader of Albanian Democratic Party, Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubco Georgevski, Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski, Branko Crvenkovski, the leader of the biggest Macedonian opposition Party and Imer Imeri, the leader of the Albanian Party for democracy and Prosperity sign a NATO brokered peace agreement in the Macedonian capital on August 13, 2001. The Macedonian government and ethnic Albanian political leaders signed a Western-brokered peace agreement on Monday meant to end a guerrilla uprising and avert the fifth Balkan war in a decade, witnesses said. REUTERS/Vladko Perkovski/MIA/ POOL

imdf13082001132243a.jpg

Macedonian political leaders (L-R) Arben Xhaperi, the leader of Albanian Democratic Party, Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubco Georgevski, Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski, Branko Crvenkovski, the leader of the biggest Macedonian opposition Party and Imer Imeri, the leader of the Albanian Party for democracy and Prosperity sign a NATO brokered peace agreement in the Macedonian capital on August 13, 2001. The Macedonian government and ethnic Albanian political leaders signed a Western-brokered peace agreement on Monday meant to end a guerrilla uprising and avert the fifth Balkan war in a decade, witnesses said. REUTERS/Pool/Vladko Perkovski/MIA

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Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski (L) meets (L-R) European Commissioner Javier Solana, Belgium Foreign Minister Louis Michael, Romanian Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana and NATO Secretary-General George Robertson in his residency in Skopje, August 13, 2001. A NATO brokered truce between Macedonian security forces and ethnic Albanian rebels came into effect at the "11th hour" on Sunday so that a deal to try to end a six-month conflict could be signed on Monday. REUTERS/Vladko Perkovski/MIA/POOL

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NATO Secretary-General George Robertson (R) meets Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski (L) in his residency in Skopje, August 13. A NATO brokered truce between Macedonian security forces and ethnic Albanian rebels came into effect at the "11th hour" on Sunday so that a deal to try to end a six-month conflict could be signed on Monday. REUTERS/Vladko Perkovski/MIA/

New fighting breaks out in northern Macedonia.

AFP

SKOPJE: New fighting broke out on Sunday between ethnic Albanian rebels and government forces in the northern Macedonian village of Radusa near the border with the Serbian province of Kosovo, military sources told AFP.

The military source said "a new group of Albanian rebels, wearing the uniform of the Kosovo civil protection force, had crossed from Kosovo into Macedonia" before the fighting started.

The road leading from the capital Skopje to the flashpoint town of Tetovo was also closed to traffic. No official reason was given for the closure.

Calm had held during the night in the volatile Balkan country, after fierce fighting erupted on Saturday injuring 11 people.

The fresh outbreak of violence came less than 24 hours before the scheduled signing on Monday of a peace accord between Macedonian and ethnic Albanian political parties.

The peace deal, finalised last Wednesday, is aimed at halting a six-month uprising by ethnic Albanian rebels and preventing the country from descending into all-out civil war.

Renewed clashes since Wednesday have raised doubts over whether the signing can go ahead as planned.

On Saturday the Macedonian defence ministry said nine members of the Macedonian security forces -- eight soldiers and one policemen -- had been injured in the fighting in Radusa, which started on Friday.

Two people were also reported injured in three hours of clashes in Tetovo, Macedonia's largest Albanian-populated town.

The rebels say they are fighting for minority rights for ethnic Albanians, who make up as much as one third of Macedonia's population of two million.

KFOR detains 27 for arms trafficking to Macedonia.

AFP

PRISTINA, Yugoslavia, Aug 13 (AFP) -

NATO troops in Kosovo have detained 27 people over the past week who were trying to smuggle arms from Albania to ethnic Albanian rebels in Macedonia, the commander of the Kosovo forcesaid Monday.

A "significant volume" of weapons and materiel were confiscated during the arrests, said General Thorstein Skiaker in a statement.

KFOR also pledged to continue to crack down on arms-smuggling as Macedonian and ethnic Albanian leaders were set to sign a peace accord in Skopje ending the guerrilla insurgency.

"We will continue to disrupt and interdict the supply of men and materiel to ethnic Albanian extremists" in northern Macedonia, Skiaker said.

Skopje has frequently accused Kosovo, the UN-run province in Serbia, of fuelling the rebel insurrection by ethnic Albanian rebels in Macedonia, which started in February.

Skiaker said that of the 27 suspects detained, many of them had sought to "transit through Kosovo to botain fresh supplies of weapons in Albania."

KFOR's "aim has been to prevent this region being used as a safe haven" for the guerrillas of the self-styled National Liberation Army (NLA), he added.

"Those who pose a threat to the safety and security of this region must be marginalized. KFOR will do everything in its power to maintain an environment in which ordinary people can live their lives in safety and security," Skiaker said.

Since June, KFOR said its troops have detained over 484 people, seizing more than 600 rifles, 1,058 anti-tank weapons, 113 rockets and missiles, 1,396 mines and grenades as well as 132,606 rounds of ammunition.

KFOR troops regularly stop donkey convoys and arrest suspected guerrillas in the mountains separating Macedonia and the mainly Albanian-populated Serbian province, but most of those detained are released within a few days.

The latest crackdown on arms-smugglers came after Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski accused the UN protectorate of Kosovo of waging war against his country, in a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan made public Sunday.

Georgievski said in a message read in Macedonian on state television that 600 members of a militia supported by Kosovo's international administration had crossed into Macedonia on Saturday and attacked government forces.

"This is an unprecedented event in international politics, in which a sovereign and democratic country has been the object of aggression from an international protectorate of the United Nations," the letter to Annan said.

PRESS RELEASES FROM THE PRESIDENTAL CABINET: FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT.

www.president.gov.mk
source: PRESIDENT OF RM

13.08.2001

The following points comprise an agreed framework for securing the future of Macedonia's democracy and permitting the development of closer and more integrated relations between the Republic of Macedonia and the Euro-Atlantic community. This Framework will promote the peaceful and harmonious development of civil society while respecting the ethnic identity and the interests of all Macedonian citizens.

1. Basic Principles

1.1. The use of violence in pursuit of political aims is rejected completely and unconditionally. Only peaceful political solutions can assure a stable and democratic future for Macedonia.

1.2.Macedonia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the unitary character of the State are inviolable and must be preserved.There are no territorial solutions to ethnic issues.

1.3. The multi-ethnic character of Macedonias society must be preserved and reflected in public life.

1.4. A modern democratic state in its natural course of development and maturation must continually ensure that its Constitution fully meets the needs of all its citizens and comports with the highest international standards, which themselves continue to evolve.

1.5. The development of local self-government is essential for encouraging the participation of citizens in democratic life, and for promoting respect for the identity of communities.

2. Cessation of Hostilities

2.1. The parties underline the importance of the commitments of July 5, 2001. There shall be a complete cessation of hostilities,complete voluntary disarmament of the ethnic Albanian armed groups and their complete voluntary disbandment. They acknowledge that a decision by NATO to assist in this context will require the establishment of a general, unconditional and open-ended cease-fire, agreement on a political solution to the problems of this country, a clear commitment by the armed groups to voluntarily disarm, and acceptance by all the parties of the conditions and limitations under which the NATO forces will operate.

3. Development of Decentralized Government

3.1.A revised Law on Local Self-Government will be adopted that reinforces the powers of elected local officials and enlarges substantially their competencies in conformity with the Constitution (as amended in accordance with Annex A) and the European Charter on Local Self-Government, and reflecting the principle of subsidiarity in effect in the European Union. Enhanced competencies will relate principally to the areas of public services, urban and rural planning, environmental protection, local economic development,culture, local finances, education, social welfare, and health care. A law on financing of local self-government will be adopted to ensure an adequate system of financing to enable local governments to fulfill all of their responsibilities.

