Macedonia faces the Albanian irredentism:
an identity conflict on the NATO and the Albanian Mafia road
By Alexandre del
During the Joint Forces operation in Kosovo, NATO carried war in Serbia on the UCK Albanian nationalist side. Two years later hardly, the Westerns and NATO, operating a turn to 180, call the Serbs to return in the security zone this time, which was prohibited to them, during the KFOR development, devoting the end of the Joint Forces operation, and to protect the southern and the east Serb boundaries, in order to constrain the new Macedonian UCK menacing the stability of the region.
Large as four French departments, approximately with 2,3 millions inhabitants, Macedonia is caught up by the Balkan torment. Already loosened by the episode from Kosovo, which threw about 300 000 Albanians in outflow in Skopje suburb, its capital, the young Nation underwent in full measure the destabilizing launched by the Albanian guerilla of the Macedonia UCK (UCKM).
Despite the surrender of the Albanian speaker separatists, owing to the repressive operations orchestrated successfully by the Macedonian army, the last March, Macedonia is always afraid of the Great Albania and of the country disintegration. Certainly, the central authority managed, without an excessive force demonstration, to restore its sovereignty in all the villages hold by the UCKM guerilla. The war will make less than a dozen of dead. The overwhelming majority of the inhabitants, having escaped the fights between the Macedonian forces and the UCKM guerilla warriors (Army of National Liberation of the Albanians from Macedonia), seem already returned to their homes.
But nothing proves that the crisis was finally finished. The geopolitical and ideological roots, namely the very fragile nature, of the multinational Macedonia state and the spectrum of the "Great Albania" - or of its modern UCK version, "The Grand Kosovo " - remain always presented, as the western support to the territorial integrity of the new Serbia of Kustuniša and of the Macedonia, also menaced by the Albanian guerilla warriors, is accompanied by requests in the problem of decentralization and in the problem of recognition of the Albanian speaker minorities. So, if Skopje and Belgrade conceded to the autonomous requests encouraged by their versions "moderated" by the Westerns, these requests could make a stage just as an encouragement to the Albanian irredentism in the Balkan, which would risk then to threaten the vulnerable Montenegro and even Greece, thus, in case of multilateral confrontation, also Turkey, Bulgaria and Serbia, each of them keeping to protect its geo-strategic reserved areas and to protect its different allies.
That is how much "the Albanian question" implies not only the States including important Albanian speaker minorities above mentioned, but also all the Balkan region as well as the geopolitical actors of the European Union and the members of NATO, beginning with the USA, which "diplomacy of raids and embargo" (Gallois), "the strategy of the green belt" (to see infra) and support brought to the UCK rebels during "the war in Kosovo", appear among the direct main reasons of the actual incendiary of the region.
Historical, geopolitical and strategic context .
Located in the center of the Balkans, the region named Macedonia, small republic of 2,2 millions inhabitants, is situated between Pinde and the Olympia to the West-South, Korab, Mal i Thati and Jablanica to the West, Sar Planina, Skopska Crna Gora and the Osogovske Planina to the North, and the Rhodopes massif up to Nestos delta to the East. The main marine seller's market is thessalonic. Always having taken a predominant place in the history, the axis Morava-Vardar (before borrowed by the Romans, the Frenchmen, the Byzantine, the Serbs, the Ottomans, and the Bulgarians then the Germans during the two world wars), creates an axis of essential commercial communication, offering a seller's market on the Aegean Sea (Thessalonoky) and permitting a considerable river transport (river Vardar, Axios in Greece). On the geo-strategic plan, the territory of the actual Macedonia allows to reach Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia - Herzegovina, Albania and the continental Greece, that explains in a large part why various Balkan or foreign powers always disputed over its sovereignty or its controlling, even its destabilization.
The geographical Macedonia never created in the history a proper state - national unit. Composed from different nations (Macedonians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Albanians, Turks, Serbs, Jewish, Valaques, Gypsies, Cincari...), Macedonia is more or less still required by Bulgaria and Serbia, which pretend that the Slav - orthodox Bulgarians are or "Serbs from the south" or "western Bulgarian", as well as by Greece which always refused, since the independence of the country in 1991, the Macedonian appeal which is assumed, according to Athens, to belong to the national specific property of the Greeks. This is the reason for which the Young State is officially named FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). From the end of the 14-th century, Macedonia was included in the Ottoman Empire. In the 19-th century, important movements for independence were formed in a general context of national waking that was manifested in the ensemble of other Slav - orthodox countries from Balkans.
The Macedonian organization for independence the most significant, the Revolutionary Internal Macedonian Organization, which resided in Thessalonoky, was created in November 1893 by the young nationalists around the allegorical figures of Ivan Hadzi Nikolov, Damjan Grujev, Hristo Tatarcev, or still Petar Pop Arsov. Direction which will not be without composing up to now the irredentism motive for Sofia, the nationalist organization, face to its first political backs, evolved to a pro- Bulgarian nationalist terrorist structure. In fact, many geo-political poses and nationalist contradictory projects - strengthened however even more the "desire of territory" (Thual) of the neighbors - developed progressively inside the nationalist Slav - Macedonian tendency: the creation of an independent Macedonia, the association to Bulgaria or to Serbia, even to Greece, etc.. . Frequently quoted by the Serbs, a large "Conference of the Social Democratic from the Balkans" reintegrated to Belgrade in January 1910, regrouped namely a Macedonian delegation which recommended the construction of a "Balkan Federation" from free peoples, decided to overcome the interventionism and "the European imperialism" in the Balkans.
In fact, it will be really necessary to put an end to the Balkan wars and the agreement from Bucharest (10 August 1913) that Macedonia be really free from the ottoman occupation, that did not mean that it became completely independent. It was eventually divided in three excellent units. The first one was joined to the Serb kingdom, which became in 1918 "The Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes" then " Yugoslavia" in 1929, though the Macedonian people could not however entrust this solution. Two other units were going to be the subject of greed for the Greeks and the Bulgarians.
In 1945, the Croatian marshal Gosip Tito creates the "Popular Federative Republic of Yugoslavia", and manage to make integrate in the new unit regrouping "the Slaves from the south" (significance of Yugoslavia) Macedonia of the Vardar, a part of the of actual Macedonia which saw the day in 1929 as independent republic. Macedonia became then one from the six socialist republics (with a square of 25 713 km2) of the modern Yugoslavia of the marshal Tito, the Macedonians seeing thus the recognition the status "of the constituent people of the Yugoslavian Federation". Certainly, this geopolitical event struck hardly the ambitions of the adjacent Bulgaria and Greece, which continue always to deny existence of the Macedonian people, and carried a policy of assimilation forced to their national appropriate Macedonian citizens.
Close to the Bulgarian language, and also Serb- Croatian, the Macedonian idiom, which is written in Cyrillic as the Russian, the Serb or Bulgarian, remained however one of the three official languages of the Yugoslavian Federation up to a separation of Macedonia in 1991. Separated from the orthodox Serbian Church, the Macedonian Church proclaimed itself "auto-cephalic" (independent) since 1967, that was not necessary however to be recognized officially among other fifteen international orthodox Churches .
At the origin of the recurrent crisis, the Macedonian question - we could say today the "Albanian - Macedonian" question - continues to threaten the stability and the general equilibrium of the Balkans, certainly already hardly put in danger by the conflicts sequentially occurred in Croatia, in Bosnia - Herzegovina and in Kosovo.
It was in June 1991 that the actual Macedonia - FYROM left the Yugoslavian Federation. Owing to the proclamation, by the Parliament Skopje, of the independence of the new republic in September 1991, the international community are slow to recognize this independence, not because the Westerns feared the present incendiary of the country caused, by the way, to its geopolitical vulnerability and precedent to that one from Kosovo, but mainly in view to Greece hostility on this project, Athens deciding to begin against Macedonia (February 1994), guilty to usurp the historical Greek property, a general blockade. Officially, Greece refused to recognize the new State in view of the acceptance, on the national flag, "the sun of Vergina" (sun with 16 branches on a red basis, emblem of the ancient Macedonian dynasty, required by the Athens), which substituted the red star. In fact, Greece rejected mainly that its neighbor has a name of its own provinces, recognizing the independent Macedonia risking, according to it, to provoke an effect of separatist chain and a probable conflict in Greece.
After four years of tergiversation and of latent conflicts between Skopje and Athens, a political- semantic reasonable compromise was eventually found inside the international community, even if it does not arrange at all the geopolitical central problem, and the new Balkan State was more or less recognized everywhere under the name of Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). A sign of vulnerability and high seismicity with the geo-strategic situation of the new State, the young Macedonian government asked and received, so guarantee of its territorial integrity, the presence of UNO blue helmets along the Serb-Macedonian boundary.
On the economic plan, the discovery to the foreign investments predominates. Over the Greek blockade, which is gradually lifted, namely for the benefit of the Greek - Serbian and Greek - Macedonian rapprochement during the war in Kosovo and face to the Albanian irredentism, the Macedonian economy was one of the main "collateral" victims of the long embargo against Serbia and Montenegro, solemnly open at the beginning of the 90, as well as the civil consequences of the Joint forces Operation, the industrial production finished by collapsing roughly and the rate of unemployment having reached hardly supporting proportions by the population.
At last, that some experts have named "the informal economy" (Gourevitch), makes henceforth one of the main sources of survival and economic activity of Macedonia, which, on the example of Kosovo, is marked by a forceful presence of different Albanian Mafia groups connected with the Albanian international underworld, not overlooking nevertheless to mention, the Slav party, the presence of Russian and Serb-Montenegrin Mafia structures who operate between Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and the ex - Yugoslavia.
The war of the birth rates: the major stake of the identity conflicts.
