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Voice of America, 01-08-15

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://>

SLUG: 2-279358 NATO Macedonia (L-O) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:





    INTRO: NATO's ruling council has authorized the deployment of a small advance force to Macedonia. The troops are to prepare the way for a larger NATO force that will collect weapons held by ethnic-Albanian rebels in Macedonia. Douglas Bakshian has more on the story.

    TEXT: NATO officials say about 400-troops could be in Macedonia by the weekend. The troops are to set up headquarters and communications facilities for a NATO force of 35-hundred soldiers. The decision to send the advance team was reached by NATO ambassadors meeting in Brussels. Alliance spokesman Yves Brodeur say NATO is pleased with developments in Macedonia since the signing of a peace accord Monday by Macedonian and ethnic-Albanian political leaders.

    /// BRODEUR ACT ///

    NATO's timing, I would say, is rather critical. What we will be doing will actually contribute to reinforce the trust between the people in the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia.

    /// END ACT ///

    But NATO did not make a decision on deployment of the full 35-hundred man force that is to actually collect weapons held by the rebels. Spokesman Brodeur says NATO wants to see more progress on a sustainable cease-fire before going ahead with full deployment. Both the Macedonian government and the rebels have accused each other of repeated violations of a truce declared Sunday. Diplomatic sources say the gradual approach will allow the alliance to encourage both sides to implement the political accord. Rebel disarmament is meant to coincide with a package of political reforms. Once the full NATO force is approved it will be on a limited 30-day mission to collect the rebel weapons. Some Macedonians fear the guerrillas will bury most of their arms and recover them when NATO leaves. The rebels say they are fighting for the rights of ethnic Albanians, who make up a third of Macedonia's population. The government accuses them of wanting to join ethnic-Albanian parts of Macedonia with neighboring Kosovo. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DB/KL/RAE SLUG: 2-279355 Bosnia War Crimes (L-O) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:



    INTRO: A Bosnian Serb army officer suspected of involvement in Europe's worst massacre since World War Two surrendered today (Wednesday) to the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal. Stefan Bos has more details from Budapest.

    TEXT: Lieutenant-Colonel Dragan Jokic turned himself in near Banja Luka at a base of the NATO-led peacekeeping forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Defense Ministry of the Serb entity in Bosnia Herzegovina confirmed the surrender of Lieutenant-Colonel Jokic.

    /// OPT ///

    Bosnian Serb Defense Minister Slobodan Bilic said his government was not involved in the transfer of the officer to the Hague Tribunal. /// END OPT /// His lawyer, Krstan Simic, said the army officer had decided to surrender after Tribunal representatives questioned him last month. Mr. Simic said that Lieutenant-Colonel Jokic has been accused by the Tribunal of crimes against humanity and breaches of the laws and customs of war. The war crimes tribunal has indicted the Lieutenant-Colonel in connection with the massacre of Muslims after Serb forces captured the eastern Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica in 1995, despite the presence of Dutch U-N peacekeepers. As many as 8-thousand mainly Muslim men and boys are believed to have been executed in what has been described as Europe's worst massacre since World War II. During 1995, Lieutenant-Colonel Jokic was the commander of the engineering section of the Zvornik brigade, which was integrated into a Bosnian Serb army unit that operated in the area during the war. Lieutenant-Colonel Jokic is the seventh Bosnian Serb suspected of war crimes to surrender to the U-N court. Last week, NATO troops detained Bosnian Serb wartime commander Vidoje Blagojevic, for his alleged role in the Srebrenica massacre.

    /// REMAINDER OPT ///

    The Tribunal handed out its first genocide conviction in early August to former Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic, who received a 46-year prison sentence for his involvement in the Srebrenica atrocities. Up to 30 other suspects remain at large and U-N prosecutors have criticized NATO for not doing enough to arrest the most wanted men, former Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic and his military commander Ratko Mladic. The former Bosnian Serb President was even spotted spending a vacation in the coastal Yugoslav republic of Montenegro. He and General Mladic are believed to be the main architects of the Srebrenica massacre. So far the remains of around 45-hundred Muslim victims from Srebrenica have been discovered, but more graves are still being uncovered. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SB/GE/RH SLUG: 6-12427 Wednesday's Editorials DATE: NOTE NUMBER:



    INTRO: U-S newspapers published editorials Wednesday on a wide variety of topics -- including a controversial visit by Japan's prime minister to a war memorial, the escalating violence in the Middle East, the latest crisis in the Northern Ireland peace effort, and the fragile peace in Macedonia. Other editorials discuss the U-S role in the world racism conference, the global battle against child pornography, and a controversial execution scheduled in Texas. Here is ___________ with a closer look and some quotes in today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has visited his country's main war memorial which honors war dead, including war criminals. The visit outraged China and South Korea, both victims of Japanese aggression. Some U-S newspapers are upset too. For example, the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

    VOICE: ... When Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi visited (the) shrine ... he ...inflicted needless pain on thousands of victims of Japanese militarism, and he illuminated the unwillingness or the inability of Japan to confront openly the ugly truths of its past. ... Germany has apologized repeatedly... for the Nazi holocaust ... That painful process... requires a moral and political courage Japanese governments have yet to demonstrate...

