|You are in: In Depth|
Thursday, 30 August, 2001, 14:36 GMT 15:36 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.
29 August 2001
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.
27 August 2001
The Macedonian government has promised to find the youths responsible for the death of 22-year-old British soldier Ian Collins. He died from head injuries after a lump of concrete was thrown at his vehicle. Paul Adams reports from Skopje.
24 August 2001
Nato announces it has finalised plans for disarming Albanian rebels in Macedonia including an agreement on the number of weapons to be collected, a sticking point between rebel groups and the Macedonian government.
23 August 2001
Nato troops begin arriving in Macedonia in a deployment expected to take between 10 and 14 days. The full force is projected at over 3,500 troops who will have just 30 days to complete their mission to disarm ethnic Albanian forces.
22 August 2001
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.
20 August 2001
The commander in charge of operation Essential Harvest arrives in the Macedonian capital Skopje to assess the situation. American general Joseph Ralston will decide what action is required to ensure ethnic Albanian rebels surrender their weapons.
17 August 2001
Foreign troops begin to arrive in Macedonia as part of a Nato operation to collect weapons from ethnic Albanian rebels. The first units of Czech paratroops are part of a 400-strong British-led vanguard, who will attempt to assess a shaky ceasefire. As fresh bloodshed on the ground casts doubt on the mission's chance of success, Nato's ruling council delays a final decision on deployment of the full 3,500-member force.
16 August 2001
Four hundred British troops are poised to fly out to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, to see if Albanian rebels are sincere about handing over their guns. The weapons surrender is part of the peace deal signed on Monday. The advance party paves the way for a Nato force to oversee the disarmament of the rebels.
14 August 2001
Fighting has again broken out in northern Macedonia between ethnic Albanian rebels and Macedonian Government troops. Nato experts are on their way to Macedonia to determine when they can begin disarming the rebels in line with the peace deal agreed on Monday.
13 August 2001
Macedonian and ethnic Albanian leaders sign a peace accord designed to improve the rights of ethnic Albanians. The Albanian language is given official status in parts of the country and there are measures to make the police force more representative.
13 August 2001
Shelling was heard around the villages of Ljuboten and Ljubanci, 10km (six miles) north of Skopje, from 0030 local time (2230GMT Sunday), in defiance of a unilateral ceasefire announced by the government. It was not clear whether Albanian rebels or government forces were responsible for the shelling.
10 August 2001
Eight Macedonian soldiers are killed in a landmine explosion. An army spokesman says the troops died when the vehicle in which they were travelling struck three mines near the village of Ljubanci. The incident places further strain on a tentative peace plan.
9 August 2001
Ten Macedonian soldiers are killed in a rebel ambush, and there is unrest in the town of Prilep. Similar scenes occur in Skopje as Western diplomats condemn the killings. The National Security Council announces that the brokered peace accord cannot be implemented while the rebel threat remains.
8 August 2001
A peace deal is back on track. There is renewed optimism among western mediators in Macedonia that they are on the brink of a peace deal to end the six-month ethnic Albanian rebellion. Diplomats believe agreement could be reached on Wednesday.
5 August 2001
Negotiators make a major breakthrough in the week-long talks aimed at avoiding civil war in Macedonia. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana says the two main stumbling blocks to peace - the police and the use of the Albanian language - have now been resolved.
28 July 2001
Peace talks resume between Macedonian government officials and ethnic Albanian leaders. However, the talks are overshadowed by protests in Skopje from displaced Macedonians demanding safe passage back to their homes.
25 July 2001
Tension runs high in Skopje as supporters of the government take to the streets to protest against the West's perceived support for Albanian rebels. In the northern city of Tetovo, meanwhile, a two week ceasefire comes to an end following a rebel attack an army barracks.
19 July 2001
Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski launches a fierce attack on the two international mediators attempting to broker an end to the country's bitter conflict. He accuses US envoy James Pardew and EU representative Francois Leotard of caving in to Albanian demands, describing their blueprint for a settlement as "brutal interference".
8 July 2001
Leaders of ethnic Albanian political parties reject constitutional changes put forward by the West as a basis for new peace talks. Arben Xhaferi, leader of the Democratic Party of Albanians, says the proposals will not stop the fighting and vows to press for a better deal when negotiations resume.
6 July 2001
Despite isolated clashes, there is uneasy calm in Macedonia as a Nato-brokered ceasefire seems to be taking hold between government and rebels.
5 July 2001
A Nato-brokered ceasefire is due to come into effect at midnight local time (2200GMT) raising hope that an end to the conflict is in sight. The government agreed to the deal after receiving guarantees that ethnic Albanian guerrillas had signed a separate ceasefire with Nato.
2 July 2001
Heavy fighting erupts around Tetovo in northern Macedonia after ethnic Albanian rebels cature four nearby villages.
30 June 2001
The Macedonian government introducing a special war tax, intended to raise around $30m towards the cost of fighting ethnic Albanians rebels in the north of the country. It will be levied at the rates of either 0.5% or 1% on most private-sector transactions.
28 June 2001
The European Union's new peace envoy arrives in Macedonia to try to help end fighting. Former French Defence Minister Francois Leotard was appointed resident EU representative to Macedonia - a job created to try to revive stalled peace talks.
27 June 2001
Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski publicly defends his decision to remove armed ethnic Albanian rebels from a village near the capital Skopje. The deal to evacuate Aracinovo was "the most efficient way to get rid of the terrorists without any victims," Mr Trajkovski said on television.
