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Members of a Macedonian family of 58-year-old Boris Magdenovski cry as they walk behind his coffin during a funeral procession in the town of Tetovo, July 3, 2001. Magdenovski was shot dead by Albanian rebels in a village outside of Tetovo. U.S. envoy to Macedonia James Pardew kept the turbulent Balkan country waiting on Tuesday for his first verdict on prospects for resuming stalled peace talks. REUTERS/Peter Andrews


A Mi-24 attack helicopter passes by the Mustapha-Pasha Mosque in the city of Skopje July 3, 2001, after coming back from a mission over the villages near the town of Tetovo. Leaders across Macedonia's ethnic divide restarted peace talks with help from Western envoys but progress appeared likely to be difficult after an Albanian guerrilla ambush killed a Macedonian soldier. (Dimitar Dilkoff/Reuters)


A Macedonian army soldier aims his canon at ethnic Albanian guerrilla positions in the stronghold village of Nikushtak, from the trenches of the village of Umin Dol, north-east of the capital Skopje on July 3, 2001. Leaders across Macedonia's ethnic divide prepared to resume peace talks on Tuesday but the Western diplomats trying to coax them together were tight-lipped about the prospects for serious progress. (MACEDONIA OUT) REUTERS/Str.


A masked Macedonian army soldier smokes a cigarette as he rests at a position near the village of Umin Dol, north-east of the capital Skopje on July 3, 2001. Leaders across Macedonia's ethnic divide prepared to resume peace talks on Tuesday but the Western diplomats trying to coax them together were tight-lipped about the prospects for serious progress. REUTERS/Str ***MACEDONIA OUT***


Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko views a military parade in the centre of Minsk, July 3, 2001. Belarus marks Independence Day on Tuesday. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko


Armoured vehicles pass by the Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko during a military parade in central Minsk, July 3, 2001. Belarus marks Independance Day on Tuesday. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

Macedonian soldier killed in rebel attack.


SKOPJE, July 3 (AFP) -

A Macedonian soldier was killed and another injured Tuesday in an attack by ethnic Albanian rebels near Tanusevci in the north of Macedonia, an army spokesman told AFP.

The killing comes amid an upsurge of violence in the crisis-hit country while Macedonian leaders try to beat out a lasting peace deal between the leaders of the majority Slav and minority ethnic Albanian communities.

Germany Not to Take Part in Macedonian Force, Top Soldier Says.


BERLIN, Jul 3, 2001 -- (dpa) Germany will not take part in a planned NATO mission in Macedonia, the Chief of Staff of the German armed forces, Harald Kujat, said in an interview published Sunday.

Kujat told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that the proposed operation to disarm ethnic Albanian rebels would comprise mainly French, British, Italian and Greek contingents with backing from the United States.

Germany had not been requested to contribute to the 3,000-man force for the operation, which was planned to take 30 days, he said. He added that the German armed forces were not in a position to take part in the operation.

An advance copy of the interview was made available to Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

Originally, there had been talk of Germany supplying about 500 troops. But the German Defense Ministry had known since the beginning of the week that Germany would not be involved, ministry spokesman Detlef Puhl told the Welt am Sonntag.

Kujat's declaration in the newspaper comes as a surprise because the political debate about possible German involvement was still raging on Saturday.

NATO officials in Brussels approved Friday the operational plan for a peacekeeping force in Macedonia which is likely to be called MFOR.

The alliance proposes sending about 3,000 soldiers to collect weapons from rebels. It says it has no plans to take part in any fighting.

The next Balkan war.

Janes Intelligence Digest

The current violence in Macedonia appears to have taken many within the international community by surprise. JID subscribers, on the other hand, have been well briefed on the serious implications of the latest round of Balkan blood-letting. As we predicted back in November, Macedonia would be the scene of the next battle between ethnic Albanian separatists (see JID 10 November 2000).
Events on the ground have fulfilled our experts' forecast that Western sponsored moves to create a coalition government inclusive of the two main ethnic Albanian political parties (the Democratic Party of Albanians and the Party of Democratic Prosperity) last month were doomed to failure. In fact, JID feels bound to warn that further Western diplomacy of the kind we saw in action last week risks tipping Macedonia over the edge and into a full-scale civil war.