Since the last national inventory, which dates from 1994, the population of Macedonia would make 1 936 877 inhabitants - probably more than two millions and half today due to the very great birth rate of the Macedonians of Albanian origin and to the installation of several dozen thousands of the Albanians from Kosovo (Schipetars) since 1998. Always according to the official dates of the Macedonian Government, different minorities are divided in the following important order: 64 % Slav - orthodox Macedonians, 23 % Albanian speakers, 4 % Turk speakers, 2,3 % Gypsies, 2 % of Serbs, 0,4 % Valaques, and 2 % belong to other nationalities. According to more neutral sources (ORGANIZATION of economic COMPLEMENTATION And DEVELOPMENT, NIDS), the Albanians would from almost 30 % of the population (against 40 % according to the Albanian speaker parties; 50 % according to UCK). It is always that the Albanians birth rate remains since long time the most elevated among all the nationality represented in Macedonia. With more than 600 000 inhabitants, the Albanians from Macedonia create at least the third party of the population, and, according to different prospective demographic analyses, in fifty or one hundred years, they could probably become the majority in the country, that is not without posing a geopolitical problem of sovereignty and major national legitimacy, for the young Macedonian State. It is however this elementary protocol that incited the famous American strategist Edward Luttwak to declare, about Macedonia incendiary and the UCK Macedonian strategy: "UCK is on the way of converting a demographic process in a severe expansionist campaign" (1).
Actually, the Albanians from Macedonia are on the way to catch the Macedonians of Slav origin, which birth rate corresponds to the European average from the west.
The Albanian speaker peoples live in majority on the West of Macedonia: in Skopje, on the left shore of Vardar ; in Tetovo, Gostivar and Kicevo, up to Struga on the Ohrid lake, as well as in villages from the Sar mountains, at Kosovo boundary, where they constitute between 80 and 90 % of the population, not overlooking the traditional estate of the Albanian nationalism of Macedonia, Kumanovo then Tanusevci, however the first village which was occupied by the UCK rebels in February 2001. If the Albanians are already the majority in cities from west as Tetovo, Debar or Gostivar, the Albanian nationalists pretend that the capital of Macedonia, Skopje, could be the nearest to "roll". So, even if this statement seems in the present moment not realistic, it risks in an average term to be confirmed, as, according to the government, not less than 50 000 Albanians from Kosovo, even Montenegro and Albania, seem illegally be installed in Macedonia since the beginning of the 80.
A multinational state in grip to secessionism.
Macedonian independent Republic since 1991, is defined itself, in its Constitution, as "the State of all these citizens". Therefore the rights of minorities - the political representation, the education, the media - are they recognized as practically anywhere in the other place in the Balkan Europe. The Albanians of Macedonia are those who possess a standard of living, an official recognition, rights, and a level of education the most increased in the Balkans. They possess not only a status of a recognized minority, with their own newspapers, their political parties, their wireless and television and even an education in Albanian language - from the elementary school till the high school - but they also represented inside the political and parliamentary organs (25 Albanian deputies) and of the high Administration (2): from 1991 up to 1998, the Albanian nationalists "moderate " of the Democratic Prosperity party (DPP) cooperated with Kiro Gligorov socialist government; since the political alternation from 1998, the separatist of the Democratic Albanian Party(DAP: nationalists) entered in the coalition headed by the Macedonian national party VMRO (3). Therefore the Albanians of Macedonia did they always dispose of five ministers (except the Vice Prime Minister, N░ 2 of the Government, the Albanian speakers disposes of many ministries - keys: the social and economic Affairs, Justice, Local government bodies, etc.) and do they dispose now also of numerous ambassadors (4), of state secretaries, not overlooking the number two of the Macedonian secret services. We should also remind that a recent reform of the local government bodies accord to the regions where the Albanians are majority a prompt enough autonomy, the Albanian speaker mayors from the Macedonian west having significant powers. In certain respects, the Albanian community "disposes of rights as widespread, unless more, than those of the minorities of the European Union countries" (5), explains Nano Ruzin, deputy of the social - democratic to opposition.
Though they never were subjected to the apartheid policy which their "brothers" from Kosovo were victims during several decades, the Albanian speaker Macedonians evaluate nevertheless to have ground to feel discriminated, complaining of a latent xenophobia and of recurrent "bravery" of the Macedonia police. But being located for a long time, with the Roms, in the bottom of the social scale, the Albanian speakers complained mainly for a long time to be victims of discrimination of the social and economic order. However, explains Christophe Chiclet, expert of Macedonia, "due to money of the hardworking emigrants and also due to the profits issued from various traffics (drugs, arms, prostitution), the western Macedonia (Albanian speaker party) prospers, and Tetovo city is the richest city in the country" (6).
Despite of numerous efforts led by the Slav-Macedonian authorities since 1992, the Albanians of Macedonia and the Slav-orthodox autochthons never really wished to live together. Retrospective, we realize that the two communities were rather united only to face the common Serb - Yugoslavian threat represented by the authoritarian power of the President Milosevic, who never really accepted the independence of Macedonia. It is not surprising thus that the relative agreement between the Albanians and Slav - Macedonians began to be revised from the one part and from the other since Slobodan Milosevic falling, then of the unexpected election, in Belgrade, of the President Kustuniša, as to him anxious to attract the Westerns mercies recognizing namely the Serb-Macedonian boundary and wishing to converse with the Albanian elements from Kosovo and from the south of Serbia, very much connected to the Albanian speaker indomitable from Macedonia. In some measure, the nationalist Albanian speaker tendencies from Balkans lost in Milosevic a useful "specter of enemy ", and with his falling, a party their revolutionary legitimacy. Whence equally the recent gesture of impatience and the "up to the aim" strategy of the Macedonian and Serb Albanians.
Is it always that since 1991, Albanians and Slav -Macedonian keep always their distances, and lived constantly in a climate of mutual suspicion and tensions. This tension will however be suddenly revived with the war in Kosovo, during which the Macedonian State allowed the reception of about 400 000 Albanian speakers from Kosovo at its boundaries, a real catalyst and identity and demographic electrical shock which will wake up the most instructional tendencies of the Albanian-Macedonian nationalism.
Though they were represented in Parliament by three political Albanian speaker parties, among which two clear nationalist parties, the Albanians do never stop to consider themselves as "citizens of the second zone", excluded from administrative and economic official functions, "victims" of continuous discrimination, the first of this one residing, according to them, in the fact that the Albanian language was never recognized as official language on the same basis, as the Slav - Macedonian one.
Essentially regrouped in the Northwest of the Republic, the Albanian speaker Macedonians reproach equally to the Government and to the Constitution not to grant them the status of "constituent people" of Macedonia, on equal terms with the Macedonian people, and not to recognize their Albanian speaker University parallel to Tetovo (pending of that created by Ibrahim Rugova in Kosovo in 1990). Therefore the situation was it deteriorated especially on the case of serious incidents suddenly occurred in February 1995, during the inauguration of the University, which caused a dead man, numerous injured and called numerous arrests of the Albanian nationalists, and that of the Rector of Tetovo University , sir Sulejmani, released some weeks later then authorized, on the American insistence, to renew the monitoring of the nationalist Albanian University. The discord between the Macedonian State and Tetovo University will be solved at the beginning of 2001, when the ministry of national education will eventually decide to found a trilingual university in Tetovo (Albanian, Macedonian, English) (7).
As we see, from its creation, the young republic of Macedonia - FYROM contained in germs the roots of an open conflict that opposes actually the Macedonians and the Albanians. However the case is than the events connected to the war in Kosovo then to the exile in Macedonia of hundreds thousands of Schipetars (Albanians from Kosovo), constituted the accelerator factors of the latent inter-ethnic crisis and allowed its actual explosion. It is necessary besides to remind that if the numerous fighters and soldiers of Kosovo UCK found logistic support and refuge in Macedonia, during the Joint Forces operation, a number of Albanian speaker Macedonians presented voluntary to join UCK ranks in Kosovo against the Slav Serbs enemies, to which they identify easily today the Slav-Macedonian cousins of these last ones.
So, since its apparition in 1996-1997, and mainly with "the war in Kosovo" UCK from Pristina managed to direct in a large part the complaint of the Albanian-Macedonian population, and to export its nationalist "great Albanian" cause to this key zone of the Albanian speaker space.
From the cooperation with Skopje authorities to the strategy of rupture
with the established order.
Incontestably, and mainly since the military and police ruthless reactions of the Macedonian government, the UCK Macedonian branch- more or less autonomous, even if it remains closely connected to "mother-house" from Kosovo and to the money from traffics henceforth in the possession; disposes today of a great support inside the local Albanian speaker population, who is dexterously joined by the nationalist chiefs by means of "victim rhetoric" which had already manifested its capacities in Kosovo, and even by most political Albanian parties, which, voluntary or involuntarily, are compelled to join UCK positions in order not to be refused by "the basis".
The main figure of the Albanian-Macedonian community, Arben Xhaferi, chief of the main Albanian formation of the country, the Albanian Democratic Party (ADP), also member of the governmental coalition, is thus compelled to play a tiring exercise of the political balancing. From one hand the last one did not cease to launch vainly calls to the nonviolence, from another Xhaferi strengthens the rebels' hatred not ceasing to declare that "Macedonia offers the most typical example of marginality of a population on ethnic basses", while the Albanians of Macedonia are for a long time the closest associates to the authority, the most trained and the most recognized among the Albanian speaker minority from the Balkans. Witness of irredentism, the Albanian leader of Macedonia never hid, before even the untying of the above mentioned "war in Kosovo", that it was favorable for the independence of this territory conquered by UCK, Arben Xhaferi having once worked at Pristina television, whence it was however dismissed in 1990 for "nationalist Albanian extremism". In parallel, the Albanian Democratic Party representing the Albanian nationalist "moderate" tendency, denounces Macedonian UCK violence and the extremism of its rival from PDK, still profiting of the occasion to put forward its confederate project requiring a status of "constituent people " and a system of parity of powers for the Albanian minority.
It is in fact in 1993 that he creates, on returning in Macedonia, the Albanian Democratic Party, since the split of another Albanian party, PDP, today in loss of velocity. Therefore, a contrario to that explain the western media, the party of sir Xhaferi is not a "moderate" party, it was on the contrary considered radical that it had the favor of Albanian speakers, and that it could realize a surprising union with the Slav- Macedonian nationalists from VRMO in power after the elections from 1998.
