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OMRI Pursuing Balkan Peace, No. 35, 96-09-03

Open Media Research Institute: Pursuing Balkan Peace Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Open Media Research Institute <http://www.omri.cz>

Pursuing Balkan Peace
No. 35, 3 September 1996


CONTENTS

  • [01] SERBS, CROATS SLAM POSTPONEMENT OF MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS.
  • [02] SERBS THEN APPEAR TO ACCEPT POSTPONEMENT . . .
  • [03] . . . BUT DIG IN AS CONTROVERSY MOUNTS OVER BOSNIAN VOTE.
  • [04] MUSLIM BOYCOTT CALLED OFF.
  • [05] BOSNIANS ABROAD START VOTING.
  • [06] CONFUSION REIGNS OVER REFUGEE VOTING.
  • [07] SERBIA: VOTERS STAY AWAY IN DROVES.
  • [08] VOTING ABROAD FINALLY YIELDS MIXED RESULTS.
  • [09] BELGRADE RESPONDS TO CANCELLATION OF LOCAL BOSNIA VOTE.
  • [10] MILOSEVIC MEETS WITH KORNBLUM.
  • [11] ANTI-NATIONALISTS STAGE BIG RALLY IN TUZLA.
  • [12] SERBIAN OPPOSITION SPEAKS OUT.
  • [13] PLAVSIC SAYS THE SERBS NEED A TUDJMAN.
  • [14] NATO, SERBIAN POLICE IN STANDOFF.
  • [15] UN CHARGES SERBS WITH ORCHESTRATING INCIDENT.
  • [16] WILL HERCEG-BOSNA VANISH?
  • [17] GERMANY DETERMINED TO RETURN BOSNIAN REFUGEES.
  • [18] BOSNIAN AND CROATIAN SHORTS.
  • [19] BULATOVIC INTERPRETS ZAGREB-BELGRADE ACCORD.
  • [20] WHAT IS THE MONTENEGRIN PRESIDENT AIMING AT?
  • [21] CROATIAN REACTION TO NORMALIZING RELATIONS WITH RUMP YUGOSLAVIA.
  • [22] UN REPORT SLAMS CROATIAN RIGHTS RECORD.
  • [23] SLOVENIA: "THE ONLY POSITIVE THING TO EMERGE FROM THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA."
  • [24] FIRST BREAKTHROUGH IN KOSOVO SINCE 1989

  • [01] SERBS, CROATS SLAM POSTPONEMENT OF MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS.

    The OSCE's decision to put off the municipal elections until next spring has been sharply criticized by the Republika Srpska's governing Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) and Bosnia-Herzegovina's leading Croatian party, the Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) (see ). The Serbs said that they will go ahead and hold their municipal elections along with other voting on 14 September as scheduled, Nasa Borba reported on 28 August. The OSCE's Robert Frowick told CNN in response that "one would have to question the validity of the Bosnian Serbs holding their own elections." The HDZ meanwhile charged the OSCE with giving in to demands for postponement by the Muslim Party for Democratic Action (SDA), Reuters noted on 27 August. Bosnian Croat leader Kresimir Zubak argued: "so what do we get if we postpone the elections? We will have to face the very same problem in two, five or six months." The United States endorsed the postponement calling the move "clear and decisive," CNN reported. -- Patrick Moore

    [02] SERBS THEN APPEAR TO ACCEPT POSTPONEMENT . . .

    The acting leader of the SDS, Aleksa Buha, then said in Doboj on 28 August that it is "very probable" that his party will accept the OSCE's postponement of the municipal elections until next spring, Nasa Borba reported. Parliamentary speaker Momcilo Krajisnik went on, however, to accuse the OSCE of siding with the Muslim Party of Democratic Action (SDA) in making the decision, AFP noted, quoting SRNA. "The postponement of local elections... is a desperate attempt to postpone the final defeat of the Muslims... But whether [the elections are held] in September 1996 or in April 1997, the... SDS will repeat the results of all the Serb plebiscites and win the support of 90 percent of the electorate," he said. -- Patrick Moore

    [03] . . . BUT DIG IN AS CONTROVERSY MOUNTS OVER BOSNIAN VOTE.

