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Belgrade Media Monitoring

Compilation from Belgrade daily newspapers, prepared by editorial staff of the Voice of Kosovo and Metohia

May 31, 2001

  • Macedonian soldier killed
  • Trajkovski offers amnesty as Academy proposes land-swap
  • Mission accomplished!
  • Parliament throws out Kosovo’s constitutional framework
  • UNMIK plans dividing wall in Kosovo town
  • UNMIK denies massive Kosovo Serb influx
  • UNMIK police told to steer clear of shady bars
  • Macedonian soldier killed

    (B92, 31. 5. 2001.)

    SKOPJE, Thursday – A Macedonian soldier died this morning after the vehicle he was in ran over a mine near the village of Tanusevci. A defence ministry statement confirmed that an Army Captain was killed and two others were injured at 10am, whilst transporting supplies to their border barracks. Clashes resumed at 1pm around the villages of Slupcane, Orizare and Matejce after a relatively calm morning. (B92)

    Trajkovski offers amnesty as Academy proposes land-swap

    (B92, 31. 5. 2001.)

    SKOPJE, Thursday – Macedonia’s president has floated a proposal to amnesty ethnic Albanian rebels in the north of the country. The plan would not include the leaders of the ethnic conflict in Macedonia or those responsible for deaths and other atrocities. The plan, presented to NATO Secretary-General George Robertson yesterday, is modelled on the successful agreement in south Serbia. Western diplomats say that the proposal could be crucial in avoiding the spread of conflict throughout the Balkans. Meanwhile the Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences has rocked Skopje with a radical proposal to engineer a way out of the crisis by exchanging populations and territories with Albania. Both Macedonian and Albanian political parties have delivered a strong knee-jerk against the proposal to cede territory to Albanian in return for Albania handing over parts of its territory with a mostly Macedonian population. In the Macedonian Parliament, only the speaker, Stojan Andov, has defended the border engineering scheme, describing the Academicians as people with long-term vision. (Reuters/SRNA).

    Mission accomplished!

    (B92, 31. 5. 2001.)

    BUJANOVAC, Thursday – Yugoslav troops have made a successful return to the last remaining section of the Kosovo border zone, the Yugoslav Army chief of staff sad this afternoon. Nebojsa Pavkovic told media in Bujanovac that some police units had made slower progress than expected through populated areas but that most troops had reached their rendezvous points with KFOR soldiers. “From the military point of view the mission was accomplished once contact was established with the KFOR units,” said Pavkovic.

    Parliament throws out Kosovo’s constitutional framework

    (B92, 31. 5. 2001.)

    BELGRADE, Thursday – The Serbian Parliament has refused to accept UNMIK’s Constitutional framework for temporary self-management in Kosovo. Parliament adopted a declaration today on the situation in Kosovo, saying that K-For and UNMIK “have not provided the minimal conditions for the return of Serbs and other non-Albanian population” ahead of the November elections. The document called on the UN authorities to respect the provisions of Security Council Resolution 1244, guarantee the return of those displaced, and find out the fate of those abducted and missing since the arrival of K-For. The Party for Serbian Unity and the Serbian Radical Party did not vote for the declaration. (B92)

    UNMIK plans dividing wall in Kosovo town

    (B92, 31. 5. 2001.)

    PRISTINA, Thursday – UNMIK has confirmed plans for a ‘dividing wall’ in the conflict-ridden Kosovo town of Kosovska Mitrovica. UNMIK Spokeswoman Susan Manuel denied today that the wall was intended to divide the town, commenting, “It won’t be a Berlin wall,” no matter how it looks. K-For Spokesman Roy Brown said that a decision had not yet been reached but suggested that the initiative could help to diffuse tension in the town. Brown explained that the motive behind building a wall was to enable freedom of movement and allow police to monitor the situation either side. Kosovska Mitrovica mayor Faruk Spahija reacted angrily to the plans. The mayor described the idea as “thoughtless,” in a letter to UNMIK Head Hans Haekkerup, Deputy Head Gerhard Fischer and K-For Commander Thorstein Skiaker. “There is not a dividing wall in the world, and these have never stood the test of time,” the letter read. (FoNet)

    UNMIK denies massive Kosovo Serb influx

    (B92, 31. 5. 2001.)

    PRISTINA, Thursday – UNMIK stressed today that Kosovo Serb repatriation would be carried out slowly, denying reports that 170,000 would return to their homes by the end of the year. At the regular UNMIK press conference, spokeswoman Susan Manuel accused Albanian politicians of misrepresenting the outcome of talks within the Temporary Administrative Council on the issue of returning Serbs. Without naming names, Manuel said that the number reported was not only incorrect but was aimed at causing a storm. The spokeswoman said that the draft document of the Joint Committee for the return of Kosovo Serbs would regulate a cautious policy and would allow return only to those areas considered safe. Currently, the security of non-Albanian communities in Kosovo remains unacceptably low, Manuel judged. (B92)

    UNMIK police told to steer clear of shady bars

    (B92, 31. 5. 2001.)

    PRISTINA, Thursday – UNMIK confirmed today that international police members were forbidden to attend certain strip joints in the province. UNMIK coordinator Oleana Smironva explained that certain establishments employ what are known as ‘white slaves’ – women from Eastern Europe who become prostitutes in Kosovo and are trapped when pimps steal their passports. UNMIK has a list of such places, off limits for police members. (FoNet)

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