3.2. Boundaries of municipalities will be revised within one year of the completion of a new census, which will be conducted under international supervision by the end of 2001. The revision of the municipal boundaries will be effectuated by the local and national authorities with international participation.

3.3. In order to ensure that police are aware of and responsive to the needs and interests of the local population, local heads of police will be selected by municipal councils from lists of candidates proposed by the Ministry of Interior, and will communicate regularly with the councils. The Ministry of Interior will retain the authority to remove local heads of police in accordance with the law.

4. Non-Discrimination and Equitable Representation

4.1. The principle of non-discrimination and equal treatment of all under the law will be respected completely. This principle will be applied in particular with respect to employment in public administration and public enterprises, and access to public financing for business development.

4.2. Laws regulating employment in public administration will include measures to assure equitable representation of communities in all central and local public bodies and at all levels of employment within such bodies, while respecting the rules concerning competence and integrity that govern public administration. The authorities will take action to correct present imbalances in the composition of the public administration, in particular through the recruitment of members of under-represented communities. Particular attention will be given to ensuring as rapidly as possible that the police services will generally reflect the composition and distribution of the population of Macedonia, as specified in Annex C.

4.3. For the Constitutional Court, one-third of the judges will be chosen by the Assembly by a majority of the total number of Representatives that includes a majority of the total number of Representatives claiming to belong to the communities not in the majority in the population of Macedonia. This procedure also will apply to the election of the Ombudsman (Public Attorney) and the election of three of the members of the Judicial Council.

5. Special Parliamentary Procedures

5.1. On the central level, certain Constitutional amendments in accordance with Annex A and the Law on Local Self-Government cannot be approved without a qualified majority of two-thirds of votes, within which there must be a majority of the votes of Representatives claiming to belong to the communities not in the majority in the population of Macedonia.

5.2. Laws that directly affect culture, use of language, education,personal documentation, and use of symbols, as well as laws on local finances, local elections, the city of Skopje, and boundaries of municipalities must receive a majority of votes, within which there must be a majority of the votes of the Representatives claiming to belong to the communities not in the majority in the population of Macedonia.

6.Education and Use of Languages

6.1. With respect to primary and secondary education, instruction will be provided in the students' native languages, while at the same time uniform standards for academic programs will be applied throughout Macedonia.


6.2.
State funding will be provided for university level education in languages spoken by at least 20 percent of the population of Macedonia, on the basis of specific agreements.

6.3. The principle of positive discrimination will be applied in the enrolment in State universities of candidates belonging to communities not in the majority in the population of Macedonia until the enrolment reflects equitably the composition of the population of Macedonia.

6.4. The official language throughout Macedonia and in the international relations of Macedonia is the Macedonian language.

6.5. Any other language spoken by at least 20 percent of the population is also an official language, as set forth herein. In the organs of the Republic of Macedonia, any official language other than Macedonian may be used in accordance with the law, as further elaborated in Annex B. Any person living in a unit of local self-government in which at least 20 percent of the population speaks an official language other than Macedonian may use any official language to communicate with the regional office of the central government with responsibility for that municipality; such an office will reply in that language in addition to Macedonian. Any person may use any official language to communicate with a main office of the central government, which will reply in that language in addition to Macedonian.

6.6. With respect to local self-government, in municipalities where a community comprises at least 20 percent of the population of the municipality, the language of that community will be used as an official language in addition to Macedonian. With respect to languages spoken by less than 20 percent of the population of the municipality, the local authorities will decide democratically on their use in public bodies.

6.7. In criminal and civil judicial proceedings at any level, an accused person or any party will have the right to translation at State expense of all proceedings as well as documents in accordance with relevant Council of Europe documents.

6.8.Any official personal documents of citizens speaking an official language other than Macedonian will also be issued in that language, in addition to the Macedonian language, in accordance with the law.

7. Expression of Identity

7.1. With respect to emblems, next to the emblem of the Republic of Macedonia, local authorities will be free to place on front of local public buildings emblems marking the identity of the community in the majority in the municipality, respecting international rules and usages.

8. Implementation

8.1. The Constitutional amendments attached at Annex A will be presented to the Assembly immediately. The parties will take all measures to assure adoption of these amendments within 45 days of signature of this Framework Agreement.

8.2. The legislative modifications identified in Annex B will be adopted in accordance with the timetables specified therein.

8.3.The parties invite the international community to convene at the earliest possible time a meeting of international donors that would address in particular macro-financial assistance; support for the financing of measures to be undertaken for the purpose of implementing this Framework Agreement, including measures to strengthen local self-government; and rehabilitation and reconstruction in areas affected by the fighting.

9. Annexes

The following Annexes constitute integral parts of this Framework Agreement:

<A. Constitutional Amendments

<B. Legislative Modifications

<C. Implementation and Confidence-Building Measures

10. Final Provisions

10.1. This Agreement takes effect upon signature.

10.2. The English language version of this Agreement is the only authentic version.

<10.3. This Agreement was concluded under the auspices of President Boris Trajkovski.

< Done at Skopje, Macedonia on 13 August 2001, in the English language.

ANNEX A

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

Preamble


Article 7

(1) The Macedonian language, written using its Cyrillic alphabet, is the official language throughout the Republic of Macedonia and in the international relations of the Republic of Macedonia.

(2) Any other language spoken by at least 20 percent of the population is also an official language, written using its alphabet, as specified below.

(3) Any official personal documents of citizens speaking an official language other than Macedonian shall also be issued in that language, in addition to the Macedonian language, in accordance with the law.

(4) Any person living in a unit of local self-government in which at least 20 percent of the population speaks an official language other than Macedonian may use any official language to communicate with the regional office of the central government with responsibility for that municipality; such an office shall reply in that language in addition to Macedonian. Any person may use any official language to communicate with a main office of the central government, which shall reply in that language in addition to Macedonian.

(5) In the organs of the Republic of Macedonia, any official language other than Macedonian may be used in accordance with the law.

(6) In the units of local self-government where at least 20 percent of the population speaks a particular language, that language and its alphabet shall be used as an official language in addition to the Macedonian language and the Cyrillic alphabet. With respect to languages spoken by less than 20 percent of the population of a unit of local self-government, the local authorities shall decide on their use in public bodies.

Article 8

(1) The fundamental values of the constitutional order of theRepublic of Macedonia are:

- the basic freedoms and rights of the individual and citizen,recognized in international law and set down in the Constitution;

- equitable representation of persons belonging to all communities in public bodies at all levels and in other areas of public life;

. . . .

Article 19

(1) The freedom of religious confession is guaranteed.

(2) The right to express one's faith freely and publicly,individually or with others is guaranteed.

(3) The Macedonian Orthodox Church, the Islamic Religious Community in Macedonia, the Catholic Church, and other Religious communities and groups are separate from the state and equal before the law.

(4) The Macedonian Orthodox Church, the Islamic Religious Community in Macedonia, the Catholic Church, and other Religious communities and groups are free to establish schools and other social and charitable institutions, by ways of a procedure regulated by law.

Article 48

(1) Members of communities have a right freely to express, foster and develop their identity and community attributes, and to use their community symbols.

(2) The Republic guarantees the protection of the ethnic, cultural,linguistic and religious identity of all communities.

(3) Members of communities have the right to establish institutions for culture, art, science and education, as well as scholarly and other associations for the expression, fostering and development of their identity.

(4) Members of communities have the right to instruction in their language in primary and secondary education, as determined by law. In schools where education is carried out in another language, the Macedonian language is also studied.

Article 56

. . .

