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Voice of America, 97-03-09

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

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] ALBANIA UNREST (S ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (TIRANA)
  • [02] ALBANIA ACCORD (S) BY BARRY WOOD (TIRANA)
  • [03] ALBANIA ACCORD (L) BY BARRY WOOD (TIRANA)
  • [04] SERBIA/PROTEST (L ONLY) BY JULIA GLYN-PICKETT (BELGRADE)
  • [05] BOSNIA / COHEN (S-O) BY JOHN PITMAN (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] ALBANIA UNREST (S ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (TIRANA)

    DATE=3/9/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211147
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: AN ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT OFFER OF AMNESTY FOR ARMED PROTESTERS IN THE SOUTH EXPIRED SUNDAY MORNING, AS NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUED ON THE FORMATION OF A CARETAKER GOVERNMENT. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS FROM TIRANA.

    TEXT: NEGOTIATIONS ON THE COMPOSITION OF AN INTERIM GOVERNMENT AND THE PROCEDURES FOR NEW ELECTIONS HAVE BECOME PROTRACTED AND STRAINED. TALKS INVOLVING PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA AND THE OPPOSITION CONTINUED UNTIL EARLY SUNDAY MORNING.

    MR. BERISHA CONCEDES THE NEED FOR NEW ELECTIONS BUT, WORRIES REPORTS OF REPEATED GOVERNMENT CONCESSIONS EMBOLDEN THE ARMED PROTESTERS IN THE SOUTH. THE 48-HOUR PERIOD OF AMNESTY ENDED WITHOUT ANY GUNS BEING HANDED IN. MORE TERRITORY WAS LOST BY THE GOVERNMENT SATURDAY, AS HASTILY-FORMED MILITIA -- USING ABANDONED MILITARY VEHICLES -- MOVED INTO TERRITORY FROM WHICH THE ARMY QUICKLY WITHDREW. A WIDE STRIP OF SOUTHWESTERN ALBANIA IS CONTROLLED BY THE ARMED PROTESTERS, WHO CONTINUE TO INSIST PRESIDENT BERISHA RESIGN.

    BOTH SIDES SAY THEY WANT TO AVOID MILITARY CONFRONTATION AND HAVE A PEACEFUL OUTCOME TO THE CRISIS. AN INCREASING NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN THE SOUTH ARE FLEEING THE AREA -- MOSTLY IN BOATS WHICH ARE BEING INTERCEPTED BY THE ITALIAN NAVY. FEARING A HUGE REFUGEE INFLUX, ITALY SAYS ALL ASYLUM SEEKERS WILL BE RETURNED TO ALBANIA. (SIGNED)
    NEB / BDW / DW / WD
    09-Mar-97 6:26 AM EST (1126 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] ALBANIA ACCORD (S) BY BARRY WOOD (TIRANA)

    DATE=3/9/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211165
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: IN ALBANIA THE GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION HAVE SIGNED AN AGREEMENT THAT CALLS FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A CARETAKER GOVERNMENT AND NEW ELECTIONS WITHIN TWO MONTHS. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA ALSO EXTENDED FOR ONE WEEK THE OFFER OF AN AMNESTY TO PROTESTORS WHO TURN IN THEIR WEAPONS.

    TEXT: THE NINE POINT AGREEMENT WAS READ ON NATIONAL TELEVISION BY PRESIDENT BERISHA WITH MEMBERS OF THE OPPOSITION AT HIS SIDE. THE ACCORD WAS SIGNED AFTER TWO DAYS OF NEGOTIATIONS AIMED AT FINDING A SOLUTION TO A CRISIS THAT HAS THREATENED TO ERUPT IN CIVIL WAR.

    PRESIDENT BERISHA HAS MADE TWO SIGNIFICANT CONCESSIONS. HE HAS DROPPED HIS REFUSAL TO PERMIT THE OPPOSITION SOCIALISTS TO SERVE IN AN INTERIM GOVERNMENT. HE HAS ALSO AGREED TO HAVE A LONGER PERIOD OF CAMPAIGNING IN THE RUN UP TO NEW PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. PREVIOUSLY MR. BERISHA SAID THE ELECTIONS NEEDED TO BE HELD WITHIN 45 DAYS.

