Last Updated: Friday, 15 December 2017, 16:28 GMT

Chronology for Albanians in Macedonia

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Albanians in Macedonia, 2004, available at: [accessed 16 December 2017]
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
Feb 1, 1990 Over 2000 ethnic Albanian demonstrated in the district of Tetovo against the treatment of Albanian by the Macedonian majority. The protesters also demanded independence for regions in western Macedonia where ethnic Albanian constitute a majority.
Aug 25, 1990 Nevzat Haliii, a former professor of English and graduate from the Cyril and Methodist University in Skopje, was elected chairman of the ethnic Albanian Party for Democratic Prosperity (PDP). The party's main objectives include the attainment of proportional representation in the government of Macedonia for the ethnic Albanian minority, and furthering that communities cultural rights. Haliii Founded the PDP in 1990.
Nov 11 - Dec 12, 1990 During this month, the first free multiparty elections were conducted in Macedonia since 1938. In the three rounds of elections for Macedonia's National Assembly (Sobranie), no clear winner emerged. The ethnic Albanian Party for Democratic Prosperity-National Democratic Party (PDP-NDP) received 25 seats in the 120 seat National Assembly. The nationalist Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization-Democratic party for Macedonian National Unity (IMRO-DPMNU) gained 37 seats, and the League of Communists of Macedonia won 31 seats.
Jan 1991 In the municipality of Tetovo, Slav Macedonian municipal government deputies refused to relinquish their seats to PDP-NDP officials elected democratically in the November-December 1990 elections. The PDP-NDP won 36 seats in the Municipal Assembly of Tetovo, and the remaining 16 seats went to three different parties. By mid-January no solution had been reached on the situation. The Macedonian officials went on to operate out of the first floor of the Assembly Building, while the ethnic Albanian deputies occupied and operated out of the second floor.
Mar 29, 1991 After months of compromising on political power sharing arrangements, the National Assembly deputies finally concluded that the country should be led by a politically unaffiliated cabinet. The IMRO and PDP both voiced displeasure at the compromise. The ruling cabinet, headed by economist Nikola Kljusev, proposed to concentrate on economic matters and stabilization efforts.
Nov 20, 1991 With promulgation of a new constitution at a special session of the Sobranie, the Republic of Macedonia became an independent nation. The special session was boycotted by the PDPNDP to protest the preamble of the constitution which formally declares Macedonia to be "the national state of the Macedonian people". Formerly, under the Yugoslav constitution, the preamble defined Macedonia to be a nation of "the Macedonian people and the Albanian and Turkish minorities".
Jan 11 - 12, 1992 A referendum on autonomy was organized by ethnic Albanian throughout Macedonia. Belgrade Radio, on January 15, reported that 90% of those eligible to vote did so. The report also stated that 99% of the voters were in favor of autonomy. There were other reports that the results and effectiveness of the referendum remained uncertain. Nevertheless, the Macedonian government refused to hold as valid any results that the referendum might have reached.
Mar 31, 1992 Approximately 40,000 ethnic Albanian demonstrated in the Macedonian capital of Skopje. The Protesters demanded that the Macedonian nation should remain unrecognized by the international community until the State grants ethnic Albanian the right to autonomy in regions and villages where ethnic Albanian make up the majority.
Jun 1992 In Radoliste, a village near the Albanian border, Macedonian police reportedly found a cache of pistols, Kalashnikov assault rifles, Skorpio machine guns, explosives, ammunition, and uniforms with the Albanian emblem of a black two headed eagle. The finding further raised fears among the ethnic Macedonian population that ethnic Albanian separatists could organize a militia.
Sep 1992 Following two months of negotiations, a new government was formed to replace the ineffective "government of experts" led by Nikola Kljusev. The new government is led by a coalition of parties that includes the PDP-NDP, Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDUM, formerly the League of Communists), and Reformist Forces of Macedonia-Liberal Party (RFM-LM). President Kiro Gligorov, and Prime Minister Brank Crvenkovski wield much influence in the coalition. Nevertheless, the coalition is weak and basically exists to keep the nationalist policies of the IMRO-DPMNU from directing the country's direction.
Sep 30, 1992 Following a lecture given by Nevzat Haliii to an extremist Albanian emigre group (Bali Kombetar) at a Chicago mosque, his departing entourage came under gun fire after the break out of commotion. Two of Halili's bodyguards were killed in an incident that appeared to be an assassination attempt. However, the PDP denied any political reasons for the incident's occurrence. Haliii, the PDP chairman, was continually interrupted and antagonized during his speech. The extremist audience objected to the cooperation of the PDP with the Macedonian government.
Nov 6, 1992 Clashes between Macedonian police and ethnic Albanian in the mostly Albanian neighborhood of Bit Pazar in Skopje left four dead, and 36 ethnic Albanian and police injured. Following the disturbance, police detained 87 people. The unrest exploded when police arrested, and allegedly severely beat an ethnic Albanian youth charged with illicit dealings of cigarettes. During the unrest, over 50 shops were ransacked and several police vehicles destroyed. Gunfire was also exchanged between the Macedonian police and ethnic Albanian- The rumor of the youth's beating, which infuriated ethnic Albanian, was apparently false.
Nov 8, 1992 Following the disturbances that occurred in Skopje, the Interior Ministry announced the seizure of 2,000 leaflets calling on ethnic Albanian to wage war for the right to self-determination. The leaflets were found in three Albanian majority villages approximately 60 miles south of Skopje. They were signed by the "Ilirida Albanian youth Movement." The place of origination for the leaflets remains uncertain, and reports have explored the possibility of a Serbian link.
Nov 9, 1992 Over 20,000 ethnic Albanian participated in the funeral of three ethnic Albanian who died during the Bit Pazar riot. The men were buried in the Muslim section of Skopje's cemetery, as observers waived the Albanian flag. Although not directly present, riot police were stationed throughout the city as a precautionary move against further unrest.
Nov 10, 1992 The Sobranie approved a new citizenship law which allows ethnic Macedonians from abroad and those born in Macedonia to receive citizen status automatically. Those not fitting into these categories must live in Macedonia for 15 years before being eligible for citizenship. Further, the new law placed the status of citizenship under the full discretion of the Interior Ministry. Both changes can potentially have a negative impact on ethnic Albanian political expression by limiting their voting power.
Nov 10 - 11, 1992 Following the Bit Pazar unrest, the official Albanian news agency denounced the Macedonian police action and blamed the incident on overly aggressive police officers. Macedonia's interior Minister, Ljubomir Frckovski, charged that Muslim nations, such as Iran and Libya, were supporting ethnic Albanian separatists. These allegations of support were flatly denied by ethnic Albanian religious leaders.
Dec 18, 1992 Defense Minister Viado Popovsky announced that 700 United Nations Protection Force troops, along with 35 observers, 26 police officers, and 50 administrative personnel will be deployed in western Macedonia in January. The troops will mainly monitor the border separating Kosovo and Macedonia for any possible expansion of the conflict into Macedonia.
Feb 20 - 21, 1993 Between 500 to 1000 Macedonians demonstrated in Skopje against the building of refugee housing for displaced Muslims from the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The protestors, attempting to block the refugee housing site at the Djorce Petrov district of the city, were met by 200 riot police who dispersed the crowd with teargas. The housing site was originally planned for Macedonians returning from other parts of Yugoslavia, but the influx of over 50,000 Bosnian refugees made their settlement a priority. The demonstration was also a result of fears that Macedonia is becoming increasingly "Islamicized".
