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Putting PeaceintoPractice Can Macedonia’s New Government Meet the Challenge?

16 pages, pdf
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Putting PeaceintoPractice Can Macedonia’s New Government Meet the Challenge?

Publisher: Brenda Pearson

Volume: 16 pages, pdf


In February 2001, a small group of armed ethnic Albanians took control of Tanusevci, a tiny village on the Kosovo-Macedonia border, and rejected Macedonian and international entreaties to withdraw. The insurgents identified themselves as soldiers of the National Liberation Army (NLA) and claimed to be fighting for greater political and economic rights. The Macedonian government accused them of trying to divide the country along ethnic lines with support from ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and Albania. Fighting soon spread from isolated incidences in the predominately ethnic Albanian parts of the country to within shooting distance of the capital, Skopje, pitting the ethnic Albanian insurgents against the predominately ethnic Macedonian government forces. Large swatches of territory were embroiled in the seven-month armed struggle, resulting in about 200 casualties and more than 180,000 internally displaced people (IDPs). The overall security situation in the country seriously deteriorated as areas came under NLA control; ethnically motivated riots spread to the hinterland, and the government distributed arms to ethnic Macedonian paramilitary groups and to citizens living in ethnically mixed cities.