    THE ARMED PROTESTORS IN THE SOUTH HAVE BEEN CALLING FOR PRESIDENT BERISHA TO STEP DOWN AND THERE IS NO PROVISION IN THE AGREEMENT FOR HIM TO DO SO. ANALYSTS SAY IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN WHETHER THE INSURGENTS WILL ACCEPT THE GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION'S INSISTENCE THAT THEY TURN IN THEIR WEAPONS, ALMOST ALL OF WHICH WERE LOOTED FROM ARSENALS HASTILY ABANDONED BY THE POLICE AND ARMY. NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE OF THE FORMATION OF WHAT IS BEING CALLED A GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL RECONCILIATION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RAE/LWM
    09-Mar-97 3:38 PM EST (2038 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] ALBANIA ACCORD (L) BY BARRY WOOD (TIRANA)

    DATE=3/9/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211166
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: IN ALBANIA THE GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION SUNDAY REACHED AN ACCORD INTENDED TO BRING A HALT TO THE ANTI-GOVERNMENT UPRISING IN THE SOUTHWEST. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS THE ACCORD CALLS FOR THE CREATION OF A CARETAKER GOVERNMENT AND FRESH ELECTIONS.

    TEXT: THE ACCORD WAS ANNOUNCED ON NATIONAL TELEVISION BY PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA WITH OPPOSITION LEADERS AT HIS SIDE. ITS KEY PROVISIONS ARE AN EXTENSION FOR ANOTHER WEEK OF THE AMNESTY OFFER FOR PROTESTORS WHO TURN IN WEAPONS, THE CREATION OF A NATIONAL UNITY GOVERNMENT, AND THE HOLDING OF NEW ELECTIONS. IN OUTLINING THE ACCORD, PRESIDENT BERISHA SAID HE HAD MADE CONCESSIONS BECAUSE OF THE OVER RIDING NEED TO AVOID CIVIL WAR. PREVIOUSLY THE PRESIDENT REFUSED TO PERMIT THE OPPOSITION SOCIALISTS TO SERVE IN AN INTERIM GOVERNMENT AND HE INSISTED THAT ELECTIONS TAKE PLACE QUICKLY, WITHIN 45 DAYS. THE ACCORD PROVIDES THAT THE NEW PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS WILL BE SUPERVISED BY OUTSIDE OBSERVERS.

    THE ARMED PROTESTORS IN THE SOUTH HAVE BEEN INSISTING THAT PRESIDENT BERISHA STEP DOWN. THEY IGNORED THE GOVERNMENT'S EARLIER OFFER OF AMNESTY AND THERE IS NO INDICATION THAT THEY WILL ACCEPT THIS LATEST OFFER WHICH IS ENDORSED BY THE SOCIALISTS. THE NINE POINT ACCORD COMMITS THE SOCIALISTS TO ENDING THE BOYCOTT OF PARLIAMENT THEY BEGAN AFTER BADLY FLAWED NATIONAL ELECTIONS LAST MAY.

    IN THE SOUTH THE PROTESTORS GENERALLY WELCOMED THE ACCORD, REGARDING IT AS AT LEAST A PARTIAL VICTORY. BOTH THE PROTESTORS AND THE GOVERNMENT REINFORCED THEIR POSITIONS SUNDAY BUT DIRECT CLASHES WERE AVOIDED. MORE VILLAGES NEAR THE GREEK BORDER WERE TAKEN OVER BY THE PROTESTORS. AN INCREASING NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN THE SOUTH HAVE BEEN FLEEING ALBANIA BUT MOST BOATS ATTEMPTING TO REACH ITALY ARE BEING INTERCEPTED AND ITALY SAYS ASYLUM SEEKERS WILL BE RETURNED.

    ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER LAMBERTO DINI VISITED TIRANA SUNDAY NIGHT. MR. DINI MET WITH PRESIDENT BERISHA AND THE POLITICAL OPPOSITION. HE IS THE THIRD WEST EUROPEAN ENVOY TO VISIT TIRANA IN THE PAST THREE DAYS.

    THE ALBANIAN CRISIS WAS TOUCHED OFF TWO MONTHS AGO FOLLOWING THE COLLAPSE OF FRAUDULENT INVESTMENT COMPANIES WHICH WIPED UP THE SAVINGS OF TENS OF THOUSANDS OF ALBANIANS. SEVERAL OF THE PYRAMID COMPANIES HAD LINKS TO PRESIDENT BERISHA'S DEMOCRATIC PARTY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/LWM
    09-Mar-97 4:39 PM EST (2139 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] SERBIA/PROTEST (L ONLY) BY JULIA GLYN-PICKETT (BELGRADE)

    DATE=3/9/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211160
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: PEOPLE IN SERBIA RETURNED TO THE STREETS BY THE THOUSANDS SUNDAY TO MARK THE SIXTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE COUNTRY'S FIRST PRO-DEMOCRACY DEMONSTRATIONS. AS JULIA GLYN-PICKETT REPORTS FROM BELGRADE, SIX-YEARS LATER THEIR THIRST FOR CHANGE IS AS STRONG AS EVER.

    /// OPENS WITH STREET SOUNDS, WHISTLES, FADES UNDER.///

    TEXT: SUNDAY MORE THAN 50-THOUSAND PEOPLE IN BELGRADE DEMONSTRATED PEACEFULLY IN THE CITY'S CENTER. THE CROWD CHEERED AND WHISTLED SUPPORT FOR OPPOSITION LEADERS WHO CALLED FOR SERBIAN AUTHORITIES TO IMPLEMENT DEMOCRATIC REFORM AND FREE STATE-CONTROLLED MEDIA.

    SUNDAY'S PROTEST WAS STAGED ON THE SIXTH ANNIVERSARY OF BELGRADE'S FIRST PRO-DEMOCRACY DEMONSTRATIONS ON MARCH 9, 1991. THAT PROTEST ALSO CALLED FOR FREE MEDIA -- BUT ENDED VERY DIFFERENTLY.

    /// SOUND OF TANKS, FADE UNDER ///

    IN 1991 SERBIAN PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC USED TANKS TO CLEAR THE STREETS OF ANTI-GOVERNMENT DEMONSTRATORS ON WHAT MANY HERE REMEMBER AS ONE OF THE BLEAKEST DAYS IN THE RECENT HISTORY OF THEIR CITY.

    ALTHOUGH SUNDAY THE SERBIAN AUTHORITIES APPEARED MORE READY TO TOLERATE STREET PROTESTS, THE STRUGGLE FOR FREE MEDIA THAT BEGAN IN 1991 IS NOT OVER.

    IN WHAT SOME ANALYSTS HERE SEE AS AN ATTEMPT TO REBUFF INTERNATIONAL CRITICISM OF STATE-OWNED MEDIA, THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT RECENTLY APPOINTED AN AMERICAN-EDUCATED SERB, RADMILA MILENTIJEVIC, AS INFORMATION MINISTER. MINISTER MILENTIJEVIC HAS SINCE MADE CONVINCING ARGUMENTS TO THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS ABOUT MEDIA REFORM IN SERBIA, INCLUDING A PLEDGE TO ALLOW THE OPPOSITION ACCESS TO STATE-OWNED TELEVISION.

    THE OPPOSITION IS SKEPTICAL AND SAYS NOTHING HAS CHANGED.

    /// ACT IN SERB, FADES UNDER ///

    OPPOSITION LEADER VESNA PESIC TOLD DEMONSTRATORS SUNDAY, WHILE MINISTER MILENTIJEVIC WAS TRYING TO CONVINCE THE WORLD SERBIA'S MEDIA WAS FREER THAN THAT OF ANY OTHER COUNTRY, THE TRUTH IS ONE PRIVATE TELEVISION STATION WAS BEING STRANGLED. SHE SAID STATE TELEVISION WAS AS FULL OF LIES AS EVER.

