Balkans: October 30, 2003


Serb riot police broke up a demonstration involving 1000 people. The crowd was demanding the Serb government resign. The Serb government of Prime Minister Zoran Zivkovic is facing a series of no-confidence votes in parliament. Most of the demonstrators were union members who blame the government for job losses. With the Milosevic era still too close for comfort, riots in Belgrade are a real cause for concern.

Heres an interesting report. The German Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) security service recently arrested a man who has supposedly passed classified material to the Bulgarian consul general in Munich. Subsequently, a German parliament member, Markus Meckel (a former communist and once a member of the government in the DDR) said that Bulgaria still spies on Western European countries. Radio Free Europe said he specifically named Germany, France, and Spain. Meckel is now a Social Democrat.

UNMIK arrested five Kosovar Albanians in the Kosovo town of Kacanik last week. The men were arrested on war crimes charges. They allegedly committed atrocities against civilians in 1999. They were identified as former member of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

Russian, Ukraine, and the OSCE are now acting as the mediation group for resolving Moldovas continuing problem with the separatist Transdniester region. The mediation group is now proposing a federalized Moldovan state. The details are sketchy, but the draft includes security guarantees for Moldova. Presumably, security guarantees would be made to the Russian minority in Transdniester.




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