14, July-2001.


1, July-2001.
2, July-2001.
3, July-2001.
4, July-2001.
5, July-2001.
6, July-2001.
7, July-2001.
8, July-2001.
9, July-2001.
10, July-2001.
11, July-2001.
12, July-2001.
13, July-2001.
14, July-2001.
15, July-2001.
16, July-2001.
17, July-2001.
18, July-2001.
19, July-2001.
20, July-2001.
21, July-2001.
22, July-2001.
23, July-2001.
24, July-2001.
25, July-2001.
26, July-2001.
27, July-2001.
28, July-2001.
29, July-2001.
30, July-2001.
31, July-2001.


Enter content here

Nato mission to Macedonia is 'not for combat'

the Times


BRITISH and other Nato troops who are sent to Macedonia to collect arms surrendered by rebel forces will be pulled back at the first sign of renewed fighting, Britains senior military commander said yesterday.

Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, Chief of Defence Staff, said that the 3,000 Nato troops who were being earmarked for the operation to the former Yugoslav republic were not being sent for any other mission than to help in the disarmament process.

If once they are deployed fighting starts up again, he said, my view is that the troops would have to be pulled back and regrouped so that we could think again. The troops were not being sent to Macedonia to be sucked into a third Balkans war.

The warning by Sir Michael underlined the determination of the British Government and other Nato members to limit the operation, codenamed Essential Harvest, to a short-term mission restricted to collecting up arms from the ethnic Albanian National Liberation Army.

Sir Michael said that there was no desire on anyones part to broaden the scope of the operation, but that if it was decided to keep the troops in Macedonia in the event of a resumption of fighting, reinforcements would have to be taken out of Kosovo or Bosnia to augment the 3,000-man force.

He said that about 20 per cent of the British Army was already committed to operations and he felt that was about the right level. So if there was a change in mission in Macedonia, British reinforcements would have to be drawn from elsewhere in the Balkans. Sir Michael said: We dont want to have large numbers of troops in Macedonia. Were happy to do this mission but the force is being configured for arms collection, not for war fighting or heavy peace enforcement.

The Nato operation will not go ahead until a full political settlement has been agreed between the two ethnic Albanian parties and the Macedonian Government, following the ceasefire brokered by representatives from the alliance and the European Union.

Sir Michael anticipated that, provided the negotiations continued to go well, the first Nato troops could start being deployed in Macedonia within two weeks. Britain is to command the operation and provide the operational headquarters and a battalion of soldiers, a total of about 1,000 personnel. The commander, Brigadier Barney White-Spunner, commanding officer of 16 Air Assault Brigade, which will supply the headquarters, has yet to send a reconnaissance party to Macedonia. A member of his staff is part of the planning team in Skopje.

Nato sources said that about ten alliance countries were expected to supply troops, although most would contribute a small number of soldiers. Britain would be providing the largest number of troops, with Greece and France also sending battalions.

On the basis of the most optimistic view, a peace settlement could be signed this weekend and Nato could issue an activation order in the middle of next week, allowing troops to start being deployed in ten days or so. British sources said that both sides in the conflict now appeared to understand that the Nato force was not being sent in to man a green line dividing the country.

Kosovo Corps units plan to penetrate Macedonia -- newspaper.


SOFIA, Jul 14, 2001 (Itar-Tass) -- Former commanders of the Kosovo Liberation Army transformed into the Kosovo Protection Corps and his units are planning to join the Liberation National Army operating in Macedonia, a Macedonian newspaper quoted special services sources as saying on Saturday.

Their decision provoked a series of incidents on the border between Macedonia and the Kosovo section of the Yugoslav border. Under their plan, Albanian militants intend to penetrate Macedonia, occupy positions near Kicevo and Debar (the Macedonian-Albanian border) and block a motorway to Ohrid, the newspaper writes.

A decision to reinforce the LNA by units of the Kosovo Protection Corps was made in Prizren, Kosovo, on July 10. LNA "political leader" Ali Ahmeti army commander Gazim Ostreni met former leaders of Kosovo units, the newspaper said.

Enter supporting content here