    THAT PRIVATE BROADCASTER KNOWN AS B-K-T-V IS EXPECTED TO HAVE ITS TRANSMISSION RANGE REDUCED. IT COVERS 60-PERCENT OF SERBIA, BUT IS EXPECTED TO BE REDUCED TO THE CITY LIMITS OF BELGRADE IN THE NEXT 15-DAYS. LAST WEEK, STATE-OWNED RADIO-TELEVISION SERBIA, WHICH OWNS ALL TRANSMITTERS IN SERBIA, TOLD PRIVATE B-K-T-V ITS RANGE IS BEING REDUCED BECAUSE OF INTERNAL TECHNICAL REORGANIZATION.

    BUT B-K-T-V SAYS IT IS ANOTHER ATTACK ON FREE MEDIA AND THE DECISION IS AN ATTEMPT TO DEPRIVE SERBIANS OF INDEPENDENT NEWS AND INFORMATION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JGP/DW/RAE
    09-Mar-97 1:38 PM EST (1838 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] BOSNIA / COHEN (S-O) BY JOHN PITMAN (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=3/9/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211161
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: JUST BACK FROM HIS FIRST TRIP TO EUROPE AS SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, WILLIAM COHEN SAYS HE IS CONFIDENT U-S TROOPS WILL BE OUT OF BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA BY JUNE, 1998. MR. COHEN SAID HE WAS IMPRESSED BY THE PROGRESS THE FORMER ENEMIES IN BOSNIA HAVE MADE TOWARD PEACE, BUT HE EMPHASIZED IT WILL BE UP TO THEM AND THE REST OF EUROPE -- NOT THE U-S ARMY -- TO GUARANTEE THIS PEACE FOR THE LONG TERM. JOHN PITMAN REPORTS FROM WASHINGTON.

    TEXT: SECRETARY COHEN SAID HE IS SATISFIED WASHINGTON'S NATO ALLIES UNDERSTAND WHY THE U-S WANTS ITS TROOPS OUT OF BOSNIA IN 16-MONTHS. IN ADDITION TO POLITICAL CONSIDERATIONS, HE SAID THE COST OF MAINTAINING THE FORCE HAD OVERRUN ITS ORIGINAL ESTIMATES, AND IT IS UNLIKELY THE CONGRESS WILL APPROVE ADDITIONAL FUNDING.

    APPEARING ON N-B-C TELEVISION'S "MEET THE PRESS" SUNDAY, SECRETARY COHEN -- WHO IS ALSO AN AMATEUR POET -- BORROWED FROM A FORMER U-S SUPREME COURT JUSTICE TO EXPLAIN THE PRINCIPLES BEHIND THE ADMINISTRATION'S BOSNIA POLICY.

    /// COHEN ACT ///

    JUDGE LEARNED HAND ONCE MADE AN OBSERVATION. HE SAID, 'LIBERTY LIES IN THE HEARTS OF MEN AND WHEN IT DIES THERE, NO CONSTITUTION, NO LAW, NO RULE CAN HOPE TO SAVE IT. BUT AS LONG AS IT RESIDES THERE, THERE IS NO NEED FOR A CONSTITUTION OR A LAW OR A RULE.' THE SAME THING APPLIES FOR PEACE. WE CANNOT IMPOSE A PEACE. YOU CAN IMPOSE ORDER, BUT YOU CAN'T IMPOSE A PEACE. THAT HAS TO LIE IN THE HEARTS OF MEN AND WOMEN.

    /// END ACT ///

    ASKED WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF RENEWED FIGHTING ERUPTS AFTER THE DEPARTURE OF U-S TROOPS, MR. COHEN SAID NATO MIGHT RE-INVOLVE ITSELF, BUT ONLY WITH EUROPEAN SOLDIERS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RAE
    09-Mar-97 1:43 PM EST (1843 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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