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Monday, 3 September, 2001, 21:15 GMT 22:15 UK
Macedonia: fears of a new Balkan conflict
Hopes of an end to the conflict in Macedonia are pinned on a political agreement giving greater rights to the ethnic Albanian minority. The role of Nato troops is restricted to disarming ethnic Albanian rebels but it's hoped their presence will help cement the shaky ceasefire and move the country towards lasting peace. BBC News Online follows the course of the conflict which has seen dozens of people killed and thousands more lose their homes.


Nato pleased with mission progress
29 August 2001

Lord Robertson (right) examines collected weapons with Nato forces
Nato soldiers show weapons to Lord Robertson

Nato Secretary General Lord Robertson on a visit to Macedonia said he was pleased with the progress of the weapons collection programme and urged the Macedonian parliament to start ratifying constitutional changes agreed in a deal struck with ethnic Albanian leaders.

 The BBC's Paul Adams reports

 Nato Secretary General Lord Robertson


Nato approves Macedonia mission
22 August 2001

British troops arriving in Macedonia
British troops arriving in Macedonia

Nato member states approve the immediate deployment of 3,500 troops in Macedonia. Their mission is to collect weapons from ethnic Albanian rebels and then to depart after just 30 days. NATO says the conditions for the mission are right with a ceasefire holding between government and rebel forces.

 The BBC's David Shukman at Nato Headquarters

 The BBC's Richard Lister in Macedonia


Peace deal signed
14 August 2001
Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski said the peace deal must be turned into reality
Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski said the peace deal must be turned into reality

The Macedonian government and ethnic Albanian rebels finally reach a political agreement to settle their differences and end the fighting. But even as the talks were reaching a conclusion. Macedonia was experiencing some of the worst fighting since the conflict began. Nato is asked to send troops to disarm the rebels and make the peace deal a reality..

 The BBC's Paul Adams reports


Ceasefire takes hold
8 July 2001
A Macedonian army officer observes rebel positions
A Macedonian army officer observes rebel positions

The latest ceasefire negotiated by the EU and Nato begins to take hold. But progress at the political talks is slow. Ethnic Albanians threaten to resume the fighting unless they are offered equality in areas such as policing and education and recognition of their language.

 The BBC's Paul Anderson reports


Macedonian protests
26 June 2001
Soldiers join civilians in the Skopje demonstration
Soldiers join civilians in the Skopje demonstration

Several thousand Macedonian nationalists demonstrate outside parliament in the capital Skopje, angry at a ceasefire agreement which they see as a concession to the ethnic Albanian rebels.

 The BBC's Jonathan Charles reports


Rebels advance on capital
22 June 2001
A rebel soldier
Rebels claim they are within range of Skopje

Rebel forces are close to Skopje and threaten to bombard the capital, provoking a fierce response from the Macedonian army. EU mediators attempt to negotiate a political settlement but the demands of the ethnic Albanian rebels are far beyond what the government is prepared to concede.

 The BBC's Paul Anderson reports


Macedonian unity government
21 May 2001
Helicopter gunships are used in the government attack
Helicopter gunships are used in the government attack

Macedonia's political parties unite to form a national unity government intent on ending the revolt by ethnic Albanian rebels. But there's evidence that the rebels are getting stronger with reports of fresh arms and reinforcements arriving from across the border in Kosovo.

 The BBC's Jonathan Charles reports.


Army fails to suppress rebels
3 May 2001
The village comes under heavy attack from government forces
The village comes under heavy attack from government forces

The Macedonian army maintains a sustained offensive against the rebels but after three months, there is no sign of an end to the revolt. Meanwhile Macedonia's use of helicopter gunships and artillery and the risk of civilian casualties is beginning to cause international concern.

 The BBC's Nicholas Wood reports.


Albanian refugees flee fighting
26 March 2001
Ethnic Albanians crossing from Macedonia into Kosovo
Ethnic Albanians flee Macedonia for the Kosovo border

Ethnic Albanian rebels flee across the mountains to Kosovo to escape the offensive by the Macedonian army. The Macedonians say they have succeeded in flushing the rebels out of villages along the border. But many of the refugees claim they have done nothing wrong.

  The BBC's Ben Brown reports


Ethnic conflict spreads to Macedonia
17 March 2001

Gunfire sends people running for cover
Gunfire sends people running for cover

The Macedonian army is mobilised in response to a revolt by ethnic Albanian rebels. Supplied with arms from across the border in Kosovo, they form the National Liberation Army, saying they are fighting for improved rights for the Albanian minority in Macedonia. The government says they are terrorists. The fighting gets worse by the day


 The BBC's Paul Wood reports




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