Macedonia: Albanian Extremists Appear Again

Albanian extremists again appeared in northern Macedonia this weekend, killing 8 people and wounding 6, in the worst incident since peace was established by the Macedonian authorities in Tetovo one month ago. The violence occurred when groups of Albanian insurgents, trained by NATO, funded, armed and equipped by the United States of America, appeared in the village of Vejce and launched a six-hour attack using machine-guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars, before retreating to a village on the border with Kosovo. The Macedonian National Liberation Army, as the Albanian freedom force is named, has denied that it was responsible. Their political leader, Ali Ahmeti, said “Most likely, our forces only resisted in self-defence”. This statement is quite unacceptable, because six-hour attacks are not launched with such ferocity in self-defence. More probably, this was a battle by members of Albanian clans, determined to establish control over a customs base, to gain access to the lucrative trade in trafficking of drugs, arms and people, including their own. The international community comes together more and more as one, with Lord Robertson, NATO Secretary-General, speaking out against the Albanians. “I condemn the cowardly acts of the extremists and my message is simple : the violence must end and their tactics will not be successful”. Macedonian Security Forces and KFOR in Kosovo have made arrangements to increase security on both sides of the border. It will be remembered that American troops in southern Kosovo admitted they did not do night patrols, at a time when hundreds of Albanian insurgents were pouring into northern Macedonia, aided and abetted by strong allies in the US Congress and Senate (See Pravda.Ru reveals name behind Balkans Crisis, 2001.04.29). As President Vojislav Kostunica of Serbia states “The treacherous murder and injury of Macedonian security forces is a clear warning that there is still a danger of Albanian terrorism”. That this is true, there is no denial, especially when we discover it was the United States of America behind the “Vendlindja Therret” (Your Fatherland is Calling You) movement, which fanned the flames of the Kosovo rebellion. Yet again, a case of illegal interfering into the affairs of sovereign states. TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY, PRAVDA.RU, LISBON

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