3 - 8 July 2001

Skopje, 9th of July 2001

Security situation

Low intensity conflicts in the area of Tetovo and Tanusevci. The area of Tetovo was the centre of the last week's conflicts between the extremists and the Macedonian security forces. The conflicts are of low intensity. In Tanusevci, a Macedonian Army vehicle "Hermelin" was attacked, 1 kilometre from the army point at Tanusevci, a place where the conflicts began in March this year. One soldier lost his life (a Muslim), while the other was heavily injured.
Missing civilians. Seven ethnic Albanians, members of the Macedonian security forces are missing more than a week. Speculations are that the missing persons either deserted or were kidnapped after the reputed ultimatum from the National Liberation Army (NLA) addressed to the ethnic Albanians to abandon the Macedonian security forces. In the area of Radusa, three ethnic Albanians are missing. One of them is an US citizen.

Arrested journalists. The Macedonian security forces on the 4th of July near Rasce (the main water source for Skopje) arrested four journalists of "Fakti", a daily newspaper on Albanian language. After eight-hour arrest, the journalists were released.

Tetovo under heavy grenade fire on the day of the cease-fire ratification. On the 5th of July, around 17:00, right after the declared cease fire, the extremists in Dzepciste, Sipkovica and Gajre attacked with grenades the police and army positions in and around the city. During the few hours' conflicts, mostly by grenades, several civilian buildings were shot, and twelve civilians and two soldiers were wounded.

Protests of the displaced ethnic Macedonians. Several hundred ethnic Macedonians from the Tetovo villages of Jelosnik, Jedoarce, Varvara, Seto, Brezno and Lesok were displaced from their homes under the extremists' pressure. They asked the authorities to protect them and to provide secure return to their homes. On the 6th of July the US ambassador, Mr. Michael Einick visited Tetovo. The displaced persons wanted to meet the ambassador. After the meeting, a group of several displaced persons hit the ambassador's vehicle and whistled at him.

Cease fire agreements ratified. Two separate cease-fire agreements were signed on the 5th of July 2001. The cease-fire started on the 6th of July 2001 at midnight. The first agreement was signed between NATO and EU representative Peter Fate, and Ali Ahmeti, the political representative of NLA. The second agreement was signed between NATO and EU, and the Macedonian security forces, represented by Pande Petrovski, head of the Headquarters of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia and Risto Galevski, a general in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The ratification had positive response of all relevant political factors in the country.

Cease fire established after several hours' ignorance. Several hours after cease fire agreement officially started, the conflicts in the area of Tetovo did not stop. The extremists tried to establish control over the Tetovo suburbs and the main road from Tetovo to the Kosovo border. The next morning, on the 6th of July, the extremists retreated from the main road. Another cease-fire disruption. On the 8th of July, the extremists attacked the villages Neprosteno and Lesok. 200 inhabitants defend the village Lesok, which is with ethnic Macedonian population. The Macedonian security forces arrived in the village in the evening. NLA establishes control of territory. In some parts of Tetovo near the mountain of Sara, the extremists established control spots. On one of them (in Drenovec), the extremists did not allowed journalists of the daily newspaper "Dnevnik" to pass through.

The political situation

Political dialogue renewed. On the 4th of July, President Boris Trajkovski informed about the results of the last meeting with the political party leaders, where the special envoys Francois Leotar and James Perdue were also present. On this meeting a significant progress was made about strengthening the citizen's character of the state. The political dialogue at the President's office continues.

Another international facilitator appointed. The chairman of OSCE and chief of the Romanian diplomacy, Mircea Joana appointed Max Van Der Stull as personal representative in Macedonia, who will help in enabling the political dialogue and advising for sooner crisis resolution.

Western envoys proposed draft changes of the Constitution. The special envoys of the EU, Francois Leotar and the US, James Perdue, proposed an expert's framework for changes of the Macedonian Constitution. This draft is based upon the French constitutional law expert, Francois Badinter's proposal and the talks among the political party and international experts.
The Albanian leaders disagree with the proposed changes of the Constitution. On the 8th of July, the ethnic Albanian leaders disagreed with the proposed changes of the Constitution and offered their proposals. The ethnic Macedonian leaders did not agreed, but generally support the Western representatives' proposals.

Minority participation in the government administration improvements. The government decided to establish a commission that should work on the preparation of a programme for realization and improvement of the participation of the minorities in the government administration in Macedonia. Dzevdet Nasufi, vice president of the Government was appointed a Head of this commission.

The economic situation

According to the Minister of Finance, since the implementation of the so-called war tax on 1st of July till the end of the year, 80 millions German marks should be collected.

Other situations

On the 4th of July, the local municipality authorities took measures against illegally built houses in several villages, suburbs and in parts of Skopje and Kicevo. According to the Albanian language media, the measures were selective, only for the Albanian owners.

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