26 June 2001
Several thousand Macedonian nationalists demonstrate outside parliament in the capital Skopje, angry at what they see as the government's leniency towards the ethnic Albanian rebels.
23 June 2001
Reports from Macedonia say the government and rebel ethnic Albanians holding a village close to the capital Skopje have agreed a ceasefire after three days of fighting. The BBC's Malcolm Brabant reports from Skopje.
22 June 2001
The Macedonian army is carrying out a ferocious offensive against a key village held by ethnic Albanian rebels, bringing an abrupt end to a fragile 11 day ceasefire and drawing threats of retaliation against Skopje. The BBC's Paul Anderson reports.
21 June 2001
While EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana attempts to restart negotiations between Macedonian and eethnic Albanian politicians, Nato pledges to send 3,000 troops to the region. The BBC's Paul Anderson provides an update from Skopje.
14 June 2001
Macedonia asks Nato to be ready to help it disarm ethnic Albanian rebels if the guerrillas agree to new terms on offer from the government. The move comes after a peace plan is drawn up by Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski. The BBC's Paul Anderson reports from Skopje.
11 June 2001
About 1,000 ethnic Albanian rebels threaten to attack the capital, Skopje, unless the government meets their demands. The BBC's Paul Anderson follows the plight of the thousands of refugees trying to escape the violence.
9 June 2001
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana says leaders of all the parties forming Macedonia's national unity government have accepted the president's plan for an end to the four-month conflict. But despite the talks, government troops continue their onslaught against the ethnic Albanian rebels, as the BBC's Paul Anderson explains.
21 May 2001
A five-day lull in fighting ends as ethnic Albanian rebels and Macedonian forces clash in one of the heaviest exchanges since the upsurge of violence in the region. The Macedonian army launches artillery, tank and helicopter attacks on Albanian-held villages, saying they are responding to rebel shooting. The BBC's Jonathan Charles reports.
15 May 2001
Macedonia's new government of national unity orders ethnic Albanian rebels to end their uprising within 48 hours, or risk a major military assault. The government says the ultimatum - ordering the rebels to lay down their arms or leave the country - is a final warning. The BBC's Nick Thorpe reports from Skopje.
14 May 2001
A new government of national unity in Macedonia begins efforts to end the ethnic Albanian insurrection in the north of the country. Prime Minister Ljupco Georgievski's government receives overwhelming support from parliament, giving it a mandate to restore peace to a country teetering on the brink of civil war, as the BBC's Nick Thorpe reports.
3 May 2001
The Macedonian army launches an offensive on rebel positions around the village of Vakcince where two of its soldiers have been killed in an overnight ambush. Civilians are ordered to leave the village, but helicopter gunships are seen firing rockets at the village before the deadline for evacuation passes. The BBC's Nicholas Wood reports.
29 March 2001
Three people including a British cameraman are killed and more than 10 injured in Kosovo as shelling strays across a disputed border area. The attack came as Nato-led international peacekeepers stepped up their patrols of the Kosovo-Macedonia border. The BBC's Colin Blane reports
28 March 2001
The uncertain diplomatic relations between the member nations of KFOR and a steady influx of refugees from Macedonian are causing problems in Kosovo, In a special report for BBC News Online Jonathan Marcus looks at a delicate local situation exacerbated by international tensions.
27 March 2001
As an uneasy calm is restored to the Macedonia Kosovo border as hundreds of ethnic Albanians continue to flee to Kosovo. Most of them face a very uncertain future. The BBC's Ian Pannell reports from Kosovo.
26 March 2001
Britain has pledged 400 troops to join a multi-national force patrolling the Kosovo Macedonia border. A major offensive by Macedonian forces has succeeeded in flushing ethnic Albanians out of their villages. Many of the refugees claim they have done nothing wrong. The BBC's Ben Brown reports.
25 March 2001
A ground assault on rebel positions around the northern city of Tetovo is forcing ethnic Albanian guerrillas back, but Macedonian forces are encountering return fire. The BBC's Bridget Kendall reports.
22 March 2001
Two ethnic Albanians are killed at an army checkpoint in Tetovo as the Macedonian army resumes its bombardment of rebel positions. This report from the BBC's Bridget Kendall includes some disturbing images.
21 March 2001
Macedonian troops prepare for an all-out assault on Albanian rebels who are ignoring a call to surrender or withdraw by midnight.
20 March 2001
The Macedonian army has joined special police in a heavy bombardment of ethnic Albanian rebels holding strategic hilltops above the city of Tetovo. The BBC's Ben Brown was there.
19 March 2001
Macedonia reinforces its forces with tanks ahead of what it says is a "final operation" against ethnic Albanian rebels. The BBC's Ben Brown reports on fears of a wider conflict.
18 March 2001
Clashes intensify between ethnic Albanians and Macedonian forces, as Nato delivers a tough warning to the rebels.
17 March 2001
The United Nations warns of new refugee crisis in the Balkans if fighting between ethnic Albanian rebels and Macedonian security forces gets worse.
Click here to watch
Click here to listen
Click here to listen
Click here to listen
|^^ Back to top
News Front Page | World | UK | UK Politics | Business | Sci/Tech | Health | Education | Entertainment | Talking Point | In Depth | AudioVideo
To BBC Sport>> | To BBC Weather>>
© MMIII | News Sources | Privacy