STRATFOR: Macedonia accuses NATO of siding with militants

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An analysis of NATO’s role in Macedonia, published by STRATFOR Strategic Forecasting, a US intelligence consulting firm, says that “either through intent or mismanagement, NATO has helped prepare the ground for civil war”. The analysis says that NATO’s recent dealings with Albanian insurgents do suggest some degree of bias, if not complicity, and that civil war is now imminent.

STRATFOR warns that repeated incursions by ethnic Albanian insurgents into Macedonian territories threaten another outbreak of violence in the volatile region. “Far from being seen as a peace guarantor, NATO would bear part of the blame for a new civil war,” says the analysis. It adds that the NATO-led peacekeeping forces (KFOR) that occupy a region of Kosovo bordering north-western Macedonia must secure arms and halt trafficking by Albanian militants by order of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244, but have failed to do so. The document explains that Albanian insurgents began filtering into Macedonia from KFOR-occupied areas of Kosovo in February, and they have repeatedly fired on national police.

STRATFOR analyses the previous insurgency by Albanian militants in in south-eastern Serbia in 2000, where they attempted to annex three towns with an Albanian population majority. It says that many of the same militants redeployed to towns around Macedonia’s Tetovo and Gostivar districts during the past five months.

The analysis stresses that “with their borders still porous to armed insurgents, Macedonians fear active sabotage by NATO”. It explains that Macedonia’s defence forces are already at a substantial disadvantage, in both training and equipment because Albanians are using NATO-issue and US weapons. In addition, US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said she persuaded Ukrainian officials to cease arms shipments to Macedonia. “This could signal a potential arms embargo, further undermining the Macedonian defences,” warns STRATFOR.

STRATFOR says that Macedonia’s majority party leaders also question NATO’s political neutrality. A peace proposal prepared by the US and the EU demands compromises on the national language from Macedonia but no concessions from Albanian militants.

The analysis concludes by saying that “with its credibility in question, NATO may not be able to prevent war in Macedonia”. NATO has postponed plans to disarm Albanian militants due to the resumption of hostilities, and an envoy from the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe said the alliance is helpless against ethnic cleansing by Albanians, adds STRATFOR.

For more in-depth analysis, see

STRATFOR Strategic Forecasting.  

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