Once chantry of the peace and of the dialogue between the Albanians and the Slav-Macedonians, Arben Xhaferi, is himself overloaded henceforth by the separatist radicalism, and hesitates between resignation and preservation of his presence inside the governmental coalition, presence which is more and more reproached to him by the Albanian nationalists but which makes, according to him, from the last manifestations of the national unity and of the dialogue between two communities. Overloaded on his right party, Xhaferi is accused by the Albanian radicals to be "neutralized " by the Slav-Macedonian allies. Arben Xhaferi party fears a rift, since one from the deputies, Hysini Shaqiri, joined guerilla "by moral obligation". It is in this context that was created, on the 11th of March, the Democratic National Party (PDK), led by Kastriot Haxhirexha, demitted from the Albanian Democratic Party, very close to UCK circles, making a direct threat for his personal leadership.
The Parallel University from Tetovo: the ideological center of the Albanian-Macedonian secessionism closely connected to the Albanian nationalists from Kosovo.
Famous place of the Albanian nationalism after Pristina and Tyrant, the second city of Macedonia, Tetovo, the cultural and religious "capital" of the Albanian Muslims from Macedonia, is the residence of the famous Albanian speaker "Parallel University". Created in 1994 by the rector Fadil Sulejmani, himself former professor of the Albanian language in the parallel University of Kosovo in Pristina created by Ibrahim Rugova at the beginning of the 90, the University from Tetovo is completely financed by the Albanian Diaspora and money of traffics which serve equally to supply UCK, closely connected to the Albanian patrimonial and Mafia structures of the Diaspora but also from the north of Albania, Kosovo and Turkey. The university from Tetovo receives about 10 000 students, disposes of new buildings, and teaches the languages, essentially the Albanian, the geography and mainly the Albanian literature.
More than a classical University, the parallel University from Tetovo is first of all a famous place of propagation of the Albanian indomitable nationalism, and different services of information of the region as those of NATO could confirm the existence of close narrow links between the University and the separatist and terrorist forces of UCK. Interrogated by different western newspapers on the occasion of repeated collisions suddenly occurred in March 2001, the rector Sulejmani denounces the "oppression which victim is the Albanian society" and the "terrorism of the Macedonian state". Adopting the same victim strategy as UCK from Kosovo, the rector justifies in fact the actions of the Macedonian UCK: "the collisions are not of our fault, everybody supports UCK here, it is the unique solution that our requests be satisfied". Justifying the terrorist action, the rector pursues: "those who do not do that only to protect their rights are not radicals (...). If the Macedonian State withdraws the police from Tetovo and finances our University recognizing our people as constituent of the Macedonian state, there will not be any war" (8). But in reality, the requests of the rector of University go further and join completely those of UCK ones: new Constitution recognizing the Albanian people as "constituent of the Macedonian state" (thus creation of a bi-national Albanian-Macedonian State); the automatic obtaining for the Albanians at least 40 % of all the political, economic, security and administrative posts (a kind of "positive discrimination"; UCK requires up to 50 %). As UCK equally, the rector Sulejmani hopes to begin a separatist and instructional spiral calling the Albanian speaker deputies and ministers associated to the established power and to the party VRMO since 1998 to demit, that would still accentuate the cut between the two societies and would cancel one of the last points from the contact between the two. So Sulejmani could declare: "it is necessary that the government accept UCK at the table of negotiations and that the Albanian ministers quit the government " (9). With the demographic handle, it is thus in the education given by the Albanian speaker Universities from Pristina or Tetovo that is one of the main ideological and cultural roots of the Albanian nationalist effervescence in the Balkans. Among other reasons, it is also necessary to mention the voluntary or involuntary role of the external geo-strategic actors in the Balkans as the USA and mainly the western States members of NATO, especially present in the region since the beginning of the 90, on the Croats, Muslim Bosnians side, then of the Albanians and at the origin of Macedonia of the Yugoslavian federation secession.
From the "war in Kosovo" till the agreements from Kumanovo: the chronicle of an announced incendiary.
The origin of recent collisions arose in the south of Serbia then in Macedonia lifts in fact to the war in Kosovo and to the electoral failure of the ex-UCK at the elections from October 2001. In fact hardly a month after the first free elections in Kosovo from the 28-th of October 2000 that the Albanian question is renewed, at first in the south of Serbia (Presevo valley), then in the North of Macedonia, through the action of the two new guerillas appeared on the sample of the ex- UCK from Kosovo: Army of National Liberation of Macedonia (UCKM), in the Northwest of Macedonia then the UCPMB, in the Western South of Serbia. Therefore is it impossible to understand the Albanian- Macedonian crisis not linking the recent events to the history and the evolution of the UCK from Kosovo owing to Joint Operation against Serbia in 1999, UCK holding a the vast "great Albanian" geopolitical project (and its limited version of the "great Kosovo") for millions of Albanians from Balkan situated outside the territory of the mother country of Albania.
The two news guerillas appeared almost simultaneously: UCPMB during the autumn in 1999, and the UCKM on the 20th of January 2000. They both profited of the demilitarized buffer zone between Kosovo and Serbia, a band of five kms breadth on an approximately thirty in length, prohibited, by virtue of the agreement from Kumanovo (small town in the north of Macedonia) from the 9-th of June 1999, to the Serb police and army in order to organize since "free" Kosovo then to launch their first terrorist operations since more than a year.
In the south of Serbia, at first, guerilla launched raids on three regions with an Albanian speaker majority from Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac, where 70 000 Albanians live, profiting of the super-tolerance of the American contingent of the KFOR, who controls this part of boundary. At a first time, the Serbs did not answer to the terrorist operations (some attempts with explosive system) by punishment, but rather by negotiations. Therefore, it is this caution of the new regime of Belgrade, which will exasperate the Albanian ultra -radicals and will push to open a new front, this time in Macedonia. The collisions, which opposed, at the beginning of 2001, the forces of Macedonian order and the guerilla warriors from UCKM, began soon, from the 22nd of January 2001, when 15 armed rebels from UCK opened fire on a police convoy in Tearce, region in majority Albanian located to West from Tetovo. The attack was paid by the death of a Macedonian policeman and two seriously wounded men. Some days later, other collisions begun equally by UCK opposed the Macedonian security forces to the nationalist rebels in the mountain zone of Northwest of Macedonia, however in Kale, Tetovo suburb, another policeman convoy was attacked. Going out officially from underground from 16 February 2001, the Macedonian UCK decides then to occupy many isolated bordering Albanian speaker villages from the Macedonian boundary. The separatists hoped to reprint "the exploits" of UCKM and to force the Western in reopen "the Albanian question". Beginning with the 26-th of February, UCKM and the Macedonian security forces exchange new shoots fed between Tanusevci (Macedonia) and Debelde (Kosovo), that testifies the transnational character of the crisis and proves the existence of a logistic support from Kosovo neighborhood. The 4-th of March, the position gets worse: this time, three UCK soldiers are killed near Tanusevci. Macedonia closes the boundary with Kosovo and requests the holding of an urgent session of UNO Council of Security, as well as creation of a buffer zone between Kosovo and Macedonia. The 6-th of March the new exchanges of shoots oppose the Albanian extremists to the governmental forces in the Tanusevci and Tetovo region, centers Albanian nationalist irredentism and of Islamic integration in Macedonia. In this moment the UCKM rebels manage to interest a fringe group always larger of the Albanian population of Macedonia. The 13 of March, 20 000 Albanians defile in peaceful way in Skopje to require a more large independence and to protest against the discrimination that they are victims. The next day recently created, the National Democratic Party (PDK) will organize in Tetovo a manifestation of support in UCK favor. This new demonstrating, more radical, which convokes 5 000 persons, and during which three armed people shoot in the Macedonian police, allows to consider the popularity degree of the Albanian separatist and terrorist organization inside the Albanian speaker population. One day later, the 15 of March, the Macedonian UCK installs its artillery on the neighboring mountains and bombards the very center of Tetovo, the second city of Macedonia, majority populated with Albanians, in the framework of a strategy of provocation intended to begin a cycle of repression -internationalization of the crisis.
Officially, the buffer zone established during the agreements from Kumanovo devoting to the end of war in Kosovo, was created by NATO in 1999 with the purpose "to prevent" the probable attacks of the Yugoslavian forces against KFOR (10), a very improbable script mainly after Milosevic surrender. Really, and as we could foresee, this corridor was used from the end of NATO raids by the separatists from UCK to introduce arms and soldiers in the South Serbia and in North of Macedonia. It is in fact the extreme south of this buffer zone near Macedonia and forming an access window to this country, which allows, since autumn 1999, to the Albanian guerillas from UCKM and UCPMB to go and to come between Kosovo, South Serbia and Macedonia.
But in Belgrade as in Skopje, the authorities of the two countries menaced by the Albanian separatism will play the moderation in order not to drop in the trap of Debater spiral extended by the Albanian guerilla warriors who managed, during the war in Kosovo, to justify their own bellicosity by the denouncement of the disproportionate character of the reprisals of Serbs which themselves called.
As Kosovo UCK, the two new Albanian guerillas advocate "the liberation" of all the Albanians from the Balkans who have now a formidable demographic extension. However the case it that the context is not at all the same as that of Kosovo, which supported ten years during the repression of the authoritarian regime of Slobodan Milosevic. A contrario, since the 5-th of October 2000, Serbia of the new President Kustuniša, which went until make seize Milosevic and envisages to give him to the International court of Hague for the ex-Yugoslavia (TPIY), seems implanted on the way of Democracy and cooperation with the West. The Macedonian side, we know that the Albanian political forces were always joined to the authority since 1991. We shall see further in what this difference of context compromises partially the UCK victim strategy tending to justify their terrorist actions reducing the established authorities to repression condemned by the international community.
Realizing in fine that the unreliable equilibrium from Kosovo risked to be discussed again and that all the region would be destabilized at one (Greece, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia) by the Albanian irredentism encouraged de facto by the NATO - UCK alliance during the "war in Kosovo" and KFOR super-tolerance along the demilitarized zone, the force of NATO in Kosovo was eventually going to allow to the Yesterday enemies, the Serb security forces, to return in a party of the zone under NATO monitoring, however that the European capitals were going to bring their support to Macedonia and condemned the terrorist actions of UCK. However, the unexpected turn around of the Westerns did not efface neither their responsibility of the untying of neither the present crisis, nor even the duality of the USA diplomacy and of different European capitals in the Balkans.
