Welcome to MONTENET the window with a view of MONTENEGRO
Index of montenet home page
Profile of Montenegro
People of Montenegro
Geography of Mpntenegro
Short History of Montenegro
Montenegrin Culture
Language in Montenegro
Religions in Montenegro
Montenegrin Arts
Montenet Press Cut
Politics in Montenegro
Montenegrin Law
Montenegrin Economy
Travel to Montenegro
Sports in Montenegro
Links to ex Yugoslav Republics
East Europe and Russia
Links to Montenegrin Sites
Site Map of Montenet
The New York Times 

    November 1, 1987, Sunday, Late City Final Edition 
    Section 1; Part 1, Page 14, Column 1; 

    "In Yugoslavia, Rising Ethnic Strife Brings Fears of Worse Civil

    By DAVID BINDER, Special to the New York Times 

    BELGRADE, Yugoslavia 

    Portions of southern Yugoslavia have reached such a state of ethnic
friction that Yugoslavs
    have begun to talk of the horrifying possibility of ''civil war'' in a
land that lost one-tenth of
    its population, or 1.7 million people, in World War II. 

    The current hostilities pit separatist-minded ethnic Albanians against
the various Slavic
    populations of Yugoslavia and occur at all levels of society, from the
highest officials to
    the humblest peasants. 

    A young Army conscript of ethnic Albanian origin shot up his barracks,
killing four
    sleeping Slavic bunkmates and wounding six others. 

    The army says it has uncovered hundreds of subversive ethnic Albanian
cells in its ranks.
    Some arsenals have been raided. 

    Vicious Insults 

    Ethnic Albanians in the Government have manipulated public funds and
regulations to take
    over land belonging to Serbs. And politicians have exchanged vicious

    Slavic Orthodox churches have been attacked, and flags have been torn
down. Wells have
    been poisoned and crops burned. Slavic boys have been knifed, and some
young ethnic
    Albanians have been told by their elders to rape Serbian girls. 

    Ethnic Albanians comprise the fastest growing nationality in Yugoslavia
and are expected
    soon to become its third largest, after the Serbs and Croats. 

    Radicals' Goals 

    The goal of the radical nationalists among them, one said in an
interview, is an ''ethnic
    Albania that includes western Macedonia, southern Montenegro, part of
southern Serbia,
    Kosovo and Albania itself.'' That includes large chunks of the
republics that make up the
    southern half of Yugoslavia. 

    Other ethnic Albanian separatists admit to a vision of a greater
Albania governed from
    Pristina in southern Yugoslavia rather than Tirana, the capital of
neighboring Albania. 

    There is no evidence that the hard-line Communist Government in Tirana
is giving them
    material assistance. 

    The principal battleground is the region called Kosovo, a high plateau
ringed by mountains
    that is somewhat smaller than New Jersey. Ethnic Albanians there make
up 85 percent of
    the population of 1.7 million. The rest are Serbians and Montenegrins. 

    Worst Strife in Years 

    As Slavs flee the protracted violence, Kosovo is becoming what ethnic
    nationalists have been demanding for years, and especially strongly
since the bloody
    rioting by ethnic Albanians in Pristina in 1981 - an ''ethnically
pure'' Albanian region, a
    ''Republic of Kosovo' ' in all but name. 

    The violence, a journalist in Kosovo said, is escalating to ''the worst
in the last seven

    Many Yugoslavs blame the troubles on the ethnic Albanians, but the
matter is more
    complex in a country with as many nationalities and religions as
Yugoslavia's and involves
    economic development, law, politics, families and flags. As recently as
20 years ago, the
    Slavic majority treated ethnic Albanians as inferiors to be employed as
hewers of wood
    and carriers of heating coal. The ethnic Albanians, who now number 2
million, were
    officially deemed a minority, not a constituent nationality, as they
are today. 

    Were the ethnic tensions restricted to Kosovo, Yugoslavia's problems
with its Albanian
    nationals might be more manageable. But some Yugoslavs and some ethnic
    believe the struggle has spread far beyond Kosovo. Macedonia, a
republic to the south
    with a population of 1.8 million, has a restive ethnic Albanian
minority of 350,000. 

    ''We've already lost western Macedonia to the Albanians,'' said a
member of the Yugoslav
    party presidium, explaining that the ethnic minority had driven the
Slavic Macedonians out
    of the region. 

    Attacks on Slavs 

    Last summer, the authorities in Kosovo said they documented 40 ethnic
Albanian attacks on
    Slavs in two months. In the last two years, 320 ethnic Albanians have
been sentenced for
    political crimes, nearly half of them characterized as severe. 

    In one incident, Fadil Hoxha, once the leading politician of ethnic
Albanian origin in
    Yugoslavia, joked at an official dinner in Prizren last year that
Serbian women should be
    used to satisfy potential ethnic Albanian rapists. After his quip was
reported this October,
    Serbian women in Kosovo protested, and Mr. Hoxha was dismissed from the

    As a precaution, the central authorities dispatched 380 riot police
officers to the Kosovo
    region for the first time in four years. 

    Officials in Belgrade view the ethnic Albanian challenge as imperiling
the foundations of
    the multinational experiment called federal Yugoslavia, which consists
of six republics
    and two provinces. 

    'Lebanonizing' of Yugoslavia 

    High-ranking officials have spoken of the ''Lebanonizing'' of their
country and have
    compared its troubles to the strife in Northern Ireland. 

