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Mujahedeens Commited The Vejce Slaughter.
For details, check the White Book of NLA Terrorism and Virtual Macedonia.
Translated by Natenane
A1 TV reported that the only person who survived the massacre near Vejce village claims that mujahedeens conducted the slaughter and were under Daut Haradinai command, in his testimony for Vecher daily. On 28 April this year, the terrorists set up an ambush to an Army patrol in the remote part of Tetovo region, killing eight members of special unit called Wolves.
According to the eyewitness, there were dozens of assailants, many of them mujahedeens, with long beards and knives, who conducted the massacre to its gruesome end. [The terrorists killed only one person by shooting, and cut to pieces or burned alive the rest.]
Mujahedeen group was under command of Daut Haradinaj from Goldane, Yugoslavia. He was the chief of general staff of Kosovo Protection Corps, and is included in the black list of Albanian terrorists who threaten the peace on the Balkans and the US national security, published by the American President George W. Bush. Daut Haradinaj is also brother of KLA commander Ramush Haradinaj, [an alledged war criminal, responsible for mass murder of at least 40 Serbs] who currently heads a political party in Kosovo. [Identifying Daut Haradinaj is quite easy, even from a distance, because he lacks the left arm. He lost it in a mine accident.]
The witness says that the ambush was set on a good location, terrorists were deployed in form of a horseshoe around a bend, and jeeps of Macedonian security forces were shelled with grenades and bullets from all sides. Few of them who managed to get out of the vehicles were wiped out right away. Three bullets hit the sole survivor, but he managed to jump in the abyss making use of couple of seconds - the time that mujahedeens needed to come down to bodies of Macedonians defenders. Several hundred meters away he met an Albanian man with small child. The wounded soldier asked the Albanian to take him to the first police checkpoint. Albanian suggested hiding him in the hay and pulling him to Tetovo, but he didnt return, so the survivor had to continue on his own with heavy injuries. Fortunately, he came across police patrol.
On the other hand, according to spokesperson of Hague Tribune, Florence Artman, The International Court of War Crimes in Hague is gathering information about crimes from both confronted sides. Artman added that full report on human rights violation during several months war in Macedonia will be published at the end of this year, pointing out that number of the suspects will be considerable. Regarding the statement of Tribune Chief prosecutor Karla Del Ponte that the Court had evidence about connection between Albanian terrorists in Macedonia [and mujahedeens], the spokesperson of Court in Hague pointed out that in her statement there are no mujahedeens mentioned, but only people connected with terrorist network Al Qaeda.
In a related development Utrinski Vesnik daily says that criminal charges will be brought against 11 people, former and present senior officials in Interior Ministry and the sector in Tetovo, who are suspected of being involved in Vejce massacre. The criminal charges will be submitted to Skopje Court today [the original text was published on October 17, 2001] or tomorrow.
Citing the lawyer of families of brutally slaughtered defenders at Vejce, Utrinski Vesnik daily adds that four other names will be added to the list. Most of the suspects lost their managerial positions right after 28 April. Couple of citizens offered help and notions about Vejce massacre and they allegedly submitted material evidence proving that members of the police in Skopje and Tetovo got 200,000 DM each as a reward for committing the treason.
Out of record, there is much evidence that terrorists were radioed the information that the patrol set off and the route it was moving. According to police sources, couple of days after the massacre, terrorists set another ambush near that place. The police thwarted the assassins' plan, and dispersed the terrorist group. A police radio-station Motorola was found on the spot, which points out the fact that terrorists were in contact with somebody from the police in the city all the time.
Shooting ruptures Macedonian quiet.
Two people have died and one person has been injured in a shooting incident in Macedonia near the northern town of Tetovo.
The interior minister Vasko Sutarov said the victims were ethnic Albanians, and that the security forces were not involved.
Local police say the incident may have been related to disagreements between rebel groups.
The ethnic-Albanian guerillas announced last month they were disbanding.
But correspondents say some fighters have been reluctant follow the order, because the Macedonian parliament has not yet given final approval to the Western-backed deal to end the insurrection.
MACEDONIAN FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS BRATISLAVA.
The meeting between Macedonian Foreign Minister Ilinka Mitreva and her Slovakian counterpart Eduard Kukan focused on the current political situation in Macedonia, the bilateral cooperation and the international issues such as the fight against terrorism.
"Slovakia supports the Macedonian integrity and sovereignty, and any kind of federalisation would present risk not only for the country but also for the entire region," Kukan stressed at the joint press conference.