(2) The Republic guarantees the protection, promotion and enhancement of the historical and artistic heritage of Macedonia and all communities in Macedonia and the treasures of which it is composed, regardless of their legal status. The law regulates the mode and conditions under which specific items of general interest for the Republic can be ceded for use.

Article 69

. . .

(2) For laws that directly affect culture, use of language, education, personal documentation, and use of symbols, the Assembly makes decisions by a majority vote of the Representatives attending, within which there must be a majority of the votes of the Representatives attending who claim to belong to the communities not in the majority in the population of Macedonia. In the event of a dispute within the Assembly regarding the application of this provision, the Committee on Inter-Community Relations shall resolve the dispute.

Article 77

(1) The Assembly elects the Public Attorney by a majority vote of the total number of Representatives, within which there must be a majority of the votes of the total number of Representatives claiming to belong to the communities not in the majority in the population of Macedonia.

(2) The Public Attorney protects the constitutional rights and legal rights of citizens when violated by bodies of state administration and by other bodies and organizations with public mandates. The Public Attorney shall give particular attention to safeguarding the principles of non-discrimination and equitable representation of communities in public bodies at all levels and in other areas of public life.

. . . .

Article 78

(1) The Assembly shall establish a Committee for Inter-Community Relations.

(2) The Committee consists of seven members each from the ranks of the Macedonians and Albanians within the Assembly, and five members from among the Turks, Vlachs, Romanies and two other communities. The five members each shall be from a different community; if fewer than five other communities are represented in the Assembly, the Public Attorney, after consultation with relevant community leaders,shall propose the remaining members from outside the Assembly.

(3) The Assembly elects the members of the Committee.

(4) The Committee considers issues of inter-community relations in the Republic and makes appraisals and proposals for their solution.

(5)The Assembly is obliged to take into consideration the appraisals and proposals of the Committee and to make decisions regarding them.

(6) In the event of a dispute among members of the Assembly regarding the application of the voting procedure specified in Article 69(2), the Committee shall decide by majority vote whether the procedure applies.

Article 84

The President of the Republic of Macedonia

. . .

- proposes the members of the Council for Inter-Ethnic Relations;(to be deleted) . . . .

Article 86

(1) The President of the Republic is President of the Security Council of the Republic of Macedonia.

(2) The Security Council of the Republic is composed of the President of the Republic, the President of the Assembly, the Prime Minister, the Ministers heading the bodies of state administration in the fields of security, defence and foreign affairs and three members appointed by the President of the Republic. In appointing the three members, the President shall ensure that the Security Council as a whole equitably reflects the composition of the population of Macedonia.

3) The Council considers issues relating to the security and defence of the Republic and makes policy proposals to the Assembly and the Government.

Article 104

(1) The Republican Judicial Council is composed of seven members.

(2) The Assembly elects the members of the Council. Three of the members shall be elected by a majority vote of the total number of Representatives, within which there must be a majority of the votes of the total number of Representatives claiming to belong to the communities not in the majority in the population of Macedonia.

. . . .

Article 109

(1) The Constitutional Court of Macedonia is composed of nine judges.

(2) The Assembly elects six of the judges to the Constitutional Court by a majority vote of the total number of Representatives. The Assembly elects three of the judges by a majority vote of the total number of Representatives, within which there must be a majority of the votes of the total number of Representatives claiming to belong to the communities not in the majority in the population of Macedonia.

. . . .

Article 114

. . .

(5) Local self-government is regulated by a law adopted by a two-thirds majority vote of the total number of Representatives, within which there must be a majority of the votes of the total number of Representatives claiming to belong to the communities not in the majority in the population of Macedonia. The laws on local finances, local elections, boundaries of municipalities, and the city of Skopje shall be adopted by a majority vote of the Representatives attending, within which there must be a majority of the votes of the Representatives attending who claim to belong to the communities not in the majority in the population of Macedonia.

Article 115

(1) In units of local self-government, citizens directly and through representatives participate in decision-making on issues of local relevance particularly in the fields of public services, urban and rural planning, environmental protection, local economic development, local finances, communal activities, culture, sport, social security and child care, education, health care and other fields determined by law.

. . . .

Article 131

(1) The decision to initiate a change in the Constitution is made by the Assembly by a two-thirds majority vote of the total number of Representatives.

(2) The draft amendment to the Constitution is confirmed by the Assembly by a majority vote of the total number of Representatives and then submitted to public debate.

(3) The decision to change the Constitution is made by the Assembly by a two-thirds majority vote of the total number of Representatives.

(4) A decision to amend the Preamble, the articles on local self-government, Article 131, any provision relating to the rights of members of communities, including in particular Articles 7, 8, 9, 19, 48, 56, 69, 77, 78, 86, 104 and 109, as well as a decision to add any new provision relating to the subject matter of such provisions and articles, shall require a two-thirds majority vote of the total number of Representatives, within which there must be a majority of the votes of the total number of Representatives claiming to belong to the communities not in the majority in the population of Macedonia.

(5) The change in the Constitution is declared by the Assembly.

ANNEX B

LEGISLATIVE MODIFICATIONS The parties will take all necessary measures to ensure the adoption of the legislative changes set forth hereafter within the time limits specified.

1. Law on Local Self-Government

The Assembly shall adopt within 45 days from the signing of the Framework Agreement a revised Law on Local Self-Government. This revised Law shall in no respect be less favorable to the units of local self-government and their autonomy than the draft Law proposed by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia in March 2001. The Law shall include competencies relating to the subject matters set forth in Section 3.1 of the Framework Agreement as additional independent competencies of the units of local self-government, and shall conform to Section 6.6 of the Framework Agreement. In addition, the Law shall provide that any State standards or procedures established in any laws concerning areas in which municipalities have independent competencies shall be limited to those which cannot be established as effectively at the local level; such laws shall further promote the municipalities independentexercise of their competencies.

2. Law on Local Finance

The Assembly shall adopt by the end of the term of the present Assembly a law on local self-government finance to ensure that the units of local self-government have sufficient resources to carry out their tasks under the revised Law on Local Self-Government. In particular, the law shall:

- Enable and make responsible units of local self-government for raising a substantial amount of tax revenue;

- Provide for the transfer to the units of local self-government of a part of centrally raised taxes that corresponds to the functions of the units of local self-government and that takes account of the collection of taxes on their territories; and

- Ensure the budgetary autonomy and responsibility of the units of local self-government within their areas of competence.

3. Law on Municipal Boundaries

The Assembly shall adopt by the end of 2002 a revised law on municipal boundaries, taking into account the results of the census and the relevant guidelines set forth in the Law on Local Self-Government.

4. Laws Pertaining to Police Located in the Municipalities

The Assembly shall adopt before the end of the term of the present Assembly provisions ensuring:

- That each local head of the police is selected by the council of the municipality concerned from a list of not fewer than three candidates proposed by the Ministry of the Interior, among whom at least one candidate shall belong to the community in the majority in the municipality. In the event the municipal council fails to select any of the candidates proposed within 15 days, the Ministry of the Interior shall propose a second list of not fewer than three new candidates, among whom at least one candidate shall belong to the community in the majority in the municipality. If the municipal council again fails to select any of the candidates proposed within 15 days, the Minister of the Interior, after consultation with the Government, shall select the local head of police from among the two lists of candidates proposed by the Ministry of the Interior as well as three additional candidates proposed by the municipal council;

- That each local head of the police informs regularly and upon request the council of the municipality concerned;

- That a municipal council may make recommendations to the local head of police in areas including public security and traffic safety; and

- That a municipal council may adopt annually a report regarding matters of public safety, which shall be addressed to the Minister of the Interior and the Public Attorney (Ombudsman).

