13 - 19 August 2001

Skopje, August 20th

Security condition

Unstable truce, no major incidents.

Incidents in the Tetovo and Jazhince region. The Ministry of Defense announced that on August 13, the day of signing the frame agreement, the extremists in the Tetovo region violated the truce. They aimed at the positions of the security forces on Popova Shapka, Belovishte and Vratnica. The extremists fired from their positions in the higher Shar Planina and Shipkovica regions, and near Tetovo, as well as from Poroy and Odri. In the village Belovishte a citizen, an ethnic Macedonian, was injured from a granade. Three houses belonging to ethnic Macedonians were incinerated in Leshok. Furthermore, the Macedonian-American textile factory "Matex" was burned to the ground, where 250 citizens from the nearby villages had worked. The Tetovo-Jazhince road is not safe to travel.

A murdered police officer. During the attack on a police position on Augustt 16, near the Tetovo barracks a sniper shot spelled the death of a member of the security forces. Contradictory information. The media in Albanian say that the truce had been violated by the Macedonian security forces and they have contrary reports on the incidents. A tortured priest. On the Tetovo-Jazhince road an orthodox priest (an ethnic Macedonian), who served in the villages in the Vratnica township, was kidnapped and tortured by the extremists in the village of Odri. He was afflicted with heavy corporal damage and has been hospitalized in Skopje. Fighting in Radusha. Unofficial sources confirm of fighting in the Radusha region in the period 16-18 August, of which there is no information in any media whatsoever.

Preparations for "Indispensable Harvest". NATO experts in Macedonia. A group of 15 military NATO experts, who will try to support the ceasefire, have arrived in Macedonia on August 14. Before disposing alliance troups in Macedonia it is necessary to sign a technical agreement with the so-called NLA to voluntarily surrender their arms, and the disarmament process will proceed on a parallel with the ratification of the political consensus in the Parliament. In the NATO mission "Indispensable Harvest" 3,500 soldiers will be involved, with a mandate lasting for thirty days in order to gather the extremists' weapons.

The first soldiers from the operation "Indispensable Harvest" have arrived. The first of the NATO forces that are to take participation in the extremists' disarmament operation have arrived in Skopje. An advance guard of 120 Czech soldiers has arrived, and they will secure and protect the headquarters, which will estimate the field. Fifty British soldiers have arrived as well. The decision for disposing alliance troops in Macedonia has been put off. The NATO Council on August 17 postponed the decision whether to dispose all 3,500 soldiers to collect arms during this week.

Contradictory claims for nine casualties from Ljuboten. Two members of the Macedonian Parliament, ethnic Albanians, regarding the nine casualties from the village Ljuboten on August 12 say that they have been killed by the police reserve force from the adjacent village Ljubanci (this is the birthplace of two soldiers that were killed immediately before that in a mine incident on August 10). The OSCE mission confirmed that a certain number of bodies have been discovered. Police sources say that the extremists sometimes disguise as civilians. The representatives of the district attorney and the investigating judge have not been allowed by the villagers of Ljuboten to perform an investigation and identify the casualties.

Blocked border passage to Kosovo. About one hundred Macedonians from the Tetovo villages of Leshok, Tearce and Neproshteno, organized by the World Macedonian Congress (WMC), block the border passage to Kosovo ever since August 18. Vehicles belonging to the Macedonian Army and Police, as well as emergency hospital vehicles are allowed to pass only. All vehicles of international organizations are forbidden to enter or exit Macedonia. Some displaced persons from the Tetovo villages already dissociate themselves from this kind of protesting.

Political situation

Peace agreement signed. President Boris Trajkovski and the leaders of the four political parties involved in the dialogue have signed the frame agreement for constitution alterations in the presidential residence at Vodno. The document was signed as well by the two special emissaries of the USA and the EU, James Perdue and Francoas Leotare. The ratification was attended by the NATO Secretary General George Robertson, the high representative for common security policy of the EU, Javier Solana, the current chairman of the Union, the chief of Belgian diplomacy Louis Michelle, as well as the OSCE chairman Mirchea Joana. The document ratification was welcomed by all domestic and foreign relevant factors.

Signed agreement for disarmament of the so-called NLA. On August 14 in Shipkovica an agreement for the disarmament of the so-called NLA was signed by the political leader Ali Ahmeti and the NATO representative Piter Faith. The so-called NLA agrees to demobilize in 30 days, and to surrender weapons and uniforms to the NATO forces or to KFOR.

Extremist Amnesty. President Boris Trajkovski on June 15 announced a notification of the intention to pardon members of the so-called NLA that will voluntarily surrender their arms and who have not committed crimes.

Phases of implementation of the constitution alterations. The implementation of the frame agreement in the Parliament will proceed in three stages, parallel with the extremists' disarmament by NATO. The first stage is that the President lodges a proposal (August 15) to the Parliament for the commencement of constitution alterations, which parliament bodies are to view within 15 days. After a third of the weapons are collected, the Parliament chairman will call a session (set for August 31) to bring a decision to approach constitution alterations with two thirds majority from the overall number of parliament representatives. The second stage proposes setting draft amendments, probably by experts of the President, but after NATO collects two thirds of the so-called NLA's weapons. The concluding stage for adopting the amendments will come to life after the Parliament Chairman receives a confirmation from the President that all of the so-called NLA'a weapons have been seized and disbanded.

MRTV with no information broadcasts in Albanian.
The abortion of the information broadcasting programs in Albanian on MRTV is still on ever since August 8. The Albanian does not accept that programs have to be approved by the editor in chief of MTV.

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