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  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Albanian-majority Presevo Valley in southern Serbia is one of the few conflict resolution success stories in the former Yugoslavia. Yet tensions linger, and a series of violent incidents in August and September 2003 demonstrated that the peace can still unravel. Serbia's stalled reform process is preventing the political and economic changes that are needed to move forward on many critical issues in the area, and there is a general sense among local Albanians that peace has not delivered what it promised: an end to tensions with Serb security forces and prosperity.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Yugoslavia, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The democratic government elected in Belgrade in 2000 did not end the extensive busting of arms sanctions engaged in for many years by its predecessor, the Milosevic dictatorship. The NATO (SFOR) troops who raided an aircraft factory in Bosnia.s Republika Srpska on 12 October 2002 found documents that have begun to strip the veils of secrecy from this significant scandal. From ICG.s own investigations, as well as from those initial revelations and stories that have appeared subsequently in the Serbian press, it appears that arms deals of considerable monetary value continued with Iraq and Liberia despite the change of administrations.
  • Topic: Politics, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Arabia, Yugoslavia, Arab Countries, Liberia
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica's 24 June 2002 sacking of Yugoslav Army (VJ) Chief of the General Staff Nebojsa Pavkovic was necessary, welcome, and long overdue. The EU, U.S., and NATO acclaimed the move as an effort to assert civilian control over the military, and Kostunica indeed deserves credit for removing a significant obstacle to the country's reintegration with Europe. Nonetheless, the action was probably more the result of the ongoing power struggle between Kostunica and Serbian Premier Zoran Djindjic than a genuine effort to bring the military under civilian control or dismantle the extra-constitutional parallel command structures that the post-Milosevic leadership of the country has created within the VJ.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, United Nations, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: On 14 March 2002 the leaders of Serbia, Montenegro and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) signed an agreement in Belgrade to replace FRY with a new “state community”: a “union of states” to be called “Serbia and Montenegro”.
  • Topic: Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Yugoslav Army's arrest on 14 March 2002 of a leading Serbian politician and a U.S. diplomat signals that for the first time the Army has openly entered the political arena and is explicitly attempting to set limits on political debate and policy. Serbian politicians will cross those red lines at their peril. The nationalist, conservative and corrupt military, which as the incident demonstrates is at least substantially beyond civilian control, seems intent on protecting important elements of the Milosevic legacy and is apparently now prepared to intervene more openly to influence negatively a broad range of policies, including the domestic reform agenda, cooperation with the Hague Tribunal, and relations with neighbouring countries. That Serbia is struggling to decide whether its course is toward the European mainstream or the reactionary polity of a Belarus should be of great concern to the international community.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: On 8 October 2001, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) confirmed an indictment charging Slobodan Milosevic, the former president of Serbia and of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), with crimes committed in Croatia. This indictment had been keenly awaited for years in Croatia, where a widespread perception of international indifference to Serb crimes perpetrated against Croats between 1991 and 1995 has been ably encouraged and manipulated by the right wing.
  • Topic: Development, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Croatia
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: On 28 June 2001, St Vitus's Day – an anniversary with enormous resonance in Yugoslavia – Serbian government transferred former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic to The Hague. By this bold political move, the government demonstrated in the clearest way its will to break with the past. With the timing driven by the international donors conference scheduled for 29 June, the transfer also confirmed the effectiveness of conditioning economic assistance to Yugoslavia on concrete political progress.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The donors' conference for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), planned for 29 June 2001 in Brussels, will set the pattern of international economic assistance to Belgrade for the next year or more. In return for substantial donor support, the international community should require the FRY to undertake a number of specific steps that are essential for increasing regional stability.