5. Laws on the Civil Service and Public Administration

The Assembly shall adopt by the end of the term of the present Assembly amendments to the laws on the civil service and public administration to ensure equitable representation of communities in accordance with Section 4.2 of the Framework Agreement.

6. Law on Electoral Districts

The Assembly shall adopt by the end of 2002 a revised Law on Electoral Districts, taking into account the results of the census and the principles set forth in the Law on the Election of Members for the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia.

7. Rules of the Assembly

The Assembly shall amend by the end of the term of the present Assembly its Rules of Procedure to enable the use of the Albanian language in accordance with Section 6.5 of the Framework Agreement,paragraph 8 below, and the relevant amendments to the Constitution set forth in Annex A.

8. Laws Pertinent to the Use of Languages

The Assembly shall adopt by the end of the term of the present Assembly new legislation regulating the use of languages in the organs of the Republic of Macedonia. This legislation shall provide that:

- Representatives may address plenary sessions and working bodies of the Assembly in languages referred to in Article 7, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Constitution (as amended in accordance with Annex A);

- Laws shall be published in the languages referred to in Article 7, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Constitution (as amended in accordance with Annex A); and

- All public officials may write their names in the alphabet of any language referred to in Article 7, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Constitution (as amended in accordance with Annex A) on any official documents. The Assembly also shall adopt by the end of the term of the present Assembly new legislation on the issuance of personal documents. The Assembly shall amend by the end of the term of the present Assembly all relevant laws to make their provisions on the use of languages fully compatible with Section 6 of the Framework Agreement.

9. Law on the Public Attorney

The Assembly shall amend by the end of 2002 the Law on the Public Attorney as well as the other relevant laws to ensure:

- That the Public Attorney shall undertake actions to safeguard the principles of non-discrimination and equitable representation of communities in public bodies at all levels and in other areas of public life, and that there are adequate resources and personnel within his office to enable him to carry out this function;

- That the Public Attorney establishes decentralized offices;

- That the budget of the Public Attorney is voted separately by the Assembly;

- That the Public Attorney shall present an annual report to the Assembly and, where appropriate, may upon request present reports to the councils of municipalities in which decentralized offices are established; and

- That the powers of the Public Attorney are enlarged:

- To grant to him access to and the opportunity to examine all official documents, it being understood that the Public Attorney and his staff will not disclose confidential information;

- To enable the Public Attorney to suspend, pending a decision of the competent court, the execution of an administrative act, if he determines that the act may result in an irreparable prejudice to the rights of the interested person; and

- To give to the Public Attorney the right to contest the conformity of laws with the Constitution before the Constitutional Court.

10. Other Laws

The Assembly shall enact all legislative provisions that may be necessary to give full effect to the Framework Agreement and amend or abrogate all provisions incompatible with the Framework Agreement.

ANNEX C IMPLEMENTATION AND CONFIDENCE-BUILDING MEASURES

1. International Support

1.1. The parties invite the international community to facilitate, monitor and assist in the implementation of the provisions of the Framework Agreement and its Annexes, and request such efforts to be coordinated by the EU in cooperation with the Stabilization and Association Council.

2. Census and Elections

2.1. The parties confirm the request for international supervision by the Council of Europe and the European Commission of a census to be conducted in October 2001.

2.2. Parliamentary elections will be held by 27 January 2002. International organizations, including the OSCE, will be invited to observe these elections.

3. Refugee Return, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction

3.1. All parties will work to ensure the return of refugees who are citizens or legal residents of Macedonia and displaced persons to their homes within the shortest possible timeframe, and invite the international community and in particular UNHCR to assist in these efforts.

3.2. The Government with the participation of the parties will complete an action plan within 30 days after the signature of the Framework Agreement for rehabilitation of and reconstruction in areas affected by the hostilities. The parties invite the international community to assist in the formulation and implementation of this plan.

3.3. The parties invite the European Commission and the World Bank to rapidly convene a meeting of international donors after adoption in the Assembly of the Constitutional amendments in Annex A and the revised Law on Local Self-Government to support the financing of measures to be undertaken for the purpose of implementing the Framework Agreement and its Annexes, including measures to strengthen local self-government and reform the police services, to address macro-financial assistance to the Republic of Macedonia, and to support the rehabilitation and reconstruction measures identified in the action plan identified in paragraph 3.2.

4. Development of Decentralized Government

4.1. The parties invite the international community to assist in the process of strengthening local self-government. The international community should in particular assist in preparing the necessary legal amendments related to financing mechanisms for strengthening the financial basis of municipalities and building their financial management capabilities, and in amending the law on the boundaries of municipalities.

5. Non-Discrimination and Equitable Representation

5.1. Taking into account i.a. the recommendations of the already established governmental commission, the parties will take concrete action to increase the representation of members of communities not in the majority in Macedonia in public administration, the military, and public enterprises, as well as to improve their access to public financing for business development.

5.2. The parties commit themselves to ensuring that the police services will by 2004 generally reflect the composition and distribution of the population of Macedonia. As initial steps toward this end, the parties commit to ensuring that 500 new police officers from communities not in the majority in the population of Macedonia will be hired and trained by July 2002, and that these officers will be deployed to the areas where such communities live. The parties further commit that 500 additional such officers will be hired and trained by July 2003, and that these officers will be deployed on a priority basis to the areas throughout Macedonia where such communities live. The parties invite the international community to support and assist with the implementation of these commitments, in particular through screening and selection of candidates and their training. The parties invite the OSCE, the European Union, and the United States to send an expert team as quickly as possible in order to assess how best to achieve these objectives.

5.3. The parties also invite the OSCE, the European Union, and the United States to increase training and assistance programs for police, including:

- professional, human rights, and other training;

- technical assistance for police reform, including assistance in screening, selection and promotion processes;

- development of a code of police conduct;

- cooperation with respect to transition planning for hiring and deployment of police officers from communities not in the majority in Macedonia; and

- deployment as soon as possible of international monitors and police advisors in sensitive areas, under appropriate arrangements with relevant authorities.

5.4. The parties invite the international community to assist in the training of lawyers, judges and prosecutors from members of communities not in the majority in Macedonia in order to be able to increase their representation in the judicial system.

6. Culture, Education and Use of Languages

6.1. The parties invite the international community, including the OSCE, to increase its assistance for projects in the area of media in order to further strengthen radio, TV and print media, including Albanian language and multiethnic media. The parties also invite the international community to increase professional media training programs for members of communities not in the majority in Macedonia. The parties also invite the OSCE to continue its efforts on projects designed to improve inter-ethnic relations.

6.2. The parties invite the international community to provide assistance for the implementation of the Framework Agreement in the area of higher education.


Web posted at: 8/13/2001 1:01:00 PM (GMT-8)

War and peace in Macedonia.

the Guardian

Gunfire provides the soundtrack to Macedonia's ongoing peace negotiations, leaving little hope for a stable future, writes Jonathan Steele

Special report: Macedonia

Monday August 13, 2001

Macedonia is conducting the political equivalent of the splits today. The civilian leaders of its two main communities, the Macedonian Slavs and the minority Albanians, are due to sign a deal to change the constitution and give Albanians greater rights, even as fighting continues in several parts of the country between the army and ethnic Albanian gunmen.
To add to the surreal quality of the events, a ceasefire is officially in place while there is no evidence on the ground that it is working.

Other countries have had peace negotiations going on "in parallel" with fighting. It usually makes better sense to "talk and fight" rather than insist the politicians wait until there is a ceasefire. That may mean waiting forever.

But there are not many precedents for today's Macedonian scenario, where a peace-signing ceremony takes place accompanied by the distant thunder of artillery fire.

