Visit our archive of Documents on The Cyprus Problem A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Sunday, 26 May 2019
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

OMRI Pursuing Balkan Peace, No. 41, 96-10-15

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. 41, 15 October 1996


CONTENTS

  • [01] DETERMINED MUSLIM REFUGEES CARRY ON
  • [02] SERBS CONTINUE BOYCOTT OF JOINT BOSNIAN INSTITUTIONS.
  • [03] BOSNIAN SERB LEADER SAYS SEPARATION STILL A PRIORITY.
  • [04] ACADEMY FOUNDED ON NATIONALIST NOTE.
  • [05] EXPLOSIONS IN NORTHERN BOSNIA . . .
  • [06] . . . AS THE STANDOFF PERSISTS AROUND ZVORNIK.
  • [07] CROATS BLOCK SERB REFUGEES FROM GOING HOME.
  • [08] FIRST TRAINING CENTER FOR MUSLIM-CROAT ARMY OPENS.
  • [09] OSCE MONITOR SAYS BOSNIA NOT READY FOR LOCAL ELECTIONS.
  • [10] WAR CRIMES UPDATE.
  • [11] CROATIA CHARGES YUGOSLAV ARMY CHIEF WITH WAR CRIMES.
  • [12] ZAGREB FREES SERB POW's UNDER NEW AMNESTY LAW.
  • [13] EASTERN SLAVONIA UNDER CROATIAN ADMINISTRATION IN EARLY SPRING?
  • [14] CROATIAN AUTHORITIES CLOSE DOWN "KLEIN'S" MARKET.
  • [15] SERBIA AND CROATIA FIGHT OVER ETHNIC MINORITY IDENTITY.
  • [16] CROATIAN GENERAL WARNS AGAINST TUDJMAN'S AMBITIONS.
  • [17] FORMER BANK GOVERNOR RESIGNS FROM SERBIAN OPPOSITION COALITION.
  • [18] BONN AND BELGRADE SIGN AGREEMENT ON REFUGEE RETURN.
  • [19] SERBS ARREST THIRD SUSPECTED KOSOVAR TERRORIST.
  • [20] ALLEGATIONS ABOUT FORCED LABOR IN SERBIAN MINES PROVEN FALSE.
  • [21] SLOVENIAN PRESIDENT SAYS ALL EX-YUGOSLAV REPUBLICS SHARE SUCCESSION EQUALLY.
  • [22] MACEDONIAN DEFENSE MINISTER VISITS BELGRADE.
  • [23] GREEK-MACEDONIAN TALKS ENTER 'KEY PHASE.'
  • [24] GREECE STRENGTHENS POLICE FORCES IN FIGHT AGAINST ALBANIAN PIRATES.

  • [01] DETERMINED MUSLIM REFUGEES CARRY ON

    Even before the three nationalist parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina were handed the fruits of their often overwhelming victories -- in some cases with vote totals well in excess of 100% of the number of registered voters -- many observers saw trouble looming ahead. The reason was simple: the same three parties had won in the 1990 elections, and the result had been first gridlock in government and then war.

    The circumstances had changed in roughly six years, but not necessarily for the better. First, a new constitution was in place thanks to the Dayton agreement. But like its predecessor, it made much use of a system of checks and balances dating from the period of Josip Broz Tito and based on the ethnic principle. Thus, the new system of government, like the earlier model, could easily be hamstrung by each of the nationalities functioning as a bloc and refusing to compromise.

    Second, the victorious parties were once again the Serbian Democratic Party (SDS), the Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ), and the Muslim Party of Democratic Action (SDA). In many cases, the same individuals who had won in 1990 were elected again. But there were changes as well. The SDS had in the meantime become associated not only with a war of conquest to establish a greater Serbia but also with massive war crimes as a deliberate means toward that goal. Its former chairman and the most prominent Bosnian Serb politician, Radovan Karadzic, was now wanted for war crimes and could not openly take part in politics.

    The HDZ had gone through a war not only with the Serbs, but with the Muslims as well. Its anti-Muslim hard-core was based in Herzegovina, where the HDZ had established a state-within-a-state that functioned more as if it were part of Croatia than of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The HDZ-dominated establishments in Herzegovina and Zagreb often -- but not always -- paid lip-service to the Croat-Muslim alliance, but in practice it often seemed that their agenda was still to establish a greater Croatia.