    Despite Frowick's ruling, however, the SDA and the Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina (SBiH) -- the two largest Muslim parties -- remained concerned about massive voter registration fraud by the Serbs and its long-term implications, AFP reported on 30 August. Specifically, they feared that the Serbs could use the new registration rosters at a later time as a basis for a referendum on leaving Bosnia and joining a greater Serbia. The anti- nationalist Republican Party led by prominent Croat politician Stjepan Kljuic agreed and called for the practice of allowing people to register in any area but their old homes to be abolished altogether, Oslobodjenje wrote. Kljuic later said that it is not right to register to vote from a home that belongs to somebody else. The SDS, however, apparently decided to ignore the OSCE ruling and will go ahead with its own municipal ballot on schedule, Tanjug noted on 29 August. The HDZ has also continued to condemn the OSCE's decision, Onasa reported. Federal Foreign Minister Jadranko Prlic said that he opposes "any kind of boycott. We need these elections. Without them we don't have Bosnia. All members of parties who are against elections are against Bosnia, " he told a HDZ rally in Tuzla. -- Patrick Moore.

    [04] MUSLIM BOYCOTT CALLED OFF.

    The SDA and SBiH, for their parts, decided to call off their threat of a boycott, the BBC reported on 31 August. They apparently were reassured that the current election rosters would not be used after the 14 September vote, thereby ensuring that the Serbs would not be able to use them as a basis for rigged voting in future local elections or referendums. -- Patrick Moore

    [05] BOSNIANS ABROAD START VOTING.

    Balloting, meanwhile, has begun among the 641,010 registered voters living abroad, international and regional media reported. Voting had already started in Hungary and Turkey, although the SDA charged that the balloting in Turkey began too early. On 28 August the 220,640 registered refugee voters in Serbia and Montenegro begin to cast their ballots despite the OSCE's ruling the previous day that many of them had been registered under fraudulent circumstances (see ). They constitute the largest single group of Bosnian voters abroad, with the next largest ones being 136,553 in Croatia and 132,850 in Germany. -- Patrick Moore

    [06] CONFUSION REIGNS OVER REFUGEE VOTING.

    But at this time the two leading Muslim parties were still calling for a suspension of voting by refugees abroad until the issue of widespread fraud in voter registration was clarified, the BBC reported on 28 August. The SDA and SBiH had been seconded by the small Bosnian Patriotic Party (BPS) led by Muslim wartime Gen. Sefer Halilovic. Onasa reported from a refugee camp in Hungary that voting was, in any event, confused. Hungarian camp director Lajos Horvath said of the balloting to date: "For the most part, [the refugees] really didn't understand what was going on. It was confusing, they had no experience of voting, many... are only semi-literate, and none of them knew anything about the candidates. They just voted along ethnic lines where they could." -- Patrick Moore

    [07] SERBIA: VOTERS STAY AWAY IN DROVES.

    Meanwhile in Serbia, refugee voter turnout was low on 28 August, the first day of voting there, Reuters noted. The pattern continued the next day as well, AFP reported on 29 August. According to official statistics, approximately 85, 000 refugees are registered to vote in Serbia, but in Belgrade itself only one of four polling stations reported activity by midday -- and that was just with the arrival of one voter. Apathy, however, may not be the explanation. Beta reported that voters were encountering a number of "technical difficulties;" and in the town of Leskovac, for example, where 3,000 were registered to vote, a number of complainants said they had not received ballot papers. -- Stan Markotich

    [08] VOTING ABROAD FINALLY YIELDS MIXED RESULTS.

    Voting in Serbia and Montenegro in fact continued to produce a poor turnout, with only 25% of those eligible having cast their ballots by the end of the weekend, AFP reported on 2 September. Voting there began on 28 August and is slated to end on 3 September. The initial call by the SDA and SBiH for a boycott apparently helped contribute to a low turnout among Muslims in Germany, and as of 2 September only 10% of the ballot papers from that country had been returned. Many could still be in the mail, however, and the last word accordingly is not in. Things were considerably different in Croatia, however, where some two-thirds of the potential electorate turned out to vote on the 31 August-1 September weekend. Many others were expected to travel home later to cast their ballots in person. OSCE monitors described the vote in Croatia as "without fraud or major irregularities." The only problem was in Dubrovnik, where 1,700 voters were given Serbian ballots by mistake and will have to be issued Croat-Muslim ones at a later date. An OSCE monitor said that the mainly Croatian refugees "were pretty upset." -- Patrick Moore

    [09] BELGRADE RESPONDS TO CANCELLATION OF LOCAL BOSNIA VOTE.