This bizarre phenomenon is the result of massive foreign pressure on both sides to make a deal, and the wishes of the two to appear loyal allies of the European Union and Nato. Both sides also want Nato to send in a peacekeeping force, each hoping the foreign troops will help them against the other.

In fact, Nato has said its 3,500-man British-led contingent will only turn up once there is a genuine ceasefire, and then only on a strictly neutral basis. Nato is determined not to take sides or get sucked into any fighting. Under the plan it is there simply to oversee the voluntary surrender of weapons by the Albanian gunmen.

The gunmen themselves say they will only complete their own disarmament when they see that the political concessions, which are to be formally agreed today, are actually enshrined into law by the Macedonian parliament. This will take at least 45 days.

It all makes for a very uncertain situation. What happens if there is a ceasefire on the ground and not just on paper, the Nato troops arrive and deploy, but then the fighting resumes?

Will Nato simply say the deal is off and withdraw? Will Nato end up having to take sides and try to disarm people against their will? And what if there are massive human rights violations by either side? Will Nato turn a blind eye?

No one knows, which is why today's signing ceremony is both strange in itself, but also about as encouraging as stepping into a darkened room with holes in the floor.

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TERRORIST PROVOCATIONS IN REGIONS OF CRISIS DURING NIGHT.

MIA

The Albanian terrorists continued Monday the armed provocations, and the direct attacks on the posts of the Macedonian security forces.

In Tetovo region there were provocations mainly in the afternoon and evening hours.

The Macedonian Defense Ministry states that 24 cases of violation of cease-fire with isolated volleys were registered in the higher areas of Sar Mount and areas near Tetovo.

Besides the frequent shootings and detonations from Ratae and Dzepciste, the terrorists attacked the posts of the Macedonian security forces in Beloviste village at 14.35h as well as the posts on Popova Sapka at 17.45h. The terrorists also opened fire towards the security in Brvenica village at 22.45h.

Around 6.00h Tuesday morning four houses in Lesok village, were burned.

Around 14.45 Monday afternoon, a group of 20 terrorists from Grekaj area and from Dolna Ribnica Gorna Ribnica attempted to attack the watchtower in this area. The Macedonian security forces decisively responded and refused the attack without any consequences.

After the relatively calm day in Kumanovo Lipkovo region, the Albanian terrorists from Matejce Nikustak area opened mortars fire at 21.30 towards the posts of the Macedonian security forces in Umin Dol. Our forces responded to the attack after they informed the representatives of OSCE, NATO and EU monitoring mission.

The shootouts lasted until 22.10h when the terrorists through the international monitoring missions requested cease-fire with a promise that they would stop the provocations.

However, even the cease-fire was declared, at 01.25h they started to provoke, to what the Macedonian forces did not respond.

Two mortar's grenades were launched at 21.40h towards our posts in Ropajce, and around 03.50 the terrorists with infantry weapons operated in Slupcane Orizare area. Macedonian security forces appropriately responded.

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FINAL DOCUMENT FOR THE SOLUTION OF THE POLITICAL AND SECURITY CRISIS SIGNED.

MIA

President of the Republic of Macedonia Boris Trajkovski, under whose auspices the negotiations went on, leaders of VMRO-DPMNE Ljubco Georgievski, SDSM Branko Crvenkovski, DPA Arben Xhaferi and PDP Imer Imeri signed the final document for the solution of the political and security crisis in the country at the Residence of the President in Skopje this afternoon.

The document was also signed by US and EU special envoys James Pardew and Francois Leotard, who participated in the dialog as alleviators.

NATO Secretary General George Robertson, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel and Romanian Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairman Mircea Joanna were also present at the act of signing.

Very intensive talks have taken place under my auspices for the last six months, and all political leaders worked very hard to improve the life and future of this country. Today Macedonia has proved to be a democratic country, in which it is possible to improve the situation and coexistence of all its citizens by democratic discussions, Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski said Monday at a press conference after signing if the Framework Document for surpassing of the crisis in the country.

He paid tribute to the four party leaders, who, as he said, in the last six months worked only for the prosperity and stability of the country, setting aside their party interests.

"They, along with citizens of Macedonia and naturally our friends should be given credit for the successful completion of the talks," Trajkovski said, underlining the role of international facilitators James Pardew and Francois Leotard.

For Trajkovski, today's agreement is a peace accord that will send the intruders away from the Macedonia's territory, an accord that will guarantee the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty.

"We al deserve to leave in a society of individuals, not in a society of ethnic groups, " he added.

According to Trajkovski, all citizens should give their contribution to the forthcoming parliamentary discussion on constitutional changes, building of the Macedonia's society and creating conditions for its integration into the European and Euro-Atlantic structures.

Trajkovski also called on the international community to bear responsibility for its part of obligations and to fulfil its promises.

"For the last six months we have witnessed many misunderstandings in regard to the country's security and meeting of the rights of certain ethnic minority. Some consider that constitutional reforms or better status of a particular community in Macedonia will improve the country's security. We have reached a fair agreement, also accepted by the international facilitators, but after its initialing and during the cease-fire, we had 20 victims. I am afraid that some are against this agreement, wishing to break it," Trajkovski said, pointing out to the newly established terrorist organization "ANA", which "is fighting for territories, redrawing of borders, and not for human rights."

"I am saying this before the international community and our politicians, so that we may deal with another challenge in a period when this agreement is to be implemented. We have made a significant step forward, but we preserve the right to defend our territorial integrity," Trajkovski said.

In his statement after the signing of the Framework Agreement, President of the Macedonian Government Ljubco Georgievski stated "relations among people are regulated with agreements, laws and Constitutions, but also with God's laws, with our human relation, with our humanity and ethics within ourselves".

"Six months ago Macedonia did not have this Framework Agreement, but had a lot of humanity within itself, good inter-human and interethnic relations, which were supported by the international community", Prime Minister Georgievski added and expressed his hope that "we will succeed in coming to the relations we had six months ago with this Framework agreement".

I believe that the pain, inhumanity and evil in Macedonia in the past six months will be forgotten from this day forward. Let's try and give a new spirit to Macedonia with this Agreement. If we don't, it will be difficult to make it a reality", President of the Macedonian Government Ljubco Georgievski stressed.

Today, by signing of this agreement, we have made the first necessary step to reach the goal - restoring of peace in Macedonia. But this agreement will not bring peace by itself. But we should also be aware that without this agreement, the chances for peace would have been equal to zero, leader of the Social democratic union Branko Crvenkovski said Monday after signing of the Framework Agreement.

"Let's have no illusions, a lot of hard work is on front of us, offering many risks and challenges. We must also be aware that it will be easier to deal with those risks and challenges if we are united in reaching of the goal, " he stressed.

Crvenkovski also called on political parties, which did not take direct part in the dialogue, to give their contribution in that respect.

"I also call on all media, journalists and all citizens of Macedonia to give their support. There is a saying that it is easier to ruin than to build, easier to set than to extinguish a fire. The goal we have set before us deserves efforts and I believe we shall reach it, if united, " Crvenkovski said.

Common people not only in Macedonia, but in the whole world are not for wars. The God gives life and he is the only one entitled to take it away. Those who set fire should think about that. I wish to express my gratitude to all of those who have given their contribution to discuss and to reach such an agreement, said Imer Imeri, leader of the Party for Democratic Prosperity (PDP) regarding the signing of Framework Agreement.

This agreement will be effective only if we change our perception and acceptance of each other, and if we respect all principles stipulated in the document, said Arben Xhaferi, leader of the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA).

For him, this agreement sends peace messages, and he is proud he has signed it.

Xhaferi addressed to journalists in Albanian language, saying he acted in compliance with the suggested constitutional changes, despite the fact that the signed Framework Agreement does not foresees such possibility.