    The SDA, for its part, was increasingly coming under the sway of its nationalist wing. This was evident almost as soon as the Dayton agreement was signed, and Serbs, Croats, and non-SDA Muslims were purged from top military commands in the government army. There was an element in the SDA, moreover, that, like the nationalists in the SDS and HDZ, would have preferred to partition Bosnia rather than keep it as a unitary state. This group was generally referred to as the Islamic fundamentalists. If they were ever to dominate party policy, it would mean that no leading party remained committed to the principle of a unitary, multi-ethnic Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia would thus be divided between a greater Serbia, a greater Croatia, and a Muslim mini-state dependent on foreign backing.

    Cassandras who felt that 1996 would bring a repetition of 1990 found that they did not have to wait long for confirmation of their fears. The Serbs, in fact, failed to show up for the first meeting of the joint legislature and the session of the presidency slated for that same day. Few believed their excuse that they were concerned for their safety in Sarajevo. It seemed evident instead that they had boycotted the gatherings as an opening move in a new chess game in Bosnian politics.

    The best that the "international community" could do in response was -- as had generally been its practice -- to scold, admonish, and cajole. The Serbs then offered conciliatory words, but it was clear that the chess game was only beginning.

    But in the north of Bosnia, some Muslim refugees had begun showing the world that there was a way to implement the principles of the Dayton agreement despite the obstructionism of the Serbian authorities and the weakness of the foreigners. In late August, a group of Muslim refugees returned to their homes in the village of Mahala near Zvornik in the "zone of separation" between the two entities (see ). Mahala is located in the Republika Srpska, the authorities of which were not pleased to see these "ethnically cleansed" families return. And IFOR -- which saw its main mission as the prevention of violence and the preservation of itself -- was horrified, especially as some of the Muslims were armed.

    But the Muslims stuck to their argument that the Dayton agreement guarantees them freedom of movement and the right to go home. Eventually, they shamed IFOR into providing them with a degree of protection from the predictably upset Serbs. More recently, a similar set of developments took place in the nearby village of Jusici, and Dugi Do seemed to be next on the Muslims' list.

    The villagers might nonetheless soon find themselves involved in "incidents" with the Republika Srpska police, and under increasing pressure from IFOR to go back to the refugee camps lest any violence result. In the meantime, the Muslims of Mahala and Jusici have shown that quiet determination in sticking up for one's rights might have a future, even in Bosnia. -- Patrick Moore

    [02] SERBS CONTINUE BOYCOTT OF JOINT BOSNIAN INSTITUTIONS.

    Meanwhile, the Serbian member of the Bosnian presidency, Momcilo Krajisnik, again refused to sign a loyalty oath to Bosnia-Herzegovina, AFP reported on 12 October. Krajisnik said that he objected to any ceremonies taking place in a Sarajevo building associated with the Croat-Muslim federation and that he would only sign on Bosnian Serb territory. He also refused to meet German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel together with the Croatian and Muslim members of the presidency and met the German guest separately instead. Krajisnik, who had earlier declined to come to Sarajevo out of alleged fears for his safety, arrived there on 12 October to talk with Kinkel and U.S. special envoy John Kornblum. Krajisnik says he is defending Serbian interests by taking a hard line on joint institutions, Nasa Borba reported on 14 October. The World Bank warned the Serbs on 11 October, however, that they stand to lose their share of reconstruction aid if the boycott continues, Onasa stated. The international Contact Group had earlier made similar threats to the Serbs. Their prime minister, Gojko Klickovic, nonetheless responded that the Serbs will not yield to pressure and that they will not accept the reintegration of Bosnia-Herzegovina. -- Patrick Moore

    [03] BOSNIAN SERB LEADER SAYS SEPARATION STILL A PRIORITY.

    Aleksa Buha, the foreign minister of the Republika Srpska and head of the governing Serbian Democratic Party (SDS), stated for his part on 14 October that independence from the Croat-Muslim federation and union with Serbia still top the SDS agenda. He demanded that the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Russia, China, and the UN set up diplomatic offices in Pale. Buha also added that the government and parliament of the Republika Srpska will meet there on 19 October, news agencies and Nasa Borba reported. Buha argued that the Serbs may take until 28 October to return to the three-man Bosnian presidency, saying that body will determine its own rules and procedures. -- Patrick Moore

    [04] ACADEMY FOUNDED ON NATIONALIST NOTE.