The duality of the western diplomacy between the European stability
and the American strategy.
In is in the context of duality and contradiction of the western diplomacy that it is suitable to analyze the recent declarations of some American and German responsible faces regretting about the status of "oppression" of the Albanians from Macedonia and calling the chiefs from Skopje "to treat more reasonably the Albanian minority", as the German chancellor Gerhard Schroder declared. Reminding the western attitude during 1998 which preceded to the crisis in Kosovo when the forces of Yugoslav order tried to move UCK position, the German Minister of foreign affairs, Joschka Fischer, still condemning "the Albanian terrorists", credited for the "victim" strategy of the Albanian nationalists convincing Skopje to engage as soon as possible "necessary internal political reforms", and declaring that "the principle of retaining should be observed in the defensive actions undertaken by the Macedonian forces" (11). This did not certainly hinder the Fifteen from signing, during the monthly convention of the ministers of foreign Affairs in Luxembourg on Monday of the 10-th of April, an "agreement of stabilization and association" between EU and Macedonia, first of this kind with a country from the Balkans.
During the convention of the Group of Contact on the ex- Yugoslavia on the Wednesday of the 11-th of April in Paris, the Westerns and the Russians certainly repeated solemnly their common desire to support the Macedonian State and "to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country", condemning the destabilizing role of the Albanian partisans from UCKM for Macedonia and the population from the Balkans. But at the same time, the members of group of Contact convinced the authorities from Skopje to "more retaining". Therefore NATO and the European Union did they repeatedly warn the authorities from Skopje against "any excess of the use of force", George Robertson, the Responsible secretary of NATO, underlining that "only a political settlement satisfactory for all can go". However, with less than a dozen of dead from the two parties, it is necessary to state that the operations of repression of the Macedonian forces against UCKM which had however taken many villages and bombarded the second city of the country, remained, proportionally, more measured than some anti-terrorist operations carried out by countries from the European Union in acceptances with the separatist - terrorist phenomena: the Great Britain or Spain, for example. From its side, Robin Cook, the chief of the English diplomacy, expressed the Europe' support during the dialogue begun by the Macedonian President Trajkovski with the Albanian chiefs on maintaining political pressures exercised by the international community on the Macedonian authority in order to succeed to a "compromise" with the Albanian minority, compromise which, such as formulated by the Albanian political parties, is for the present moment unacceptable by the authorities from Skopje who see there the germs of a dislocation.
But despite of the western support in the territorial integrity of Macedonia and in the repression of UCKM terrorists, for Skopje, the idea to engage a constitutional reform suggested by the States from the European Union and required by the Albanian nationalists risks, at the end, to transform Macedonia in a confederative State divided de facto. Therefore, the Macedonian government considers as a mark of interference the western exhortation to recognize the Albanian people as "a constituent people" of Macedonia and to converse with the rebels from UCK, through the Albanian speaker party which represents officially the guerilla now. According to Skopje, the Albanians, concentrated in the Northwest of the country, pursuing territorial ambitions, consider the establishment of a federal or Confederate State as a victory, a first stage to a future independence or a partition. Therefore the simple western support in their autonomous requests, such as formulated in a "peaceful" manner by the Albanian speaker parties, does it constitute, according to them, the handle of secessionist legitimacy at long term, the demographic prospects ensuring the Albanian speakers to carry out from nowadays to some decades their nationalist project still respecting the simple democratic game, a little as it had taken place with the actual independence of Kosovo on the basis of the famous irrefutable slogan: "90 % of Albanians, 10 % of Serbs".
Equally significant of the ambiguity of the European-Western reactions, representatives of the European Union present in Macedonia on the 22nd of March 2001 in Skopje and Pristina required from the Albanian speaker representatives from Kosovo, as they know in a large party responsible of the Macedonian incendiary, that they condemn clearly the violence of the Macedonian UCK rebels under fear to be deprived of the financial aid of the Union. " The European Union could stop to grant very significant aids to Kosovo", declared on this case the official representative of the EU Gumar Wiegand. Is it only necessary to precise that, by this ultimatum, the western responsible faces recognized officially that to be informed about the expansionist, terrorist and indomitable aims of the Albanian-Kosovo leaders that they however supported and presented in an emphatic manner, during "the war in Kosovo", as the "soldiers of freedom " against the dictator Milosevic?
"Kosovo syndrome" and the bomb of slow operation of the agreements
from Kumanovo: the western responsibility.
The Westerns also, in particular the USA and NATO, have they a party of significant responsibility in the actual incendiary in Macedonia and in the extension of the Albanian terrorist irredentism. In fact, when the generals of NATO signed, on the 9-th of June 1999, the military- technical agreements from Kumanovo, which conditions should be accepted by the Yugoslavian authorities in order that NATO put an end to the Joint Forces operation, they could not ignore that due to this they mined the very territory of the Balkans and opened the box of Pandora of "the Albanian great" nationalism in all the region, exposing to danger not only the boundaries of Serbia, but also of Macedonia, Montenegro then, at the end, those of Greece. What do these agreements speak about? Schematically, they established the entree in Kosovo of a NATO force called KFOR and prohibited to the Yugoslavian army to penetrate on a band of 5 kms breadth following the administrative boundary with Kosovo. Theoretically intended to protect KFOR from any probable unexpected attack of the province by the Yugoslavian army, this demilitarized zone was going to be used by the Albanian rebels of the ex-UCK as a back base and a transit zone between Kosovo and the territories of Serbia from the south and of Macedonia sheltering considerable Albanian speaker minorities, privileged terrain of actions of the UCK terrorists from Macedonia and UCPMB terrorists from the south of Serbia.
With the agreements from Kumanovo and the resolution 1244 of UNO Council of Security establishing an international protectorate to Kosovo, the Westerns wanted to conciliate the irreconcilable proclaiming the theoretical membership of Kosovo to Yugoslavia while the last one lives a real independence and it was thus detached. As during the agreements from Dayton, which did not solved the problem of Kosovo status and which created by this a bomb of slow operation, the separation of Bosnia (1995) from Yugoslavia establishing, with Macedonia (1992), a second precedent and encouraging de facto the Albanian separatist forces to require at their turn independence, the not resolution of Kosovo crisis opened again the box of Pandora of the Albanian irredentism still frustrating the radicals from UCK. "Washington decided to use the Republic of Macedonia as back base of its pacification operation in Kosovo (...) Skopje became one of the details of the system of the Northern Atlantic Treaty Organization" (12), stated Christophe Chiclet, less than a year after the crisis in Kosovo, announcing the soon incendiary of Macedonia as a consequence of NATO strategy.
Defeated at the elections and convinced to have been "betrayed" by the Westerns who promised independence, the nationalists from UCK expected the least favorable moment to re-launch the hostilities and to put fire to the powders in the south of Serbia (autumn 1999) and in Macedonia (winter 2001). Therefore, since autumn 1999, a hundred of UCPMB soldiers were already installed in a demilitarized zone in the Southeast of Serbia, become a sanctuary to lift commando actions against the Serb policemen present in Presevo valley.
Some week before the burst out of the crisis in Macedonia, USA took the defense of the Albanian terrorists from UCK decided to make from Kosovo and from the south of boundary Serbia a "great Kosovo", "ethnically pure", notifying that the Forces of NATO will be ready to interfere if the Yugoslavian army and police continued to suppress violently the nationalists. In fact, the American contingents of KFOR let the ex-UCK act in full freedom in the southern Serbia, in particular in Presevo region, where live some 70 000 Albanians, and where the Army of Liberation from East Kosovo (UCPMB) multiplied the attempts against the Serb employees and policemen in order to prompt reprisals from Belgrade and to call a new internationalization of the crisis unfavorable to the Serbs.
In fact, the western responsibility is depressing, as confirms Jacques Rupnik, research Director in CERI and expert of the Balkans: "I was in Kosovo in February 2000: they spoke only about guerilla from Presevo (south Serbia). So, it is from there that everything departed. The Westerns were perfectly informed about the situation, the penetrations of people and arms from UCK. KFOR (NATO force in Kosovo) said that it was not included in its mandate to rummage the machines and to make the police. Then it is necessary to determine again its mandate. It is difficult to understand how a force of 40 000 people, on a territory that we can traverse in two hours by car, were not capable to lock this boundary reputed sensible" (13). Therefore, between the Macedonian UCK and its elder Kosovo sister, "there are links, pursues Rupnik. The logistic support comes from Kosovo and the strategies are coordinated by the radical groups. The Macedonian UCK organization and strategy remind however these ones of UCK in Kosovo in 1997 and that of guerilla appeared the last year in the south of Serbia (around Presevo). We see acting armed groups in villages which tried to throw an action-repression gearing, to imply the adverse armies and to make roll the civilians from their side or to make play reflexes of solidarity, as we has seen these last days in Tetovo" (14).
Forcing Belgrade to recognize de facto Kosovo independence, the Joint Forces operation really created a dangerous previous risking to make an "avalanche" or "domino effect" inside the Albanian communities from all the Region, a perfect encouragement for the UCK irredentism nationalists, the main regional beneficiaries, with Turkey, of the NATO war against Serbia.
The double speech from Tirana and the Albanian chiefs
from Kosovo and Macedonia.
Completely condemning officially the operation of the terrorists from UCK, Tirana seized for its party the opportunity of the collisions to require "the amelioration of the status and the rights of the Albanians from Macedonia", status however the most fair and most favorable for the Albanians, compared with other countries from the Balkans sheltering an Albanian speaker population.
Concerning to the connections between different Albanian communities (6 millions in the whole) distributed inside of several Balkan States and the double game of the mother-country and of the authority from Tirana, it is interesting to mark that on the 16-th of March, a convention was organized in the Albanian capital with the representatives of the Albanian movements from Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, on the theme "the unity and the solidarity of the Albanians in the Balkans". An especial unmaske detail: the "moderate" leader of Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova, victorious in the last elections from a province from Kosovo and the enemy N░ 1 of UCK, was not invited, while not less than three UCK commander (Kosovo and Macedonian) were present.