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ROBERTSON, SOLANA, MISCHEL, GEOANA: THIS IS A DAY OF HOPE.

MIA

This is a significant day for this country, step forward for Macedonia and its citizens, NATO Secretary-General said Monday after signing of the Framework Agreement.

Robertson paid tribute to the hard work of the main political parties of the country, as well as to Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski and to the international facilitators, who made great efforts for this agreement to be reached.

For Robertson, this is a significant day for restoring normal life in Macedonia. "I see a light in what has been a long black tunnel," he said.

Referring to the plan for disarming of terrorists and the accord for the status of NATO troops, Robertson said that great progress has been made, adding that additional NATO experts would arrive to Macedonia tomorrow, to make the final preparations for deployment of NATO forces in the country.

"I've been coming to Macedonia for six months to help you. I know that my work has not been always understood favorably. I hope that today when we have reached this outstanding agreement, you will realize that all efforts are for some purpose," said Javier Solana, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, in regard to signing of the Framework Agreement.

In this respect, he paid tribute to Macedonia's leadership and particularly to citizens.

"I wish to address to the citizens of your country and to tell that they have a great future of stability, security and prosperity, bringing them closer to the European family by each new day, " Solana said.

On behalf of the European Union, I wish to say how proud I am with today's signing of this document, said Louis Mischele, Belgian Foreign Minister and current EU chairman.

He also extended his gratitude to all political leaders and facilitators, who took part in the political process, particularly to the Macedonian President, Prime Minister and to representatives of all political parties.

"I do not have to point out that this agreement has been reached by the citizens of Macedonia and therefore they should make it real. The European Union will do its best to fulfill its promises and to help Macedonia to implement this agreement on its road to EU," he added.

Congratulating the Framework Agreement to the political leaders of Macedonia, OSCE Chairman Mircea Geona said that realization of this document would make the future generations to consider these leaders as founders of the country.

"A lot has to be done for an implementation of this agreement and OSCE is ready to assist in healing of the wounds and to bring this country to the place it is entitled to, " Geona added.

He expressed hope that Macedonia could successfully implement the Agreement and become part of the Euro-Atlantic structures.

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DEFENSE MINISTER BUCKOVSKI'S INTERVIEW FOR MIA.

INTERVIEW: MIA

It is a high time for the country's leadership to take a coordinated action and to define what has been happening to us, i.e. to define the conflict in Macedonia, Defense Minister Vlado Buckovski said Monday in an interview with the Macedonian information Agency (MIA).

"At the beginning of the crisis the UN Security Council adopted the Resolution 1345, pointing out that the threat to Macedonia's stability and security was coming from Kosovo territory. After six months, we may conclude that involvement of the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) in the Macedonia's conflict is beyond any doubt, but also not the only threat to the country," Buckovski says.

He considers that Albania is also involved, which has been proved by a presence of certain structures, trained in Albania, as well as by trespassing of terrorists and illegal transport of arms and ammunition from Albania to Macedonia. According to intelligence sources, training camps for terrorists are still existing in Albania. Some of those terrorists come to Macedonia. In addition, we are facing a rebellion of local population in the area that is part of the critical region. All of these make the situation rather complicated and unfavorable for the Macedonian security forces, Buckovski says.

Asked about Skopje's defense, Buckovski says that security forces fiercely respond to any provocation or threat to the city security, which has been proved by the latest fighting in the villages of Radusa, Ljuboten and Ljubanci.

Security forces have restored the control over Tetovo. Why the offensive was not conducted earlier?

"Actually Tetovo has been under the security forces' control for the last six months. Occasional provocations and appearance of terrorists into the city were serious thereat to Tetovo. But the Supreme Commander of the Macedonian armed forces is to make the final decision on conducting of a military operation."

There is an information on some new movements of terrorists in Aracinovo and its surrounding. We all know how the last operation in this village was conducted, when the remained terrorists who presented a threat to Skopje's safety were extracted from the village by NATO. How will security forces respond this time?

"The last response was fierce. I believe that all of those who were in Aracinovo during the security forces fierce attack had learned the lesson. Since the beginning of the crisis I was saying that this conflict could be solved by combined means. It requires offensive diplomacy and policy, but also usage of force if necessary. We have political solution and aggressive diplomatic offensive, which I think will lead to success."

A frame agreement is to be signed today. What will happen if Albanian terrorists continue to attack and conduct ethnic cleansing? Will we relay on the western verbal support or we are ready to decisively defend Macedonia?

"Signing of a political agreement will mean a great step towards solving of the crisis in Macedonia. This agreement will meet one of the goals of the large coalition government and of the international community - political isolation of terrorists. If some armed individuals will continue to destabilize the country, after NATO arrival and NLA disarming and dissolution, that they will be defeated by decisive actions. This is essential in the plan for surpassing of the crisis."

Is it possible for a frame agreement to be implemented without restoring control over the entire Macedonian territory? What does a demand for withdrawing of Albanian terrorists to their positions of July 5 means? Are those territories already considered as "free" ?

"The cease-fire agreement was signed on July 5, meaning that in that moment the situation on terrain was to remain status-quo. It also meant creating preconditions for a start of the most difficult part of the plan for surpassing of the crisis. It means that after disarming of terrorist in those areas, security forces along with the OSCE and EU representatives will start restoring of control over these territories. Implementing of the frame agreement is a crucial issue. It should be realized in 45 days. The question is: whether disarming of the so-called NLA will be carried out within this period, i.e. before the parliamentary session on constitutional changes. I consider that Macedonia's constitutional and legal system should be enforced in the entire country when the parliamentary session is to take place.

Disarming process will be partially successful, meaning that returning of security forces into the critical regions will be not ideal."

How will NATO conduct the mission for voluntarily disarming of terrorists, when even you have stated that such mission in Kosovo was not successfully undertaken?

After the relatively unsuccessful operation for disarmament of KLA on Kosovo, followed another relatively successful disarmament of Liberation army of Presevo, Medvegja and Bujanovac in Southern Serbia. I believe that the disarmament of NLA in Macedonia will be even more successful, and that most of the weapons will be collected. The time will show how many weapons would be collected, as any estimation is ungrateful at this moment.

The spokesman of the Government has stated that it has been already discussed to demand expanding of NATO mandate to Macedonia. Are you afraid of riots and civil war that you could not control?

So far, I have not attended an official meeting, including the meeting of the Security Council, where such demand was discussed. Maybe someone will demand that on the Government's session during this week.

The last week indicated that the threat for civil war is still present. There are extremist structures in our country, that are afraid of peaceful resolution. Once again I appeal to all Macedonian citizens to restrain from anger outbursts. We should not allow new raids in Macedonia.

In the previous period, the Assembly was marginalized, but I believe that it would be the key institution for implementation of the political dialogue. We should do everything to restore the credibility of the Assembly as the political battle from Ohrid is transferred in the Parliament.

USA and Solana imposed pressure on Ukraine, and now Pardew imposes on Bulgaria for not selling weapons to Macedonia? Is it not a kind of embargo to the country?

We are witnesses of the silent embargo on weapons delivery, which is imposed to our country. But after the signing of political agreement and its implementation I believe that this embargo will stop. The use of force will not be excluded from the implementation of agreement. Macedonia should be powerful enough and the security forces will demonstrate their strength in order to eliminate all those that oppose to them.

How will the Macedonian public accept the plan on amnesty especially after so many victims and violence?

This is not classic amnesty. In this case Macedonian President, Macedonian Government or Parliament should express the political willingness not to press charges against those who will voluntarily lay the weapon, and who have not commit crimes. I believe that majority of the so-called fighters of 'NLA' will lay the weapon, but those who have committed crimes such as those in Vejce, Gajre, Karpalak and Ljubanci will be pursued.

