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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 49, 10 March 1996

From: OMRI-L <omri-l@ubvm.cc.buffalo.edu>

Open Media Research Institute Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] US WANTS SERBIA TO TURN WAR CRIMES SUSPECTS OVER TO THE HAGUE.

  • [2] SERBIAN OPPOSITION PREPARES FOR DEMONSTRATIONS.

  • [3] SLOVENIA PREPARED TO APPLY FOR EU MEMBERSHIP.

  • [4] FOURTH ZAGREB MAYOR ELECTED.

  • [5] TENSION MOUNTS IN SARAJEVO SUBURBS.

  • [6] ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN MACEDONIA.

  • [7] MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT CRITICIZES STATE RADIO AND TV COMPANY.

  • [8] HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT CRITICAL OF BULGARIA.

  • [9] BULGARIA, UKRAINE SIGN MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENT.

  • [10] FORMER ALBANIAN COMMUNIST OFFICIALS ARRESTED.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 49, Part II, 10 March 1996

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] US WANTS SERBIA TO TURN WAR CRIMES SUSPECTS OVER TO THE HAGUE.

    International news agencies reported on 7 March that US State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns asked Belgrade to turn accused Bosnian Serb war criminals Drazen Erdemovic and Radoslav Kremenovic over to the International War Crimes Tribunal. According to Burns, the U.S. "urges [Serbian] President Slobodan Milosevic to transfer the men as requested and to cooperate fully with the tribunal." Meanwhile, Tanjug reported that Erdemovic had been arrested on 2 March by Serbian police for participation in "mass killings" of civilians following the fall of the Bosnian Muslim enclave of Srebrenica. The Serbian prosecutor's office said Kremenovic is in custody in rump Yugoslavia for sheltering Erdemovic. It is believed that Erdemovic's testimony may be key in linking Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic to atrocities. On 8 March AFP reported that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia issued an arrest warrant for Milan Martic for ordering the bombing of Zagreb in 1995, in which civilians were reportedly targeted. -- Stan Markotich

    [2] SERBIAN OPPOSITION PREPARES FOR DEMONSTRATIONS.

    Nasa Borba on 8 March reported that several opposition parties are urging public demonstrations on 9 March to protest the government of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. The Serbian Renewal Movement, the Democratic Party, and the Civic Alliance have organized the rally largely to commemorate the 9 March 1991 Belgrade rally, during which some 100,000 people protested Milosevic's authoritarian rule. At that time, Milosevic responded to the protestors by summoning police, and at least two people were killed. Opposition party leaders are urging supporters to not be intimidated by the authorities. Some opposition party leaders, notably Democratic Party of Serbia head Vojislav Kostunica, have said they will not participate in organized events. -- Stan Markotich

    [3] SLOVENIA PREPARED TO APPLY FOR EU MEMBERSHIP.

    Reuters on 7 March reported that the Slovenian government has now gone on record as saying that it will apply directly for membership in the European Union if it does not succeed in signing an agreement on associate membership. Differences with Italy over the status and rights of ethnic Italians who left Slovenia after the Second World War have caused delays in Slovenia's gaining associate member status. -- Stan Markotich

    [4] FOURTH ZAGREB MAYOR ELECTED.

    At a 7 March session of the Zagreb City Assembly, its members voted no confidence in Marina Matulovic-Dropulic, Zagreb Mayor and Zagreb County Prefect appointed by President Franjo Tudjman on 2 March (see OMRI Daily Digest, 5 March 1996), Croatian media reported. Twenty-eight councilors voted against the motion, while the ruling party of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) councilors did not vote. The same day, the alliance of seven opposition parties elected Ivo Skrabalo, a vice president of the Croatian Social-Liberal party (HSLS), as the new Zagreb Mayor and Zagreb County Prefect with 27 votes for and 13 votes against. The Zagreb City Assembly also elected two mayor's deputies from opposition parties, Slobodna Dalmacija reported on 8 March. Tudjman is unlikely to confirm Skrabalo as a mayor, but will appoint a commissioner for Zagreb, thus enforcing new city elections. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [5] TENSION MOUNTS IN SARAJEVO SUBURBS.

