24 - 30 September 2001

Skopje, October 1st, 2001

Security situation

Incident at the Rasce spring.
At September 24 the Ministry of Defense announced that members of the Macedonian army shot a 71 year old person, an ethnic Albanian, who, along with another person, did not stop after being warned by the soldiers not to approach the checkpoint securing the Rasce Spring.
Withdrawn heavy weapons. The Army of the Republic of Macedonia on September 25 withdrew the heavy weapons from the Tetovo Kale and the top of the hill Baltepe. For almost a month there were barricades by the citizens of these Tetovo inhabited areas, who were thwarting the withdrawal.

A convoy with displaced persons to Matejce and Lipkovo.
On September 28 a convoy was organized for the displaced persons, ethnic Macedonians and Serbs, visiting the village Matejce. Also, a convoy with displaced ethnic Albanians was visiting the village Lipkovo.

Borderline incident.
On September 27, in the borderline area of the watchtower "Spas" near Debar, there was an incident in which an ethnic Albanian was killed. After the warnings by the borderline patrol, since the vehicle was moving on a prohibited way, the ARM patrol opened fire, thus afflicting two persons with heavy injuries, one of which succumbed to them. All four people in the vehicle are citizens of the Republic of Macedonia.

Political situation

Established draft-amendments to the Constitution.
On September 24 the representatives in the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia (RM), established all 15 draft-amendments for changing the Constitution. The Seventh amendment, which refers to the religious communities, was voted for again and received 65 votes. Since September 24, during a period of ten days there is a public debate regarding the draft-text. Citizens, political parties, citizen associations, bodies and organizations, address their remarks and suggestions to the proposer of the amendments, the President of the State and to the Commission for Constitutional issues of the RM Assembly. The Constitutional issues commission is obligated to follow and summarize the public debate, to prepare a report for the results from the public debate and to submit it to the proposer and the Assembly. The proposer - the President of the State prepares the text for the proposal of the amendments and submits it to the Assembly. On September 27 the Assembly session was resumed regarding the announcement of a referendum about the changes of the Constitution.

The "Indispensable Harvest" mission has ended.
The NATO task force "Indispensable Harvest" on September 25 ended collecting the voluntarily surrendered weapons on behalf of the members of the so-called NLA. A total of 3,875 pieces of weaponry and 397,625 pieces of ammunition, explosives and mines were collected. The commander of the task force General Gunar Lange informed the State's President, Mr. Boris Trajkovski, about the completed mission. The task force started withdrawing from Macedonia on September 27.

Visit of the NATO general secretary Robertson to Macedonia.
During George Robertson's visit to Skopje he conveyed the plan of the countries members of the Alliance for a new mission in Macedonia numbering 700 soldiers and lasting three to six months. The new NATO mission in Macedonia is called "Amber Fox". The mission will be led by Germany. At the talks with the Macedonian leaders the issue was raised for the amnesty of the members of the so-called NLA. The RM Government passed a decision to deploy NATO "Amber Fox" forces on the territory of the country.

The training of the first Albanian policemen commenced.
On September 24, in the center for staff training in Idrizovo, the training began of 100 policemen, ethnic Albanians, by American instructors. As the Albanian language newspaper "Fakti" reports, Albanian candidates met with provocation by Macedonian police force members. Otherwise, this training is provided for with the Frame Agreement.

A press conference of the ex-so-called NLA leader.
The former political leader of the so-called NLA Ali Ahmeti held a press conference in the village Sipkovica, where he informed that the so-called NLA had been disbanded, and its former members are now common citizens.

The session for passing the amendments is scheduled.
The President of the RM Assembly, Stojan Andov, announced that the session for adopting the amendments for changing the Constitution is possible to be scheduled on October 5.

New OSCE monitors in Macedonia.
The Permanent OSCE Council, on September 29 in Vienna, brought a decision for augmenting its mission in Macedonia with additional 159 persons, who are to join the existing 51 representatives that are in the country.

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