Apr 8, 1993 Macedonia, under the temporary name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, was admitted into the United Nations. The PDP-NDP boycotted the session in which the Sobranie voted to accept the temporary name. They mainly argued that Macedonia should not receive international recognition until the country's record, in respect to its ethnic Albanian minority, improves significantly. The IMRO-DPMNU, along with a large segment of the Macedonian population, also strongly objected to the temporary name because of the influence that Greece exerted on the entire international recognition issue.
Nov 10, 1993 Macedonia's Deputy Defense Minister Hisen Haskaj and Deputy Health Minister Imer Imeri, both ethnic Albanian, were arrested for alleged involvement in aiding the development of Albanian paramilitary groups. The Macedonian police also reportedly arrested several more ethnic Albanian in Tetovo and Gostivar for charges pertaining to arms trafficking and involvement with ethnic Albanian separatist paramilitary organizations. Interior Minister Ljubomir Frckovski, at a news conference, said that Deputy Defense Minister Hisen Haskaj was arrested for spying and collaborating with foreign secret services to smuggle arms into Macedonia. He stated that the operation was aimed at developing an organization called the All Albanian Army (AAA). The Interior Minister also said that plans detailing the creation of a 20,000 strong ethnic Albanian militia were also seized during the earlier arrests. The PDP claimed that the incident was a frame-up designed to legitimize further constraints on the ethnic Albanian minority. The coalition government dismissed the affair and judged it to be the work of fringe elements in Macedonia's Albanian minority.
Dec 4, 1993 The continued disagreements between hardline and moderate factions of the ethnic Albanian Party for Democratic Prosperity (PDP), culminated in the resignation of party president Nevzat Haliii, General Secretary Mithad Emini, as well as the entire party presidium. PDP radicals, led by Mendub Thaci, complained strongly that the party, as part of the ruling coalition, made too many compromises which undermined ethnic Albanian interests. The resignations, however, did not affect the PDP's parliamentary seats.
Dec 16, 1993 Germany, Britain, Denmark, and the Netherlands announced that they had initiated the process to grant Macedonia full recognition. Other European Union member followed suit and by January, 11 of the 12 European Union members had recognized the Macedonia nation.
Jan 1994 Mithad Emini, the former General Secretary of the PDP, was arrested along with nine other ethnic Albanian for alleged separatist activities. The group was charged with involvement in the AAA plot in which ethnic Albanian allegedly attempted to smuggle weapons into Macedonia in order to develop an Albanian militia.
Feb 12, 1994 At a national congress held by the PDP, the party officially splintered into two factions. A moderate faction, led by the old leaders, is determined to work within the system and achieve ethnic Albanian demands through compromise. The radical faction, led by Arber Xhaferi and Mendub Thaci, heavily criticizes the government and generally opposes government policies. The split was preceded by growth in ethnic Albanian dissatisfaction with the PDP's involvement in the coalition government.
Jun 3, 1994 Albanian President Sali Berisha met with the visiting Macedonian Parliament Speaker Stojan Andov. The leaders agreed that bilateral relations were strengthening. Berisha declared that all ethnic problems must be dealt with peacefully and constructively. Albania has aided Macedonia in its attempts to lessen the impact of a Greek trade embargo. Macedonia also sought Albania's help in its bid for membership in the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Jun 18, 1994 As tensions concerning the forthcoming July population census escalated, ethnic Albanian and Macedonian clashed in the western city of Tetovo. A Macedonian youth was stabbed fatally in the dispute. Macedonian authorities said that they placed two ethnic Albanian under arrest for the incident as they apparently tried to flee the country. The specific reasons for the disturbance were not stated.
Jul 2, 1994 The Party for Democratic Prosperity walked out of the Macedonian parliament in a show of protest against the conviction of several ethnic Albanian accused of organizing separatist paramilitary activities. The PDP denounced the convictions as a political maneuver aimed at weakening the PDP and constraining Albanian rights. Among those convicted by a Skopje court were two high level PDP members. The General Secretary of the PDP, Mithad Emini, received an eight year sentence, and the former Deputy Defense Minister Hisen Haskaj received a six year sentence.
Aug 17, 1994 The BBC reports that the PDP has announced its new aim is no longer the federalization of Macedonia but the proportional representation of Albanian in all political institutions.
Sep 8, 1994 The BBC reports that ethnic Albanian are buying ethnic Macedonians out of the Tetovo region.
Oct 1994 In 2 rounds of Parliamentary elections, ethnic Albanian win 19 seats. Some Macedonian opposition parties boycott the second round of elections due to accusations of fraud against the ruling party.
Oct 13, 1994 Reuters reports that current Albanian demands include more education and media in their own language, more representation in central and local government, an Albanian-language university and a change in the constitution to put them on equal footing with the Macedonian majority.
Oct 13, 1994 Reuters reports that the PDP has held a rally in the northern town of Kumanovo.
Nov 14, 1994 Macedonia's census shows that ethnic Albanian account for 22.9% of the country's population. The Albanian claim that the census was "irregular" and that they account for up to 40% of the population. Credible international observers dismiss these objections.
Dec 1994 The Macedonian government blocks the opening of an Albanian-language university in Tetovo declaring it illegal. They later bulldoze the building which was to house the university. Albanian complain that very few of them are able to attend the country's universities.
Dec 20, 1994 Parliament approves a new cabinet which includes 4 PDP members.
Dec 27, 1994 Macedonian police announce that they have deported hundreds of ethnic Albanian over the past 6 months. Note Throughout the period covered by this update, illegal ethnic Albanian immigrants, both from Kosovo and Albania, remain an issue. Incidents relating to this issue will not be further noted here unless otherwise noteworthy.
Jan 26, 1995 Macedonia's Ministry of Justice recognizes the Albanian language as the state's second official language.
Feb 10, 1995 Albanian Parliament members force Parliament's adjournment over the issue of ID cards that are to be printed only in Macedonian.
Feb 15, 1995 2,000 ethnic Albanian gather for the opening of Macedonia's first but illegal Albanian-language university. Police close the university within a day.
Feb 17, 1995 A man is killed in clashes between about 1,500 ethnic Albanian and Macedonian police outside the illegal Albanian-language university in Tetovo.
Feb 20, 1995 Vandals tear down 30 tombstones in a Moslem graveyard in the town of Kumanovo.
Feb 20, 1995 About ethnic Albanian 2,000 students assemble in Tirana to protest against violence against ethnic Albanian and the killing of a man in Tetovo.
Feb 23, 1995 About 2,000 Macedonian students protest outside of Parliament demanding the closure of the Albanian-language university.
Feb 27, 1995 All 19 ethnic Albanian members of PARLIAMENT withdraw from Parliament demanding the right to use the Albanian-language in Parliament and the approval of the Albanian-language university in Tetovo.
Mar 1995 The 1994 US Department of State Report on Human Rights in Macedonia reports that the following forms of discrimination against ethnic Albanian continue to exist in Macedonia limited access to Albanian-language media and education; poor representation in public sector jobs; poor representation in the police corps; poor representation in the military officer corps; denial of citizenship to many long-time ethnic Albanian residents of Macedonia as well as discrimination in the process of citizenship applications; and unfair drawing of voting districts which dilutes their voting strength.
May 1995 Several Albanian-language television and radio stations are closed by the government.
May 3, 1995 The dean of the illegal Albanian-language university is sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail for inciting the February 17 riot outside the university. Others are later sentenced to lesser sentences on similar charges.
Nov 9, 1995 Macedonia joins the Council of Europe.