    Meanwhile on nearby Mt. Jahorina, the opening session of the new Academy of Sciences of the Republika Srpska took place on 11 October. It set up a four- person Executive Committee and Presidency, including the historian and ideologue Milorad Ekmecic. Former Bosnian Serb leader and indicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic made an appearance to talk to visiting Belgrade intellectuals. Prominent Serbian nationalist politician Mihajlo Markovic said at the gathering that the war had "had some sense" because it led to the establishment of yet another Serb state, the Republika Srpska, Onasa noted on 14 October. -- Patrick Moore

    [05] EXPLOSIONS IN NORTHERN BOSNIA . . .

    Returning to the subject of the plucky refugees, numerous blasts of unidentified origin took place in houses in three former Muslim villages on Bosnian Serb territory on 10 October, the BBC reported. The villages are Mumbasic and Stanic Rijeka near Tuzla, and Kordoni near Zvornik, Reuters added. Some 223 Muslims had gone back to Jusici as of that date, Onasa stated. They burned a Serbian flag after Bosnian Serb and UN police confiscated weapons from them, Nasa Borba noted on 11 October. Meanwhile in Sarajevo, the SDA promised to help the residents of Jusici rebuild their homes, Onasa said on 10 October. It also plans to open branch offices in the Republika Srpska, where it is the second largest party in parliament. -- Patrick Moore

    [06] . . . AS THE STANDOFF PERSISTS AROUND ZVORNIK.

    And the war of nerves continued over the weekend. The RS authorities released three Muslims who had been jailed in Zvornik, Dnevni avaz wrote on 14 October. The RS police in Jusici maintained a tense standoff both with Russian IFOR troops -- whom they had threatened on 11 October -- and with the villagers. Early in the morning of 12 October, an explosion destroyed a Muslim home on the outskirts of nearby Mahala, in an area known as Hajvazi. -- Patrick Moore

    [07] CROATS BLOCK SERB REFUGEES FROM GOING HOME.

    Nor are those Muslims the only victims of ethnic bigotry. Bosnian Croats on 13 October prevented 250 Serbs from visiting their homes in Drvar, forcing the refugees to go back to Banja Luka, Nasa Borba noted on 15 October. Tens of thousands of Croatian and Bosnian Serbs fled the Croatian advance roughly one year ago. They have since charged the Croats with conducting a policy of "ethnic cleansing" and using violence and intimidation against the mainly elderly or infirm Serbs who stayed behind. The Dayton agreement guarantees freedom of movement and the right to go back to one's home. Onasa on 14 October quoted a UNHCR spokesman as saying that the incident was particularly "tragic," since the association of Serbs from Drvar is one of the few voices in the Republika Srpska calling for all people to go home. -- Patrick Moore

    [08] FIRST TRAINING CENTER FOR MUSLIM-CROAT ARMY OPENS.

    Turning to the issue of security arrangements, Military Professional Resources Inc. -- a company run by retired U.S. Army generals -- opened the first training center on 7 October for the joint Muslim-Croat Army. The facility is in Pazaric, south of Sarajevo, Oslobodjenje reported. The opening ceremony was attended by Defense Minister Vladimir Soljic, a Bosnian Croat, and his Muslim deputy Hasan Cengic. Gen. Rasim Delic, who will command the joint forces, said: "From this moment, I am not a general without an army." His Croat deputy, Gen.-Col. Zivko Budimir, said the center might well become the future Bosnian Military Academy. The $400 million U.S.-sponsored program is aimed at establishing a balance between the federal army and Bosnian Serb forces. It also seeks to help merge Muslims and Croats into a united force under civilian control. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [09] OSCE MONITOR SAYS BOSNIA NOT READY FOR LOCAL ELECTIONS.

    And as to the upcoming November local vote, Ed van Thijn, the chief OSCE monitor during the 14 September general elections, said he will not accept the same job in the municipal ones because Bosnia is not ready for them, AFP reported on 13 October. Van Thijn said that ballot should be postponed until spring because voter lists are not reliable and refugees still would not be able to vote where they wish to in November. Municipal elections were postponed from September to November after it was found that the Serbs especially were tampering with voter registration. On 12 October, OSCE spokesman David Foley said delaying the municipal elections would undermine the peace process. AFP on 11 October quoted Bosnian Serb President Biljana Plavsic as threatening, however: "If the process of forced and illegal repopulation of the Republika Srpska continues [an apparent reference to the return of the Muslim refugees; see above], conditions for [holding] local elections will not be met." -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [10] WAR CRIMES UPDATE.

