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Chronology for Serbs in Macedonia

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Serbs in Macedonia, 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/469f38b8c.html [accessed 26 October 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date(s) Item
Sep 8, 1991 Macedonia's Serbs boycott the national referendum on Macedonian independence.
Sep 12, 1991 Officials of the Serbian National Resistance party inform journalists that their volunteers will shortly move into Macedonia. The party opposes Macedonian independence.
Nov 25, 1991 Serbia's Deputy Prime Minister Budimir Kosutic vows to protect the rights of Serbs living in Macedonia.
Dec 20, 1991 There are several press reports that ethnic Serbs in Macedonia have threatened to take up arms if Macedonia makes good on its pledge to seek independence.
Feb 6, 1992 The Association of Serbs and Montenegrins in Macedonia (ASMM) threatens to stage protest rallies throughout Macedonia in protest against Macedonian independence.
Feb 9, 1992 About 3,000 Serbs protest against Macedonian independence in Skopje. Representatives of the Democratic Party of Serbs in Macedonia (DPS) and of the ASMM address the rally.
Feb 23, 1992 The Macedonian Interior Ministry refuses to legally register the DPS.
Mar 18, 1992 The Macedonian Interior Ministry finally agrees to register the DPS.
Apr 1, 1992 The ASMM announces that it will not tolerate that Serbs be deprived of their elementary rights to primary education in their native language and the practice of their religion.
Aug 20, 1992 Macedonia prepares a law that would expel all non-Macedonians who had been resident in the republic for less than 10 years. (No information is available on the eventual disposition of this proposed law.)
Oct 1992 Serbian youths clash with Macedonian police when a Serb youth is conscripted into the Macedonian army.
Oct 1992 Serbian groups in Macedonia claim that Macedonian authorities are slowly institutionalizing anti-Serbianism and demand protection for Serbian Human rights.
Jan 1, 1993 Police break up a crowd of 200 pro-Serbian protestors in a village in Macedonia. The following day about 150 protesters shout "this is Serbia" outside the village's police station. Several injuries that occur in the protest result in a lawsuit against Macedonia's Interior Minister.
Jan 15, 1993 Serbs in Macedonia threaten to call in help from Serbia unless they are given greater protection and rights.
Jan 15, 1993 About 500 Serbs demonstrate to demand better treatment in the village of Kuceviste.
May 25, 1993 Ethnic Albanians (who are Muslims) attempt to pressure all Christians, including Serbs, to leave the ethnically mixed village of Aracinovo.
Jun 17, 1993 The city commission of the ASMM in Skopje rejects a draft of an agreement between Macedonia and Serbia on the regulation of the Serb minority in Macedonia. The Macedonian Serbs feel that the only way to resolve the problem is to include them in the constitution as have been other national communities in Macedonia. The ASMM also accuses the Macedonian government of trying to gradually strip the members of the Serbian community of their identity and to assimilate them into the Macedonian majority of the new state.
Jun 24, 1993 Serbs are upset at having only one member on Macedonia's new Council on Inter-Ethnic Relations unlike other national groups who have two members each.
Jun 27, 1993 At a national meeting, the ASMM demands the same rights and freedoms as those enjoyed by other national communities. They also demand schools, churches and media in their native language. In addition, they agree that their representative on the Council on Inter-Ethnic Relations will not "participate in the actions of that body until the Serb people are included in the new constitution and until [the Serbs] obtain two seats on the council."
Jul 1993 US peacekeeping troops begin to arrive in Macedonia in order to prevent the ethnic strife taking place in other parts of the former Yugoslavia from spreading to Macedonia.
Jul 2, 1993 The Macedonian government and a Serb representative agree that not later than six months from now the government will set in motion a procedure to change the constitution to include recognition for the rights of Serbs. An agreement in principle is also reached to provide primary and secondary education in their mother tongue. The Macedonian government also agrees in principle to help protect Serb cultural heritage and to assist Serb cultural organizations and institutions.
Jul 31, 1993 A Macedonian paper introduced a weekend supplement in the Serbian language.
Oct 25, 1993 Macedonian Serbs complain that a recent incident in which priests from the Serbian Orthodox Church from Serbia were denied entry to Macedonia is part of a Macedonian effort to assimilate its Serbs.
Jan 1994 Two Serbian Orthodox priests are expelled from Macedonia for "conducting rites in several villages without the permission of the Macedonian Orthodox Church and the Macedonian Ministry of Internal Affairs."
Jan 12, 1994 Helsinki Watch condemns Macedonia for its treatment of its minorities including Serbs. However, the group notes that the problem is "a legacy from earlier times" and that Macedonia appears to be working out the problem. Areas of discrimination include language, employment and education.
Jan 31, 1994 The Democratic Alliance of Serbs in Macedonia (DAS) splits off from the DPS.
Mar 3, 1994 Macedonian TV begins a 30 minute news program in the Serbian language.
Apr 28, 1994 The DAS asks the government to help finance a newspaper in the Serbian language.
May 21, 1994 The Association of Serbs from the Kumanovo-Peinski area in northern Macedonia accuses members of the Macedonian police of repression and harassment of citizens of Serbian nationality.
Jun 15, 1994 Macedonia denies entry to two Serbian Orthodox priests.