  • Topic: Debt, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Brussels
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: International relief at the fall of the regime of Slobodan Miloević has been marred by dismay at the prospect of a breakaway from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) by Montenegro. As long as Milo.ević was in power, the international community supported Montenegro.s moves to distance itself from Belgrade. With Milo.ević gone, it was widely expected that Belgrade and Podgorica could patched up their relationship, and find a satisfactory accommodation within the framework of the FRY. Montenegrin President Milo Djukanović.s decision to opt instead for independence has caused international consternation.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The removal of Slobodan Milošević's regime, with its poisonous influence on the entire Balkan region, raises hopes that a host of inter-connected problems may now stand a significantly better chance of being resolved, including the future status of Kosovo and of Montenegro, both notionally still a part of the Yugoslav federation.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Balkans, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Five years after the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords, which brought an end to almost four years of bloody war in Bosnia, many of those believed to have carried out some of the war's worst atrocities remain at large. The continued presence in the municipalities of Republika Srpska (RS) of individuals suspected of war crimes—some indicated either publicly or secretly by the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)—represents a significant obstacle to the return of ethnic minority refugees. It also undermines seriously Bosnia's chances for building central institutions, generating self-sustainable economic growth, and achieving the political transformation necessary to begin the process of integration with the rest of Europe. Moreover, the continued commitment of most war crimes suspects to the goal of a Greater Serbia, and their willingness to use violence to achieve it, could—in the long term—provoke renewed conflict in Bosnia and continued instability in the Balkans.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: While the world watched in fascination as mass demonstrations in Belgrade toppled Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic from power, Kosovo—where Milosevic had committed some of his worst crimes—had an almost eerie air of normalcy. On the night Milosevic fell, cafés were full and the usual crowd of young people strolled along Pristina's central artery, Mother Theresa Street. But Pristina's surface in difference masked serious unease about events in Serbia and especially about the swelling international welcome for newly elected President Vojislav Kostunica. Kosovo Albania's political circles, opinion leaders, and public, which for long had a head-in-the-sand approach toward the rise of the democratic opposition in Belgrade, are only beginning to come to grips with the changed political landscape in the Balkans caused by Milosevic's fall.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Balkans, Albania
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: As governments embark on the process of lifting sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), following the victory of opposition candidate Vojislav Kostunica in Presidential elections held on 24 September 2000, this briefing paper sets forth a comprehensive list of sanctions currently in place against the FRY and the current status of FRY participation and/or membership in international organisations.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since the International Crisis Group's (ICG's) last paper addressing the Serbian political scene, the situation on the ground inside Serbia has changed dramatically. Once Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic announced, on 27 July 2000, the 24 September date for simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and municipal elections in Serbia, the previously fractious opposition rapidly and unexpectedly united behind the nomination of Vojislav Kostunica, a constitutional lawyer and self-styled democratic nationalist with no ties to the regime or the West.
  • Topic: Government, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The deteriorating relationship between Montenegro and Belgrade has raised the question of whether the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, with its two constituent republics of Serbia and Montenegro, in fact continues to exist. The answer to this question has immediate relevance to the forthcoming federal elections scheduled for 24 September 2000, and in particular the issues of: whether the government of Montenegro can legitimately boycott those elections, in the sense of refusing to co-operate in their physical conduct and encouraging Montenegrins not to vote; and whether the federal government is entitled to take any, and if so what, action in response to the Montenegrin government so deciding. This legal briefing paper seeks, in this context, to address the following questions: What precedents were set by the decisions of the European Community (EC) Arbitration Commission concerning the status of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) and its Republics that might be relevant to an assessment of the current legal status of the FRY? What actions have been taken by the FRY federal government, the Republic of Montenegro, the Republic of Serbia, or the international community that may affect the status of the FRY and the legitimacy of its government and federal institutions? What is the current status of the FRY, its government and federal institutions, and how does this affect Montenegro's obligation to participate in the 24 September 2000 federal elections?
  • Topic: Government, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Ten Years after independence, Macedonia's two largest ethnic groups continue to lead very separate and distinct lives. The uneasy co-existence between ethnic Macedonians and ethnic Albanians has only just withstood the violent breakup of Yugoslavia and the continuing instability in Kosovo. Valid concerns about Macedonia's security are too often being used to justify postponing hard decisions about internal problems. Political leaders on both sides of the ethnic divide, while negotiating privately for piecemeal improvements, publicly cater to the more extreme nationalists in their respective parties, and positions are hardening. There is a continued reluctance to squarely confront the compromises that would legally safeguard Macedonia's multi-ethnic composition: if that reluctance is not soon overcome, Macedonia and the region face renewed instability.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Albania
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: This report is the product of seven months of field research conducted by teams of local and international personnel in Kosovo and Albania in 1999, as part of the International Crisis Group's Humanitarian Law Documentation Project. The Project was conceived in the spring of 1999, as violence and destruction in Kosovo forced hundreds of thousands of men, women and children from their homes, many seeking shelter in neighbouring Albania and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (hereafter referred to as Macedonia).The purpose of the Project was to support the efforts of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (“the Tribunal”or “the ICTY”) to investigate serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in Kosovo and bring to justice persons responsible for such crimes.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Albania
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Nearly a year after NATO defeated Serbia in the war over Kosovo, the international community appears uncertain about how to remove Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic from power.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The recent crackdown by the Belgrade regime on Serbia's independent media and political activists suggests that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is more vulnerable than it would appear. Since the Kosovo war ended, Milosevic has proven unable to expand his support base and must struggle with diminishing resources to keep restive constituencies intact. Despite its recognised weakness, the Serbian opposition is capable under certain conditions of removing Milosevic from power and offering better governance. The message of numerous public opinion polls over the past eight moths is that there is an anti-Milosvic majority in Serbia, but that the opposition must work together in coalitions to exploit it.