Feb 14, 1996 In trying to find a solution to the issue of validity of the degrees acknowledged by the Albanian University of Tetovo in Macedonia, Fadil Sulejmani, a professor of Albanian literature and Milaim Fejziu, a professor of French, began to reach out to foreign institutions, like George Washington University, with proposals to exchange students, and eventually, faculty. The University was founded a year ago in the middle of ethnic rioting. It lacks accreditation and has been declared illegal by the Macedonian authoritries. (The New York Times)
Mar 1996 The US Department of State report on the state of human rights of the ethnic Albanian in Macedonia outlined three points which are of particular concern for this communal group. The first among them is the issue of citizenship. Ethnic Albanian political leaders charge that Ministry of Internal Affairs officials responsible for making citizenship determinations discriminate against ethnic Albanian applicants. The officials are said to make more demanding documentary requirements and to fail to act on applications expeditiously. Ethnic Albanian complain that discrimination against them in citizenship decisions effectively disenfranchises a large portion of their community. Under-representation of ethnic Albanian in police and the military is another grievance of the community. The Albanian claim that even in areas dominated by ethnic Albanian, the police force remains overwhelmingly ethnic Macedonian, while the Ministry maintains, it is very difficult to attract qualified candidates. The situation in the military is the same where the proportion of the ethnic Albanian in the ranks is estimated at 25 percent, while in the officer corps it is even lower. The Albanian-language education is another crucial issue for the Albanian community. It is important because only about a third of the community children, who receive 8 years of education in Albanian-language school go on to high school, partly because of the lack of available classes, partly because of the traditional nature of ethnic Albanian society. (US Department of State)
Jul 24, 1996 About 3,000 members of the ethnic Albanian minority demonstrated in Skopje, demanding the release of five of their leaders and permission to set up an Albanian language university in Tetovo. The demonstrators, who carry Albanian national symbols, accused the Skopje government of discriminating against the Albanian minority and asked for international support for setting up their university. This was the third protest of this kind in Macedonia in the last two weeks.(BBC)
Sep 12, 1996 Representatives of the parliamentary group of the Albanian Party for Democratic Prosperity and People's Democratic Party sent a pro-memorium to the European parliament signed by the coordinator Rahmi Tuda. They asked the European parliament to "put pressure on Macedonia to give up the nationalistic concept to create a Macedonian state, as that is contrary to the multiethnic reality of the country". (BBC)
May 1997 It was reported that the mayor of Gostivar and his ethnic Albanian supporters had taken a confrontational stand by defying a ruling in May by Macedonia's constitutional court that other countries' flags (Albanian and Turkish) should not be flown in public.(Financial Times 17 December)
Jul 22, 1997 In an effort to defuse tension in Gostivar and the nearby town of Tetovo, parliament on July 7 passed a law allowing the controversial flags to be flown outside the town hall, but only on certain Macedonian national holidays. The mayors in both towns rejected the law.(Financial Times)
Jul 22, 1997 Demands by ethnic Albanian for greater rights erupted into conflict on July 9 after the government sent in special forces to take down the Albanian, Turkish and Macedonian national flags flying outside Gostivar's town hall. Police shot dead two young ethnic Albanian, a third man was beaten by police and later died from his injuries, while several policemen received bullet wounds. The interior ministry said 312 people had been arrested, including the town's newly-elected radical mayor, Mr Rufi Osmani. Officials suspected some of the Gostivar protestors had been brought in from Albania and Serbia.(Financial Times)
Aug 22, 1997 At a meeting of the Party for Democratic Prosperity of Albanian in Macedonia in Struga its deputy chairman, Iljaz Haliti, called on Macedonia's ethnic Albanian to present a united front. He said the other main ethnic Albanian party, the Party for Democratic Prosperity, which is part of the government coalition, should withdraw its ministers from government and its deputies from parliament and make a stand against the state's treatment of ethnic Albanian. Haliti said, the tragic events in Gostivar and Tetovo were a scenario planned by the Macedonian government in order to scare the Albanian and to prevent them from uniting. (BBC)
Sep 30, 1997 In his talks with Albanian President Mejdani and Prime Minister Fatos Nano, Macedonian ethnic Albanian party leader Arben Xhaferri asked the Albanian president and government to show more commitment to ethnic Albanian in Macedonia. Xhaferri refered particularly to recent ethnic Albanian clashes with the police in Gostivar, and the "scandalous sentence" given to its mayor. The urgent need for a pan-national assembly, the urgent involvement of all sides in drafting a pan-national strategy including the creation of pan-national institutions, and the foundation of a pan-national parliament were being considered. (BBC)
Dec 17, 1997 It was reported that a radical Albanian political grouping, the Democratic Party of Albanian, emerged. The party is said to seem determined to challenge the government on crucial issues such as higher education for Albanian and broader use of the Albanian language.(Financial Times)
Dec 17, 1997 It was reported that after the Gostivar riots, the governing ex-communist Social Democrats retained the support of the moderate Albanian Party for Democratic Prosperity (PDP). The two parties have co-operated in government since 1992, with the Albanian holding five cabinet posts in return for their support of a step-by-step policy to end discrimination against the minority.(Financial Times)
Apr 18, 1998 Thousands of ethnic Albanian protested in the town of Gostivar under the motto, Freedom for Rufi Osmani, the Gostivar mayor. The demonstrators also protested against the discrimination against the Albanian in Macedonia. (BBC)
May 29, 1998 Arben Xhaferi, an ethnic Albanian political leader admitted that the ethnic Albanian in Macedonia are better off than those of any other Balkan country.(The Christian Science Monitor)
May 29, 1998 An additional 750 UN peacekeeping troops, including 350 Americans, were deployed to stabilize Macedonia's border.(The Christian Science Monitor) The force was deployed in 1992 following concerns that any of Macedonia's four neighbors - Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria and Greece - could undermine the country's quest for independence and stability. (Financial Times 22 July 1998)
Jul 22, 1998 The UN Security Council voted unanimously to add 250 troops to the UN Preventive Deployment Force (Unpredep) in Macedonia and to extend its mandate until the end of February 1999.
Jul 22, 1998 Three explosions shook Macedonia. The blasts, one of them in the center of the capital Skopje, caused only minor damage. They preceded a visit to Macedonia by Javier Solana, NATO secretary-general. The cause of the explosions was being investigated by Macedonian police who said there was no link to the Kosovo Liberation Army. (Financial Times)
Aug 29, 1998 On the occasion of Albanian Prime Minister's statement saying that Macedonia's Albanian should be satisfied with their position and seek their rights only within the system, the chairman of the Democratic Party of Albanian Arben Xhaferri noted "Nano seems to labor under the illusion that idyllic inter-ethnic relations prevail in Macedonia at a time when the Albanian people are suffering a tragedy in Kosova; when the Macedonian government fails to support the idea of Kosova's independence; when there are Albanian political prisoners; when Tetovo university is not recognized; when the official use of the Albanian language is forbidden, and the Macedonian press tries every day to portray the Albanian as terrorists and elements that destabilize the Balkans.(BBC)
Nov 1, 1998 The Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation (VMRO) won 46 seats in the two-round general election and negotiated to form a coalition government with the new pro-business Democratic Alternative Party and with the Democratic Party of Albanian (DPA).