One of the most disturbing facets of the latest Balkan crisis is just how little the international community appears to have learned about responding to this type of ethnic conflict. After Bosnia and Kosovo - both of which have proved rather less than successful - it might have been reasonable to conclude that further Western military intervention in the region would be unwise. However, last week saw US forces escorting ethnic Albanian guerrillas belonging to the National Liberation Army (NLA) out of the village of Arancinovo.

The riots that followed in the capital, Skopje, came close to bringing down the pro-Western President of Macedonia Boris Trajkovski, who approved of the US military involvement. Indeed, had Trajkovski not managed to flee from the parliament building by a back door ahead of the 5,000 demonstrators - some of them armed - who stormed it, the country might well have been seeking a new head of state this week.

Trajkovski is in an exceptionally vulnerable position. He is already perceived as an outsider, since as a Methodist lay-preacher he is the first protestant head of state in an nation where Orthodoxy is the dominant faith. His warm relations with the USA and the European Union may well prove a liability in the present tense situation.

Macedonian Slavs, who make up around 60% of the country's two million inhabitants are outraged that the West appears to be playing the same role as it did in Kosovo by supporting - overtly or covertly - the ethnic Albanians. Balkan memories are notoriously long and Macedonian Slavs have not forgotten, or forgiven, NATO for its role in neighbouring Kosovo. There was widespread popular opposition to the government's agreement to allow Macedonia to be used as a transit and supply route for the KFOR peacekeeping mission. Now those forces have taken part in the evacuation of fully armed NLA guerrillas from the suburbs of the capital, providing 'evidence' of NATO's pro-Albanian bias.

Judge cut off microphone to hush Milosevic at ICTY.


Judge May cut off microphone to hush Milosevic: ICTY spokesman.

THE HAGUE, July 3 (AFP) -

Judge Richard May cut off the microphone used by Slobodan Milosevic to interrupt him during the former Yugoslav president's dramatic appearance at the UN war crimes tribunal on Tuesday, a spokesman for the court in The Hague said.

"It has happened before. The judge has a button on his desk that enables him to cut off the sound," spokesman Jim Landale told reporters.

He was explaining what had initially appeared to be technical problems which made Milosevic's remarks inaudible as he launched into an apparently prepared speech challenging the legitimacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

At least twice during the 10-minute hearing -- during which a defiant Milosevic said the UN court was "false" and "illegitimate" -- Judge May reached for the button.

"The aim of this tribunal is to justify the crimes committed (by NATO) in Yugoslavia. This is a false tribunal, an illegitimate one," said Milosevic through an interpreter before being cut off.

"Mr Milosevic this is not the time for speeches. As I have said you will have a full opportunity (to challenge the jurisdiction of the court) in due course," the British judge interrupted.

May then ajourned the hearing until the week of August 27.

A lawyer defending Milosevic on domestic charges of corruption in Yugoslavia earlier said Judge May had denied the former president the right to defend himself at The Hague.

"(His) right to defence was denied. We should have heard what he had to say," said Veselin Cerovic, one of the lawyers representing Milosevic against domestic charges of corruption and abuse of power.

US Says Russia Can Join NATO.


U.S. Drops Objection to Russia Eventually Joining NATO

WASHINGTON, Jul 3, 2001 -- (dpa) The Bush administration has dropped U.S. resistance to the possibility of Russia one day joining NATO, saying the "door is open" to eventual membership in the Atlantic alliance by its former adversary.

The Clinton administration had ruled out Russian membership, but the new team in Washington is open to the idea if it might keep Russia focused on Europe, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said.

"This administration believes that the door should be open and that Russia's destiny continues to lie in Europe", Boucher said.

NATO membership is open to any European country that is "ready and willing to assume the burdens and responsibilities of membership," Boucher told reporters.

He added that President George W. Bush "has made quite clear that we want Russia to continue to look toward Europe".

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