Officially, Tirana is exhibited as a moderator, condemning in a very precise manner the armed option of the Albanian nationalists. But really, the political and strategic support is probably brought furtively, not only by some Albanian nationalist circles connected with the Albanian indomitable from Yugoslavia and Macedonia, but by the secret Albanian services of SHIK and the Mafia clans from the north of Albania which had already brought their aid to UCK before the burst out of the war in Kosovo. Certainly, Tirana is careful to proclaim publicly in the present moment its adhesion to the political project of the "Great Albania", which would risk to compromise the relations, which it wants good, not only with the European Union, but also with Belgrade, Athens and Skopje. But the convention of 6 millions Albanians inside the same State remains one of the long term geo-strategically requests of Tirana, even if similar project should be carried out by sequential stages, the establishment of a "Great Kosovo" being opportunely proposed by the "radical" elements from UCK that Tirana can afford to deny that its action is more complementary than hostile, as it is dissociated from the official strategy of Albania.
Better witness of irredentism and parallel encouragement to the irredentism reason of the ultra-nationalists from UCK, we have anyway to remind that it was the President of Albania himself, Rexhep Meidani, who departed for Prizen, to the South of Kosovo, on the 24th of May 2000 to call to "the reunification of all the Albanians" (15), on case of "the victory", through NATO, of the separatists from UCK.
As to the Albanians from the Balkans' Diaspora, it is equally necessary to remind that the Albanian-Kosovo leaders, that they speak of "moderates" as Ibrahim Rugova or of "rigid" as Haschim Thaši, did not stop, at the beginning to encourage in a slight hidden manner the action of UCK in Macedonia during the first week of offensive, making endorse responsible posts of violence by the unique Slav-Macedonian party, within the framework of a "victim" strategy, and declaring "to understand" the Albanians joining UCK armies. In a first time, the "moderate" leader of the Albanians from Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova, hurried Skopje "to act fast for the benefit of the rights of the Albanians from Macedonia" which will be according to him, victims "of prosecution and injustice". It was valid only since the ultimatum thrown by Brussels on the 23-rd of March 2001, menacing , the responsible faces from Kosovo of economic repression in case these would blow on the fire of the Albanian speaker irredentism, that the two Schipetar leaders condemned finally explicitly the violent option of the Macedonian UCK(16).
From the UCK from Kosovo to the UCPMB from Presevo (Serbia) and to the Macedonian UCK: the trans-balkan dimension of the UCK and of the Albanian irredentism.
In June 1998, already, sir Jakup Krasniqi, the official representative of UCK, did not make a secret from the main objective of his movement, namely the struggle of national liberation of all the Albanians, from Kosovo, from the Northwest of Macedonia and Montenegro, so much territories of the Great Albania "to liberate". Some weeks later, the Army of liberation from Kosovo, threatened to open a new front in Macedonia, in the "zone 2".
"We struggle to liberate the ensemble of our territory from the monitoring of Macedonian security forces. We understand by this the territory where all the Albanians are majority. We demand the cities which, historically, are ours, from which Skopje, the Macedonian capital" (17), declared on the 20th of March 2001 the official representative of the UCKM, Sadri Ahmati, himself former soldier of the UCK then commanded by Ramush Haradinaj, suspected to be at the origin of the Macedonian UCK. As we state, the irredentism Albanian ideology professed by the UCKM nationalists as its elder sister, the Army of Liberation from Kosovo (UCK) of Hashim Thaci, never limited to the unique territory of Kosovo. Rely a moment on the historical, logistic and structural links which connect the guerillas from the south of Serbia and Macedonia with its elder sister of Kosovo UCK.
At the beginning involved by the Albanian speaker officers deserters from the Yugoslavian army (JNA), who joined in 1992 the pro-independence Slovenian, Croatian and Bosnian armies, UCK opened, since 1996-1997, the first real camp of training in the massive of Mirdita and in the region of Drenica (Srbica; Broje; Prekaz; Llausha), in the North of Albania, with a logistic support and council of secret American and German services.
In 1996, the year of its apparition, UCK began a spacious campaign of conscription inside the Schipetars "clans", Kosovo, completely as the North of Albania, being a traditional "patrimonial" society, functioning on the "district" system , similar to the Mafia "families" from the south of Italy. Due to competitions of "the chiefs of clans", UCK strengthened inside the Albanian-Kosovo company, units of speed actions being restored slightly everywhere in Kosovo. Between 1996 and 1997, UCK will make about fifteen attempts in Kosovo as well as in Macedonia, preferring first of all the murder of
"traitors", that is the Albanian faithful to the Yugoslavian authority, in particular those who cooperate with the police or who work in the centers of acoustic systems of the Serb services.
According to the obligations taken during the negotiations from Rambouillet and such as provided by the resolution 1244 of the United Nations Organization and the agreements of termination of military operations in Kumanovo, UCK will accept officially, on the 20th of September 1999, to lay down arms. On the first sight, thus, the UCK uniforms with a two-headed eagle on a red background let the place to those from the "Protective Bodies of Kosovo" (KPC), or TMK (Trupat e Mbrojtjes sŰ Kosoves). The new page seemed be turned. However, arrived in Drenica to render homage to the first soldiers from the Army of Liberation, the two historical chiefs of UCK, Hashim Thaši and Agim Ceku, made declarations deprived of ambiguities on the 20th of September 1999, at the moment when they were assumed to lay down arms and to dissociate UCK: "As Drenica offered an army to Kosovo, it is in Drenica that began the reconstruction of Kosovo", declared Thaši. "UCK did not lay down arms! They were put in storage before NATO departure. We are on the way to realize the last desires of those who are dead! We are going to give independence to Kosovo!" (18).
In fact, UCK was never really disarmed. Officially, it, certainly, operated a demilitarization required by the agreements putting an end to the Joint Forces operation in June 1999, but demilitarization does not mean any disarmament. Not only revolvers and easy arms, called "non-military", were never laid down by UCK, that NATO and UNO even devoted converting it in a protective Force of Kosovo, but it always kept military arsenals hidden slightly everywhere in Kosovo and in the North of Albania where it possesses, from the beginning, zones of fold and clannish "friend" patrimonies, in particular those controlled by the Albanian ex- President Sali Berisha. Since its resignation, in spring 1997, President Berisha will in fact support openly the terrorists from UCK, offering his Tropoja estate (North of Albania), from some kilometers from Kosovo, to the soldiers of the clandestine Army. The Mafia from the north of Albania, of Bajram Curri and KukŰs, will serve as a relay to the armed separatists. In parallel, UCK will establish basses and hiding places of arms in the West party of Macedonia sheltering the essence of the Albanian minority: Gostivar, Debar, Velesta, Pogradec and Tetovo.
As everyone knows, the guerillas from UCK took the control of the province of Kosovo from the end of the war and began a policy of ethnic purification which does not say its name chasing the Serbs, the Gorans, the Roms and the Jews from the new "independent" Kosovo, being economically implanted and devoting to themselves all kind of traffics (in main prostitution, racket and drugs). Unofficially, the Protective Bodies from Kosovo (TMK) will behave from its constitution as Hashim Thaši militia, the self-proclaimed "Prime Minister" of the "independent Kosovo" decided to re-convert UCK in a political party.
In such a way, on the 15 th of October 1999, Thaši founded the Democratic Progress of Kosovo, renamed soon Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), his ambition being to federate UCK sympathizers and disappointed by the "soft" choice of Ibrahim Rugova. In the first time, the UCK political construction (during the "war in Kosovo"), the Albanian Popular Movement (LPK), agrees to fuse with PDK of Thaši.
"The fighters guard the scientific strictness: Kosovo independence and support to the Albanians from Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro" (19). Subjected to an western external political enforcement, the very pragmatic Thaši disappointed these last ones abandoning progressively the Albanian slogans of the LPK. Representative of this party in Switzerland, UCK former general and Thaši partner, Ramush Haradinaj, reacts abandoning PDK in March 2000 then founds his own party, The Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), which offers to regroup all the dissatisfied of the ex-UCK and LPK. We find out in the ranks of the "Great Kosovo" supporters militating for the "Liberation" of the south Serbia and of the western Macedonia.
Convinced of being able to beat the Democratic League of Kosovo of Ibrahim Rugova - discredited by his bargains with Milosevic during the "war in Kosovo" - at the elections from the 28-th of October 2000, the AAK officials as the party of Thaši will not digest their burning electoral failure, due partially to the policy of terror carried out by the ex-UCK then to the traffics and to corruption of the chiefs.
Disappointed by the electoral failure, the fighters from LPK do not feel more obliged to adopt a moderate rhetoric intended to calm the Western and organize, on the 22 of July 2000, the fifth general assembly of the movement. The order of the day is deprived of any ideological ambiguity: "A party of the nation remains still under the yoke of the oppressor in Serbia, in Macedonia and in Montenegro... The Albanian question in the Balkans is not completely solved (...). The Albanian people from Kosovo should be guided to the independence and to form a State which will include all the occupied territories where the Albanians are in majority" (20).
We know in fact that from some months, already, LPK collected money from Diaspora for UCPMB, fact revealed by the Macedonian UCK chief himself, Shefket Hasani, who will accuse Thaši of having diverted about two millions Swiss francs intended for his guerilla (21). In the favor of a new congress of LPK movement organized on the 26-27-th of August in Switzerland and which decided the nomination of Fazli Veliu - Albanian from Macedonia then the chief of the secret UCKM- as the General secretary of the external branch, LPK became again the party exclusively of the "Great Albania" adepts, or even, in a first time, of the "Great Kosovo", Tirana rejecting in the present moment to support officially the Albanian irredentism in the Balkans.