We have to restore the trust. The measures fore reestablishing the trust are the final part of the agenda for resolution of crisis. It will not be easy, but there is still hope for mutual co-life.

There are reports that the bodies of the foreign soldiers that fought for 'NLA' are being transported from Skopje Airport. Does this indicate the real purpose of the fighting of Albanian terrorists?

I have information that foreign soldiers fought for NLA, but I think it is monstrous to claim that the bodies of the terrorists are transported with the regular flights of our airlines.

Regarding the losses of the terrorists, I can say that only the names of the injured and killed members of the Macedonian security forces were announced so far. If there are 60 killed representatives from the Macedonian forces, then there are ten times more killed members of NLA and thousands injured.

In the information we received the term "terrorist were broke up" was regularly used. What does this term mean?

It is a military term, what means that if there is group of terrorists, some of them are physically eliminated and some of them are disabled for further operations.

It seems that you have different concepts for resolving the crisis with Interior Minister Ljube Boskovski? Can you surpass these disagreements considering the fact that the army and the police forces act jointly?

I think that the rivalry between VMRO DPMNE and SDSM became obvious through the activities of the defense and interior ministries. This coalition is not a result of love, but of necessity. We have one higher goal before us the defense of the territorial integrity of our country and in the spirit of that unity I can say that the incoordination or the disagreements between the defense and interior ministry are not real.

What are your relations with Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski? It was mentioned that you have not obeyed his orders and that you have blocked the Army?

There is no conflict between the Macedonian President, the defense Minister and the army headquarters.

There were requests for your resignation?

Being a politician means great responsibility. At the moment when I was appointed for defense Minister it was the hottest seat. Even then I was aware about the difficulties and I do my best.

I am also aware of the responsibilities, and everyone should claim his political and moral responsibility.

Macedonian citizens should know that not a single Minister or general can guarantee war without victims. If they guarantee such thing, that means they lie the nation.

I believe that I did everything I could to reduce the number of the victims. The Defense Ministry was promoter of the political resolution of the crisis. The ministry did everything to protect the lives of the representatives of the security forces, but also to find solution with less civilian victims.

Albanian Terrorists Attack From Albania Also, Besides From Macedonia and Kosovo.

Reality Macedonia

Minister of Defense Mr. Vlado Buchkovski, for todays TV Sitel interview, announced that Republic of Macedonia is attacked from more than just one side. The battle front line now is around 200km long. According to Buchkovski, the attacks against Macedonia are not just from the Albanian terrorists and the extremists from Macedonia, the extremists from the Kosovo Protection Corpus, the members of KLA (UCK) that supposed to be disarmed, but the republic of Macedonia is attacked from Albania as well. Regardless, Albania is still denying the accusations and publicly condemns the actions of the Albanian terrorists in Macedonia.

As confirmations to his statements, Buchkovski pointed to the hard facts of the last police action in the settlement of Chair in Skopje, where five Albanian terrorists were eliminated in the early morning of Wednesday (August 7). Actually, one of the five terrorists, so-called commander Teli, was from Albania, and his own country declared an international warrant for him after he was killed in the police raid in Skopje. To further justify his argument, Mr. Buchkovski pointed the fact that there numerous recruiting and training camps for the members of the NLA, operate on the territory of Republic of Albania.

Macedonian Minister of Defense, reprimanded the International community, implicating NATO forces, obliged to close and protect the Macedonian border from Kosovo side. Still, they practically help the armed terrorists formations, permitting them to enter Macedonia. And not just that, but they also reinforce the same formations with people and arms as well. The recent incidents at the village of Radusha and the mountain of Skopska Crna Gora, are result of that practice. Namely, in the last few days, several hundreds members of Kosovo Protection Corpus with the members of NLA crossed the border and attacked the positions of Macedonian security forces.

Buchkovski also stated that in spite of NLA's hard offensive moves in Skopje and Tetovo area, Macedonian security forces have power and will respond heavily to attacks, being are ready even for eventual extension of the battle line. Macedonian security forces control all strategic points, and because of that the extension of the battle line towards the town of Gostivar is successfully stopped. That is also the reason for the passivity of the Albanian terrorists in Kumanovo-Lipkovo region, being unable to transfer connect to the other areas, such as Skopje and Tetovo.

The minister of defense Vlado Buckovski stated that, in order to protect the peace and safety of the citizens, and make the implementation of the peace agreement possible, besides the unilateral cease-fire, Macedonian security forces will respond and react to all provocations of the Albanian terrorists.
(D.A.)

Prepared by Reality Macedonia team

Ethnic Albanians happy with peace accord but want NATO peace force.

AFP

SKOPJE, Aug 13 (AFP) -

Only a NATO peacekeeping force can end the conflict in Macedonia and ensure the implementation of a peace plan to be signed Monday, a senior ethnic Albanian politician told AFP.

"We are going to sign the accord, it represents a new phase of openness in the peace process. It opens the door for NATO to bring peace and stability to the Republic of Macedonia," Muhamed Halili, secretary general of the Party for Democratic Prosperity, told AFP.

The Atlantic alliance has earmarked 3,500 troops to conduct a month-long mission to recover rebel arms from Macedonia if the Western-brokered peace accord leads to a "durable ceasefire".

But NATO chiefs have repeatedly insisted that the force would not stay longer and would not take on a broader peacekeeping or peace-enforcement role which could drag it into fighting.

Halili urged NATO to reconsider this mandate, calling for a six-month deployment that would create stability in the run-up to legislative elections planned for January next year.

"We have reached a political deal, we are going to work hard to bring it into effect, but both Albanian and Macedonian parties have lost political credibility. Only NATO can bring stability," he said.

Halili said that NATO envoys would probably be able to reach an agreement with ethnic Albanian rebels for them to lay down their arms, but that they should also try to disarm what he called "Macedonian paramilitaries".

Otherwise, he said, the fighting which has raged for six months between the ethnic Albanian rebels and government forces would get worse.

The deputy leader of Macedonia's other main ethnic Albanian party, the Democratic Party of Albanians, was more optimistic about the accord's chances but he too insisted on the need for international guarantees.

"I am an optimist about this question because we have guarantors, the United States and the European Union, as well as the citizens of Macedonia who have made it clear that they want peace," Menduh Thaci said.

NATO Secretary General George Robertson and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana were in Skopje on Monday to attend the signing of the accord, which was brokered with the help of US and EU envoys.

Robertson said last week in a letter to Macedonia's President Boris Trajkovski that any troop deployment would be limited to 30 days.

"Ultimately, the responsibility for bringing the crisis to a peaceful solution lies with the people of your country and not with NATO," he said.

Bush welcomes Macedonian peace deal, US calls for amnesty provision.

AFP

CRAWFORD, Texas, Aug 13 (AFP) -

US President George W. Bush welcomed as "a good sign" the peace accord signed on Monday to end six months of fighting in Macedonia, as the White House and State Department called for ethnic Albanian insurgents to disarm.

"It's a good sign, but now they need to lay down their arms so we can implement the peace deal," Bush said at his ranch here, where he has been on a month-long break from Washington.

"Today's settlement promises to strengthen Macedonia's democracy and help meet the political aspirations of all its citizens," Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer said in a statement.

"To fulfill this promise, the ceasefire must be respected, the insurgents must disarm and disband, and Macedonia's Assembly must adopt the necessary constitutional amendments and legislation," said Fleischer.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Philip Reeker echoed Fleischer's remarks and also called on the government to adopt measures that would allow amnesties for members of the rebel National Liberation Army.

