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Friday, April 16, 1999 Published at 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK

World: Europe

Montenegro urges end to strikes

Nato's bombing was "brutal", said Mr Djukanovic

By Paul Welch in Podgorica

Kosovo: Special Report
The president of Montenegro has appealed once again for an end to the Nato bombing of Yugoslavia.

Montenegro is the junior partner to Serbia in the Yugoslav federation and was bombed again on Thursday night for the first time in a week. Sources close to the government say one man was killed.

The Montenegran leadership say their efforts to move towards a greater degree of democracy are being hampered by the Nato action.

President Milo Djukanovic condemned the Nato bombing, calling it "brutal".

He said with each day of action by Nato, Montenegro was being driven further from its goal of peace and a way of life in tune with the rest of the world.

[ image: Milo Djukanovic: Under pressure from the Serbs]
Milo Djukanovic: Under pressure from the Serbs
The president also appealed to Belgrade to end its part in the violence engulfing Yugoslavia.

He said Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was using other people's lives to show defiance, and there was a danger that the trouble which began in Kosovo could engulf the entire region.

In recent days, the Montenegran Government has come under increasing pressure from the Serb minority here. They demand that Montenegro give support to Serbia, its bigger, stronger partner in the Yugoslav federation.

They accuse the government here in Podgorica of betraying the sister republic.

'Voice of reason'

Kosovo - Strikes briefings
But President Djukanovic says refusing to give support is far from betrayal. It is he says, a voice of reason and a real chance for peace in the federal republic of Yugoslavia.

The government here believe that several attempts are under way to undermine them and to bring them more under the control of Belgrade.

President Djukanovic says he does not believe a military attack by troops under Belgrade's control is likely but that there will be no end to attempts to end their move towards democracy here until President Milosevic is out of power.

President Djukanovic said: "I hope that won't be long."

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