Jun 27, 1994 The Macedonian Council for Inter-Ethnic Relations adopts a proposal to grant Serbs in Macedonia the same constitutional status as all other minorities. (However, this proposal is meaningless until the constitution is actually changed.)
Jul 5, 1994 The DAS calls a Macedonian ban on Serb publications (from Serbia) a violation of the rights of the Serbian national minority.
Sep 15, 1994 The DEC decides to boycott the upcoming October 16 elections in Macedonia because the electoral laws discriminate against minority nationalities.
Sep 26, 1994 The DPS is one of five parties that decide to enter the upcoming October 16 elections on a joint ticket called the Progressive Democratic Left Wing of Macedonia.
Oct 10, 1994 Yugoslavia warns the Macedonians to respect the rights of its ethnic Serbs.
Mar 1995 The US Department of State reports that the Serbs, like other minority groups in Macedonia, have their political party to represent their interests. The Serbs, like some other groups however, complain of discrimination, alleging censorship of the Serb press and inability to worship freely in the Serbian Orthodox Church. The Ministry of Internal Affairs has acknowledged that it temporarily banned some important Serbian publications.(US Department of State)
Sep 14, 1995 The BBC reports that Macedonian police have ordered the DPS to remove pictures of Serbian president Milosevic and all other national heros of Serb history from the walls in their party offices. The BBC also reports that there have been other incidents of harassment of Serbian parties in Macedonia.
Nov 9, 1995 Macedonia joins the Council of Europe.
Mar 1996 The US Department of State reports that the Serb minority, alongside with other minority groups in Macedonia, have raised various allegations of human rights infringements and discrimination. Minorities complain that Macedonians have filled a disproportionate number of positions in state institutions, as well as in formerly state-owned companies. Minorities say, government promises to boost the number of minorities in these institutions have not been implemented, except for the conscript ranks of the armed forces. The Serbian community is disappointed in particular with the failure of the previous Parliament to pass a new election law providing for 20 seats to be elected by proportional representation. Despite such shortcomings, concludes the US Department of State report, access to the political process is available to all citizens.(US Departmant of State)
Apr 9, 1996 Rump Yugoslavia and Macedonia normalize their relations, signing a treaty that promises to reduce tensions in the southern Balkans.(BBC)
Mar 22, 1997 Dragisa Miletic, the chairman of the Democratic Party of the Serbs in Macedonia, blames the Macedonian authorities for having failed to provide the Serbian community in the country with equal communal rights. Miletic observes that the Serbs are not mentioned in the Macedonian constitution. He claims, Serb schools have been abolished; no papers come out in Serb language while Serb Orthodox liturgies have been banned. " The unwillingness to resolve the Serb question in Macedonia is tendentious and puzzling, Miletic says, especially because the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had recognized Macedonia under its constitutional name,".(BBC)
Mar 30, 1998 The association of the Serbs in Macedonia changes its name to the Serb community in Macedonia, its chairman Nebojsa Tomovic, says. He explains at a press conference that the name has been changed because of the reorganization and unification of Serbs in Macedonia.(BBC)
Mar 30, 1998 The chairman of the association of the Serbs in Macedonia Nebojsa Tomovic claims that the Serbs in Macedonia have been disenfranchised. He also complains that the only television which broadcasts programs in Serbian, T96 in Skopje, has not been allocated a frequency.(BBC)
May 15, 1999 A humanitarian organization is established to help Serb refugees coming to Macedonia. Boro Stojanovic, a program coordinator for the organization, says the organization which receives donations for the Serbian people, has about 10,000 members and offices in almost every Macedonian city. The coordinator complains that the International Red Cross from Geneva does not help the Serb refugees and it only helps the ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo. (Xinhua News Agency)
May 15, 1999 According to Boro Stojanovic, program coordinator for a humanitarian organization helping Serb refugees in Macedonia, 300 Serb refugees have been accommodated in Skopje. Stojanovic says that one of the organization's activities is blood-donating.(Xinhua News Agency)
May 15, 1999 Dragisha Miletic, President of the Democratic Party of the Serbs in Macedonia (DPSM) says that over 22,000 people have joined his party since NATO launched air strikes on Yugoslavia. He says that the party, which has been set up in 1991, has now 52,000 members. "We will fight NATO troops if they launch a ground war in Kosovo from Macedonian soil," Miletic warns.(Xinhua News Agency)
May 20, 1999 The Serbian villages of Mirkovci, Kuceviste and Cucer organize their own protection forces of unarmed volunteers. The villagers explain their move by saying that they have no confidence in the Macedonian authorities. The villagers complain that their villages are full of Serb refugees from Kosovo while the Macedonian authorities do not seem to care about them.(BBC)
May 30, 1999 Members of the Serbian minority together with Macedonians attend a concert given in the Macedonian capital Skopje in protest against the alliance bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. A number of pro-Serb demonstrations have been organized in Macedonia since the bombing began on March 24 mostly by Serb nationalists living in the country.(Agence France Presse)
Jun 24, 1999 The Democratic Party of the Serbs in Macedonia plan to support a meeting organized by the Macedonian Social Democratic Alliance, the largest parliamentary opposition party. The motto of the meeting is For Macedonia. The mass protest will have to question the mandate given to the present authorities who, the organizers of the meeting argue, make anti-Macedonian decisions and revive old scenarios for the division of Macedonia into eastern, Bulgarian, and western, Albanian parts. (BBC)

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