    The issue of atrocities has been in the news, too. In New York, the Security Council on 10 October protested the lack of progress in investigating the fate of missing persons and singled out the Bosnian Serb authorities as obstructing efforts. At the Laniste cave near Kljuc in western Bosnia, government officials have removed 70 bodies so far of Muslims believed to have been killed by the Serbs on 1 June 1992. Among the gruesome discoveries have been severed heads pierced with nails, news agencies noted. -- Patrick Moore

    [11] CROATIA CHARGES YUGOSLAV ARMY CHIEF WITH WAR CRIMES.

    Meanwhile in Croatia, prosecutors have charged Gen. Momcilo Perisic, the current Yugoslav army chief of staff, with war crimes when he was a colonel in the former Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), AFP reported on 5 October. The prosecutor in Zadar indicted Perisic along with eight other former JNA officers for having ordered and carried out attacks against civilian targets there and in the surrounding region in August and September 1991. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [12] ZAGREB FREES SERB POW's UNDER NEW AMNESTY LAW.

    That same weekend as it charged the general, Croatia acted on a new general amnesty law and released 41 Serbs held for rebelling against the state, Slobodna Dalmacija reported on 8 October. Some 18 other Serbs charged with war crimes remain in custody of the Split district court. Most of those released went to Serbia, while a few opted to stay in Croatia, according to Hina. Also, 15 Serbs charged and imprisoned for espionage were released on 7 October, Novi List reported the next day. Lawyers announced they are filing charges for compensation for those held over one year. The amnesty law pardons all Croatian Serbs who took part in the uprising after Croatia's declaration of independence in 1991, except for hose explicitly charged with war crimes. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [13] EASTERN SLAVONIA UNDER CROATIAN ADMINISTRATION IN EARLY SPRING?

    Turning from the events of the past to those of the future, one spotlight has been on eastern Slavonia, the last Serb-held area in Croatia. Jacques Klein, the UN transitional administrator for the area, said on 8 October he hopes it will return to Croatian administration next spring at the latest, Hina reported. "Our aim is next spring and then to terminate the mandate by early summer," Klein said after a meeting with Croatian President Franjo Tudjman. Klein added that he wants elections to "take place as soon as possible' on the basis of pre-war lists of registered voters. But Derek Boothby, UNTAES deputy administrator, told Reuters on 10 October that Croatia's hopes for a 15 December vote cannot be met. The balloting must be conducted 30 days before the UN mandate ends, which will in the last analysis be decided by the UN Security Council. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [14] CROATIAN AUTHORITIES CLOSE DOWN "KLEIN'S" MARKET.

    There has been other news from that region, too. Local authorities in the Osijek-Baranja district on 10 October put an end to the market on the border between Serb-held eastern Slavonia and Croatian-controlled territory, Vecernji list reported. On 12 October, Croatian authorities began turning back Croats on their way to the market on alleged grounds of health, AFP reported. Klein supported the market as a place where confidence between Serbs and Croats was being rebuilt. UNTAES spokesman Douglas Coffman said the market helped over 45,000 people from both sides to reestablish contacts broken by the war, and that the UN "deeply deplored" the decision to close it down. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [15] SERBIA AND CROATIA FIGHT OVER ETHNIC MINORITY IDENTITY.

    Nor has this been the only site of Serb-Croat tensions. Hido Biscevic, an aide to the Croatian foreign minister, protested Serbian Vice Premier Ratko Markovic's recent statement on the Backa Croats, known as Bunjevci. Markovic had said that the people in question "are neither Croats nor Serbs, but only Bunjevci," and will receive the status of a nation (narod) in Serbia, Vjesnik reported on 11 October. Hungarian Croats had earlier protested Markovic's statement that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is also the "motherland" of Bunjevci living in Hungary. Those Hungarian Croats issued a statement that the Bunjevci are Croats and of the same origin as the ones in Lika, the Croatian Primorje, and Dalmatia, Hina reported on 4 October. According to Hina, the Serbian authorities first devised the new national group "Bunjevci" for the 1991 census. The apparent purpose is to reduce the absolute size of and to split the "Croatian" minority in Serbia, as well as to stake a claim on the Croats of Hungary. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [16] CROATIAN GENERAL WARNS AGAINST TUDJMAN'S AMBITIONS.