Dec 1, 1998 Debates on the composition of the coalition government opened in Parliament after two weeks of smooth negotiations. The Macedonian experiment in power-sharing includes even the most radical ethnic political parties. Ljupco Georgievski, the VMRO leader said, he expects no trouble from extremists in his party or in Mr. Xhaferi's. Arben Xhaferi, the leader of the Democratic Party of Albanian, said Albanian now must learn to work with Macedonians. (International Herald Tribune)
Jan 20, 1999 Members of the government coalition and ethnic Albanian parties in Macedonia backed an appeal by Speaker Savo Klimovski to President Kiro Gligorov, asking Gligorov to sign the amnesty law passed by parliament in December. The law covers, among others, the ethnic Albanian mayors of Gostivar and Tetovo, Rufi Osmani and Alajdin Demiri. The assembly enacted this law on 29th December. The President did not give the final date by which he would present his stand on the amnesty law.(BBC)
Jan 22, 1999 Albania and Macedonia expressed their concerns over an influx of refugees from the Serbian province of Kosovo. (Deutsche Presse Agentur)
Jan 25, 1999 Albanian President Rexhep Meidani met Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski and voiced the idea that there are still possibilities to be exploited in the relations between the two countries. He considers as a priority the exploitation of the economic potentials and especially the work for strategic links such as the Corridor 8 and Burgas- Skopje-Vlore gas pipeline. President Meidani expressed his support for the cooperation of the Albanian Democratic Party of Macedonia in the present coalition and stressed that the increase of confidence and the continuous integration of the Albanian is the best way to maintain stability and prosperity.(BBC)
Feb 2, 1999 Macedonian Foreign Minister Aleksandar Dimitrov offered Macedonian territory for more NATO troops and for a possible intervention in the southern Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija, during British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook's visit to Skopje on 30th January. According to unofficial figures, there are currently about 2,300 NATO troops in Macedonia, deployed in Skopje, Tetovo and Kumanovo.(BBC)
Feb 5, 1999 Arben Xhaferri, the leader of the Democratic Party of Albanian, said that he supported Kosovo achieving independence by political means. Speaking during a visit to Bulgaria Xhaferri said that the situation of ethnic Albanian in Macedonia is quite different from that of ethnic Albanian in Kosovo Albanian in Macedonia, stated Xhaferri, have been politically, but never administratively, separate. This is why "it is impossible to talk of reshaping the borders in Macedonia". Xhaferri concluded AI definitely believe that the Albanian have made a great contribution to stability in Macedonia. A(BBC)
Feb 5, 1999 During his talks with the Yugoslav Ambassador to Skopije Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov said that Macedonia does not support the demand of ethnic Albanian for the recognition of Serbia's southern province of Kosovo-Metohija as an independent state, and it was against any changes in Yugoslavia's borders. (BBC)
Feb 18, 1999 The leader of Macedonia's Democratic Party of Albanian, Arben Xhaferri, said that the emergence of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) helped his party (DPA) become a part of the governing coalition in Macedonia. He said, the existence of the UCK made the party's (DPA's) political adversaries look at it (DPA) in a different light and take the party and its policies more seriously. (BBC)
Feb 18, 1999 The leader of the ethnic Albanian party in the Macedonian government coalition, Arber Xhaferri, said he foresees the formation of an all-Albanian state in the long-term, maybe by the "beginning of the third millennium" . He said, today's priority for the Albanian was to resolve the Kosovo problem. He predicted "a major war" if the current talks on Kosovo failed. (BBC)
Feb 26, 1999 A veto by China prevents the Security Council from authorizing an extension of the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP) in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for a further six months. (Presswire)
Feb 26, 1999 Reports from the Macedonian-Yugoslav border showed that the number of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia citizens crossing into Macedonia fell drastically. Bedredin Ibraimi, member of the ethnic Albanian government coalition party and Minister for Labor and Social Politics, said that Macedonia was "prepared to accept refugees from Kosovo." He said that the UNHCR had ensured humanitarian aid for 20,000 refugees that are already in Macedonia.(BBC)
Feb 26, 1999 Skopje, 25th February Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov stated during talks with a delegation of Serbian associations in the country that Macedonian territory will not be used for a possible aggression by any military forces against Serbia and Yugoslavia.(BBC)
Mar 3, 1999 More than 5,000 ethnic Albanian were reported to have fled their homes for neighboring Macedonia in the wake of some of the heaviest fighting since the Kosovo peace talks were suspended last week. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said at least 1,250 of them have already managed to cross the border into Macedonia. The other 4,000 were said to be camped out in the countryside near the border. (Deutsche Presse Agentur)
Mar 10, 1999 Early local elections were held in Tetovo and Gostivar, two largely ethnic Albanian towns in northwestern Macedonia. Because of the low voter turnout the citizens of Gostivar did not get their new mayor in the first round. The mayor will be elected in the second round when, according to the law on local elections, the percentage of voters will not be decisive. Tetovo, where turnout was a little over 50 per cent, elected a municipal council and a new mayor. (BBC)
Mar 24, 1999 NATO launched a war against Yugoslavia. Refugees from Kosovo left for Albania and Macedonia.
Mar 31, 1999 Macedonian Deputy Prime Minister Radmila Kiprijanova said no public disturbances have been registered in the republic except for one anti-NATO demonstration which was peacefully dispersed by police. She told a news conference that compensation would be paid to those whose property had been damaged by NATO vehicles. (BBC)
Mar 31, 1999 Arben Xhaferri, the leader of an ethnic Albanian party which forms part of the government coalition, said that it was his party's duty to "stabilize Macedonia and achieve unity", and urged Macedonian Albanian not to get directly involved in the Kosovo conflict. (BBC)
Apr 3, 1999 Macedonia decided to turn away 50,000 Kosovars on its border after concluding that a new influx of refugees could trigger economic chaos and political unrest in the country. (Agence France Presse)
Apr 7, 1999 The United States expressed serious concerns about Yugoslavia's intentions regarding the ethnic Albanian after Belgrade closed its border with Macedonia, thereby preventing refugees from fleeing. (Agence France Presse)
Apr 15, 1999 Macedonian Albanian political parties were reportedly helping the prime minister of the Kosovo Albanian' provisional government. Recruits from western Macedonia were sent to training centers in northern Albania, where they were trained to carry out terrorist actions. (BBC)
Apr 17, 1999 The Tetovo police rejected Macedonian media claims that there was a headquarters for the recruitment of Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) fighters in Tetovo municipality. Citing their sources, the Skopje daily 'Dnevnik' reported that special headquarters existed in the Tetovo village of Poroj which performed the tasks of accepting Kosovo refugees, as well as of organizing the transfer of Macedonian volunteers into KLA ranks. This information was denied by the Macedonian Albanian political party headquarters. The opposition Party of Democratic Prosperity (PDP) claimed that it has no information regarding young Albanian being recruited in Tetovo for the KLA's needs. The other party of Albanian in Macedonia, Arben Xhaferri's Democratic Party of Albanian [DPA], a government coalition party, refrained from comment. (BBC)
Apr 22, 1999 Macedonian Prime Minister Lubco Georgievski warned that the influx of ethnic Albanian refugees from neighbouring Kosovo was threatening the demographic balance of his country. (Agence France Presse)
Apr 27, 1999 Two grenades exploded in front of a French military post in Macedonia. Analysts said open opposition to NATO countries was growing in Macedonia. Western diplomats and military heads stressed that such acts are probably the work of Serb extremists in Macedonia, or of Yugoslav special forces seeking to sow discontent among the population and destabilize the country.(Agence France Presse)
Apr 29, 1999 "We must not allow Macedonia to be destabilized ... [because] ... if we allow ... [this] ...we would be working directly in favour of Milosevic's policy.", says Menduh Thaci, vice president of the Democratic Party of Albanian, in an interview for the ethnic Albanian daily 'Flaka'.(BBC)
