Balkans: September 24, 2000


The Albanian government has extended (again) the amnesty for the one million weapons stolen from national armories during the 1997 unrest. Analysts estimate that half of these are now in Kosovo and that the remainder are in the hands of people who have no intention of returning them. This later group includes a few thousand criminals and perhaps half of the weapons are in the hands of Albanians who support the Kosovo rebels. The remainder, however, are apparently in the hands of average citizens who believe that the government is likely to collapse and find that having a firearm in their homes provides a sense of security.--Stephen V Cole


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