    Back in Croatia, retired Gen. Anton Tus -- the former Chief of the General Staff -- said on independent Radio 101 that President Franjo Tudjman is pursuing a course of folly in trying to make Croatia a force in the Balkans. "We don't have the human, material, or economic resources to be a regional military power. Our future should be in alliances, not in exhausting ourselves to build up our armed forces." The government has been steadily acquiring a modern arsenal since independence in 1991. Historian Tudjman, moreover, was visibly carried away with the success of his armies against rebel Serbs in 1995 and may be dreaming of other things to come. Among the latest reports are that Defense Minister Gojko Susak wants to buy modern Soviet-type aircraft from Ukraine. Slobodna Dalmacija on 10 October quoted opposition politician Josip Manolic as saying that Susak is carrying out a wholesale purge of the army command structure as well. -- Patrick Moore

    [17] FORMER BANK GOVERNOR RESIGNS FROM SERBIAN OPPOSITION COALITION.

    And things have been happening in Serbian politics, too. Dragoslav Avramovic resigned as leader of the "Zajedno" (Together) opposition coalition due to "aggravated health conditions," Nasa Borba reported on 10 October. The 76 year-old former National Bank governor and World Bank economist was considered the glue that held the four often feuding parties together. His resignation could be a serious blow to the coalition, which according to a recent opinion poll by Vreme had overtaken the ruling coalition of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic in popularity, Reuters reported on 9 November. Nasa Borba speculated that the real reasons for Avramovic's resignation were threats to obstruct his daily dialysis treatment, and pressure by Milosevic during a closed-door meeting on 9 October. -- Dukagjin Gorani

    [18] BONN AND BELGRADE SIGN AGREEMENT ON REFUGEE RETURN.

    Still in the Serbian capital, German Interior Minister Manfred Kanther and his federal Yugoslav counterpart Vukasin Jokanovic signed a refugee repatriation agreement on 10 October. According to the text, about 135,000 refugees will be expelled within the next three years, most of whom are Kosovar Albanians. The agreement has prompted protests from German human rights groups, which charge the government with sending people into dangerous situations for the sake of domestic political agendas. They argue that the ruling coalition wants to win voters back from the radical nationalist Right and to cut back government spending at the expense of the weakest.

    The same day several hundred Kosovo Albanian refugees rallied outside the Interior Ministry, holding posters that read: "Don't sent us back to the torturers!" Deutsche Welle's Albanian broadcast on 10 October carried a commentary saying that the return of refugees would aggravate tensions in Kosovo. The situation in Kosovo, meanwhile, continues to be tense. Police repression, arbitrary arrests and torture are no exception, and talks between Belgrade and the Albanians are not in sight. The OSCE mission, which Belgrade expelled in 1993, has not allowed to return; hence nobody will be able to ensure the security of the refugees. The German Interior Minister's priority, however, is that the agreement sends a signal to anyone contemplating coming to Germany, which he says is "not a country of immigration."

    Xenophobia and political opportunism -- rather than any appreciation of the situation in the successor republics of the former Yugoslavia -- are at the core of the agreement, which is only the last in a series of government measures to get rid of refugees. Already earlier this year, the federal and state interior ministers had cleared the way to allow the state authorities to start expelling refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina as of 1 October. Then on 9 October, Bavaria deported the first of 320,000 Bosnian refugees and pledged to continue with the expulsions. The state of Berlin, furthermore, said it would start sending people back to Bosnia this month. This was despite criticism from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which had called on the German authorities to postpone the expulsions until spring. The UNHCR warned that there is no suitable housing available and that expelling people on the eve of the winter would create huge problems in Bosnia.

    But criticism about the expulsions also came from within the governing coalition. The federal ombudsman for foreigners, Cornelia Schmalz-Jacobsen, also criticized the Bavarian authorities, saying they were more concerned with ensuring rapid repatriations than with the well-being of the refugees. In any event, the expulsions to Bosnia and to Kosovo take place at a time when there is no basic legal security for the refugees. The Dayton agreement is virtually a dead letter, while human rights in Kosovo are far from being addressed. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [19] SERBS ARREST THIRD SUSPECTED KOSOVAR TERRORIST.

    And evidence of this is not hard to find. Serbian police officers on 7 October arrested a third suspected terrorist in roughly one week, Reuters reported. The police claim that Idriz Haljiti participated in two bomb attacks on a police station and one on a refugee camp in Vucitrn. Police continued to search for other members of a group, believed to be the shadowy Kosovo Liberation Army. Meanwhile, Milosevic refused to receive UN human rights envoy Elizabeth Rehn, Nasa Borba reported on 8 October. The minister without portfolio in charge of minority rights, Margit Savovic, expressed "astonishment and concern" to Rehn about statements the latter made in Kosovo, when she discussed with Kosovar shadow-state President Ibrahim Rugova the option of making Kosovo an "international protectorate." -- Fabian Schmidt

    [20] ALLEGATIONS ABOUT FORCED LABOR IN SERBIAN MINES PROVEN FALSE.