In November 2000, the links between UCPMB from the south of Serbia and the nationalist circles from Kosovo appear again in broad daylight: when 400 of partisans occupy the demilitarized zone, the chief of the political Council of UCPMB is known: sir Jonuz Musliu, member of the LPK direction. His associate is not another than Halil Selimi, himself former official of the Democratic Party from Kosovo of Hashim Thaši. Better, the three military official chiefs are all of them formers from UCK and LPK: commanders Lleshi (his real name is Ridvan), Rasni and Shaban. Sign of the criminal and Mafia dimension of the Albanian guerilla, the military chiefs install their direction in Mali Trnovac and seize the village Veliki Trnovac, one of the local centers of the drugs traffic, arms and prostitution. The back base of the UCPMB is not other than Gnjilane, the center of the KFOR sector under the American monitoring.
As to the Albanian guerilla from Macedonia, it counts in his ranks not only numerous veterans from UCK not having succeeded to be re-integrated in the civil life and disappointed by the electoral failure, but also an important number of the officers and former officials of Kosovo UCK. We know in fact that it is in a first time managed and inspected furtively by the military-Mafia and political forces of Hashim Thaši since Pristina. On the 12-th of March 2001, the Albanian daily newspaper from Kosovo Koha Ditore revealed in particular that the former UCK commander reconverted in policy, Haradinaj Ramush, very much connected with the American circles, was one of the main mentors of the Macedonian UCK. Certainly, after the warnings of the European Union and the apparent turn of NATO, these two historical UCK leaders, both re-converted in politics and wishing not to be sold to the western States, precisely took their distances as to the movement. But the connections between the political structures of UCK from Kosovo, UCPMB and UCKM remain as structural as ideological. They exist already for a long time, and the UCK from Kosovo benefited however of a great support of the Albanians from Macedonia during the war in Kosovo". During the Joint Forces operation, in fact, the Macedonian of the Albanian trunk contributed widely to the supplies of UCK. Many of them battled in the region Pec, on Ramush Haradinaj side, protected by the Americans and entered in policy in Kosovo. Also the West of Macedonia did it play, for the benefit of UCK, the role of road of armed supply from Albania, whence 700 000 guns of attacks circulate in complete freedom since the robbery of stocks of the Albanian army by the revolted people, in March 1997. Actually, after Kosovo and the South of Serbia, it is Macedonia that was more menaced from the interior by the Albanian irredentism. In 1997, thus much earlier of the "war in Kosovo", the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kosovo (FARK) - pro-Rugova militia the UCK rival - trained already, with the Turkish officers, in the massive Sar Planina, at the Macedonian-Kosovo boundary, under the benevolent neutrality of the USA. But if UCK is present in Macedonia, since 1997 and mainly with the arrival of more than 350 000 Albanian refugees within 78 days of bombardment of NATO, the Albanian nationalism has since several decades its own historical structures in Macedonia, mainly, Ilirida, an ultra-nationalist clandestine movement, connected since the middle of the 90's to the UCK from Kosovo.
In fact, to understand the nature of the connections which unify different local branches of UCK, it is necessary to take into consideration the vitality of the Albanian Diaspora in the Western Europe, mainly in Germany and in Switzerland, as well as the Mafia and clannish dimension of the last one, the Albanian society, traditional, is deeply marked by the system of feudal and patrimonial solidarity, comparable, ceteris paribus, to that we can observe in the south of Italy. Therefore, Ali Ahmeti, the person who had recently offered to cease the military operations as a "political representative" of UCK, is by origin from the estate of Zajas, village located near Kicevo, in Macedonia, and was put in contact with the Albanian Kosovo leaders at the moment of an exile in Switzerland. It is from Zurich, in fact, that Ahmeti collaborated as to the establishment of the Army of Liberation from Kosovo before joining that from Macedonia. So, Ali Ahmeti is not other than the nephew of Fazli Veliu, former chief of the newspaper in Kosovo and co- founder of the UCKM, quoted earlier, himself refugee in Switzerland after being arrested because of separatist extremism in ex-Yugoslavia. Issued from the same village as Ahmeti, Veliu is a close friend to the Kosovo clan of Jashari, the first clan - with other estates, which are connected to it- having taken arms against the Serbs. We remind also that the family Jashari - main victim of the skirmish so advertised by Rašak in 1998 - counts also among the relatives of Hashim Thaši, himself former chief of Kosovo UCK, also took refuge in Switzerland and connected with the Mafia circles of the Diaspora. It is however the chief of the secret services Thaši, Emrush Xhemali, who was one of the key people of the put in relations between the Albanian nationalists from Macedonia, Presevo valley and Kosovo. We think even that he was the real hidden chief of the Macedonian separatists from UCKM (22).
The UCK strategies: the provocation-repression-internationalization spiral
and the blackmail to the incendiary.
Since the victory of Kustuniša in Belgrade and the failure of the UCPMB strategy of worse in the south of Serbia, the nationalist radicals of UCK will decide to export this time the rebellion to Macedonia. It is in this context that, on the 25th of February, about fifty terrorists occupy the Albanian Macedonian estate of Tanusevci. Very fast, they will be joined by volunteers arrived from the valley of Presevo and Kosovo to form a battalion from 3 to 400 soldiers. The relative territorial continuity existing between Kosovo, the South of Serbia, and Macedonia creates, with the buffer zone of KFOR where can maneuver the Albanian guerilla warriors, a geographical significant advantage. Therefore, a mule convoys supply with arms and goods the Macedonian UCK since Lupishte to Kosovo, by the way, and Tetovo, the second Macedonian City, which is located at 15 kms only from Kosovo. Today more than ever, the Albanians from Macedonia feel that the day of their emancipation of the Macedonian orthodox state is near.
- The provocation-repression-internationalization spiral .
In fact, the strategy of the Macedonian UCK is the same as that of Kosovo UCK: the rupture with the established order, the refusal to cooperate with the local authorities, the request of excessive rights and of a State in a de facto State. There also, we deal with a till the end logic, based on the strategy of action - repression-internationalization, the spiral of violence being deliberately provoked in order to force the Slav-Macedonian authorities to an error and to disproportionate reactions intended in their turn to begin an internationalization of the conflict and a discredit of the Macedonian authorities.
For the moment, it seems that the western States and NATO refused to be entrapped by the action-repression-internationalization-independence strategy. Some sneer even affirming that the Westerns and the international establishments including KFOR, before unconditional of the UCK from Kosovo, support henceforth the operations of repression of the Serb and Macedonian authorities in the south of Serbia and in Macedonia. Such seems in any case the western and mainly European position exposed during the European summit in Stockholm on the 23-rd of March 2001. But it is necessary to shade this vision by a surplus of comical events. As the declarations of support to the Macedonian authorities and the re-affirmation of intangibility of Macedonia boundaries made by the chiefs of the European states and the Swedish Prime Minister Goran Pesson, in the presence of the Macedonian president Boris Trajkovski, were systematically accompanied by warnings to the authorities from Skopje tending to reform the Macedonian State in a bi-national and confederate sense according to the Albanian separatist requests.
- Blackmail to the incendiary.
Some observers consider that the Albanian nationalists extremists from Kosovo, completely disappointed by the Westerns' attitude, of the electoral failure in Kosovo, and of the not recognition of formal independence of the province, always officially joined to Belgrade, would try, by the spectrum of destabilization of territories populated by Albanians via the guerilla from UCK for the benefit of the "Great Albania" or "Great Kosovo", to make pressure on the international community that the last one solved the problem of the final status of Kosovo. Practicing the politics of worse and the bellicose provocation-repression-internationalization spiral in the bordering countries where live the Albanian minorities, the extremists-terrorists from Kosovo hope very probably to provoke a confrontation which would permit them to restore the coat of arms of the UCK among the Albanian masses revolted by the Macedonian "repression " and "oppression", still blackmailing the general destabilization among the ancient western and NATO "friends".
The military purposes of UCK: construction of the "Great Albania" or the opening of a corridor on the road of the Albanian Mafia from the Balkans?
From the "Great Albania" to the "Great Kosovo".
What are the requests and "the military purposes" of UCK? At first, as we had seen earlier, UCK never made secret of its "Great Albanian" nationalism and of its purpose "to liberate" all the territories where live (according to the organization) the Albanian speaker in majority or which belongs historically to the Albanian nation: in fact these territories do not include less than the three Macedonian largest cities as Skopje, Tetovo and Kumanovo are concerned. UCKM will have at its disposition, according to the chiefs, between 2 and 4 000 soldiers. But the NATO and Yugoslavian services of information situate them without delay around 1 500 for the moment, counting the volonteers and the Schipetard officials from the adjacent Kosovo and from the south of Serbia.
Some soldiers dream still to integrate in the same political ensemble all the Albanians from the Balkans, but a large part of the nationalist chiefs are inclined to think that, Albania being already independent and having to respect some diplomatic enforcement, the first phase of the irredentism project would consist to unify already the Albanians from Kosovo, from the south of Serbia and from Macedonia, even Montenegro, inside a "Great Kosovo".
- The opening of a Mafia corridor on the road of "the Gold Triangle of the Balkans" or of the Albanian Mafia.
But one of the other real military purposes of UCK, less avowed, closely connected to the webs of drugs and the traffics of the Albanian Mafia, is to open a new corridor on the road of Mafia, numerous laboratories of hard drugs operating already in the Albanian speaker Macedonia for already some years. As Xavier Raufer explains, the researcher to the Institute of Criminalistics from Paris IV and the author of a recent essay on "the Albanian Mafia" (23), "Mafia prospers only if it controls a Diaspora submitted to heavy taxes, and mainly an inviolable sanctuary" (24), explains Xavier Raufer. The constitution of such an uncontrollable sanctuary was already the main military purpose of UCK during the "War in Kosovo", as we explained it in a paper dedicated to the war in Kosovo (25), Kosovo under NATO protectorate become a paradise without laws, for the organized crime.