Apr 30, 1999 Macedonian officials said the demographic balance in Macedonia was being seriously affected by the influx of refugees. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees there are over 150,000 Kosovo Albanian refugees currently sheltering in Macedonia. The Macedonian leadership called on western nations to take in as many refugees as they can, while some Albanian political parties think the refugees should stay in Macedonia. (Agence France Presse)
Apr 30, 1999 Arben Xhaferri, talked in Tetovo town hall with the politically active body and selected members of the Democratic Party of Albanian. Xhaferri reaffirmed the party's support for the temporary government of Hashim Thaci in Kosovo. The determination to support Kosovo's independence was reiterated, as was DPA's opposition to sending ground troops, since this would only lead to autonomy, but not to an independence of Kosovo.(BBC)
May 6, 1999 The two largest parties of Albanian of Macedonia, the Party for Democratic Prosperity (PPD), and the Democratic Party of Albanian(PDP) issued a joint statement calling on all Kosovo political forces to continue their state-constituent efforts for Kosova's independence. The statement, signed by the party chairmen, invited the Albanian political forces to consolidate their ranks and make efforts to constitute the interim government of Kosova to conform to the Rambouillet Agreement, signed by Hashim Thaci, Ibrahim Rugova and Rexhep Qosja.(BBC)
May 13, 1999 Arben Xhaferri openly supports the Thaci government (the Kosovo rebel government). At his meeting with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, he even demanded that the international community do the same...(BBC)
May 15, 1999 The Albanian parliament Speaker Skender Gjinushi met separately with the chairman of the Macedonian Party for Democratic Prosperity, Abdurrahman Haliti and the chairman of the Macedonian Democratic Party of Albanian, Arben Xhaferri. Unification of the Albanian factor and consideration of the latest developments in Kosova were the topics of the meetings, the press office of the People's Assembly of Albania (parliament) reports.(BBC)
May 15, 1999 Prime Minister of Albania Pandeli Majko met with the chairman of the Party for Democratic Prosperity in Macedonia, Abdurrahman Haliti. Majko said that the Albanian government is making efforts for the unification of the political and military factor in Kosova. (BBC)
May 29, 1999 The Albanian party which is part of the ruling coalition said Albanian of Macedonia were no longer satisfied with their status of national minority and wanted the same status as the Slavs."We want Macedonia to proclaim itself a multi-ethnic country made up on an equal basis of a Macedonian and an Albanian nation," says Adelina Marku, spokeswoman of the Albanian Democratic Party based in Tetovo. She added that the time was not yet ripe to modify the Macedonian constitution. (Agence France Presse)
Jun 9, 1999 The group of G-8 approved in Cologne, Germany the UN draft resolution on ending the war in Kosovo. The resolution was sent to NATO and the UN. It established the broad outlines of an UN-mandated international security force in Kosovo and gave NATO sole command of the peacekeeping force. The resolution also envisaged that the KFOR, the NATO-led peace-implementation force, would march into Kosovo when Serb forces left the province, and establish a civilian administration. The administration would help in bringing back the 860,000 ethnic Albanian refugees residing at that time in neighboring Macedonia and Albania (Los Angeles Times).
Jun 9, 1999 In the Macedonian town of Kumanovo, NATO's military commander in the Balkans, British Lt.General Michael Jackson, and senior Yugoslav military officers resumed talks on the withdrawal of all Yugoslav security forces from Kosovo (Los Angeles Times).
Jun 9, 1999 More Western troops arrived in Macedonia to serve as peacekeepers in Kosovo. Their number rose to 16,600 (Los Angeles Times).
Jun 10, 1999 Andre Gerilymatos, director of the Research Institute on South Eastern Europe at Simon Fraser University, argues that the Kosovo peace accord will not offer practical solution to the Kosovar crisis. Gerilymatos outlines the following reasons a) NATO rules out Kosovo's partition; b) KLA is unlikely to give up its fight for independence; c) KLA is unlikely to disarm; d) significant number of KLA guerrillas remain in Albania and Macedonia, determined to continue the war on two fronts (The Ottawa Citizen).
Jun 10, 1999 Defense Secretary William Cohen said that the 16,000 NATO troops based in Macedonia were prepared to move into Kosovo and guarantee the safe return of 860,000 Kosovar refugees. British, German, French, Italian and US forces were expected to enter Kosovo as part of the NATO troops and divide Kosovo into five patrol sectors (Daily News).
Jun 10, 1999 NATO suspended its air campaign against Yugoslavia . UN Security Council voted to authorize an international force to move into Kosovo. The resolution called for the UN to create an interim administration that would give its residents "substantial autonomy" from Belgrade and lay the ground for a future autonomous government. The Kosovo rebels fighting Serb troops declared a cease-fire (The Buffalo News).
Jun 21, 1999 A multi-billion pound package for the Balkans, known as Stability Pact, was agreed at the G8 summit in Cologne. The details of the plan would be worked out during the following three months at a series of meetings involving the European Commission, the World Bank, IMF, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The rebuilding of the region was estimated to cost about $60 billion. This sum of money did not include the cost of maintaining a large-peace keeping force on the ground (The Irish Times).
Jun 23, 1999 It is reported that NATO had 19,000 troops in Kosovo, another 10,000 at a logistic base in Macedonia, and another 8,000 in Albania. The major tasks of the troops include mine cleaning; returning of refugees; disarming the KLA. Former Serb-dominated civilian administration collapsed in Kosovo. KLA is trying to replace it in a bid to become the de facto provincial government (The Guardian).
Aug 16, 1999 Arms smuggling in and out of Kosovo is frequently reported. Albanian and Macedonian border with Kosovo are said to be effectively open (The Independent).
Sep 5, 1999 Capitan Vestli, a Norwegian KFOR officer, was arrested and sentenced to 30 days detention in a Skopje jail in Macedonia for having caused the death of a Macedonian minister and his family in a car accident. Vestli would be treated in Macedonia. The opposition Liberal Democratic Party took the opportunity to capitalize on the anti-NATO feelings in Macedonia on the eve of the presidential elections in the country. The governing coalition of VMRO and the Albanian Democratic Party said a sympathetic stance toward KFOR was important if the country's bid to join NATO was to succeed (Scotland on Sunday).
Nov 1, 1999 Albania experienced a new political crisis as a result of the fall of reform-minded Prime Minister Pandeli Majko. It is believed that Majko bucked popular Albanian opinion by opposing change of borders at a time when all-Albanian movement insisted on Kosovo independence (The Plain Dealer).
Nov 1, 1999 Presidential elections in Macedonia were marred by violence when a representative of the party of Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski shot a Social Democrat campaigner in the northern town of Kumanovo. Tito Petkovski, candidate of the opposition Social Democratic Party took early lead in the elections. The two Albanian parties stated that they would support a candidate favoring independent Kosovo but vowed not to campaign for splitting Macedonia (Reuters).
Nov 15, 1999 Two candidates contested the runoff for the Macedonian presidency. One was Tito Petkovski, 54, a former speaker of Parliament and the chosen candidate of the Social Democratic Alliance (the former Communist Party). The other was Boris Trajkovski, 43, the VMRO representative and former deputy foreign minister. Both candidates were expected to continue pursuing the path set by former Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov, towards membership in NATO and the European Union. Mr.Trajkovski's center-right party claimed victory several hours after closing the polling stations, but Petkovski's camp did not accept the defeat. Macedonia's main opposition party, the Social Democratic Alliance, claimed that elections were invalid because of irregularities and scattered violence in areas mainly populated by ethnic Albanians. The leader of the main Albanian party, Arben Xhaferi, warned that Mr.Petkovski's politics was dangerous and intolerant.
Nov 17, 1999 Boris Trajkovski won the presidential elections with the electoral support of the ethnic Albanians. In return Trajkovski is expected to speed up the passage of humanitarian aid convoys to the Kosovar Albanians; sanction the underground Albanian university in Tetovo; allow broadcasting in Albanian language of one of the three country's television networks; and sanction availability of government documents and services in Albanian language (Financial Times). At the first poll of presidential elections more than a month earlier social democrat Petkovski had a strong lead (St.Louis Post-Dispatch). He vowed to close the Albanian university in Tetovo and received an overwhelming support in eastern Macedonia where there were few Albanians (The Toronto Star).
