Balkans: February 20, 2000

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Radio Free Europe (RFE) ran an interesting (and very thoughtful) story on the Sandzak (also Sanjak, formerly the Sanjak of Novi Pazar) area of Montenegro (a sliver of the area is in Serbia). Muslim Montenegrins (Bosniaks if they lived in Bosnia) account for over 50 percent of the Sanjak's population. The Sanjak is a Muslim corridor that connects Kosova and Bosnia. During the conflict in Bosnia some "ethnic cleansing" occurred in the Sanjak. Now, according to RFE, some of the Sanjak Muslims are considering "emigrating" to Bosnia. StrategyPage has been covering the "slow revolt" being engineered by the Montenegrin government as it tries to secede from Yugoslavia. RFE suggests that the Muslims in the Sanjak fear they will be caught in the middle of the civil war. The Sanjak has its own Muslim political activity. RFE said that "Milosevic's regime has long remained deaf to calls from the region (the Sanjak) for its unity and autonomy." The Muslims of the Sanjak have strong ties to the Bosniaks. A group called the Sandzak Coalition (headed by Rasim Ljajic) inside the area is closely tied to the Bosnian Muslims' Party of Democratic Action.

 

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