    Borislav Jovic, a member of the Serbian party's presidency, spoke in an
interview of the
    prospect of ''two Albanias, one north and one south, like divided
Germany or Korea,'' and
    of ''practically the breakup of Yugoslavia.'' He added: ''Time is
working against us.'' 

    The federal Secretary for National Defense, Fleet Adm. Branko Mamula,
told the army's
    party organization in September of efforts by ethnic Albanians to
subvert the armed forces.
    ''Between 1981 and 1987 a total of 216 illegal organizations with 1,435
members of
    Albanian nationality were discovered in the Yugoslav People's Army,''
he said. Admiral
    Mamula said ethnic Albanian subversives had been preparing for
''killing officers and
    soldiers, poisoning food and water, sabotage, breaking into weapons
arsenals and stealing
    arms and ammunition, desertion and causing flagrant nationalist
incidents in army units.'' 

    Concerns Over Military 

    Coming three weeks after the ethnic Albanian draftee, Aziz Kelmendi,
had slaughtered his
    Slavic comrades in the barracks at Paracin, the speech struck fear in
thousands of families
    whose sons were about to start their mandatory year of military service. 

    Because the Albanians have had a relatively high birth rate,
one-quarter of the army's
    200,000 conscripts this year are ethnic Albanians. Admiral Mamula
suggested that 3,792
    were potential human timebombs. 

    He said the army had ''not been provided with details relevant for
assessing their
    behavior.'' But a number of Belgrade politicians said they doubted the
Yugoslav armed
    forces would be used to intervene in Kosovo as they were to quell
violent rioting in 1981
    in Pristina. They reason that the army leadership is extremely
reluctant to become involved
    in what is, in the first place, a political issue. 

    Ethnic Albanians already control almost every phase of life in the
autonomous province of
    Kosovo, including the police, judiciary, civil service, schools and
factories. Non-Albanian
    visitors almost immediately feel the independence - and suspicion - of
the ethnic Albanian

    Region's Slavs Lack Strength 

    While 200,000 Serbs and Montenegrins still live in the province, they
are scattered and
    lack cohesion. In the last seven years, 20,000 of them have fled the
province, often leaving
    behind farmsteads and houses, for the safety of the Slavic north. 

    Until September, the majority of the Serbian Communist Party leadership
pursued a policy
    of seeking compromise with the Kosovo party hierarchy under its ethnic
Albanian leader,
    Azem Vlasi. 

    But during a 30-hour session of the Serbian central committee in late
September, the
    Serbian party secretary, Slobodan Milosevic, deposed Dragisa Pavlovic,
as head of
    Belgrade's party organization, the country's largest. Mr. Milosevic
accused Mr. Pavlovic
    of being an appeaser who was soft on Albanian radicals. Mr. Milosevic
had courted the
    Serbian backlash vote with speeches in Kosovo itself calling for ''the
policy of the hard

    ''We will go up against anti-Socialist forces, even if they call us
Stalinists,'' Mr. Milosevic
    declared recently. That a Yugoslav politician would invite someone to
call him a Stalinist
    even four decades after Tito's epochal break with Stalin, is a measure
of the state into
    which Serbian politics have fallen. For the moment, Mr. Milosevic and
his supporters
    appear to be staking their careers on a strategy of confrontation with
the Kosovo ethnic

    Other Yugoslav politicians have expressed alarm. ''There is no doubt
Kosovo is a problem
    of the whole country, a powder keg on which we all sit,'' said Milan
Kucan, head of the
    Slovenian Communist Party. 

    Remzi Koljgeci, of the Kosovo party leadership, said in an interview in
Pristina that
    ''relations are cold'' between the ethnic Albanians and Serbs of the
province, that there
    were too many ''people without hope.'' 

    But many of those interviewed agreed it was also a rare opportunity for
Yugoslavia to take
    radical political and economic steps, as Tito did when he broke with
the Soviet bloc in

    Efforts are under way to strengthen central authority through
amendments to the
    constitution. The League of Communists is planning an extraordinary
party congress before
    March to address the country's grave problems. 

    The hope is that something will be done then to exert the rule of law
in Kosovo while
    drawing ethnic Albanians back into Yugoslavia's mainstream. 

    Copyright 1987 The New York Times Company 

Montenet.org:  Kao sto zna veliki broj citalaca koji su nam se javljali, komentari citalaca su dobrodosli.  Montenet.org ne prezentuje vecinu komentara koje su licne prirode. Medjutim, ukoliko neko zeli da komentarise ili sugerise teme koje bi mogle biti od interesa citaocima, Monenet.org ce ih okaciti na "http://www.montenet.org/home/letters.htm" po redu u kojem stizu. Mozda je jos jednostavnije ako oni koji hoce da posalju komentar dvostruko pritisnu misa na rijec 'comments', a ukoliko hoce da vide komentare pritisnu misa na rijec  'published' koje se nalaze na dno svake stranice Montenet.org. Alternativno, komentari se mogu poslati na e-mail adresu webmaster@montenet.org


[Index] [Profile] [People] [Geography] [History] [Culture] [Art] [Language] [Religion] [Miscellaneous
[Site-map] [News] [Politics] [Law] [Economy] [Travel] [Sports] [Letters] [Links] [ExYu] [EE&Russia]
 Comments and suggestions are welcome and selected will be published
Montenet 1997
 All rights reserved.
Last updated  March 1998