Macedonian commentary warns Kosovo becoming base for extremists, organized crime
BBC Monitoring Europe (Political) - August 11, 2005, Thursday

Text of report by Straso Angelovski entitled "Kosovo: New regional threat" published by the Macedonian newspaper Makedonija Denes on 9 August - subheadings as published

Do you recall Joseph DioGuardi, the former US congressman and chairman of the Association for US-Albanian Friendship? This man was extremely active during the Albanian terrorist gangs' terrorist attacks on Macedonia in 2001. Because of his expanded Albanian network, he worked on the promotion of terrorists into "modern and democratic" terrorists. A Macedonian friend of mine, who has been living in the United States for a long period and who is following the political developments there, has told me that the same DioGuardi is greatly disturbed by the State Department's change of heart regarding Kosovo. His major surprise is allegedly related to the US political elite's new position, according to which it should not pursue with the strong policies on accelerating the resolution to Kosovo's status.

Specifically, numerous US experts believe that the province's government (consisting of former terrorists and murderers) has been incapable of using the positive foreign political conditions over the past few years to achieve certain progress in the realization of the Standards that the international community had imposed. Instead of subduing the situation, a rough and turbulent war is still being waged among the key political forces. Hence, there is no real hope that the province's internal situation will be changed and improved in the near future. This situation will certainly affect the situation in the region, especially in Macedonia.

Fortress of Albanian organized crime

The current situation in Kosovo regarding the meeting of Standards shows that Kosovo is obviously at a dead end. This is because there are no announcements on the government's decentralization, the conditions for the return of refugees, including the 2,000 Roma refuges in Macedonia, or elementary security for national minorities. The Albanian nationalists are using this situation as a solid basis for the province's gradual change into a base of extremist forces, including Al-Qa'idah members, and a fortress of Albanian organized crime.

Therefore, it would be ridiculous for someone to believe the extremists, who put the blame for the absence of progress on the Serbian minority in Kosovo or official Belgrade. They are still trying to create public criticism of UNMIK [UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo] because, as they say, it "does not efficiently manage the situation and deliberately hampers the process of the full transfer of powers to the Kosovo institutions."

According to DioGuardi, the murders of the ONA [National Liberation Army - UCK in Albanian] commanders after the return to the province of [former Kosovo Prime Minister] Ramush Haradinaj, whom the Hague tribunal [International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia - ICTY] has temporarily released, were purely criminal. Therefore, they are proof of the new period of the fight among Albanian clans for the redistribution of spheres of influence in the criminal business. Furthermore, the Kosovo extremists are using these clashes as a cause to resume the provocations against the Serbian minority, which further destabilizes the region.

The United States, including DioGuardi, expects the Albanian extremists' aggressive activities to continue to increase. Evidence of this is the explosions outside the UNMIK and OSCE buildings in Pristina, as well as the armed provocations by the members of the Front for Albanian National Unification [FBKSh in Albanian] on Macedonian police stations.

New 'Democrats' with Kalashnikovs

This obviously indicates that the Kosovo situation is certainly reflected on the Macedonian situation. The inability to establish the institutions of the system, with which Kosovo would at least resemble a normal place for living after five years, will prompt the Albanian extremists in Macedonia to commit more terrorist activities. This is why the erroneous [Ohrid] Framework Agreement only served to allow the Albanian terrorists and criminals to join the government and to get closer to money from the budget. This now gives hope to all those who did not benefit from the 2001 terrorism that with their aggression they will once again force the Macedonian government to make concessions. Thus, as future "democrats", they will grab a piece of the cake. Unfortunately, we are living at a time when every drugged bandit, such as Agim Krasniqi in Kondovo, can blackmail the entire state and all its institutions, gather around him unemployed Mujahidin, and become related to the Kosovo extremists without being imprisoned within 24 hours.

Things become even clearer and more serious, bearing in mind that Kosovo and Macedonia are inseparably tied through arms smuggling routes, which go from Presevo, Vitina, and Globocica, via Lojane, Tanusevci, Brest, Radusa, and Jazince, all the way to the Struga villages, where huge arsenals of weapons are stored. This is why DioGuardi is concerned about the State Department's altered view on Kosovo. This must also worry all us in Macedonia, because this may incite new bloodshed in the region. This is so because people like DioGuardi are the actual instigators of Albanian extremism, in an attempt to realize the ambitions for a Greater Albania.

This is why we must work on the strict implementation of Resolution 1244 as soon as possible, for the sake of regional security, and primarily for Macedonia's security, because this is the only verified international solution to the Kosovo problem.

SOURCE: Makedonija Denes, Skopje, in Macedonian 9 Aug 05

Copyright 2005 British Broadcasting Corporation
Posted for Fair Use only.