- A powerful explosion, believed to be from a homemade bomb, went off
outside Skopje's Parliament building around 5:30 Thursday morning. No
one witnessed the attack, and the perpetrators remain unknown. The detonation
damaged several cars and the Parliament building itself. Local residents
interviewed afterward claimed that they did not see the attack directly,
but believed that it came from a speeding car.
The bombing occurred less than three hours before Parliament sat down
to vote on the make-up of the new government, featuring a coalition
of the Socialist SDSM and the Albanian DUI of Ali Ahmeti. The outgoing
government of VMRO-DPMNE, in the opposition for the first time in four
years, announced its opposition to a government of "terrorists"-
a reference to Ahmeti's former role as NLA chief.
Prime Minister-elect Branko Crvenkoski, defending the new government's
make-up as a bow to "reality", urged parliamentarians to give
the coalition a chance, pledging that no figures directly involved in
the fighting would be allowed into the government.
Nevertheless, many Macedonians are displeased that the new health minister,
Redzep Selmani, was the former chief doctor for the NLA in the flashpoint
village of Lipkovo, Kumanovo region. A further affront was the nomination
of another DUI candidate, Musa Xhaferi, as vice-prime minister. Xhaferi
does not know Macedonian, and is in fact a citizen of the Republic of
There are fears of violence in the coming weeks, as Macedonia prepares
for a two-week national census, set to begin tomorrow. This will be
the first census since 1994- when Albanians were said to make up 22.7
percent of the population- and Macedonians are fearful of the possible
results of a "high" Albanian count. The Albanians, on the
other hand, are suspicious that Macedonians will try and undercount
them. The increasingly polarized atmosphere has become more tense over
the last couple weeks, after the murder of a Macedonian teenager in
Tetovo led to street demonstrations and some inter-ethnic fighting.
Parts of Tetovo itself have become off-limits to both ethnic groups.
Armed gangs are said to control whole neighborhoods.
Although the September 15th elections passed more peacefully than many
had expected, the following weeks have become more uncertain. Gunfire
and heavy detonations are again becoming a regular part of nocturnal
life in Tetovo and the surrounding mountain villages. On 26 October,
a bomb- apparently meant for a member of Ahmeti's DUI- went off in central
Skopje, damaging several nearby cars. Five days earlier, the Macedonian
Army's main base was briefly attacked by unknown assailants. The bombs,
made of an "unidentified substance," left deep craters near
the wooded base north of Skopje.
Now, a new, pro-Western government has been sworn in, rescuing once
strained relations with Macedonia's international overseers. Yet ironically,
just as the new government appears to be winning over the foreigners,
it runs the risk of losing local support- if Ahmeti and his would-be
secessionists appear to be getting too much for free. Despite the overtures
of peace, and the new government's promises to implement the Ohrid Accord,
Macedonia could return to organized violence at any time.
articles by Christopher Deliso on Antiwar.com
Rocks Macedonian Parliament
Braces for War
Peace in the Shadow of War
The Dangers of Diaspora
Fault But Their Own?
Macedonia, Transforming the Media Through Technology
Intelligence: The US Betrayed Us In Macedonia
and the War on Terror
Fighting Erupts in Aracinovo on First Anniversary of NLA's 'Free Zone'
Fura and Macedonia's Emerging War
Terrorists Renew Attacks on Macedonia
On War Footing Over Kosovo Border Provocations
Tortured In Tetovo Village, As Gang War Rages
A Nation of Ingrates
In Macedonia, or, an Enormous Embarrassment For the West
Not To Capture Osama bin Laden
of Folly and Ruin
the Boundaries in Macedonia
The Terror Goes Down To Georgia: Some Thoughts On The Caucasus Imbroglio
Macedonia, Terrorism Remains the Law
Would It Be an Evil Axis?
and Politics in Macedonia: an Interview with Dr. Sam Vaknin
and the Media
of the Blue Café
the Front Lines in Tetovo
with Ljube Boshkovski
Connection Between NATO and the NLA?
Legacy of War: Kidnapped Persons in Macedonia
Day's Disturbances and Developments in Macedonia
Crisis in Macedonian Government
Vice President Resigns
Albanian Hackers Deface Macedonian Website
Names and Power
Partition: Macedonia's Best Lost Hope?
Notice to Readers of the Macedonia Page
Selective Democracy Comes
With a Friend Like Pakistan
Afghan-Americans Oppose Interventionism,
Earthquakes, Armenians, and the Loss of Cyprus
Chechnya Comes Home
A Quiet Battle in the Caucasus:
Georgia Between Russia & NATO
Central Asia: The Cauldron
Bin Laden, Iran, and the KLA
The Meaning of Belarus
The Macedonian Phrase-Book:
Writing NATO's Dictionary of Control
Barbarism and the Erasure
Macedonian Endgame: The Sinister
Transformation of the Status Quo by Christopher Deliso
Deliso is a journalist and travel writer with special interest in current
events in the areas of the former Byzantine Empire the Balkans,
Greece, Turkey, and the Caucasus. Mr. Deliso holds a master's degree
with honors in Byzantine Studies (from Oxford University), and has traveled
widely in the region. His current long-term research projects include
the Macedonia issue, the Cyprus problem, and the ethnography of Byzantine