The both statesmen stressed that Slovakia and Macedonia support the efforts of the international community in the fight against terrorism. According to Kukan, the Albanian terrorism in Macedonia "should be seen isolated."
Minister Mitreva assessing the talks as "intensive and rich" stressed that "the crisis in Macedonia was caused by the Albanian extremist and terrorist groups, which under the cover that they fight for human rights started the fight for territories."
"Macedonia used all its forces to preserve the territorial integrity and unitarian character of the country," Mitreva said, thanking to Slovakia that supported those principles.
The Framework agreement signed in Ohrid according to Mitreva guarantees the sovereignty and the unitarian character of Macedonia, and guarantees that the political problems in Macedonia will be resolved politically.
"There are three ongoing paralel processes in Macedonia: the Assembly procedure for adopting the constitutional changes, entrance of the Macedonian security forces in demilitarised zones in order to re-establish the constitutional law order on the entire Macedonian territory as well the return of the displaced persons to their homes. The realization of the first pilot programs will start on Monday," Mitreva informed. She added that the Macedonian security forces will secure the safety of EU and OSCE monitors where Slovakian citizens are also included.
According to Minister Mitreva, the proposal of several parliamentary parties the paragraph "Macedonian people," to remain in the Preamble of the Constitution is acceptable, as that is part of the national dignity that cannot be taken away from the Macedonian nation. The changes proposed in the normative part of the Constitution such as the use of languages of the nationalities, increased participation in the public administration, higher education and decentralisation of the government aim to enhance the civil character of the state.
Minister Mitreva requested support from Slovakia in encouraging the donors for approving means for the forthcoming donor's conference that might be held in November, in order to surpass the consequences of the crisis.
The Foreign ministers of both countries assessed that the bilateral economic relations are behind the political, stressing the necessity of developing legal framework and signing the agreement on protection of investments and avoiding the double taxing.
Mitreva and Kukan stressed their interest more intensive cultural cooperation, opening Lektorats on Macedonian and Slovakian languages on the Universities in both countries, opening Slovakian Embassy in Skopje and facilitating the visa regime especially for the students.
They both ministers had identical positions on the integration within EU and NATO as well as for the Macedonian integration in the organization of member-countries that signed Agreement on Free Trade in Central Europe.
Reciprocal support within the United Nations has been also agreed.
Informing that both countries condemned the terrorist attacks on the United States of America, Minister Mitreva reminded that Macedonian Security Council proposed establishing regional antiterrorist pact even prior to September 11, that would fight against the organized crime that finances the terrorism.
During the meeting Mitreva invited Minister Kukan to visit Republic of Macedonia.
Macedonian Foreign Minister Ilinka Mitreva met Thursday Slovakian Economy Minister Lubomir Harach. The meeting was focused on intensifying the economic relations as according to them they are behind the bilateral political cooperation.
Within the talks focused on establishing legal framework for economic cooperation, it was agreed the text for the agreement of Economy and Trade exchange between Macedonia and Slovakia to be developed, and it was also agreed Minister Harach to visit Macedonia soon.
Expert teams from the both authorized ministries will work on developing the document and will review the possibilities for cooperation between the both countries especially in the field of energy, mechanical and military industry.
The Macedonian part requested the bilateral treaties on mutual protection of investments, on avoiding the military taxing as well as the agreement on free trade to be signed soon.
Minister Mitreva and Harach agreed on cooperation within the Stability Pact of the Southeastern Europe, as Slovakia will be integrated in the Pact on the conference in Bucharest on October 26.
Macedonian Foreign Minister Ilinka Mitreva ended the official visit to Bratislava with the meeting with Slovakian President Rudolph Schuster.
President Schuster confirmed Slovakian full support for the territorial integrity and unitarian character of Republic of Macedonia. Within the talks with Minister Mitreva, Schuster stressed that the political and security crisis in the country should be resolved before the more specific cooperation between Macedonia and Slovakia begins. According to Schuster in order to resolve the crisis, compromise of all concerned parts is necessary. He also stressed that the issue on minorities should be resolved on European level.
PRESIDENT TRAJKOVSKI PUSHES THE FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT.
The parliamentary discussion on the draft-amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia was postponed twice this week, and President Trajkovski announced that if the boycott of the parliament continued he would withdraw from the role submitter of the constitutional changes and patron of the peace process.