    UN officials reported a rise in tensions in Serb-held Sarajevo suburbs ahead of their transfer to government control, with gangs setting fire to homes and threatening those who want to stay, Nasa Borba reported on 8 March. Damage made in looting and dismantling industrial plants in Hadzici is estimated near DM 270 million, and the fate of 186 Bosnian Muslims and Croats detained there at the beginning of the war is still uncertain. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [6] ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN MACEDONIA.

    Teodor Melescanu on 7 March arrived on a two-day official visit to Macedonia, Romanian, Macedonian and international media reported. He met with President Kiro Gligorov, Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski, and Foreign Minister Ljubomir Frckovski. Melescanu and Frckovski discussed ways to boost bilateral relations and intensify political and economic cooperation. The two sides are expected to discuss the peace process in former Yugoslavia, as well as the situation of a Romanian-speaking minority in Macedonia. Melescanu and Frckovski will sign a cooperation protocol between the two foreign ministries. Melescanu said that his Macedonian visit rounds out the process of "settlement" of new relations between Bucharest and the former Yugoslav republics. Before the suspension of the UN embargo against the rump Yugoslav Federation, Macedonia ranked first in Romania's trade ties with the former Yugoslav republics. -- Matyas Szabo and Stefan Krause

    [7] MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT CRITICIZES STATE RADIO AND TV COMPANY.

    Mircea Snegur's spokesman on 6 March accused the Teleradio-Moldova state company leadership of violating the audiovisual law that stipulates priority broadcasting for incoming information from the presidency, parliament and government, Moldovan agencies reported. Referring to the frequent electric power cuts in villages, and the 10-fold reduction in the number of wired-radio outlets during the past five years, the spokesman said "some people are interested in hiding information from the public at large." He added that a governmental decree on the replacement of the outlets with wireless receivers is being implemented "with tremendous pain and surprisingly slowly." -- Matyas Szabo

    [8] HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT CRITICAL OF BULGARIA. U.S.

    State Department human rights report on Bulgaria says that human rights are generally respected, but it also points to a number of problems, Demokratsiya reported on 8 March. Most notably, the report mentions the constitutional provision that political parties may not be formed on an ethnic, racial, or religious basis, lack of parliamentary control of the security services, human rights violations by police, especially against Roma, and the conditions in Bulgarian prisons. The report states that many old cadres returned to high positions in the security services in 1995. It also mentions attempts of political domination of and a "lack of balance in the state media." In other news, Duma reported that 520 persons from a list of alleged criminals published by the Interior Ministry on 22 February have been arrested as of 7 March. -- Stefan Krause

    [9] BULGARIA, UKRAINE SIGN MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENT.

    The defense ministers of Bulgaria and Ukraine, Dimitar Pavlov and Valerii Shmarov, on 7 March signed a bilateral military cooperation agreement, international media reported. The agreement provides for cooperation in security measures, military engineering, and personnel training. Shmarov stressed Ukraine's willingness to boost cooperation in areas of common interest. During his two-day visit, Shmarov met with President Zhelyu Zhelev, Prime Minister Zhan Videnov, and Parliamentary President Blagovest Sendov. -- Stefan Krause

    [10] FORMER ALBANIAN COMMUNIST OFFICIALS ARRESTED.

    Communist-era Intelligence chief Irakli Kocollari and Interior Minister Vladimir Hysi were arrested on 5 March, international agencies reported. In 1991, under the last Socialist President Ramiz Alia, they ordered the destruction of some 30,000 to 60,000 Interior Ministry documents in order to remove evidence of human rights violations. If convicted, they face up to seven years in prison. Kocollari was appointed to head the new intelligence service SHIK after the first multiparty elections in March 1991 when parliament decided to disband the communist-era Sigurimi. Unlike Sigurimi, SHIK is not subordinated to the Interior Ministry. Hysi served as Interior Minister in the government of experts between December 1991 and April 1992. Another 35 communist officials, including Alia, are currently in prison under charges of human rights abuses. Meanwhile, present SHIK head Bashkim Gazidede on 7 March told the parliament that his organization has been fully placed under civilian control. -- Fabian Schmidt and Stefan Krause

    This material was reprinted with permission of the Open Media Research Institute, a nonprofit organization with research offices in Prague, Czech Republic.
    For more information on OMRI publications please write to info@omri.cz

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