February 11 - February 17 2002

Skopje, February 18th, 2001

Security and political situation

New attacks on facilities.
On February 11 in Skopje district Butel a hand grenade exploded in a store of an ethnic Albanian. Only material damage was caused. According to the owner, the store has been stoned nine times.

On February 12 on Skopje - Gostivar highway, near Klukovo location, unknown perpetuator has fired a missile from a hand mortar "Zolja" towards the motel, whose owner is ethnic Albanian. The missile did not explode. Near Zelino village, on Tetovo - Skopje highway, unknown perpetuators purposefully set fire in one restaurant. The roof of the restaurant was burned down.

Multiethnic police patrols entered into other 12 villages.
On February 11 the multiethnic police patrols continued the plan on police redeployment in the crisis areas, entering into seven villages in Tetovo area and five in Gostivar area. The police did not enter into Mala Recica due to the blockades set by the local residents, who requested the liberation of Semi Habibi, accused for the attack on the police station in Tearce in 2001 as well as dismantling of the police check point located near the cable-car. The full police control has been established in 19 villages (from total 136) in the crisis regions.

First report of the EU Commission on missing persons.
The Commission on kidnapped and other missing persons established at the end of November 2001, has completed the first phase of its work. Based on the obtained information it has concluded that 20 civilians are missing (13 ethnic Macedonian, 6 ethnic Albanian and one citizen of Bulgaria) The Commission in regard with seven of the Macedonian cases there is information that they were abducted by men in NLA uniforms. In regards with the kidnapped or missing Albanians, one was taken and interrogated by Macedonian police units before his disappearance, while two other Albanians went missing in connection with a checkpoint manned by persons in police uniforms.

Protest meeting held in Struga.
On February 16, protest meeting was held in Struga, where around 500 ethnic Albanians took part, requesting the liberation of the kidnapped Albanians from Struga region, missing since last year. The protest was organized by several non-governmental organizations and local self-governments from Struga municipality, and the representatives of political parties of PDP, DPA and NDP also participated.

Two former NLA members have been arrested and released.
On February 13, according to the daily in Albanian language "Fakti," two residents from Slupcane and Orizare villages, former members of NLA were arrested on Tabanovce border crossing. After spending several hours in the police station, they were released.

Training of second group of police officers began.
On February 12 in the Centre in Idrizovo the training of the second group of candidates for police officers, envisaged in the Framework Agreement began. The group is consisted of two sub-groups with 250 candidates out of whom 50 are Macedonians while the others are members of the other nationalities in Macedonia (150 fo them are ethnic Albanians).
Meeting of the working group on amnesty. On February 11, the meeting of the working group that develops the draft-law on amnesty was held. It was suggested the amnesty to be valid from February 12 to September 26 2001. The meeting also focused on some persons that should be amnestied.

Leaders' meeting with President Boris Trajkovski.
On February 13 a meeting was held between the leaders of the four major parties - Ljubcho Georgievski from VMRO - DPMNE, Branko Crvenkovski from SDSM, Menduh Thaci, the vice president of DPA and Abduladi Vejseli, the vice president of PDP with President Boris Trajkovski. The EU envoy Alain Le Roy and acting US Ambassador to Macedonia Lawrence Butler also attended the meeting. The meeting focused on setting the date for the elections and realizing the Framework Agreement.

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