  • Topic: Democratization, Non-Governmental Organization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The assertion of the primacy of Serbian rights over all other peoples by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has driven nearly every nationality of the former Yugoslavia toward the Republic's exits. Even Montenegro, once Serbia's closest political and military ally, has not been immune from the turmoil that Slobodan Milosevic has created and has opted to distance itself from Belgrade's controlling influence.
  • Topic: International Relations, Non-Governmental Organization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The NATO intervention in Serbia and the indictment of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia have created openings within Serbian society and exposed cleavages within the regime that should be rapidly exploited to hasten Milosevic's departure and bring about genuine political change. The loss of Kosovo, the destruction resulting from the bombing, and the refusal of the international community to rebuild Serbia until Milosevic is out of power have occasioned widespread despair among Serbs who have come to view their country's future under its present leadership as a dead end.
  • Topic: NATO, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Just under a year ago a nervous Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic warned the world that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was preparing to trigger a new Balkan war by launching a campaign of violence against the tiny republic of Montenegro. Djukanovic was right about Milosevic's intent, but wrong about the target. In March of this year, the dictator struck against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and unleashed the barbarous Operation Horseshoe.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Government, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Balkans, Albania, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Repercussions from Kosovo continue to shake Republika Srpska (RS), and may prove a catalyst for further transformation and reform. The war's collateral damage included severance of trade ties with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY); a dramatic rise in unemployment; a sharp drop in production and state revenues; and a tide of Serbian refugees from FRY into RS.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: On 28 June 1989, Slobodan Milosevic stood on the site of the ancient Serb battleground of Kosovo Polje and delivered the speech that was to propel him to prominence and the leadership of. Ten years on, Milosevic remains firmly entrenched in power. He has survived three Balkan wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, economic sanctions, 78 days of NATO air strikes, and an indictment on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Balkans, Croatia
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia began on 24 March 1999, Macedonia has been in an extremely vulnerable frontline position, facing an unmanageable influx of refugees from Kosovo, the prospect of economic collapse and volatile domestic interethnic relations.
  • Topic: Security, Migration, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Macedonia
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The limits of the West's resolve to enforce a solution to the crisis in the Balkans were freshly exposed last week at a press briefing by U.S. President Bill Clinton. Speaking to reporters on 6 May 1999, Clinton admitted that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic might well survive the current crisis and remain in power in Belgrade as long as he accepted the West's terms for a settlement in Kosovo and permitted refugees to return home. He also made clear that a NATO invasion of Yugoslavia from the north, the one option open to the West that would facilitate the forcible removal of the Milosevic regime and with it the greatest single source of instability in the Balkans, was something "our (NATO's) goals never entailed".
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO, Diplomacy, Human Rights, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: NATO's strategy in the war with Yugoslavia over Kosovo isn't working. As the Alliance's bombing campaign enters its fourth week, it is Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic who is still winning the political game.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The early part of 1999 has been turbulent for Republika Srpska. Political life has been unsettled by three separate and hardly-related crises: the decision of the High Representative to remove from office the RS President Nikola Poplasen; the decision of International Arbitrator Roberts Owen to give the municipality of Brcko neither to RS nor to the Federation but to both as a condominium; and the NATO air-strikes on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY).
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, NATO, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: With just over two years to run before the end of his term as Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic remains entrenched in power in Belgrade. The Yugoslav constitution currently prevents the President from running for re-election in 2001, but while Milosevic may leave the presidency he shows no sign of forfeiting control and is in the process of purging both the army and secret police of all opposition. He also retains some residual influence over such cultural institutions as the Orthodox Church. Individuals who oppose his views and who are potential political opponents are invariably intimidated, often through brute force. Political party rivals are both attacked in the state and pro-regime press and also courted with the prospect of sharing power. The latest to succumb to that temptation has been Vuk Draskovic's Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict, Government, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Sarajevo's Bosniac authorities were given the opportunity to demonstrate their much-vaunted commitment to multi-ethnicity when, on 3 February 1998, representatives of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia), the Federation of Bosnia Herzegovina (Federation), Sarajevo Canton and the international community adopted the Sarajevo Declaration. The Declaration stressed the importance of the Bosnian capital “as a model of coexistence and tolerance for the rest of the country” and made it clear that: “The international community will condition continuation of assistance for Sarajevo on fulfilment of the benchmarks set out in this Declaration and on adequate progress toward meeting the 1998 goal of at least 20,000 minority returns.”
