August - 2 September
Seven civilians set free; new
On the 27th of August, in the Tetovo region, seven kidnapped ethnic Macedonian
civilians had been set free. Six of them are from Lesok, while one is
from Skopje; they all have been transferred to Skopje thanks to the ICRC.
Two ethnic Macedonian villagers have been kidnapped from villages Stence
and Beloviste on the 31st of August. An ethnic Albanian kidnapped. The
Coordination Crises Management Body condemned the kidnapping of an ethnic
Albanian from Neprosteno, in order to provoke the release of three ethnic
Macedonians from Celopek. According to the Albanian newspaper "Fakti",
two uniformed persons kidnapped him while he was on duty, in the "Vero"
supermarket in Tetovo.
The retreat of Macedonian Army's heavy armament
On the 27th of August, ethnic Macedonians from the Koltuk town district
in Tetovo and in front of Brvenica village, became a human shield, obstructing
the retreat of the Macedonian Army's heavy artillery. They did so because
the area is insecure, and because of possible infiltration of the extremists.
Additional six explosions in Skopje.
On the 29th of August, a bomb went off near the "Lirija" school,
however not causing any material damage. On the 20th of August in Skopje
and Tetovo, two bombs exploded in ethnic - Albanian owned buildings. One
of the Albanians is an MP in the Parliament of The Republic of Macedonia.
The explosions caused material damage, while two workers were injured
in Tetovo. Two hand grenades exploded in the yard of a house and an automobile
saloon on the 2nd of September. A Molotov cocktail was hurled at a tee
shop, completely devastating the object. All of the aforementioned explosions
happened in the North-western part of Skopje, a mixed ethnic community.
The border with Yugoslavia blocked.
Organized by the Macedonian World Congress, the displaced ethnic Macedonians
from Matejce and Opaje villages of the Kumanovo region, blocked the border
crossing of Tabanovce, bordering Yugoslavia. The demonstrators do not
allow the NATO convoy and the other trucks heading to Kosovo. On the 2nd
of August After talking to the president of the Coordination Crises Management
Body, only the displaced people left the blockade, leaving the supporters
of the Macedonian World Congress. The blockade of the Blace border crossing
from the 18th of August, is still active. Only the personnel of the ICRC
is allowed to go pass the border.
Road blocked with barricades.
On the 31st of August, the Coordination Crises Management Body, put the
displaced people from Neprosteno, Lesok and Tearce into a convoy of six
busses and 30 vehicles. The ethnic Albanian population from Ciglana and
Drenovec 1 town districts in Tetovo prevented the convoy from returning
to Skopje. They demanded the release of two imprisoned Albanians from
Dobroste and the removal of the police checkpoint located in the stadium.
As a response, the ethnic Macedonian inhabitants set barricades on the
entrance of Drenovec town district. The convoy was allowed to proceed
after the talks between the officials of the Coordination body and the
The first stage of operation
"Essential Harvest" is completed.
On the 27th of August, in the checkpoint in Otlja village, the weapons
started to be resigned by the NLA troops. The weaponry has been also collected
from another two checkpoints, the one in Brodec, in the area of Tetovo,
and the one in Tanusa, in the vicinity of Gostivar. Three MPs from the
Macedonian Parliament have supervised the operation. According to major
Johnson of the special forces of operation "Essential Harvest",
the first stage of weapons collecting has been completed. One third, or
1400 (out of the 3300 planned) pieces of the NLA weaponry has been collected.
The operation will continue this week. On the 29th of August, the Bundestag
of the Federal Republic of Germany decided to send 500 soldiers in Macedonia,
as a part of the NATO operation. In this moment, there are 4800 NATO soldiers
from 13 different countries in Macedonia. George Robertson, NATO's Secretary
General, visited Macedonia, and went to the Krivolak proving ground, where
part of the weaponry is to be destroyed.
The Constitutional law expert Badenter in Skopje.
The French Constitutional law expert, Robert Badenter, visited Macedonia
on the 29th of August, where he met the coordinators of the Parliament
delegates' groups of the Republic of Macedonia. He said that the Framework
Arrangement that anticipates Constitutional amendments encapsulates the
basic principles that he postulated, and they are a predominant feature
in the Constitution. Special emphasis has been given to implementing local
democracy, the double-vote system that protects the rights of the community
members, the principle of no discrimination, as well as equal engagement
in institutions of the state.
The Parliamentary discussion for accepting amendments
to the Constitution has begun.
On the 30th of August, President Boris Trajkovski informed the Speaker
of the Parliament that one third of the weapons of the NLA has been collected.
The Parliamentary session on the 31st of August was postponed because
of the obstruction of its entrance, organized by the MAAK- Unique Macedonian
Option Party and a number of displaced people from the Tetovo vicinity.
The protests were organized to prevent amendments of the Constitution.
On the 1st of September, the Speaker of the Parliament decided to end
the session, saying that the normal procedures cannot proceed while the
Tetovo-Jazince road has been blocked. After speaking to the President
of State and the foreign diplomats Leotard and Pardew, the Speaker decided
that the Parliamentary session will continue on the 3rd of September.
Budget readjustment accepted.
The Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia accepted this year's budget
readjustment. The new sum is 2,36 billion DM. The major difference between
the previous and the current budget is that 143 million DM, coming from
the privatization of the Telekom, as well as additional 437 million DM
for the police and the Army have been added to it. 256 million DM revenue
from the privatization of Telekom, 20 million DM donated from abroad,
146 million DM as foreign credits and 184 million DM from the National
Bank of Macedonia deposits will be utilized to cover the deficit.