Jan 24, 2000 It was reported that an Albanian of Macedonian nationality who was involved in an attack against Macedonian policemen two weeks earlier died in police custody. The authorities said that the killers of the policemen were involved in car smuggling and forgery (The Toronto Sun).
Jan 31, 2000 Serbian Renewal Movement in Macedonia (SRM) made a statement on a recent visit to neighboring Bulgaria by the Kosovar Albanian leader Hashim Thaci, and the Macedonian ethnic Albanian leader Arben Xhaferi. SRM said that the contacts between the Macedonian and the Kosovar Albanians were intensifying and aimed at creating Greater Albania. At their visit to Bulgaria, Thaci and Xhaferi reiterated demands for Kosovo's full secession from Serbia (The Gazette).
Feb 9, 2000 The Daily Telegraph reports that the unemployment rate in Macedonia is nudging 40% (The Daily Telegraph).
Feb 10, 2000 Defense Secretary William Cohen criticized Europe for not contributing enough money and civilian police to the Balkan region (The Christian Science Monitor). The situation in Kosovo was gaining renewed attention because of increasing violence in the Kosovar city of Mitrovica and infiltration of Kosovar guerrillas from Kosovo into Serbia (The Guardian).
Feb 26, 2000 A fresh wave of ethnic violence broke out in Bujanovac, a remote settlement of southern Serbia. NATO and ethnic Albanian sources in Kosovo said that the lion share of responsibility lays with radical irredentist elements of the KLA infiltrating Serbia from Kosovo. Violence was also reported in neighboring Macedonia (The Daily Telegraph).
Feb 27, 2000 Western military sources confirmed that 15 Albanian insurgents and five Serbian policemen were killed in recent fighting near Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac, home of some 70,000 Albanians in Southern Serbia. The insurgents were a radical splinter group within KLA, which was massing near the Kosovar southeastern border and planned offensive against the Yugoslav forces in Southern Serbia. NATO sources in Brussels said that KFOR aimed to "seal off" the Kosovar border and admitted that contingency plans were being made for fresh conflagrations. A diplomat identified as cause of violence the misinterpretation of the UN resolution 1244. He was quoted as saying "The UN resolution [1244] says the international community is responsible for autonomy for Kosovo, but what we see is not autonomy, it is independence. And there is clearly KLA ready to fight everywhere (Sunday Times).
Mar 17, 2000 Top NATO commander, Gen. Wesley Clark said, the US needed to commit additional battalion of 700 to 800 soldiers for Kosovo to prevent ethnic Albanians from raiding across the border into Serbia. The Pentagon however balked at the idea saying that the European allies should contribute more to the Balkan region (The Plain Dealer).
Mar 31, 2000 The Pentagon announced that an additional 125 US soldiers would be sent to Kosovo to help monitor a border area in southern Serbia (The Seattle Times).
Oct 2000 Ibrahim Rugova's LDK won municipal elections in Kosovo with 58% of the vote (Financial Times).
Oct 8, 2000 Vojslav Kostunica became the newly elected Yugoslav president. Kostunica assumed the federal presidency only on 7 October after a popular uprising on 5 October forced Milosevic to concede defeat (St.Louis Post-Dispatch).
Oct 26, 2000 State leaders of all Balkan countries and representatives of the European Union met in Macedonia for their first summit since the fall of Slobodan Milosevic (The Washington Post). The Yugoslav President Vojslav Kostunica promised a new era of cooperation with his Balkan neighbors but also reaffirmed Yugoslavia's territorial claims to Kosovo (The Scotsman).
Oct 26, 2000 Serbian President Milan Milutinovic dissolved the Serbian Parliament which had been dominated by loyalists of Slobodan Milosevic. Outgoing Parliament speaker Dragan Tomic set new elections for 23 December (St.Louis Post-Dispatch).
Nov 2, 2000 Yugoslavia rejoined the UN after 8 years of suspended membership (Los Angeles Times).
Nov 24, 2000 Clashes between Yugoslav policemen and ethnic Albanians were reported near the Yugoslav border with Kosovo. Two political killings were reported also in Pristina, Kosovo (Financial Times).
Dec 17, 2000 In a bid to line up support from Western powers and neighboring countries the new Yugoslav government announced that it planned to reestablish diplomatic ties with Albania. Official relationships between the two countries were severed during the Kosovar conflict (The Washington Post).
Dec 21, 2000 The UN condemned violence of Albanian extremists in South Serbia. The Security Council asked Kosovar guerrilla groups which had infiltrated a 5km demilitarized zone on the Serbian side of the Kosovar border to disband and leave. Smuggling of arms from Kosovo into the Presevo valley (Serbia) was continuing (Financial Times).
Jan 25, 2001 Albanian guerrillas claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on a police station in Macedonia which left one officer dead and wounded another three (The Times).
Jan 26, 2001 British troops patrolling the Kosovo-Yugoslav border came under fire from suspected Albanian gunmen. The gunmen retreated back into southern Serbia (The Times).
Feb 17, 2001 Seven Serbs died and more than 20 were injured in a buffer zone between Serbia and Kosovo when a Serb bus escorted by a NATO convoy drove over a powerful explosive device. Senior NATO officials said the attack was carried out by extremist Albanians in protest at closer links between NATO and Belgrade (The Scotsman).
Feb 19, 2001 Three Serb policemen were killed by Kosovar extremists in a buffer zone between Serbia and Kosovo. An Albanian commander was killed and two rebels wounded in Lucane later in the day (The Scotsman).
Feb 19, 2001 Ethnic Albanians clashed with a military patrol in Macedonia. The ethnic Albanian insurgents wore the insignia of the new National Liberation Army (NLA) (The Scotsman). Due to increasing violence Macedonia put its troops on alert along the border with Kosovo.
Feb 19, 2001 A commentary in Financial Times assesses the position of the Macedonian Prime Minister, Ljubco Georgievski, at the midst of his term in office. The analyst argues that some factors have strengthened the position of the government. These factors are the politics of multi-ethnic cooperation pursued by the ruling VMRO and its coalition partner the Albanian Democratic Party; the implementation of structural reform in the country; the improved relationships with neighboring Greece. Simultaneously, Georgievski's government faces serious challenges. They are the economic plight of the population; the increasing frustration of ethnic Macedonians blaming the government for having given away too much power to the Albanian coalition partner; the scandal with the usage of sophisticated electronic equipment by interior ministry for tapping of mobile phones of senior Macedonian politicians (Financial Times).
Feb 24, 2001 A regular Balkan summit aimed to promote economic cooperation and closer ties with the EU is held in Skopje, Macedonia. Chris Patten, EU commissioner for external affairs, warned that international aid for Kosovo would be reduced if ethnic Albanian separatists continue to launch cross-border attacks against security forces in southern Serbia. Javier Solana, EU foreign policy chief, said that Kosovo's chances of winning autonomy from Serbia would be affected if violence continue in the Presevo valley (Financial Times).
Feb 25, 2001 Macedonian military officials said that they were staging posts to prevent Albanian ethnic fighters infiltrating their territory. Macedonian sources named the former KLA commander and leader of the Alliance for Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, as organizing incursions. Ethnic Albanian representatives on their side said incursions were organized by alienated former Albanian fighters who did not have coherent political goals or a cohesive political structure. Observers tended to link events in Macedonia and the Presevo valley in Serbia to an upsurge of violence against Serbs in Kosovo. Observers argued that Albanians were determined to build greater Kosovo (The Observer).