    Back in Belgrade, Bratislava Morina, head of the Serbian Commissariat for Refugees, told a press conference on 27 August that the authorities had not manipulated Serb refugees in any way so as to influence or coerce them to cast ballots in the Republika Srpska. Morina, speaking only hours after Frowick announced the postponement, remarked that voter registration had been OSCE- monitored and supervised, Reuters reported. In a related development, rump Yugoslav (SRJ) Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic, speaking from Rome, said he could see "no reason why" local elections in Bosnia ought to be postponed. -- Stan Markotich

    [10] MILOSEVIC MEETS WITH KORNBLUM.

    U.S. envoy John Kornblum later met for three hours with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic on 29 August. According to media accounts, the main if not only item on the agenda was discussion concerning the 14 September Bosnian elections. Following the meeting, Kornblum said "We discussed the decision to postpone the municipal elections and I made clear it was primarily the manipulation of voter registration by the Republika Srpska which led to this development," Reuters reported. The U.S. envoy gave no indication of whether or not Milosevic would throw his influence behind efforts to remedy abuses in the electoral process. -- Stan Markotich

    [11] ANTI-NATIONALISTS STAGE BIG RALLY IN TUZLA.

    Back in Bosnia, on 27 August, 10-20,000 people attended the largest campaign event staged to date by the Joint List, which represents five important anti- nationalist parties, AFP reported. The rally took place in Tuzla, which was the only city in Bosnia-Herzegovina where anti-nationalists controlled municipal government throughout the war. Some of the five parties are organized on the basis of one nationality or another, but all are pledged to a multi-ethnic country. They face formidable obstacles because of the nationalists' control of most media and local governments including police forces, as well as because of the polarization that took place during the war. Mayor Selim Beslagic of Tuzla two days earlier received the Sean Mac Bride Peace Prize from a Swedish charity for his opposition to nationalism, Oslobodjenje reported. -- Patrick Moore

    [12] SERBIAN OPPOSITION SPEAKS OUT.

    Still among the parties committed to a multiethnic Bosnia-Herzegovina, a leader of the Serbian Civic Council (SGV) -- which remained loyal to the Bosnian government throughout the war -- said that most Bosnian Serbs really want to return to their home towns and live in peace with their Muslim and Croat neighbors. The SGV's Mirko Pejanovic argued in Mostar that all people must return to their original homes to vote, Onasa quoted him as saying on 27 August. His views on both points are diametrically at odds with those of the SDS. Meanwhile in Banja Luka, town council president and leader of the opposition Democratic Patriotic Bloc of the Republika Srpska (DPBRS) Predrag Radic told AIM news agency on 27 August that the war produced no winners. He noted that developments in Mostar bode ill for the future of the Croat-Muslim federation, and that the Serbs lost towns where they had lived for centuries. He is the presidential candidate of the DPBRS, which consists of five parties and three civic groups. Radic said that if elected he would nonetheless curb the powers of the presidency and give more authority to the legislature. -- Patrick Moore

    [13] PLAVSIC SAYS THE SERBS NEED A TUDJMAN.

    Bosnian Serb acting President Biljana Plavsic said meanwhile that Milosevic has let the Serbian people down time and again. She stated that she told Milosevic to his face that "the entire Serbian nation" blames him for the loss of Krajina to the Croats one year ago, Nasa Borba reported on 28 August. Plavsic added that what the Serbs need is "a real leader, like the Croats have [President] Franjo Tudjman." And in Visegrad, 18 policemen protested that the extremist Party of Serbian Unity (SSJ) put their names on its list of candidates without asking them. That party is headed by suspected war criminal and internationally wanted felon Zeljko Raznatovic "Arkan." Visegrad was a mainly Muslim town before the war but Arkan and others submitted it to some of the most grisly "ethnic cleansing" and killings in 1992. Muslims were gunned down en masse on the historic "Bridge on the Drina" and thrown into the river afterward. -- Patrick Moore

    [14] NATO, SERBIAN POLICE IN STANDOFF.