    TEXT: In California, the San Jose Mercury News comments:

    VOICE: To those who still feel the pain of that war, (Mr.) Koizumi's action seems tantamount to German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder paying tribute to Adolph Hitler.

    TEXT: And in Hawaii, the Honolulu Advertiser says moving the date of his visit away from today's anniversary of Japan's World War Two surrender

    VOICE: ...fooled no one. Chinese, Koreans and southeast Asians were deeply wounded by the visit. But so were the non-Shinto religions of Japan, such as the Buddhists, who see worship at Yasukuni as endorsing Shinto as the official religion of Japan, in violation of a constitutional separation of church and state.

    TEXT: U-S newspapers appear apprehensive as as the violence escalates between Israel and Palestinians. The Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal comments: "To think, Israelis and Palestinians were talking real compromise a year ago. Now the death toll mounts." The Cleveland (Ohio) Plain Dealer comments:

    VOICE: Yasser Arafat is leading Palestinians down a nowhere road. ...(However) Israel's attempts to deter suicide bombers with assassinations and tanks are callous and ineffective, as is the Palestinian leadership's response.

    TEXT: And in Tennessee, Chattanooga's Free Press says: "...some vicious, radical, suicidal Palestinians are determined to destroy Israel at any price. ... They must not be allowed to succeed." In Northern Ireland, the Irish Republican Army (I-R-A) has withdraw its offer to begin disarming. The Boston (Massachusetts) Globe, which calls the move a:

    VOICE: ...disappointing but unsurprising action. The British government needs to keep pushing on its policing and demilitarization initiatives, in an attempt to get the I-R-A to render harmless a substantial part of its arsenal. ... It did not help the cause of peace when authorities in Colombia arrested three men -- at least two of them I-R-A veterans -- on suspicion of helping rebels there.

    TEXT: In Minnesota, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis says of the now withdrawn I-R-A offer:

    VOICE: Unionists sniffed at the olive branch, and Tuesday the I-R-A furiously snatched it back. The fury can hardly be faulted, for the decommissioning offer definitely should have been seized. It's the very gesture Unionists have demanded all along. But once it came, Unionists refused to take it seriously ... (and)... let the clock run out on the province's power-sharing government.

    TEXT: In the Balkan nation of Macedonia, a peace agreement has been signed by the government and ethnic Albanian rebels. The Houston (Texas) Chronicle makes this assessment.

    VOICE: The Macedonian government and minority Albanian political leaders have forged a tentative truce, with the help of NATO, that the rest of the world can only hope will end six months of bloodshed ...

    TEXT: But the Long Island, New York, Newsday says, "Don't Expect Peace From (the) Macedonian Peace Accord." A world conference on racism opens later this month in Durban, South Africa. The Atlanta (Georgia) Journal is not looking forward to the meeting..

    VOICE: ...A hundred countries will gather ... this month and work pretty hard on maligning this great nation. ... This country has no obligation ... to send a serious delegation to listen to an assemblage of the self-righteous orchestrating an "intervention" with the United States for transgressions of our ancestors. ... at this stage, there's nothing to convince us that the tone of the conference will be conciliatory.

    TEXT: The Chattanooga (Tennessee) Free Press is upset at the way it sees China is "meddling in our elections."

    VOICE: It is amazing how little national concern has been expressed ... when it was revealed ... that Chinese Communist-related operatives were contributing political campaign money to the interests of President Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party while they were getting trade and White House entry favors. ... Now the Senate Intelligence Committee ...(reports) ... that Communist China had a plan to send money into 1996 congressional election campaigns ...(as well)... That Chinese Communist political intervention occurred should be of continuing concern. That there is such indifference to it ... is also cause for concern.

    TEXT: The Tacoma (Washington) News Tribune comments on the break-up of a global, Internet-based child pornography ring, headquartered in Texas, with participants in Russia and Indonesia.

    VOICE: Unfortunately, finding and arresting American customers was the easy part. Finding and successfully prosecuting foreign Web masters is another matter. There are no Russian or Indonesian equivalents of strict American laws against child pornography.

    TEXT: In Florida, the Jacksonville Times-Union gives more reaction to President Bush's decision to limit federal funding for stem cell research, calling the action a: "courageous and reasonable course..." However the New York Times says the president's "plan will not hold up over the long haul." In Texas, Mr. Bush's home state, another controversial execution is planned later today, of a man who killed when he was only 17. The (Miami, Florida) Herald call the planned execution "troubling."

    VOICE: ...It aligns the United States with those rarities among nations -- Pakistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia among them -- that allow the death penalty for persons who commit crimes ... (as) juveniles. ... Most western countries, and many U-S states, judge (juvenile criminals) by different standards from those used for adults.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this editorial sampling from Wednesday's U-S newspapers.

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