Feb 25, 2001 Gorgi Trendafilov, a spokesman for the Macedonian army criticized NATO-led peacekeepers in Kosovo for not controlling the movement of weapons and armed men on their side. President of Macedonia Boris Trajkovski asked for more action from the Kosovo-based peacekeepers. The leader of the Democratic Party of Macedonia, Arben Xhaferi, admitted that some individuals and small groups could be active in Macedonia but insisted that there was no organized campaigns of ethnic Albanians against the Macedonian authorities (The New York Times).
Feb 25, 2001 Macedonian and Serbian Ministers discussed joint military interventions to drive the guerrillas out. Observers said that this step was running the risk of alienating the Albanian ethnic movement (The Observer).
Feb 28, 2001 NATO agreed to start dismantling the buffer zone around Kosovo because of growing evidence that Albanian separatist guerrillas were using it to stage incursions into southern Serbia. NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson ordered an immediate political and military mission to the Macedonian capital Skopje (The Independent). In the meantime, ethnic Albanian militants fought separate battles with Serb and Macedonian forces. NATO official said Albanian fighters occupying the Macedonian village of Tanusevci exchanged fire with Macedonian army units. In the Presevo valley in Serbia, ethnic Albanian rebels clashed with Serb forces near Bujanovac (The Daily Telegraph).
Feb 28, 2001 At a meeting of NATO foreign ministers US Secretary of State Colin Powell reaffirmed the US commitment to the Balkans. The diplomats agreed to redraw boundaries around a buffer zone between Kosovo and Serbia admitting that the zone had become a safe heaven for ethnic Albanian extremists. Hombach, special coordinator of the Stability Pact for South eastern Europe, asked NATO to increase security along Macedonia's border (Financial Times).
Mar 2, 2001 The 120 member Macedonian parliament ratified a long-awaited border treaty with Serbia. Only the small opposition Albanian Party for Democratic Prosperity voted against ratification on the ground that political parties in Kosovo were not consulted. Some observers believed that the initiating of the border accord by Macedonian President Trajkovski and his Yugoslav counterpart Kostunica at the recent Balkan summit in Skopje might have triggered recent violations of the Macedonian border. The Democratic Party of Albanians, the main coalition partner of the Macedonian government, is working hard to diffuse fears that Tanusevci incident could lead to inter-ethnic clashes in Macedonia (Financial Times).
Mar 2, 2001 NATO issued a last minute appeal to Macedonia not to embark on a military offensive against ethnic Albanian guerrillas. The Macedonian authorities on their part warned NATO that they were losing patience following the appearance of about 200 ethnic Albanian guerrillas in the border village of Tanusevci (The Daily Telegraph).
Mar 5, 2001 The Macedonian army announced mobilization (
Mar 6, 2001 Macedonian Prime-Minister Ljubco Georgievski held talks with his Bulgarian, Greek and Albanian counterparts and called for the UN to approve a three-mile buffer zone inside Kosovo on the border with Macedonia (Los Angeles Times). Bulgarian president Peter Stoyanov was quoted as saying that his government might consider sending troops to help Macedonia (St.Louis Post-Dispatch). A Greek foreign ministry spokesman said that the spread of ethnic Albanian unrest to Macedonia stemmed from the "selective implementation" of UN-mandated pledges to disarm separatists (Los Angeles Times). The Albanian government condemned the violence and appealed to Kosovo's Albanian political leaders to distance themselves from it (The Daily Telegraph). In Washington, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said "We strongly condemn the acts of violence by extremists who are seeking to undermine the stability of Macedonia, Kosovo and the region." Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that the potential for extremism spilling beyond Kosovo was mounting. EU countries said they had delivered tough warnings to Albanian leaders in Kosovo. In the meantime KFOR and Macedonian military officials met in Skopje, the Macedonian capital, to discuss Macedonia's military plans aimed at clearing out guerrillas. Officials from the US and NATO voiced approval of tougher Macedonian action against the guerrillas (Los Angeles Times). Simultaneously, NATO was engaged in talks with Belgrade on preventing insurgents entering the buffer zone between Kosovo and southern Serbia (The Guardian).
Mar 7, 2001 Macedonia's Defense Ministry claimed that Macedonian positions had been attacked with mortar fire, as NATO peacekeepers joined Macedonian units in a bid to seal off the guerrilla-held areas. As he addressed the parliament, the Macedonian president made a public promise to root out ethnic Albanian terrorism and extremism (The Daily Telegraph).
Mar 9, 2001 American peacekeepers opened fire on Kosovar Albanian guerrillas near the border with Macedonia. Peacekeepers crossed into Macedonia to take over positions held by the rebels fighting Macedonian forces. While US officials denied those claims they acknowledged that there was a confusion about the border (Star Tribune). Despite a spreading Albanian insurgency the Bush administration told NATO allies that it would not extend the American peacekeepers' mandate [to Macedonia] (The New York Times).
Mar 9, 2001 Rebel activity was reported near the town of Kumanovo, north-east of Skopje, Macedonia's capital. NATO sources said that recent fighting might be aimed at prompting a violent reaction by Macedonian forces against the ethnic Albanian population (The Daily Telegraph).
Mar 10, 2001 Ethnic Albanian rebels launched separate attacks on the Macedonian and the Yugoslav forces killing two people and wounding another three (The Washington Post). A Macedonian police official said that 300 to 500 armed ethnic Albanians, with a logistic base in Kosovo, were operating in a mountainous region in Macedonia bordering Kosovo (The New York Times). Greece and Bulgaria announced that they were sending military aid to Macedonia to help its struggle against the rebels (The Washington Post).
Mar 10, 2001 Yugoslav leaders and some Western analysts said that a recent wave of guerrilla raids in southern Serbia and northern Macedonia was aimed at derailing the rapidly improving ties between NATO and the new democracies in the Balkans. James Lyon, a Yugoslav specialist for the non-governmental ICG suggested that the rebels were trying to provoke a Serbian overreaction in a mistaken belief that NATO would again come to their aid as it did in 1999.