    Violence of a somewhat different sort was in the news last week. IFOR troops on 29 August arrested and disarmed a contingent of Bosnian Serb police in the village of Mahala near Zvornik. The Serbs had fired on two dozen mainly elderly and middle-aged Muslims who had returned to rebuild their homes after four years in exile, the BBC and AFP reported the next day. Ten Muslims were injured, and some of their fellows pelted the arrested Serbs with stones. In Zvornik itself, an angry and increasingly drunken crowd surrounded a UN police office and trapped six people inside while attacking and destroying several UN vehicles. NATO ground forces commander Gen. Sir Michael Walker then released the 65 Serbs, following which the mob in Zvornik dispersed. Walker took the weapons to Plavsic in Banja Luka. -- Patrick Moore

    [15] UN CHARGES SERBS WITH ORCHESTRATING INCIDENT.

    Commenting later on the Zvornik affair, UN International Police Task Force (IPTF) spokesman Alexander Ivanko urged the Serbian authorities to "ensure that nobody will ever again have the 'privilege' of being [taken] hostage while working in the Republika Srpska and helping the people of the Republika Srpska," Onasa quoted him as saying on 30 August. He noted that "the unruly crowd was apparently taking sljivovica [plum brandy] every three seconds. The demonstration was obviously organized at a higher level and was not the result of a local initiative." -- Patrick Moore

    [16] WILL HERCEG-BOSNA VANISH?

    Moving to the Croats, Kornblum announced on 30 August the self-styled para- state of Herceg-Bosna would legally cease to exist as of midnight the next day, international media reported. In turn, certain republican, mostly Muslim- controlled ministries would be also dissolved into joint federal structures. Kornblum said specific institutions of Herceg-Bosna would be changed over the coming fortnight. But nothing really changed on 31 August. Ivan Bender, the Herceg-Bosna senior official, said the Croats will abolish their para-state only after getting guarantees from Muslims about simultaneous dissolution of the republican authorities, Dnevni Avaz reported on 3 September. Bender announced the para-state will be replaced by the Croatian Community of Herceg- Bosna, a future political institution to guarantee political rights of Bosnian Croats. That was the original name of what became the para-state, which the Croats have more than once promised to abolish. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [17] GERMANY DETERMINED TO RETURN BOSNIAN REFUGEES.

    Refugees have also been in the news, and not just in the context of voting. German Interior Minister Manfred Kanther said on 1 September the repatriation of about 320,000 Bosnian refugees will go ahead as planned on 1 October, AFP reported. Kanther told radio Deutschlandfunk that forcible expulsions may have to be used because of the likelihood that not all the refugees would return voluntarily. A meeting between Germany's state authorities, who opposed the federal authorities on the issue of refugee repatriation, is scheduled for mid- September, when Kanther will be seeking a formal approval of the repatriation scheme. Bosnian refugees in Germany hope to extend their refugees status there due to the postponement of Bosnia's municipal elections until spring. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [18] BOSNIAN AND CROATIAN SHORTS.

    Moving to Washington, the State Department supported complaints by senior international officials in Bosnia-Herzegovina that the government there is obstructing the launching of independent television despite promises by President Alija Izetbegovic to get it started, Reuters and Oslobodjenje said. Meanwhile in the RS, the wife of indicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic told a Serbian weekly that the Americans also asked her husband to leave Pale for Montenegro but that he refused, the BBC noted on 29 August. In Brcko, four explosions rocked the town early on 1 September, hitting three Muslim-owned houses and one Muslim company specializing in housing repair materials, news agencies reported. This is not the first such incident involving Muslim property in the strategic Serb-held town, the future of which will be decided by arbitration later this year. And finally in Ovcara near Vukovar in Croatia, international forensic experts arrived on 30 August to begin work on excavating a probable mass grave. The site presumably holds the remains of at least 250 Croatian hospital patients whom the rump Yugoslav forces killed after taking the town on the Danube in November 1991. Vukovar is synonymous with heroism and martyrdom in Croatia, and work at the site will be followed closely by a broad public. -- Patrick Moore

    [19] BULATOVIC INTERPRETS ZAGREB-BELGRADE ACCORD.