After the untying of the "Joint forces" operation, which involved the exodus of the hundred thousands of refugees through the Balkans and the Western Europe, as well as due to the traffic of the Albanian immigrants coming to join the already numerous Diaspora of Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and Northern Europe, the conditions expressed by sir Raufer seem be reunited. At the beginning of May 1999, Sadako Ogata, UNO high- commissioner for the refugees from Kosovo, denounced already the guilty armed groups of having converted Macedonia, Kosovo and the North of Albania, in a real "Grey zone", a jungle where dominates the law of the more forceful. As, since 1992, the Albanian State is completely absent in this region where journalists, humanitarian associations and refugees are victims subjected to the violence of the armed bands: Along the boundary with Kosovo, enters Bajram Curri, Kukes and Tropoje (North of Albania), in the heart of the "Albanian Far West", the international help is systematically stolen then resold to the refugees; the journalists and the humanitarian staff is racketed, even stolen, the local police being mostly of time the accomplices of the gangsters. Near to the Greek islands, the Albanian gangs "restored" the marine piracy, making again of this sea "a prohibited sea", as in times of northern African and Turkish barbaric piracies. Soon, if the Albanian nationalists - from which the ex-UCK - manage to create a "Great Albania", this sanctuary will expand also to a part of Montenegro, which requires its independence, and to Macedonia, passing through the North of Greece. A "European center of the drugs trade" situated at a day by motorway from Paris and at an hour by plane from Rome, a real "Balkan Gold Triangle" of the drugs, comparable to the "gray zones" from Afghanistan or of the famous Asian Gold Triangle, is on the way to be born in the favor of the Balkan wars and crisis during the beginning of the 90s.
In fact, Albanian Mafia served in the six main sectors of activity: the sending of immigrants to the European Union; the smuggling, which had a significant growth due to the embargo against Yugoslavia for already ten years (mainly the cigarettes traffic); the prostitution (minors are kidnapped in Kosovo, Albania and in different countries from East where the Albanian Mafia is hardly implanted, as Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, then directed illegally to the Western Europe), the traffic of arms (stocks plundered during the revolt in Tirana in 1997, supply the East of Germany or still the Russian and Italian Mafia implanted in Switzerland, in Belgium and in Italy) ; the drugs (mainly the heroine, which delivery passes through "the road of Balkans", since Turkey, through Macedonia, where they did not ask visas for the Turkish subjects); the racket (mainly to the detriment of the Kosovo refugees and the Albanian Diaspora from the West).
From the Albanian Trans-Balkan Mafia point of view and of its international branches, the recent offensives of UCK in Macedonia aimed the "liberation" not only of the "oppressed people" but mainly the key items of the narco-traffic road, renamed "the Gold Triangle from the Balkans" by Xavier Raufer. More than the destiny of the "oppressed" Albanian speaker minorities from the Balkans, among which Mafia chiefs of the UCK have no cure as they organized the traffic of the Albanian prostitutes inside the camps of the Albanian refugees during the war in Kosovo, that is really important, for the separatists from UCK, is neither more nor less that a control of this strategic territory, crossroads between the Adriatic Coast, the Black Sea and the east Mediterranean sea.
"The rebels want to chase the army and the police from some territories to have free hands for their business, as the traffic of drugs or of women" (26), confirms Xavier Raufer.
Due to the surprising passivity of NATO (KFOR) authorities, during the year 2000, the narco-dealers from UCK have already taken the monitoring of the Serb city Veliki Trnovac (in the said "zone of security") become suddenly the center of heroine storage and the traffic of clandestine immigrants originated from Turkey and from central Asia wishing to enter the Western Europe. Since 1999, at the end of the "war in Kosovo", the battalions of KFOR, in particular those of the zones under Anglo-American monitoring, closed the eyes on passage of the Albanian arms and of the guerillas from UCK to the South of Serbia then to Macedonia.
Far from being mutually excluded, the two military purposes of UCK before quoted are interdependent: as all the nationalist and pro-independents guerillas as everywhere in the world, financed by the way by the money from traffic, racket and drugs, UCK is simultaneously a political- ideological reality, embodying a precise geopolitical project, and a criminal trans-national entity.
But a third dimension, civilization and religious, should be taken into consideration if we want to understand the phenomenon of the Albanian irredentism and the genesis of the destabilizing in the Balkans inaugurated at the beginning of the 90s with the war in Bosnia: the Islamic factor, appeared in the Balkans with the ottoman occupation and consequently itself connected to the history of Turkey. So the ottoman authority, which brought the Islam, incontestable marked up to our days the mentality of the Slav-orthodox peoples become Muslims in the Balkans, who forged a party of their identity and continue in some manner to elaborate their identity auto-representations on protesting against the Turkish-Islamic world, which is the case of the Bosnian-Muslims and of the Albanians, who keep a nostalgia of the ottoman epoch and assume the Islamic inheritance, or on the contrary rejecting this period of history, considered as dark and symbol of submission and hostility, which is the case of the Serbs, Croatians, Macedonians, Bulgarians, Greeks etc. peoples and the Slav - Orthodox in general.
Between the Albanian irredentism and Islamic-Ottoman nostalgia: frustrated identity search of the Albanians from the Balkans and Macedonia.
In reality, completely as the Muslim Indians, which based in 1947 their own Islamic State and left the Indian Union, the Slav or Albanian Muslims did never accept the departure of the Turkish-Muslim protectors and co-religious, and they supported always a spirit of latent revenge to the new Slav-Orthodox masters, ancient "unfaithful" subjects of the Sublime Door, which "atheist power" can not be recognized by a strict Muslim, which has basically the obligation to disobey to the Unfaithful whereas it has the means: demographic, political, economic, military, external support (NATO for the Albanians from Kosovo), etc...
We can thus apply, ceteris paribus, the grid of the geo-civilization analysis of the "Indian-Pakistan paradigm" to the present situation of the Albanians from Kosovo and Macedonia, but also Montenegro and Greece, subjected as India since 1947, to a specific form of separatism: the Islamic irredentism, in the Islamic- Albanian and Neo - ottoman occurrence.
It is in fact Macedonia that we meet, with Muslim Sandjak (Yugoslavia) the neighbor of Bosnia, the highest rates of islamization of the Balkans and which connections with Turkey are among the most intense (absence of the visas helping) of the countries from the region, after Bulgaria certainly. Therefore Tetovo does it shelter the most important Islamic center from the Balkans, where it is sometimes too difficult to distinguish the Turks from the Turkish and/or Muslim Slavs and the Albanians, nationality being, for the Balkan Muslims and for the Islam in general, an inseparable principle from the religious membership, even at the Albanians, which nationalism is at the beginning certainly marked by Catholicism, but which modern form is partially "neo-ottoman", and more and more marked by the Islam, by opposition to the Slav orthodox Christians.
These some precision permit to understand better some events vastly passed under silence in West and which announced however, about ten years ago, the explosion of the actual identity conflicts in the Balkans. Therefore, in 1992, at the moment of liquidation of the ex-Yugoslavia, the highest Islamic authority from Macedonia (ra´s ul-oulama), Yacoub Selimovski, ancient ra´sul oulama of Yugoslavia, assisted at the Mecca in Saudi Arabia, at a convention of world Organization of Mosques(27). The Albanian - Macedonian oulama had asked to that organization to present for UNO four projects which could serve as illumination for the actual situation and which do not make any ambiguity as to the Islamic-irredentism philosophy which animates some Albanian-Muslim elite in ex-Yugoslavia:
- Recognition of Bosnia - Herzegovina as a State,
- The right of the Albanians from Kosovo to be separated from Serbia and from ex-Yugoslavia,
- Autonomy of Sandjak or Raska then, at the end, separation from Yugoslavia,
- The constitution of a bi - religious State in Macedonia (division of sovereignty between the Slav - Orthodox and the Albanian Muslims).
Already, in 1992, when the war has blown up in ex- Yugoslavia, Yacoub Selimovsky, then chief of the Religious Islamic Community (CRI), supreme Islamic authority of the ex-Yugoslavia, the ra´s ul-oulema (president (the president of the Ulemas: religious Muslims) made to promulgate a fatwa, based on Charia, proclaiming the jihad and certifying that they speak about a "war of religions": "Any celibate individual, man or woman, should depart for the defense of the Islamic faith in function of their competence and possibilities. If he does not obey to this obligation, it will mean that he does not agree with his faith and that he betrays his mission in this world. Begin to struggle fully and in the confidence of Allah. If you survive, you will be ghazi (or razi: hero of jihad), and if you perish, you will be chahid, (sacrifice for love of Islam). During your offensives and fights with the enemy, said "Allah Akbar" (God is the Greatest), and, if it is possible, have a copy of Koran with you " (28). As we state, the geopolitical "great Albanian" project have not only an ethnic-national size, even if Islam constitutes more an identity appurtenance closely connected to the Albanian people and to the Ottoman empire than a spiritual severe practice respected by all. In reality, the Albanian people, Islamic people and "the Ottoman people" (as Islam appeared in the Balkans and at the Albanians in contact with the ottoman occupant) are closely connected. This statement conducts us consequently to analyze the geo-strategic posture and Turkey "desire of territory", conscious of the fact that this mixing of auto-identification criterions constitutes, for his own geo-political ambitions, an inestimable handle.
Because of his instrumentalization done partially by Turkey, which tends to extend again in the Balkans coaxing the Muslim minorities before converted in Islam in contact with Osmanlis, the Albanian irredentism enters more widely in a geopolitical Balkan project that the geo-political analyst and the Islam-analyst Miroljub Jevtic named "neo-ottoman".
"The green diagonal", or the geopolitical long-term project of unification of the Muslims from Balkan for the benefit of Ankara.
" The purpose of pan-Turkish, explains Miroljiub Jevtic, aim fist of all to the unification of all the peoples converted in Islam under Osmanlis influence, that they were or not of Turkish origin. Under its actual form, the pan-Turkish could thus be determined as neo - osmanlism" (or "neo- ottomanism"). Turkey was one from the most persistent countries to recognize the independence of Macedonia and Bosnia - Herzegovina, as it saw there the occasion to reach its purposes" (29). In reality, the aim not said of some Slav-Muslim or Albanian irredentism movements is to restore, in an average or long term, a kind of Islamic Balkan confederacy under the Turkish protectorate, for them being important the fact to detach from the Slav-Christian "unfaithful power" - than to be independent. In the Balkans, we call this project neo- ottoman and Muslim " diagonal" or "transversal green", that the Greeks and Slavs name equally "a Turkish corridor". They speak in fact of a long geopolitical Muslim continuum departing from the east Turkish Thrace and reaching to the pocket of Bihac (to see maps), passing through the western Greek Thrace, Bulgaria, and Macedonia, where significant Muslim communities live, and, certainly, Kosovo and Bosnia, the two key-hoops already "liberated" (de facto) from "the green transversal".