Main reason for this blockade of the implementation of the Framework Agreement is the new proposal for the Preamble, where the wording "Macedonian nation" is maintained. The text of the proposed Preamble is as follows: "The citizens of the Republic of Macedonia, members of the Macedonian nation, Albanians, Turks, Vlachs, Romas, Serbs and other, being responsible for"
Although the fate of this attempt is still insecure, President Trajkovski was forced to find a new solution for the text of the already proposed Preamble, both due to the disagreement from some of the parliamentarians, as well as due to the strong public refusal, which believes that the text of the Preamble deeply jeopardizes the Macedonian national interests. This became obvious through the public debate carried out in the past few weeks.
This attempt of the President to restore the Macedonian nation in the Preamble of the Constitution was sharply criticized by the PDP and DPA leaders and deputies, for whom the only acceptable solution is adoption of all 15 amendments in package and the Preamble as agreed in Ohrid.
Even after the meeting between the President and leaders of the four largest political parties, aimed to de-block the peace process, it is still uncertain if the President will carry out his intention to withdraw from the process. President Trajkovski informed the four leaders that by the end of this week he would submit at least two more amendments to the Constitutional Commission, but not those for the Preamble and the religious communities.
According to the law, the President is authorized by the Parliament to initiate the constitutional changes, however he can withdraw from this position. that would be easiest if 30 deputies in the parliament apply as submitters, because the other procedure, for gathering 150,000 signatures from the citizens, is long and complicated.
Reactions from the political parties in regard to this matter are different. The SDSM, PDP and DPA estimate that this attempt of the President would not be successful, because they consider this to be a bluff aimed to soft up the Albanian parties position.
Unofficially, the international factor agrees with President Trajkovskis proposal, and European impatience to finally see the end of the crisis in Macedonia is being confirmed by the visit of EU High Representative of Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, NATO Secretary General George Robertson and OSCE Chairman Mircea Geoana.
Although not one of them referred to the sensitive issue after they arrived in Skopje, they might put pressure on the PDP to agree with the new text of the Preamble.
What is still unknown at this moment is how the PDP would react to this pressure.
No Bulgarian Soldiers In Macedonia.
Skopje, 17.10.2001 Yesterday, all Bulgarian media reported that Germany asked Bulgaria to send soldiers in Macedonia. Allegedly this took place during the meeting between Nikolaj Svinjarov, the Bulgarian minister of defense, and Brigitte Schulte, the head of Bundestag commission for defense.
Today the NATO ambassador in Skopje Claus Vollers has denied the statement of the Bulgarian media explaining that this is no an opinion of the German Government and at least not an opinion of NATO. "If Frau Schulte said that at the meeting with the Bulgarian minister of defense than this is her opinion to which she is entitled as a MP"-said ambassador Vollers. He added that Task Force Fox are nearly completed and there is no need of extra soldiers.
NATO officers in Macedonia say that if there is a need of more soldiers in TFF than a formal request will be sent to all 19 NATO members. TFF, according to the request of the Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski, is a NATO operation and not an operation of Partnership for Peace. Bulgaria is a member of PFP, but as a neighboring country of Macedonia can not be involved in mission in Macedonia.
However, during his visit to Berlin, Bulgarian minister of defense Svinjarov purposed sending a Bulgarian unit to Bosnia as part of SFOR. His German colleague Rudolf Scharping, accepted this offer. This Bulgarian army unit will be under German command and it will be sent to Bosnia only if USA decides to move some of its soldiers from Kosovo Base Bondsteel to Afghanistan. Than a number of German soldiers will be sent to Bondsteel. If no other NATO country volunteers to send replacement soldiers for SFOR, then the Bulgarian soldiers would be sent to Bosnia.
Colonel Blagoja Markovski, Macedonian Army spokesman and Gorgi Trendafilov, Macedonian Government spokesman both refuted this Bulgarian offer, commenting it as "not serious."
MACEDONIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENCE AGAINST PRESENCE OF SOLDIERS FROM NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES IN MACEDONIA.
Skopje, October 17 (MIA) - "The Ministry of Defense considers that it is not good soldiers from the neighboring countries to participate in the resolving of the crisis in Macedonia, regardless if they are candidates for NATO membership or not," spokesman of the Ministry of Defense Marjan Gjurovski said for MIA in regard to yesterday's announcement for participation of Bulgarian soldiers in the "Amber Fox" NATO mission in Macedonia.
Gjurovski reported that this suggestion was reviewed when an initiative for participation of the Southeast Europe Brigade in the resolving of the crisis in Macedonia was submitted. Even then, he said, it was concluded that presence of soldiers from the neighboring countries is not convenient.