    Another issue in the news is the normalization of relations between Croatia and the SRJ. For his part, Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic, in a 25 August interview with TV Montenegro, hailed the 23 August signing of the accord by the two countries' foreign ministers (see ). But

    Bulatovic stressed the deal was a breakthrough specifically because Croatia allegedly agreed for the first time to define the strategic Prevlaka peninsula -- which controls access to the SRJ's only naval base -- as "a disputed issue." He added that this development signaled that "we are coming to the stage where we can argue, using historical and other factors, that Prevlaka belongs to its hinterland." He added that for now Prevlaka belongs "to neither" Montenegro nor Croatia, as it remains monitored by UN observers. Bulatovic's representation of the recent accord fits a broader pattern: on 27 August the independent Belgrade daily Nasa Borba suggested TV Montenegro news reports on the deal have "falsified" accounts of the agreement, claiming its text paved the way for territorial claims against Prevlaka. -- Stan Markotich

    [20] WHAT IS THE MONTENEGRIN PRESIDENT AIMING AT?

    In a 30 August article, the Montenegrin weekly Monitor goes a step further. It implicitly raises the enticing question of who may be keeping the dream of a greater Serbia alive -- and suggests that the answer may be found in Bulatovic's office. In a piece titled "Bulatovic's Preelection Time-out," the president's defense of rump Yugoslav territorial claims is chronicled. Most recently, Bulatovic placed the aforementioned spin on the 23 August normalization agreement, portraying the Prevlaka issue as negotiable. Why, asks Monitor, has Bulatovic "for years been peddling the thesis" that Prevlaka is negotiable, and that any regional settlement "is that resolution which sees the Bosnian Serbs getting access to the sea?" If Bulatovic gets his dream, concludes the weekly, Montenegro "will find itself just one part of that sandwich know as greater Serbia," i.e. bordered by Serbia on the north and east and by the Republika Srpska on the north and west. -- Stan Markotich

    [21] CROATIAN REACTION TO NORMALIZING RELATIONS WITH RUMP YUGOSLAVIA.

    The Belgrade agreement has, of course, been under discussion in Zagreb, too. President Tudjman on 29 August spoke on state television and predictably hailed the accord with the SRJ. Tudjman, who dubbed the deal "of the greatest importance, historic," also called it "the last stage in Croatia's fight for independence and a complete recognition of [Croatian] state territorial integrity by its main enemy." But critical reaction also surfaced. On 29 August Novi list published an evaluation of the accord by Tudjman's former foreign minister, Zvonimir Separovic, who effectively blasted official Zagreb for its willingness to cut a quick deal with the region's chief aggressor. He asked: who is thinking about "the heroes of Vukovar, who stood up [to aggression], and thereby giving Croatia the time to defend itself?" Separovic cautioned that it was simply impossible to establish relations with a renegade state, claiming "there is no normalization with the abnormal. In Belgrade you have Arkan...and Seselj, [not to mention] Milosevic. Assessing the real impact of the deal, he noted: "the Serbs gave us absolutely nothing, and in return got everything they needed. Specifically, an air of respectability, and legitimacy for their state." -- Stan Markotich

    [22] UN REPORT SLAMS CROATIAN RIGHTS RECORD.

    Meanwhile in New York, UN Secretary Boutros Boutros Ghali issued a report on 29 August criticizing the Croatian government's failure to protect the human rights of the remaining Serbian minority, news agencies reported. The study noted in particular thefts of livestock from and acts of violence against mainly elderly Serbian civilians. These people had stayed behind when most Serbs fled in May and August of 1995 in an apparently organized exodus. Since then, explosive devices have gone off outside the Serbs' front doors or in their fields, killing or maiming the pensioners. One 95 year-old woman was beaten by younger males when she tried to stop them from stealing her livestock. The report pointed out that few of the attackers are ever caught or punished, although many of the communities can be reached by only one road. Boutros Ghali also noted that the situation varies considerably from place to place and that some police chiefs tolerate no such illegal behavior. -- Patrick Moore

    [23] SLOVENIA: "THE ONLY POSITIVE THING TO EMERGE FROM THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA."

