February 4 - February 10
Skopje, February 11th, 2001
Security and political situation
Violence against returning of the displaced persons
On February 10, one ethnic Macedonian died and another was wounded from a
planted hand grenade. The killed civilian was brother of the witness of
the murder of three policemen in Aracinovo a year ago. The hand grenade
was placed on the entry door.
According to police sources, unidentified persons set two houses on fire
in the Tetovo village of Setole populated with ethnic Macedonians. The
church in the village was also damaged. On February 5 and February 8, two
houses of ethnic Macedonians in the village of Opae were also set on fire.
The owner of the second house had previously signed an agreement for
reconstruction with the non-governmental organization Save the Children.
The EU delegation to Macedonia condemned these incidents.
On February 5, NATO ambassador to Macedonia Klaus Vollers paid a visit to
Kumanovo. The meeting with the municipality leadership was focused on the
security situation in the region and the problems in Kumanovo
municipality. Ambassador Vollers stressed that NATO is interested in swift
returning of the displaced persons to their homes. As main precondition
for this to be realized, he pointed out the police redeployment to the
Lipkovo villages. The displaced Macedonians and Serbs from the Kumanovo
villages Matejce, Opae, Ropaljce and Dumanovce refuse to return to their
homes and to sign agreements for reconstruction of their houses.
...and against security
On February 5, unidentified persons opened fire on a vehicle driven by
ethnic Macedonian on the Tetovo-Gostivar highway. One bullet hit the
driver in his leg. There was a similar incident at the Tetovo-Skopje
incident in which no one was injured.
Plan for police redeployment continues
After several day-long blockades, the ethnically mixed police patrols
entered in the Tetovo villages Ciflik and Larce on February 4. The police
is still prevented from entering in the Tetovo village of Radusa.
Members of the rapid reactions unit "Lions" started to withdraw from the
Tetovo villages Zilce and Ratae on February 6. They are being replaced
with other police units. The replacement was carried out in accordance
with the Plan for police redeployment to the crisis regions.
Four out of six persons arrested near Trebos released.
Six persons who were arrested near the village of Trebos on November
11 last year have been released. Three members of the Macedonian security
forces were murdered in the incident that happened near Trebos. The Court
Council dropped the charges for the first criminal case "joining for
hostility activity," however they were found guilty for illegal possession
of weapons. The court cancelled the detention measure to four of these
persons on February 5. The other two are still in detention due to other
The Macedonian government will ask for continuation of the NATO mandate
in the country.
At the session held on February 5, the government decided to ask
from Brussels continuation of the NATO mission "Amber Fox" for another
three months, with possibility for another continuation of six months.
Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski handed over this request to
NATO Secretary General George Robertson during his visit to the country.
First meeting of the working group for the law for amnesty held. On
February 6, the working group in charge of development of the draft-law
for amnesty held its first meeting. This working group was established by
the Minister of Justice, Ixhet Memeti. The Law on amnesty would cover not
only the NLA members who laid down their arms by September 26, but also
those who deserted and those who ignored the draft-invitations during the
conflict. Besides representatives of the ministry of justice, the working
group also includes representatives of EU, OSCE NATO and the U.S. Embassy.
Course for swift intervention units started.
On January 14, the training course for instructors for the swift
reaction units started in the Stip garrison. The course is due to be
completed by February 22. The course is attended by 38 officers of the
Macedonian army and police. The training is carried out by teams from
Great Britain and the Macedonian Army Command. The Albanian language daily
"Fakti" reported that the British instructors train a single-ethnic
police. Deputy minister of interior Refet Elmazi said that the talks that
are led refer to inclusion of the Albanians in the regular police only.