Articles and Information Links:
The Crisis in Macedonia




New Twist in "Terrorist" Shooting Saga Seven so-called terrorists killed by Macedonian police appear to have been workers trying to reach Athens to get jobs at the Olympic Games. Media suspicions were aroused by the fact that the interior ministry altered its version of events several times. By Saso Ordanoski, IWPR, June 12, 2002

Macedonia: Members Of Disbanded UCK Look Back At Last Year's Fighting Eight months after ethnic Albanian insurgents laid down their weapons and ended a revolt against Macedonian authorities, the former rebels of the National Liberation Army (UCK) have returned to civilian life. Their former commanders, meanwhile, are using political means to pursue their goals of making Macedonia a civil society with equal rights for all. In a matter of months, with relatively few casualties, the UCK won what ethnic Albanian politicians had failed to achieve in a decade: an agreement signed by Macedonia's main political parties to institute constitutional and legal changes to ensure full and equal rights for Macedonia's Albanian community. It also secured an amnesty for all combatants in the seven months of fighting -- both Albanians and Macedonians. By Jolyon Naegele, RFE/RL, April 17, 2002

Albanians Get Better Status in Amended Constitution The Macedonian parliament adopted constitutional changes that improve the position of the restive Albanian minority and are aimed at removing the cause of a bloody ethnic conflict. Deutsche Presse-Agentur, November 16, 2001

Dialogue in Skopje Two leading Macedonian journalists, one Slavic and one Albanian, discuss the current situation in Macedonia. Interview by Anthony Borden, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, September 21, 2001

Letter from an Albanian-Macedonian Friend Albanians want the constitution to be changed, and recently I heard the Macedonian Ambassador [to Bosnia], who was on the radio, and he said that under no conditions will that happen because that would signify the end of the sovereignty of the republic of Macedonia. However, if there is no change I really would not be able to give a promising prediction that all the people of Macedonia will be able to live in peace and to make long-term plans for the prosperity of Macedonia as their own state.  April 14, 2001

An Optimist in Panic: An Interview with Arben Xhaferi The president of the Democratic Party of Albanians, a partner in Macedonia's ruling government coalition, explains how immediate constitutional changes are imperative for a peaceful resolution to the current crisis. By Anthony Borden, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, April 6, 2001.

The Macedonian Question: Reform or Rebellion The eruption of violence in Macedonia should be a wake-up call to the Skopje government and the international community that far-reaching reform can no longer be delayed. The government's claim that the Albanian rebellion was simply imported from Kosovo does not stand up. The unwillingness of the Macedonian government, and the Slavic majority, to support a program of genuine integration has been a major contributor to Albanian unrest. Endemic corruption, manipulated census procedures and questionable citizenship requirements have also contributed to the crisis. The Slavic majority must be ready to challenge the notion that Macedonian identity is synonymous with the Slavic population. By the International Crisis Group, April 5, 2001

Macedonia: Albanians Aim At Equality, Not Independence The Macedonian government says that ethnic Albanian militants have been fighting for a Greater Albania. A correspondent traveled across western Macedonia and found no support for the idea among ordinary Albanians. What he did find was praise for the militants for attracting the world's attention to their problems. An overwhelming majority of ethnic Albanians in Skopje and the western part of Macedonia say they want only to live in a truly multiethnic society where all residents have equal rights. By Ron Synovitz, RFE/RL, March 29, 2001

Balkan Witness - Futile Dialog Exposed Macedonia's conflict exposes the myth of fruitful inter-ethnic dialogue over the last ten years. Only political amateurs can adhere to the view that the armed clashes in the hills around Tetovo are the work of bored Kosovo Liberation Army "veterans" seeking new excitement through a small shoot-out in Macedonia. Such an interpretation overlooks a key question - if these groups are made up of a few hundred stray "Rambos", how come they've rocked this young republic to its core? By Kim Mehmeti, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, March 21, 2001.

Other Resources

Balkan Insight Published by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, a close-knit group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan program of the London-based Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. As part of that process, IWPR’s original Balkans team was entrusted with the task of taking local ownership for that program and making it sustainable, in the light of the changing realities in the region.

Albanians in Macedonia Crisis Center The site covered the ongoing situation in Macedonia with daily news updates as well as developments with human and civil rights issues. Most of the postings are from major press outlets. [No longer operating; this link is to an archive.]

International Crisis Group While Macedonia has so far avoided the kind of deadly conflict that has affected most of the rest of the Balkans, formidable obstacles - in particular the rising significance of Albanian nationalist sentiment - remain to be cleared. ICG's reports outline strategies to support the country's hazardous transition process, with a special focus in 1999 and 2000 on the fall-out from the Kosovo crisis and evolutions within the domestic political sphere.

Search for Common Ground in Macedonia  This group began work in Macedonia in 1994 to strengthen interethnic relations and help prevent violence.

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