30 July - 5 August 2001

Skopje, 6th of August 2001

Security situation

Breaking of the cease-fire and the agreement from 25th of July. One dead and one wounded policeman. On July 31, 2001, according to the police, the extremists attacked the Security Forces point at the village of Brvenica, Tetovo, and killed one police officer. One policeman was wounded by a sniper during the extremists' attack on Security Forces point in the city of Tetovo.

Blocked and searched humanitarian convoy for Vratnica. Humanitarian convoy with 40 tons of aid, organized by MCIC for the Municipality of Vratnica and escorted by EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), OSCE and NATO, was blocked on the road Tetovo - Jazince on August 4, 2001. The convoy was stopped at the entrance of the village Dobroste by 150-200 inhabitants of Dobroste, ethnic Albanians. Around twenty uniformed persons without marks and lightly armed, joined the group of civilians and searched the convoy. The blockade and the search of the convoy meant breaking of the cease-fire, because according to the cease-fire agreement from July 25, 2001, the extremists should retreat from the road Tetovo - Jazince. The convoy returned in Skopje after 3-hour talks. Armed persons entered in the village of Lesok. On August 4 2001, 4-5 armed extremists entered in the village of Lesok, although according to the agreement they should have been 500 metres away from the last house in the village.

Houses of ethnic Albanians in the area of Veles burned down. Albanian language media claimed that on August 02, five houses of ethnic Albanians have been burned down in the village of Bosilce, Municipality of Caska, Veles. Several shops of ethnic Albanians were also demolished in the city of Veles. MCIC's source confirmed that two houses and several sheepfolds in the Veles villages of Stari Grad, Dolno Vranovci and Bosilce have been burned down. These houses are mainly abandoned ethnic Macedonian villages, which are used during the summer by shepherds, ethnic Albanians. The burned houses were property of ethnic Macedonians and used by ethnic Albanians. Regarding the developments in Veles, the source denies the claims of the Albanian language media, and confirms that there has been an attempt to throw a Molotov Cocktail in a shop, which rebound off the window shop and caused no damage. In May 2001, unknown person threw Molotov Cocktail at the gate of the mosque, but the fire was soon extinguished and no damage was caused.

Appeal from the World Macedonian Congress (WMK) for boycott of the ethnic Albanians. WMK, on its eleventh General Assembly on August 4-5 2001, adopted declaration regarding the latest developments of the crisis and security situation in the country. WMK rejects the negotiations at the President among the four political parties and international intermediates. WMK does not accept any Constitution changes and appeals for boycott of all businesses, shops, restaurants and cultural manifestations related to ethnic Albanians. WMK also appealed to the Macedonian citizens for blocking the humanitarian aid for villages, where ethnic Albanians live, as a response to the blockade in Vratnica. WMK will organize blockades on the roads towards Kosovo.

The political situation

Constitution changes talks continue. The political dialogue at the President among the four political parties with intermediation of the international representatives of EU and USA, on August 1, 2001, resulted with a provisory agreement for the use of the languages of the minorities. The minorities' languages shall be in official use in all municipalities where they are more than 20% of the total number of the population in the respective municipality, under certain circumstances. Minorities can use their language on plenary sessions of the Parliament. This will be valid only if an agreement for all issues is reached.

The High representative of the EU, Javier Solana and Ukraine's Foreign Affairs Minister, Anatolij Zlenko, joined the talks in Ohrid and hope that an agreement among the four political parties will soon be reached.

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