Mar 11, 2001 A new Albanian ethnic party, the National Democratic Party, was founded in Macedonia. Its members were mainly former prisoners. The party was expected to become the political wing of the Army for National Liberation (
Mar 15, 2001 Skirmishes between ethnic Albanian insurgents and Macedonian authorities which first began at the border village of Tanusevci and then spread to Kumanovo have reached Tetovo. Tetovo is a city in Western Macedonia populated mainly by ethnic Albanians (
Mar 15, 2001 President Trajkovski summoned a Council for National Security for consultations on the crisis in the country. Prime Minister Georgievski said that a political motif lurked underneath the terrorist activities. The source of the crisis was in Kosovo. However terrorist actions in Macedonia were conducted by well trained political saboteurs. Albanian Prime Minister Ilir Meta confirmed that Albanian government had no connections with the incident in Tetovo (
Mar 18, 2001 The Army for National Liberation announced that it had appointed its representative for talks with the Macedonian authorities (
Mar 19, 2001 Concerned with the safety of the citizens the Macedonian government imposed curfew in Tetovo from 7pm to 6am. (
Mar 19, 2001 EU foreign ministers and NATO Secretary General Javier Solana met in Brussels with Macedonian Foreign Minister Kerim in a bid to elaborate a coordinated strategy toward the crisis in Macedonia. At a meeting with the Macedonian foreign minister, NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson said that NATO would send troops to support KFOR and would encourage KFOR's activities aimed at disconnecting cross-border channels used by Albanian terrorists in their offensive against Macedonia. Robertson however mentioned that KFOR mandate would not be changed [extended to Macedonia] (
Mar 21, 2001 The Macedonian government issued an ultimatum calling on the Albanian insurgents to disband and leave the country within 24 hours (
Mar 21, 2001 Albanian insurgents declared cease-fire three hours before the ultimatum of Macedonian government ended (
Mar 22, 2001 Leaders of parliamentary factions in Macedonia and Macedonian President Trajkovski said that the Macedonian Army would be responsible to neutralize the insurgents. The Army would be working in cooperation with KFOR to prevent violation of the Kosovar-Macedonian border (
Mar 22, 2001 The EU envoys Chris Patten and Javier Solana visited Pristina, Kosovo where they had extensive talks with the chief of the UN administration in Kosovo and the leaders of the Kosovar Albanians, Ibrahim Rugova, Hacim Thaci and Ramush Haradinaj (
Mar 23, 2001 In a common statement leaders of the Kosovar Albanian parties, Ibrahim Rugova, Hacim Thaci and Ramush Haradinaj, called on the Albanian insurgents in Macedonia to stop fighting. The statement also called on the Macedonian authorities to find a solution to the problems of the ethnic Albanians in Macedonia (
Mar 24, 2001 The EU leaders condemned the Albanian extremists in Macedonia and declared their solidarity with Macedonian authorities. The EU document expressed its support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Macedonia, as well as for the inviolability of its borders. The EU leaders called on Macedonian president Trajkovski to try prevent military escalation of the conflict (
Mar 24, 2001 Secretary of State Colin Powell recommended the Macedonian government to consider constitutional changes which would allow ethnic Albanians to receive their higher education in Albanian language. Powell said that the US and their partners were considering strategies which would help the Macedonian military end the conflict. Simultaneously Powell warned that excessive measures on behalf of the Macedonian authorities might alienate the ethnic Albanians in the country (
Mar 25, 2001 Macedonian security forces undertook attack with tanks and helicopters against the terrorists in Tetovo. Prime Minister Georgievski said that the attack began immediately after the termination of the government ultimatum to the terrorists. Georgievski said that the government would turn to political solution of the crisis after the attack (
Mar 26, 2001 The Party for Democratic Prosperity, the main opposition party of the ethnic Albanians in Macedonia, announced that it would leave the parliament in protest against the offensive of the Macedonian Army in the troubled areas in Western Macedonia (
Mar 27, 2001 Chief commander of the Army for National Liberation announced that his army was ready to reply to the attacks of the Macedonian Army (
Mar 29, 2001 Imer Imeri, leader of the Albanian opposition party for Democratic Prosperity, said that discussions on the major issues in Macedonian politics, the rights of the ethnic Albanians included, are preconditioned by the establishment of a large coalition government (
Mar 31, 2001 Macedonia announced an end of its offensive against the Albanian separatists (
Mar 31, 2001 Socialist opposition party leader Branco Crvenkovski threatened the government with street protest demonstrations if Prime Minister Georgievski does not accept the idea for the establishment of a large coalition government (
Apr 2, 2001 EU's foreign policy chief Javier Solana arrived in Skopje in a bid to help Macedonia and its ethnic communities find way out of the crisis. Brussels offered a "stabilization and association agreement" as a first step toward EU membership. Inter-ethnic dialogue was seen as an integral part of the path to EU membership. The only other Balkan state which had been promised such a deal in the past was Croatia. In response to the EU's activities Macedonia was expected to begin a broad political dialogue with the leaders of its Albanian community. President Trajkovski expressed readiness to join an all-party dialogue and revise parts of the Macedonian constitution. EU sources said that re-writing the constitution was a key demand (The Guardian). Demonstrators from the Macedonia's Slav majority protested against anticipated changes in the constitution (Five Star Lift Edition).
Apr 2, 2001 In a telephone talk Prime-Minister Ljubco Georgievski invited the leader of opposition Social Democratic Alliance Branco Crvenkovski for discussions on the Grand coalition government. Georgievski and Crvenkovski talked before a meeting of President Trajkovski with all parliamentary factions.
Apr 2, 2001 President Trajkovski submitted for discussions a document on the main trends in the recent Macedonian political process. The document pointed to two new developments in the situation in Macedonia since the beginning of the crisis one was the elimination of the extremists' bases from Macedonian territory; the other was the EU diplomacy toward the Macedonian crisis. All parliamentary factions were expected to attend the meeting. Premier Georgievski suggested to establish a Grand coalition government to embrace all large parliamentary factions rather than a large coalition to incorporate all parliamentary factions. The leader of the Albanian Democratic Party Arben Xhaferi threatened to leave the government if the demands of the Albanian minority are not met within one month (
Apr 3, 2001 For first time since the beginning of the crisis moderate Kosovar leader Ibrahim Rugova recommended that the Macedonian government talk with representatives of the Army for National Liberation. The opposition Albanian party in Macedonia, the Party for Democratic Prosperity, announced that it would not attend the discussions initiated by President Trajkovski with leaders of political parties because the basic document, submitted by the President did not contain concrete suggestions on the rights of the ethnic Albanians (
Apr 4, 2001 NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson warned that parties supporting the armed extremists would be isolated. Robertson said that KFOR assumed responsibility to establish firm control on the Kosovar-Macedonian border. Robertson said that already 150 extremists had been arrested and submitted to the UN administration in Kosovo. President Trajkovski said that Robertson also talked on the disarmament of the paramilitary formations in Kosovo (
Apr 9, 2001 A strong multiethnic delegation from Macedonia signed in Luxembourg an agreement with the EU that called for new political and economic relations with the 15-nation EU. The Stabilization and Association agreement held out the promise of eventual EU membership to Macedonia if it introduced a package of reforms. Following weeks of shuttle diplomacy between Brussels and Skopje, the Macedonian government agreed to the "Europe Committee", a round table spanning most of the political spectrum, established to open a debate on institutional reform.
Apr 13, 2001 Secretary of State Colin Powell's first trip to the Balkans began with a visit to Skopje, Macedonia. Powell held talks with President Trajkovski, and later with foreign ministers of Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croartia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey and Yugoslavia. Officials said Powell's visit gave support to the government of President Trajkovski but also aimed at speeding up the dialogue among the five ethnic Albanian and Macedonian political parties on the reform of Macedonia's constitution. In response to the fighting in Macedonia, the US had pledged $5.5 million, in addition to almost $ 50 million, for civilian programs to facilitate reforms. Powell also backed plans by Europe and Russia to hold elections in Kosovo as part of a plan to provide a political road map for the province but also to forestall calls for independence of Kosovo. Mr.Powell also met Kosovo Albanian leaders, warning them that they faced erosion of international support if they failed to denounce violence and isolate extremists' intent on destabilizing Macedonia.
Apr 19, 2001 Javier Solana, EU's foreign policy chief, arrived in Skopje for a two day visit to help multiethnic dialogue. Solana would meet President Trajkovski, Prime-Minister Ljubco Georgievski and leaders of other political factions. After Macedonian political leaders signed in Luxemburg an agreement on Macedonia's association with EU, the Macedonian politicians started discussing in practical terms the establishment of a Grand coalition government. According to preliminary talks the ruling VMRO should give 4 ministries to the opposition Social Democratic Alliance, while the Albanian governing party, the Democratic Party of Albanians should offer 2 ministries to the opposition Party of Democratic Prosperity (
Apr 20, 2001 The leader of the opposition Social Democratic Alliance, Banko Crvenkovski, said that his party would join the Grand coalition on the condition that his party would hold the Interior Ministry. Arben Xhaferi, leader of the Albanian Democratic Party said that he would reach agreement on the solution of the crisis with other political parties by mid June (

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