    Another source of controversy regarding Kosovo has centered on charges that Muslim refugees from Srebrenica -- an ancient mining community -- have been sent to do forced labor in Trepca. The Belgrade-based Humanitarian Law Fund (HLF) sent a commission there to investigate, Nasa Borba reported on 8 October. The HLF said that it found no evidence to support the allegations, which were based on reports made by refugees in England and Germany and by the Union of Refugees and Displaced Persons of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The HLF talked to people who were identified earlier as missing people from Srebrenica, as well as to other persons. It turned out that some refugees or former citizens of Srebrenica or other Bosnians indeed were working in Trepca, but voluntarily. Some of those identified as missing by the Bosnian organization had meanwhile taken the citizenship of federal Yugoslavia. A commission of the International Red Cross also visited the mining center and found no evidence to substantiate the earlier reports. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [21] SLOVENIAN PRESIDENT SAYS ALL EX-YUGOSLAV REPUBLICS SHARE SUCCESSION EQUALLY.

    Moving well northward to "the sunny side of the Alps," Milan Kucan told the Montenegrin weekly Monitor that all six former republics have equal claim to the succession of Yugoslavia dating from 1918, Onasa reported on 10 October. He thus challenged Serbia-Montenegro's claim to the sole right of succession under the name Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and hence to the former country's shared wealth and assets. Kucan noted that Slovenia had paid huge sums of money for the JNA, which were then put to "woefully wrongful, unfortunate, and tragic purposes." Yugoslavia as a country did not enable the Slovenes to "secure their vital interests as a people," he added, and concluded that Slovenia's 70-year association with the other peoples of Yugoslavia could not change the fact that its strongest cultural and spiritual ties are with Central Europe and not with the Balkans. -- Patrick Moore

    [22] MACEDONIAN DEFENSE MINISTER VISITS BELGRADE.

    But back in the Balkans, Blagoje Handziski met with his federal Yugoslav counterpart Pavle Bulatovic in Nis on 8 October, Nasa Borba reported. The defense ministers were accompanied by high-ranking military delegations. They agreed to quickly resolve open border disputes and exchange military attaches. JNA pensions were also on the agenda. MILS, however, indicated that both sides also discussed a Macedonian request for some of the military equipment that Belgrade is obliged to destroy according to the Dayton agreement. Serbian capacities for arms destruction are limited to one factory in Smederevo and observers doubt that Belgrade will be able to fulfill its obligations, Beta reported. It is widely rumored that Belgrade is trying to sell off some of the hardware in the meantime (see ). -- Fabian Schmidt

    [23] GREEK-MACEDONIAN TALKS ENTER 'KEY PHASE.'

    The meeting between the Greek and Macedonian UN ambassadors -- Christos Zacharakis and Ivan Tosevski -- on 7 October in New York prompted Nova Makedonija and Kathimerini to write on 9 October that talks on Macedonia's name had entered a "key phase." MILS reported that Zacharakis proposed several composite names including the term Macedonia, such as New Macedonia and Republic of Macedonia--Skopje. Tosevski did not comment on the report. Ta Nea reported that Tosevski made no proposals and that Zacharakis demanded that the process be speeded up since "conditions are good for finding a solution." The Greek daily commented that the most Greece is likely to get is that Macedonia would be referred to as New Macedonia in the UN, a second name would be established for internal use, and Greece would chose a third name for bilateral communication. -- Stefan Krause

    [24] GREECE STRENGTHENS POLICE FORCES IN FIGHT AGAINST ALBANIAN PIRATES.

    Moving to the Adriatic, Greece will deploy a special police force to fight groups of marauding boat thieves operating between Albania and Corfu, the International Herald Tribune reported on 1 October. The Albanian pirates are held responsible for numerous armed attacks, including the murder of a British yachtsman in late September. Parts of Corfu have been plagued in recent months by Albanians crossing the straits that are less than four kilometers wide. They have been robbing luxury yachts and have smuggled illegal immigrants to Greece. The Corfu Channel was a key confrontation point early in the Cold War but has recently become an area of increased tourism on both sides. -- 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.


    Open Media Research Institute: Pursuing Balkan Peace Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    pbp2html v1.01 run on Tuesday, 15 October 1996 - 12:39:16