"The enhancement of the bilateral and military-technical cooperation between Macedonia and the neighboring countries represents concrete support for our country," Gjurovski said.
Legislative Delays Snarl Macedonian Peace Deal.
Compiled by Our Staff From Dispatches AP, Reuters
SKOPJE, Macedonia President Boris Trajkovski on Tuesday condemned "certain groups of deputies" for "continuing to block" constitutional amendments that are crucial to a West-brokered peace accord with the country's ethnic Albanian minority.
"If these unacceptable efforts go on, I shall consider them a form of dictate and will have to reconsider my role" in the peace process, Mr. Trajkovski said in a letter to Parliament. He did not elaborate on the threat.
The peace process has been stalled for weeks, with Parliament failing even to meet on enactment of the measures to upgrade the rights of ethnic Albanians, who make up a third of Macedonia's 2 million population.
Under the accord, ethnic Albanian rebels, who started their insurrection in February, agreed to stop fighting and handed in more than 4,000 weapons to NATO in exchange for constitutional amendments granting their ethnic group greater rights.
Mr. Trajkovski's role in the process is pivotal. Should he back out of the cumbersome peace process at this stage, the entire country could be plunged back into disarray.
But some blame Mr. Trajkovski for the delay. The law calls for the president to review all the amendments and pass them on to Parliament ahead of any vote in the legislature. Instead of presenting Parliament with all 15 amendments for enactment as a package - as called for by the ethnic Albanian side - he has forwarded only nine.
This led ethnic Albanian deputies to boycott key parliamentary meetings, fearing a ploy by the Macedonians to introduce changes in some of the amendments, particularly one, still withheld by Mr. Trajkovski, that would make all ethnic groups equal under the law.
Zamir Dika, head of the deputies from the Democratic Party of Albanians, said that Mr. Trajkovski's actions were "unacceptable" and that the ethnic Albanian deputies would return to Parliament only when all amendments were on the table.
"There can be no changes now after we all signed the peace accord," he said. "All possible compromises have already been made. There is no going back."
Although it was unclear whom Mr. Trajkovski blamed for the stalled peace process - hardline Macedonian deputies bent on changing the amendments or ethnic Albanian lawmakers boycotting Parliament - a Western diplomat in Skopje, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was hard to argue against the ethnic Albanian position.
"The longer the agonizing parliamentary process goes on, the longer it will take to bring Macedonia back into a normal society," this source said.
Also Tuesday, Parliament postponed a debate on whether the peace deal should be put to a national referendum.
George Robertson, secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and Javier Solana, the European Union foreign policy chief, were expected in Skopje on Thursday. Officials in Brussels said the two would talk with Macedonian leaders about pushing through the amendments as a package.
Delayed reforms have led the EU to postpone an international donors' conference originally set for Oct. 15. Mr. Solana and Mr. Robertson will discuss an "acceleration of the parliamentary process and security issues," Mr. Solana's spokeswoman said.
EU officials have made clear that Skopje can expect no aid until lawmakers approve the reforms.
Svinarov: We May Also Dispatch Troops to Macedonia.
German MPs proposed that Bulgaria step up its active position in Macedonia. This also involves the dispatch of a Bulgarian army contingent, said Defence Minister Nikolai Svinarov after his conversation with the Bundeswehr parliamentary secretary Mrs Brigite Schulte. The Bulgarian contingent will possibly release American servicemen to be sent to Afghanistan, Svinarov added. Several days ago in NATO's Parliamentary Assembly the MPs said that Bulgaria had been included in the first enlargement wave, stressed Kurt Rozmanit, a member of the Defence Commission of the Bundestag.
Germany Hesitant about Bulgaria's Joining NATO.
Schroeder interrupts dinner of Svinarov and Defence Minister Rudolf Scharping.
