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18 Dec 2003 description

Skopje, FYR Macedonia, 18 December 2003 -- Nearly 8,000 illegal weapons ranging from rocket launchers to assault rifles were turned over to authorities under a 45-day voluntary disarmament programme supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), officials here announced.

16 Dec 2003 description

Skopje (dpa) - Macedonians handed over 7,500 arms during the 45-day weapon amnesty programme, aimed at decreasing illegal weaponry in the ethnically divided country.

Besides small arms, Macedonians and ethnic Albanians also voluntarily submitted some 100,000 pieces of ammunition and 165 kilos of explosives, Blagoja Markovski, the spokesman of the operation, said Tuesday at the end of the programme.

The programme started on November 1, as a joint action by Macedonian authorities and the United Nations Development Programme, which financed most of it.

It involved a …

10 Dec 2003 description
report Human Rights Watch

(New York, December 10, 2003) -- More should be done to address the plight of Kosovo Roma refugees in Macedonia, Human Rights Watch said in a briefing paper released today. The Macedonian government, its Western counterparts, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) should redouble efforts to ensure them dignified living conditions.

05 Dec 2003 description

GENEVA -- The UN refugee agency said on Friday that it was seeking over $1 billion to fund its refugee assistance and protection work next year to care for more than 20.5 million refugees and other people worldwide. This includes $955 million for its annual budget and over $57 million for supplementary programs for the Liberian crisis and Sudanese refugees.

23 Oct 2003 description

OSLO/GENEVA, 23 October 2003 - The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) today called on the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to increase efforts to address the plight of the three million people who have been displaced within their own countries by armed conflict or human rights violations and still wait to be able to return to their homes.

20 Oct 2003 description
report UN General Assembly

Fifty-eighth General Assembly
37th Meeting (AM)

The progress made over the last year to revitalize the activities of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), particularly with regard to implementing the outcomes of major international conferences, was highlighted this morning, as the General Assembly considered the report of that body.

24 Sep 2003 description

In an exclusive interview with MIA news agency, Russian Ambassador to Macedonia Agaron Asatur said in Skopje on 23 September that an international conference dealing with borders in Southeast Europe should be convened. The purpose would be to fix the existing borders in the region once and for all and to regulate the status of national minorities, Asatur said.

18 Sep 2003 description

Editor in Chief: Hugh Fenton
Editor: Bojana Vancetovic

08 Sep 2003 description

Security forces clashed with unidentified armed groups in northern Macedonia on 7 September, Reuters and dpa reported, quoting an Interior Ministry spokeswoman. The fighting broke out during a police operation to "neutralize" what she called criminal and militant groups in the village of Brest on the border with Kosova. A brief police statement added that "the armed groups have been dispersed and neutralized in that region.

01 Sep 2003 description

Skopje (dpa) - Macedonia's National Security Council gave the go-ahead to police on Monday to arrest ethnic Albanian gunmen active in the northwest, as hundreds of refugees fled fearing more violence.

President of the Security Council Boris Trajkovski said the Council ''fully supports the multiethnic police in its ongoing arrests of extremist group members terrorising the local population''.

28 Aug 2003 description
report UN Security Council

Security Council
4818th Meeting (AM)

Members Stress Need for Clear Mandates, Importance of Humanitarian Efforts, Electoral Assistance, Adequate Resources, Economic Reconstruction

Wrapping up their work for August, members of the Security Council this morning focused on ways of providing better support for United Nations peacekeeping operations in various parts of the world.

12 Aug 2003 description

This is a summary of what was said by the UNHCR spokesperson at today's Palais des Nations press briefing in Geneva. Further information can be found on the UNHCR website, www.unhcr.ch, which should also be checked for regular media updates on non-briefing days.

UNHCR sees the departure of Charles Taylor as a positive development that will usher in a new era for Liberia, allowing humanitarians to resume helping hundreds of thousands of people who have endured years of war and misery.

31 Jul 2003 description

Skopje (dpa) - Macedonian police Thursday confirmed the presence of unidentified armed and uniformed groups in Albanian-dominated regions of the country's northwest, local media reported.

Confirmation followed a recent report that a former ethnic Albanian rebel group had rearmed at several improvised camps near the northwestern town of Kumanovo and villages around Skopje.

15 Jul 2003 description

(Extracted from JRS Dispatches No. 136)

14 Jul 2003 description

The government body coordinating the campaign to disarm the civilian population decided on 11 July that the planned weapons collection will take place between 1 October and 15 November, "Utrinski vesnik" reported. Gezim Ostreni, who is a former military commander of the ethnic Albanian National Liberation Army (UCK) and now heads the coordinating committee, said there will be no extension of the deadline to hand in illegally held arms.