Macedonia: Country Background and Recent Conflict [Updated November 7, 2001]   [open pdf - 282KB]

From the Document: "In 2001, ethnic Albanian rebels calling themselves the National Liberation Army (NLA) stepped up attacks on Macedonian security forces first in several villages near the city of Tetovo and by the western border with Kosovo, and later near the capital, Skopje. The NLA is thought to have ties to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and rebel Albanian forces operating in southern Serbia. In March, the Macedonian government began a counter-insurgency campaign. It opened talks on political reforms with elected ethnic Albanian representatives, but refused to negotiate with the rebels themselves. Clashes between the rebels and government forces continued, notwithstanding intermittent cease-fire agreements and ongoing political talks. With U.S. and European diplomatic intervention, the parties signed a framework agreement on August 13, amidst the deadliest violence to date. Deadlock in the Macedonian parliament over aspects of the accord has delayed implementation of the agreement by several weeks. In early 2001, the international community, including the United States, condemned the violent actions of the Albanian extremists and expressed support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Macedonia, while urging restraint on the part of the Macedonian forces. At the invitation of President Bush, Macedonian President Trajkovski came to Washington on May 2, where President Bush underscored U.S. support for Macedonia's efforts to resolve the conflict. While not leading NATO's Task Force Harvest mission, the United States supported the operation with medical, intelligence, and logistical assets provided by U.S. military forces and facilities already stationed in the Balkans. NATO allies have agreed to replace U.S. armed forces in the NATO Balkans missions if the United States needs to divert some of them to the anti-terrorist campaign in Afghanistan. U.S. officials have pressed the Macedonian and Albanian parties to implement the framework agreement.'"

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL30900
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