Evgeni Genov, special correspondent of 'Standart'
The German government hasn't decided as yet whether to support Bulgaria's NATO membership, stressed German former defence minister Volker Ruehe who is also deputy chief of the CDU faction in the opposition alliance with the CSU. Yesterday morning Mr Ruehe had talks with Bulgarian Defence Minister Nikolai Svinarov who is on an official visit to Berlin. A number of European countries like France, England and Germany have a passive stand regarding the Treaty's enlargement. They are waiting for the US stand, Ruehe said. He added that the absence of a Bulgarian lobby in the US Congress was a minus in Bulgaria's position to qualify for the alliance. You have to work towards this end, Ruehe explained. The former minister believes that Bulgaria stands good chances to get invited to the pact. Besides, it is not this important if Bulgaria will purchase NATO armament. The membership invitation will be extended, most of all, for geostrategic considerations, Ruehe added. Svinarov's talks with Scharping ended late on Monday evening. Despite the promised briefing for the media, it didn't take place. The Bundeswehr press office told the waiting reporters that Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder called Scharping for a sitting on the problems of security and interrupted the official dinner with his Bulgarian colleague. Actually, Scharping had been urgently called to the Chancellory but later he came back. The reason hadn't been specified, Svinarov confirmed. Journalists immediately came out with a version of theirs that the reason was in the envelope with dubious white powder found in the chancellory. We didn't discuss any particular projects for the modernization of MIG-29 with the German defence minister, said Svinarov. The two considered Bulgaria's increased involvement in the KFOR contingent. We have to dispatch a mechanized guard unit there. The idea is to release US servicemen who are to leave for Afghanistan.
Foreigners Allowed to Buy Land in Bulgaria.
Public discussion on the amendments to the Constitution to be provoked.
The Government will permit foreign physical persons and corporations to buy all kinds of lands in Bulgaria, said Vice-Premier Nikolay Vassilev. This will stimulate the business and will attract much more investments, including 'greenfield investments', he was explicit. 'We can't join the EU, without regulating and creating a working market of land,' Vassilev elaborated. In few months the Government will set the start of a public debate on the proposal for trade with land. There are four paramount branches to be further developed in this country, Vassilev added. These are the high technologies and telecommunications, tourism and eco-farming. They are not selected at random, but rather in line with the specific characteristics and the potential of our state, the minister elaborated.
Many Fighters Fly over Bulgaria.
'Many fighting aircraft are flying over Bulgaria, but this is not in line with the strikes in Afghanistan,' said Foreign Minister Solomon Passy yesterday. He elaborated that the military planes, crossing the air-space, are under KFOR, the Black Sea drills, etc. Certain planes related to the operation in Afghanistan are also likely to pass. Yet, the weapon and the troops are in different machines, Passy said. He, however, had no concrete information and clarified that the question should be posed to the chief flight-control officer. 'We don't need to have information about everything, moreover that transport aircraft regularly fly over the country,' the Foreign Minister explained.
Anthrax Panic in Sofia City.
The officers from the National Service for Organized Crime Combat (anti-mafia police) sent the samples to the research center. The results of the tests will be ready today. We are not sure that this is a case of anthrax, but we have serious suspicions because of the symptoms, said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mira Kozhuharova. Police cordoned off the garden on the backside of the Hilton Hotel. The citizens went hysterical when at noon someone noticed two packs containing white powder at the backside of the Hilton Hotel, near the National Palace of Culture. They were inscribed "anthrax". Only five minutes after the alarm the policemen from the 6th police precinct arrived. They cordoned off the place with yellow cords. Two experts in protective uniforms put the packages in containers. Later, chief of the Environment Protection Agency, Dimitar Kantardzhiev, said that in all probability it will prove to be just washing powder. A suspicious box with white powder made the police in Stara Zagora panic. It was found in front of an apartment block in the Hadji Dimitar Street at 8.30 a.m. The box was wrapped in a newspaper. The parcel was placed on top of the front hood of a Ford Siesta. According to people living in this block, the car belongs to Penka Georgieva, a lawyer. The powder has been sent to Sofia for analysis. Ministries of Education and Environment jointly work on a booklet with special tips for schoolchildren. It will explain to children what to do if they find white powder. If you come across suspicious white powder call 166 hotline, advised the police.
Sofia hails Moscow stance on Bulgaria's election as UN
Security Council member.
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Oct 17, 2001
Text of report in English by Russian news agency ITAR-TASS
Sofia, 17 October: Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Pasi has said he is grateful to the Russian leadership for its contribution to electing Bulgaria a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council. Bulgaria and Russia signed a intergovernmental agreement on cultural, educational and scientific cooperation in Sofia on Wednesday [17 October].
The Bulgarian minister said he had a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov at the beginning of October that proved that Moscow had changed its position on Bulgaria's election as the UN Security Council nonpermanent member. Russia "gave and kept its promise", Pasi said. He made it clear that the attitude taken by Russian representatives to the UN had exerted considerable influence on the results of the voting.
Bulgaria and Russia had never any problems in cultural cooperation, Pasi told ITAR-TASS. Both countries should join efforts to develop interaction in such areas as economy and tourism, he said. Such relations may become a powerful impetus to expanding a bilateral political dialogue, the Bulgarian minister said.