    Slovenia, for its part, has politically (but not economically) turned its back on its former Yugoslav neighbors and sought rapid integration into European structures. Robert Hunter -- the permanent U.S. representative at NATO headquarters in Brussels -- remarked during his two-day visit to the country that bills itself as "the sunny side of the Alps" that Slovenia has fulfilled all conditions for full NATO membership, Onasa reported on 27 August. Hunter, who stressed that while the NATO leadership has resolved to broaden its membership roster, added that "it is too early yet to name the first-round partners." Hunter nonetheless described Slovenia as "a story of success. Slovenia is, for the time being, the only positive thing to emerge from the tragedy of the former Yugoslavia." In other news, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski arrived in Slovenia on 27 August for a two-day official visit. Following meetings with his Slovenian counterpart Milan Kucan, Kwasniewski remarked that bilateral "cooperation will help both countries towards entering the European Union and NATO," Reuters reported. -- Stan Markotich

    [24] FIRST BREAKTHROUGH IN KOSOVO SINCE 1989

    But perhaps the biggest news to emerge from the former Yugoslavia this week came from Kosovo, which many observers feel could be the site of the next armed conflict. Milosevic and Kosovar shadow state President Ibrahim Rugova signed a milestone agreement on 1 September on the return of some 300,000 ethnic Albanian elementary and secondary school children to classes. It marks the first breakthrough in the Kosovo deadlock since Milosevic abolished the province's autonomy in 1989 and indicates that he has finally accepted Rugova and the Kosovar shadow state as full negotiating partners. The presidents signed the texts separately in Belgrade and Pristina.

    But while the mutual understanding seems to be that university students and professors are included in the agreement, confusion persists because of differences in the wording of the Serbo-Croatian and Albanian versions of the text. The Serbo-Croatian version has been published by Nasa Borba and foresees the "normalization of the education system for the Albanian children and youths in Kosovo... [including] the return of Albanian students and teachers." The text continues that "because of its social and humanitarian meaning this agreement is outside all kinds of political deliberation." However, AFP reported that Rugova wanted more clarification on the status of university education in the document.

    Mario Marazziti, spokesman for the Roman Catholic community San Egidio, which helped mediate the accord, said Rugova's concern arose from a translation problem into Albanian. The Albanian version as published by the Kosova Information Center mentions clearly "schools and university." Marazziti, however, said he expected the difficulty to be surmounted, adding that "the Serbs have told us publicly that they are ready to include university education in the accord. (The Albanian studies faculty at the University of Pristina had traditionally been a center of Albanian nationalist activity and was thus anathema to Serbian nationalist supporters of Milosevic.)

    The agreement further stipulates the establishment of a group of three representatives from each side to work out the terms for implementing the accord. The agreement is of critical significance as it marks the first instance in which mediated talks between the Kosovar shadow state and the Serbian government have produced a consensus. Even though it supposedly has an apolitical character, Milosevic, by applying his signature, moreover, has accepted Rugova as a negotiating partner for the first time.

    Furthermore, the pact ends the seven year-long existence of a parallel education system that the shadow state established and which functions in private homes in clear defiance of the Serbian authorities. Its passing into history, however, does not mean that either party lost face, since the Albanian side can interpret it as a victory, arguing that their parallel system will now function in the schools. Meanwhile, the Serbian government can present the agreement as a return to normal school life.

    The main conflict which originally prompted the establishment of the parallel school system, has, however, not yet been addressed. It remains unclear which curriculum the teachers will use in their lessons. It is now up to the joint commission to agree on a compromise on this. Since the parallel school system was the shadow-state's most prestigious project, it is unlikely that the Albanian leadership will go back to a curriculum that the Serbian government planned to impose on them.

    At the same time it would not cost Milosevic much to show willingness to compromise on the curriculum issue. But the idea of a unified curriculum in all schools on Serbian territory -- regardless of which language is used for instruction -- was a key demand of Milosevic's Serbian nationalist supporters in the late 1980s. If Milosevic has indeed accepted Rugova's position on the issue, it will mark yet another instance in which he sacrificed the interests of his nationalist backers for his own pragmatic considerations. How long he can continue to do so without completely undercutting his original nationalist power base remains to be seen.

    A further key importance of the agreement is that the U.S. declared a normalization in Kosovo and a general improvement of human rights conditions there as preconditions for recognizing rump Yugoslavia (SRJ). These matters were also deemed necessary for the removal of outer wall of sanctions against the SRJ, including Belgrade's admission to international organizations.

    But not all may be smooth sailing. News agency reports from Kosovo on 3 September indicate that police are interfering with the work of at least some schools. It is not clear how widespread such problems are and whether they will ultimately affect the success -- or lack of it -- of the Milosevic- Rugova agreement. -- Fabian Schmidt

    Compiled by Patrick Moore


    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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