"We think it's important that the government open the way to reconciliation by offering an amnesty," Reeker said, condemning recent attacks by the rebels and urging Skopje to act with restraint.

The agreement provides for NATO troops to be deployed in Macedonia to disarm the rebels while the government tries to address complaints by the large ethnic Albanian minority of being treated like second-class citizens.

It recognizes Albanian as a second official language in those areas predominantly inhabited by ethnic Albanians and lays out steps to boost the number of ethnic Albanians serving in the local police forces in those regions.

Fleischer praised Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski, EU envoy Francois Leotard and US Ambassador James Pardew for their roles in securing a deal aiming to end guerrilla fighting that threatened to ignite a new Balkans war.

He also said the United States would continue to support Macedonian territorial integrity and political unity as well as pursue close cooperation with the European Union and NATO to prevent further conflict and convince the insurgents to disarm.

"Today's agreement gives hope that peace can return to Macedonia and that Macedonia can return to its path toward Europe," Fleischer said.

A day earlier, White House national security council spokesman Sean McCormack told AFP that several preconditions would govern when a NATO deployment decision is made.

"These include: a durable ceasefire, an agreement to disarm the insurgents, and an agreement on the status of NATO forces in Macedonia," he said.

Macedonian rebels accept peace accord, to mull disarmament.

AFP

SKOPJE, Aug 13 (AFP) -

Rebels in Macedonia said they accepted a peace accord signed Monday by Macedonian and ethnic Albanian political parties, adding they would decide within 15 days whether to lay down their arms.

A rebel spokesman, Captain Shpati, told AFP: "The signature of the peace accord represents a victory against Macedonian represssion. It's the result of international pressure."

New fighting breaks out in northern Macedonia.

AFP

SKOPJE: New fighting broke out on Sunday between ethnic Albanian rebels and government forces in the northern Macedonian village of Radusa near the border with the Serbian province of Kosovo, military sources told AFP.

The military source said "a new group of Albanian rebels, wearing the uniform of the Kosovo civil protection force, had crossed from Kosovo into Macedonia" before the fighting started.

The road leading from the capital Skopje to the flashpoint town of Tetovo was also closed to traffic. No official reason was given for the closure.

Calm had held during the night in the volatile Balkan country, after fierce fighting erupted on Saturday injuring 11 people.

The fresh outbreak of violence came less than 24 hours before the scheduled signing on Monday of a peace accord between Macedonian and ethnic Albanian political parties.

The peace deal, finalised last Wednesday, is aimed at halting a six-month uprising by ethnic Albanian rebels and preventing the country from descending into all-out civil war.

Renewed clashes since Wednesday have raised doubts over whether the signing can go ahead as planned.

On Saturday the Macedonian defence ministry said nine members of the Macedonian security forces -- eight soldiers and one policemen -- had been injured in the fighting in Radusa, which started on Friday.

Two people were also reported injured in three hours of clashes in Tetovo, Macedonia's largest Albanian-populated town.

The rebels say they are fighting for minority rights for ethnic Albanians, who make up as much as one third of Macedonia's population of two million. afp

Conflict dogs Macedonia peace deal.

Independent

By Justin Huggler in Skopje
13 August 2001

You could see the fighting from the edge of Macedonia's capital yesterday, on the eve of a ceremony to sign a Western-brokered peace deal that is supposed to end the crisis.

Nervous residents watched as fighters and helicopter gunships flew low over the city centre. Huge plumes of smoke could be seen rising from a village just a few miles outside.

A ceasefire was reported to have been agreed under Western pressure last night, to make today's signing of the peace deal possible. But whether the ceasefire will hold remains to be seen. Earlier yesterday, thousands of ethnic Albanian civilians sheltered in basements in the village of Ljuboten, three miles from Skopje, as Macedonian tanks and artillery shelled the houses. So far, three children aged three, four and seven have been killed.

Also yesterday, a group of Danish journalists was attacked by a Macedonian mob. Whether their Albanian driver survived a merciless beating was not known.

The fighting seemed to have been started by Albanian rebels, who fired on houses owned by ethnic Macedonians yesterday morning, Western sources said. The Macedonian army responded with a huge barrage of fire on the Albanian-populated area of the village.

The European Union's security affairs chief, Javier Solana, will fly in for today's signing of the peace deal. But serious doubts remain over whether it can end the crisis or even if both sides are committed to it.

As one diplomat put it, the ceasefire came at the "eleventh hour". Hours before, a rebel commander threatened to attack the northern suburbs of Skopje if the army did not stop shelling Ljuboten. The main highway connecting Skopje to Tetovo was closed. It is believed the army and the rebels were fighting for control of the road.

Five ethnic Macedonian construction workers abducted by the rebels on the road, and later released, were beaten, mutilated and sexually abused, according to a report from the Human Rights Watch organisation.

The Macedonian government demanded action from Nato's peacekeeping force in Kosovo, K-For, saying the rebels were attacking Macedonia from across the border.

Nato officials denied the charge, but a credible Western source said the rebels were moving freely across the border.

The source also said that members of a Kosovo Albanian defence force set up and funded by the West were fighting alongside the rebels. The Kosovo Protection Corps is made up of veterans from the Kosovo Liberation Army, which fought against Slobodan Milosevic.

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Princess Kalina Brought Her Fiance to Bulgaria.

Standart

PM's daughter Kalina brought to Bulgaria her fiance, Kitin Munos. They arrived to Sofia on Friday evening and spent the night in the 'Vrana' palace. Excited, PM Saxe-Coburg-Gotha left his work a little bit earlier than usual to meet the princess, sources from the Council of Ministers said. He hasn't seen his daughter for about two months. On Saturday morning the PM and his wife Margarita left with the young couple for Tzarska Bistritza. Only guards from the NSS watched that the PM's family wasn't disturbed by curious tourists and journalists. The princes and her fiance travelled by the Mercedez usually used by Margarita. Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in person insisted that there should not to be a special car to cut the unnecessary expenditures. Kalina and Kitin didn't leave Tzarska Bistritza during the weekend. On Saturday the PM went for a walk with his daughter and her fiance. Kalina and her fiance will spend in Bulgaria about two weeks. Kalina wants to show him the country. The two of them will travell around Bulgaria. Kitin is 17 years older than Kalina. They are together since 1999, when common friends introduced them to each other.

Aneliya Basheva

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Solomon Pasi and Richard Stag discussed the situation in Macedonia.

News.bg

Foreign Minister Solomon Pasi and United Kingdom ambassador Richard Stag discussed the situation in Macedonia in view of signing a forthcoming agreement between the official Macedonian authorities and rebelling Albanians at their meeting that took place today, Foreign Minister Solomon Pasi said for News.bg Agency. He explained that the main theme of their conversation had been the agreement, especially this part of it that stipulates its observation. They also had discussed eventual political means that Bulgaria could use in order to play the role of a guarantee for the observation of the agreement, Solomon Pasi said. Answering a question of News.bg Agency, the United Kingdom ambassador said he acquainted himself with the position and the expectations of Bulgaria concerning development of the situation in Macedonia, and added that he acquainted Solomon Pasi with the position of London as for the situation in Macedonia. The new speaker of the Foreign Ministry Elena Poptodorova said for News.bg Agency that after signing the agreement she would expect confronting parts to make further steps in order to make peace irreversible.

"I will run for President in order to win", Petar Stoyanov said.

News.bg

President Petar Stoyanov called "pre-election folklore" the rumors that National Movement Simeon II would support him, and added that he comes out on the ground of pre-election contest with the sole purpose to win and would be glad if Rights and Freedoms Movement and National Movement Simeon II support him. He did not exclude the possibility of Rights and Freedoms Movement and National Movement Simeon II to become his opponents.

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