Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Thursday, April 8, 1999 Published at 17:11 GMT 18:11 UK

World: Europe

Montenegro fears coup

The army has been accused of intimidation

Live coverage

Montenegro is threatening to take action against Yugoslav troops stationed in the republic amid fears of a coup.

Kosovo: Special Report
Montenegro and Serbia are the two remaining republics in federal Yugoslavia but the Montenegrin Government has refused to recognise Belgrade's declaration of a state of war.

The Montenegrin Information Ministry says the Yugoslav military is now trying to draw Montenegro into the conflict with Nato.

On its Web site the Ministry says: "Suspicions are growing that the (Yugoslav) 2nd Army strategy is to involve neutral Montenegro in the conflict with Nato."

Justice Minister Dragan Soc said on Thursday that the Yugoslav army was trying to destabilise Montenegro's government by challenging the civil authorities' powers.

"Their goal is to destabilise Montenegro politically and create an environment which will enable the government to be toppled," he added.

Intimidation and arrests

The Yugoslav army and military police have been engaged in intimidation of foreign and local journalists and, in recent days, have started arresting local people who have not acknowledged call-up papers.

On Thursday, President Milo Djukanovic met the head of the Yugoslav military in the republic to demand an end to the intimidation.

[ image: Thousands of refugees have fled to Montenegro]
Thousands of refugees have fled to Montenegro
Troops in Montenegro are under the ultimate control of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

But the Montenegrin authorities are threatening to order them to stay in their barracks unless those under arrest are released.

Call up

The army has issued thousands of call-up papers over the last two weeks to bolster their regiments during the Nato bombardment.

The letter starts: "Our ancestors heroically and proudly managed to protect our people and our it is your turn to fulfil your patriotic duty."

But Montenegro has told its citizens to ignore the draft and warned men that they risk the sack if they abandon their workplace to report for army duty.

Justice Ministry officials said military police had started to arrest men who refused to accept the mobilisation call.

Mr Soc challenged the army to arrest him, saying: "I would like them to try. It might be very interesting."

Journalists arrested

The army is also directing its attention against the foreign media. Three television teams have been seized by military police over the past 48 hours including reporters from the BBC and Germany's ZDF station.

"At the moment the army is targeting foreign journalists to discourage them from staying in Montenegro,'' Mr Soc said.

''They want to create the impression that they are not safe here and that the civilian authorities cannot protect them."

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

08 Apr 99 | Europe
Ground troops to Albania

07 Apr 99 | Europe
Analysis: Discord mars EU refugee effort

07 Apr 99 | Europe
Pristina - a deserted city

07 Apr 99 | Europe
Russia's 'key role' in Kosovo

06 Apr 99 | UK Politics
Blair promises Montenegro protection

04 Apr 99 | Europe
Thousands attend pro-Serbian concert

04 Apr 99 | Kosovo
Analysis: Montenegro under threat

Internet Links

Institute for War and Peace Reporting


International Crisis Group

Serbian Ministry of Information

Kosova Press

Montenegrin Information Ministry

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Violence greets Clinton visit

Russian forces pound Grozny

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Next steps for peace

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Trans-Turkish pipeline deal signed

French party seeks new leader

Jube tube debut

Athens riots for Clinton visit

UN envoy discusses Chechnya in Moscow

Solana new Western European Union chief

Moldova's PM-designate withdraws

Chechen government welcomes summit

In pictures: Clinton's violent welcome

Georgia protests over Russian 'attack'

UN chief: No Chechen 'catastrophe'

New arms control treaty for Europe

From Business
Mannesmann fights back

EU fraud -- a billion-dollar bill

New moves in Spain's terror scandal

EU allows labelling of British beef

UN seeks more security in Chechnya

Athens riots for Clinton visit

Russia's media war over Chechnya

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Analysis: East-West relations must shift