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Copyright 2001 Sunday
Times (London) * Reprinted for Fair Use Only
June 10, 2001, Sunday
MACEDONIA ON BRINK OF
Tom Walker Diplomatic Correspondent =======================================
[Note from Emperor's
Clothes - The following is an exact copy of the Times
piece referred to in "THE TERRORISTS ATTACKING
MACEDONIA ARE NATO TROOPS, NOT 'REBELS'" at
It appears the Times article is no longer readily
available on the Internet]
intelligence officers say ethnic Albanian rebels are
massing for an imminent civil war in Macedonia.
Military intelligence reports describe forces of about 1,000
men in the north of the fractious republic, commanded by
a former French legionnaire who uses the nom de guerre of
Hoxha. In the west another 300 freshly trained recruits
came across the border from neighbouring Kosovo last
week, boosting numbers there to 800 armed and uniformed
fighters. Nato officials keeping an anxious eye on the on-off
fighting said the rebels of the so-called National
Liberation Army (NLA) were better equipped and more
disciplined than their forebears in the Kosovo Liberation
Army (KLA) which fought Slobodan Milosevic's forces in
the southern Serbian province.
The rebels have obtained modern American-made Stinger
shoulder-launched missiles, along with more rudimentary
Russian-made Sam-7 missiles. Embarrassingly for the
alliance, they are making use of maps issued by Nato for
the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) which it supervises
across the border.
Hundreds of KPC reservists were called up by their
Albanian commander, Agim Ceku, in March. They
subsequently disappeared to former KLA training camps in
Albania and are now re-emerging in Macedonia.
"There's plenty of money around and they've got good
weapons," a Nato planner said. "But we're
hoping they've got the sense not to start shooting down
Macedonian helicopters. If they do there'll be terrible
Macedonia's coalition government came close to declaring
war after five Macedonian soldiers died in an ambush last
Tuesday, but President Boris Trajkovski has heeded
European Union calls for calm.
Although the rebels have officially called a ceasefire,
the Macedonians have continued to pound their positions,
hoping to keep the fighting away from the valley floors
around Skopje, the capital. Nato is investigating reports
that the Macedonian government has used Su-25 fighter-bombers
hired from the Yugoslav army in its bombardment of
Intelligence agents have pinpointed 16 illegal border
crossings from Kosovo used by the NLA, whose rebels have
infiltrated as far as Aracinovo, just six miles from
Skopje. A Macedonian police checkpoint yesterday
prevented all but local traffic entering the ethnic
Albanian part of the town, where a group of at least 10
heavily armed guerrillas was in control.
Last week the NLA murdered an Albanian accused of working
with Macedonian police, a tactic used to intimidate
"collaborators" in the Kosovo war.
FURTHER READING ON
What NATO has done in the
Balkans is perhaps clearest in Macedonia. Why do we say
this? Because Mr. Georgievski's government did everything
it could to fawn before NATO, providing fullest support
for the bombing of Yugoslavia, and this despite
courageous opposition within Macedonia. Shortly after the
pro-NATO coup d'etat in Belgrade, NATO unleashed the
Kosovo Liberation Army, regrouped in a UN organization,
the Kosovo Protection Corps, in a terrorist war against
To read our articles on
Macedonia, go to 'EMPEROR'S CLOTHES ARTICLES ON RESISTING TERROR
IN MACEDONIA', at
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