- 23 September
Skopje, September 24th , 2001
Critical situation in the Tetovo region.
According to police and Army sources, a group of several hundred extremists
blocked the road near the village of Semsevo and mined the bridge connecting
Semsevo and Siricino. The two villages, Ratae and Zilce, where police
and Army units are present, are cut off and food aid cannot be distributed
to these two villages. According to NATO, the armed incidents in the villages
of Ratae and Zilce were provoked by the Macedonian security forces. The
Albanian language newspaper "Fakti" reported that two inhabitants
were wounded during the shelling of the village of Semsevo, on September
Police reserve units withdrawn from Ratae and Zilce.
According to the decision of the Security Council
of the Republic of Macedonia from September 20, the police reserve units
were withdrawn from Ratae and Zilce and were substituted by Army and active
police units. Previously, on September 18, the villagers, ethnic Macedonians,
blocked the exit of the village preventing the police reserve units to
withdraw. The blockades in Ratae and Zilce were removed after the blockade
near Semsevo had been removed.
NLA controls the traffic on the Tetovo - Gostivar highway.
Macedonian language media report that over night
NLA members carry out controls on the Tetovo - Gostivar highway. Extremists
control vehicles, search the passengers and pay up fines.
Petrol station destroyed with explosive.
On September 20, the "7 brothers" petrol
station, which is located on the Tetovo - Skopje highway, was destroyed
with explosive. The damages are assessed to 2 mil. German Marks. A police
check point was located at the petrol station, but it was withdrawn on
New bomb attacks in Skopje.
On September 21, in an ethnically mixed settlement
in Skopje, an explosive device set next to the fence of the Pensioners'
Home broke the windows of nine cars. On September 23, in the Old Skopje
Bazaar, a bomb "kasikara" exploded in front of an exchange office
and caused great material damage. Six shops and two cars were damaged.
New Chief-of-Staff of ARM.
The President of the country, Boris Trajkovski, as supreme commander of
the armed forces, appointed general Metodi Stamboliski new Chief-of-Staff.
General Stamboliski was Deputy Chief-of-Staff before the appointment.
Displaced persons convoy in Matejce.
On September 21, convoy of about 80 inhabitants from Matejce and the surrounding
villages from the Lipkovo area, representatives of the local self-government,
of the Coordination Body for Crises Management and numerous journalists,
visited the monastery "Holy Mother of God" in Matejce on the
occasion of the traditional Christian holiday. The security was guaranteed
by one of the commanders of the NLA.
Eight persons detained in connection with the death of the British
The Internal Affairs Secretariat in Skopje discovered and detained eight
persons, including four minors, suspected for being in connection with
the death of the British soldier near Skopje on the 26th of August, when
his vehicle was stoned.
Police patrol attacked.
Ministry of Interior informed that NLA members had attacked a police patrol
of the Internal Affairs Secretariat - Gostivar on the Tetovo - Gostivar
highway on September 22. There were no casualties. Inspection on site
was carried out by representatives of OSCE and NATO, as well.
Session of the Constitutional Commission.
Members of the Constitutional Commission discussed the text of the draft
amendments, prepared by expert teams of the Commission and the President
Trajkovski. The Constitutional Commission concluded that the text of the
draft amendments was in accordance with the Decision of the Parliament
to start the procedure for changes to the Constitution.
Session of the Parliament of RM.
Session of the Parliament of RM was held on September 17. Members of Parliament
discussed the proposal for a referendum to be held, on which the citizens
could decide whether they accept the proposed constitutional changes,
anticipated within the Framework Agreement. This discussion was the second
item on the agenda, the first being reserved for the discussion on the
draft-Declaration condemning the acts of terrorism in the United States.
Members of Parliament of the Albanian parties stated they would vote for
the Declaration only if Macedonia was not mentioned in it. On September
18, the Parliament started the discussion on the issue of referendum,
but the session was suspended. On September 19, the session of the Parliament
on the draft amendments was postponed due to lack of required number of
MPs. The session was not attended by most of the MPs of VMRO-DPMNE, the
Democratic Alternative, VMRO-VMRO and Nova demokratija. The 83rd session
continued on September 20, but it was suspended.
Several amendments determined.
The Parliament determined several amendments at
its 85th session: amendment 4 on the change of the Constitutional Preamble,
amendment 5 on the use of the languages. Amendment 7 on the religious
communities did not win the necessary 61 votes. The President of the Parliament
announced at a press conference on September 22 that there might be another
voting on amendment 7.
Request for new NATO mission in Macedonia.
The Macedonian Government has submitted a request to NATO for a new mission
of the Alliance in Macedonia, with an objective to provide for the safety
of the monitors of OSCE and EU. The mission would have limited mandate
First shipment of destroyed weapons on the way to Greece.
On September 17, the first two trucks loaded with destroyed weapons handed
over by the members of NLA to the Task Force "Harvest". The
loads contained pieces of 1.210 weapons, which will be melted in a steel
factory near Athens.
The third phase of operation "Essential Harvest" started.
On September 20, a weapons collection point was re-established in the
village of Radusa, which signed the beginning of the third phase of the
operation "Essential Harvest". NATO's spokesman in Macedonia,
Berry Johnson, did not specify the number of collected weapons. The third
phase continued in the village of Otlja, Kumanovo, where a larger amount
of weapons was collected, but, again, there were no official information
on the numbers. The third weapons collection point will be established
in the region of Tetovo on September 24.