  • Topic: Demographics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 12-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In the past few weeks the Belgrade authorities have sacked a number of key public officials. The two most prominent were security chief Stanisic and head of the army general staff Perisic. The firings triggered much speculation in the international media about the stability of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's regime. According to one interpretation, the sackings signal a fundamental weakness in government ranks, with Milosevic moving pre-emptively to oust potential rivals to his authority. Alternatively, the sackings may represent an attempt by the Yugoslav President to further consolidate his power base and to effectively rule with the backing of Yugoslavia's military and security establishments. Both Stanisic and Perisic were seen as Milosevic's opponents on several key policies, notably Belgrade's handling of relations with the Kosovo Albanians. Both Perisic and Stanisic, reportedly moderates not favouring the use of severe force against the Kosovars, have been replaced by Milosevic "yes-men" regarded as proponents of a violent resolution of the Kosovo question. If this is even in part the case, Stanisic's and Perisic's sackings do not necessary reflect a weakness in Milosevic's rule. Instead, the sackings may only signal Milosevic's resolve to return to force as a means of regional problem solving.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia
  • Publication Date: 11-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: As winter approaches in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia), conditions for refugee returns to that country become increasingly difficult. In neighbouring Croatia, by contrast, the weather is generally milder so that, given political will, refugees should be able to return to their homes throughout the winter months. Moreover, the Croatian government is organising a reconstruction conference next month, at which it hopes to obtain pledges of international support to help rebuild its war-damaged country. Many refugees from Croatia are Serbs – of whom some 300,000 now reside in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Republika Srpska – who fled previously Serb-held regions of Croatia in the wake of the Croatian Army's 1995 military offensives.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Croatia
  • Publication Date: 11-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Sandzak is an area within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that borders Serbia and Montenegro. It has a multicultural, multiethnic history and a majority population that is Muslim. Since the rise of Serbian strong-man Slobodan Milosevic to political power the majority Muslims have been the targets of coercion. For the time being, the major issue is Milosevic's continuing repression of human and political rights. Stating that, however, is not concluding that the area is entirely immune from the effects of a serious and full-blown military crisis.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Macedonians go to the polls on 18 October 1998 in the first of two rounds of voting to elect 120 members of the country's parliament. The forthcoming poll is Macedonia's third general election since the disintegration of one-party communist rule. Moreover, it takes place in the shadow of ethnic violence between Serbs and ethnic Albanians in the neighbouring Serbian province of Kosovo and political instability in neighbouring Albania. Although Macedonia has managed to avoid the violent conflict which has afflicted the rest of the former Yugoslavia, its experience of democracy has so far been mixed. Politics is divided along ethnic lines and the last multi-party elections in 1994 were marred by accusations of fraud with two major parties boycotting the second round of voting.
  • Topic: Demographics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Albania
  • Publication Date: 08-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: As the one former Yugoslav republic which has managed to keep itself out of the wars of Yugoslav dissolution, Macedonia has often appeared to outsiders as a beacon of hope in the Balkans. However, inter-ethnic relations in the young state -- in particular those between ethnic Albanians, who make up at least 23 percent of the population, and ethnic Macedonians -- are poor. Moreover, as fighting between ethnic Albanian separatists and the Serbian police and military escalates in the neighbouring, southern Serbian province of Kosovo, relations between communities within Macedonia are deteriorating alarmingly. As a result, Macedonia and its entire population, irrespective of their ethnic origins, stand to be among the greatest long-term losers of the Kosovo conflict. Moreover, in the event of fighting and large numbers of refugees spilling over from Kosovo -- an entirely plausible eventuality unless the killing is halted -- Macedonia is poorly prepared and the country's very existence may be imperilled.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, NATO, Education, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Balkans, Macedonia, Albania
  • Publication Date: 05-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: When on 15 May 1998 Slobodan Milosevic met with Ibrahim Rugova it was the first time that the Yugoslav president had met with an Albanian leader from Kosovo in close to a decade. The event, heralding weekly talks between Kosovo's Albanians and the Serbian government, has thus been hailed as a "dramatic turn-about" and "a first step toward peace in Kosovo". However, the fact that, after so many years of stale-mate, some kind of negotiations have begun, should not in itself be a reason for euphoria. Key to the success of any talks is the framework within which they take place. Negotiations concerning the future status of Kosovo may, as a result of the concessions offered to the Yugoslav president, have got off to an inauspicious start.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia