Macedonia Warned on Peace Pledges
Kratovac, Katarina, The Independent (London, England)
MACEDONIA COULD slip back into violence unless its leadership fulfils promises made under a Western-engineered peace accord, senior officials from Nato and the European Union said yesterday.
Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, the Nato secretary general, and Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, were in the troubled country to revive a peace process that stalled after politicians failed to enact reforms to expand rights for the ethnic Albanian minority. "There could easily be in this country a return to violence unless everything that was agreed on is implemented," Lord Robertson said after landing in Skopje, the capital.
The accord, signed by rival Macedonians and ethnic Albanians in August, halted six months of clashes between ethnic Albanian rebels and Macedonian government troops. The rebels agreed to stop fighting and handed in more than 4,000 weapons to Nato, in exchange for promised reforms in parliament that would broaden rights for ethnic Albanians, who account for a third of Macedonia's 2 million people. …