On an average due date, the reconstruction of the Islamic neo-ottoman confederacy is realizable, and the continuity of the Slav-Albanian "green diagonal" with the irredentism and ultra-nationalist Turkey (the coalition formed by the prime Minister Bulen Ecevit) passes by a geopolitical junction of a party of Bulgaria, which has an important Muslim and Turkish minority (12 %), very much connected to the Macedonian neighbors, the Albanian zone of Macedonia, as well as to Sandjak and Bosnia, from one hand, in Albania, from another hand, via the enclave of Gorazde and Kosovo (to see a map). Therefore, hardly 100 kms would be necessary to be conquered to obtain a sequence and to unify the Muslims from the ex- Yugoslavia to those of Kosovo, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Omen, of new mosques financed by Turkish and Saudi money (Turkish Islam being itself widely financed by the world Islamic League controlled by Saudi Arabia) are under construction along the Serb-Bulgarian boundary, abandoned by the Serbs and which risk to populate fast the Muslims Pomaks from Rodope, Turk Slav Bulgarians, who constitute a human "natural" connection between the Turkish-Muslim world and the Slav world.
Concerning Sandjak from Novi Pazar (or " Raska " the Rescue of the Serbs), a band of territory equivalent to two French departments stretched between Kosovo to the East and Bosnia to the West, this province, integral part of Serbia, especially strategic as it is a point of passage obliged for the Serbs for access to the Sea (to see a map). Besides it constitutes a point of essential junction of different plots of the "green diagonal". Ancient Serbian ground occupied by the Ottomans up to 1912, Sandjak (or Rescue) joined in 1913 to Serbia after the Agreements from Bucharest. It is populated almost as much by orthodox Serbs as by Muslim Slavs. Novi Pazar, its capital, is nicknamed "the small Istanbul ", in reference to its oriental aspect inherited from the Ottomans.
As in the other place, birth rate, pan-Turkish and radical re-islamization are as much handles of instability and instrumentalization exploited by the external forces, in particular by Turkey, and also other Muslim States, wishing to operate a geopolitical break in this strategic party of the world. It is in such a way that the leader of the important Muslim community from Sandjak, Suleyman Ougljanin, chief of the Muslimansko Nacionalno Vijece Sanzaka (MNVS: National Council of the Muslims from Sandjak) and deputy in Belgrade, was formed in the Islamic fundamentalism in Bosnia and in Turkey. The former member of the "Party of Democratic Action from Bosnia ", the Muslim leader from Sandjak, who is by the way closely connected with the Turkish Islamic party Refah partisi, renamed since 1997 Fasilet, that he met many times the charismatic chief Necmettin Erbakan, created then a local antenna of this Islamic party in Sandjak (National Bosnian Movement from Sandjak, BNVS), where he collects the suffrages from a great part of the Muslim minority. In July 1997, during an important manifestation, he gave public utterance to his request of "a special status" for Sandjak expecting pure and simple independence then the junction to Bosnia.
Pan-Islamic as the Bosnian ex- President Izetbegovic, Uglajnin does not limit at all his fight in Sandjak and Bosnia. Himself half Albanian and key person of the relations between the Albanians and the Slav - Muslims from the Balkans, he supposes that Sandjak and the Muslim Bosnia should form a unique and same State - with Charia as law of State - closely joint to Albania and to the "Great Kosovo" (Kosovo, South of Serbia and West of Macedonia) and connected with Turkey, "protective gaze" of the Balkan Muslims.
Forceful due to the silent support of the Westerns and to the Turkish co-religious and protectors, present on the Macedonian soil through the economic activities - frequently Mafia however - and also within the framework of operations of training of the Partnership for Peace (NATO), and conscious that the principal advantage on "the Unfaithful orthodox" is their demographic vitality, the Albanian nationalists, encouraged by the precedents from Bosnia and Kosovo, are persuaded that "the Great Albania" is henceforth realizable, in parallel to the progressive edification, stepwise, of an Islamic-Albanian confederate State united to Bosnia and Sandjak. The multiplication of unilateral declarations of independence in the Balkans (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia and now Kosovo), hardly encouraged by the Westerns, mainly the Americans and the Germans, "created a rather exciting precedent as the international law concerns. After Kosovo, which demands full independence, prelude of a junction to Albania under the direction of Ankara, then the Greek Thrace, where the Turkish Islamic agitators recommend the duty of disobedience to the Hellenic administration, represented as colonial, will ineluctably follow " (30).
Conclusion: expansionist strategy of UCK and destabilization in the Balkans: justifications of the political-military hegemony of the USA in the Europe.
Taking into account the engagement of the American secret services and of the State Department to the UCK and to the Albanian nationalists of 1996 at the end of the "war in Kosovo", some analysts went until issuing a hypothesis according to which the new Administration of Bush jr, which announced an unilateral and quick withdrawal of the American armies from the Balkans, during the electoral campaign of the new republican President, would continue to encourage furtively the Albanian guerilla in Macedonia and in the South of Serbia to maintain instability in the region and to justify thus the maintain of the American armies and the necessity of NATO as unique real structure of the "European" viable defense. But it is not sure that Washington always needed UCK in the perspective to destabilize Serbia and Macedonia, and to set its military- strategic presence in the Balkans. This one for several reasons.
At first, the disintegration of Macedonia would induce to destabilize, certainly, Serbia, always suspicious of Russophile and anti-occidentals, thus obstacle relative to the extension of NATO, but with it the American interests themselves in the region. The different regional actors will they be really involved in this adventure: Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, with the risk to see two powers members of NATO: Greece and Turkey to collide hardly, on "the Albanian question" concerning all these countries. Therefore is it probably the geopolitical reality, which explains American and western turn against UCK, "the fighters of freedom" Yesterday, "terrorist separatists" today. It is in this context that it is necessary to analyze the sudden convergence of views between the different members from the Group of Contact on ex- Yugoslavia (31), namely between the Westerns and the Russians, in total disaccord during "the war in Kosovo", but at present united by the same desire to preserve the territorial integrity of Macedonia and Montenegro and to put an end to the destabilizing and separatist dynamics begun in the Balkans since the beginning of the 90s by the extremely anti-Serbian and anti-Yugoslavian strategy of the USA and Germany.
It is however this local instability of the region, permitted by the precedent of the "war in Kosovo" and the American-western interventionism, constitutes for USA a new occasion to prove to the Europe that it needs NATO to maintain its stability and peace. Therefore, the Administration of Bush II would really and for a long questioned the pro-Bosnian-Muslim and pro-Albanian strategy in work up to the beginning of the 2000, a strategy producing nationalist and civilization and endemic incendiary stumbling blocks justifying at their turn the not less bellicose NATO interventionism, disorder allowed by that passed strategy of the "green belt" supplies always, in an autonomous manner, the legitimacy of the American military-strategic hegemony in the Balkans. It is this statement which makes Edward Luttwak, regretting that UCK slipped away from the former American protectors and pursued henceforth the expansionist dream of the "Great Kosovo " declare: "In the nearest future, it stops any hope of NATO withdrawal from Kosovo" (32).
Therefore the strategic and diplomatic turn of the Bush jr command concerning the maintain of the American armies in Kosovo (33) should it be analyzed in comparison with these ascertainments. So during his trip in the Balkans on the 11-14-th of April 2001, the American state secretary Colin Powell confirmed solemnly that USA " will remain politically and economically engaged and will grant a military help if necessary" (34), justifying the strategic turn around by necessity "to calm the game" and "to avoid destabilization in the Balkans". This American engagement in the Balkans concerns not only Kosovo and Macedonia, and also Bosnia, where, after the agreements from Dayton in 1995, USA keeps American soldiers. There also, USA promise every year to release military Bosnia (35), as in the name of the "excessive interventionism" criticism as of the necessity to see the Europeans occupied of their zone of natural action within the framework of a hypothetical European defense at once considered as indexed to NATO. In reality, the fragility and chronic instability of Bosnia - Herzegovina, composed from two contradictory units, the Serbian Republic and the Croatian-Muslim Federation, itself divided between the Muslims and the Croatians - unable to agree, as shows the recent actuality (36) - and located under the international protectorate, justifies each year a new prorogation of the American mandate of SFOR. The same as the agreements from Dayton carried in them the germs of a future instability in Bosnia, also the UNO resolution 1244 establishing an international protectorate in Kosovo (37) let in a total vagueness the question of status of Kosovo province, supplied of "an essential independence ". As we have seen, it is more than ever a motive of frustration and radicalization for UCK, which tries then to export the terror in the ensemble of the Balkans to obtain profit from the Kosovo cause.
It is a little so to the Greek- Turkish tensions in the Aegean Sea or in Cyprus, that only the military American hegemony in the South Europe seems have till now avoided to degenerate into a serious conflict, NATO and the American military obligation appear as the unique possible brake to a probable general incendiary of the Balkans, even if this same military engagement is in a large party responsible of the actual bellicose situation. The hour of the political maturity and geo-strategic autonomy of the Europe - always divided between its two lungs: western and post- Byzantine, and unable to have the budgetary funds for its ambitions in the problem of defense - it does not seem still arrived...
* Alexandre del Valle, researcher in Paris II, expert of international and strategic problems, collaborates with different journals of geo-policy (Herodote; Strategic, Geostrategic, Quadrennial Geopolitics) or of political actuality (Newspaper "Figaro", Spectacle du Monde, Panoramiques, etc.).
In his last paper, "Wars against Europe: Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya", (2001, Edition des Syrtes), Alexandre del Valle makes a general picture of the world chess-board of the post cold War period then develops the analyses scheduled in the present article.
1 Edward Luttwak, Le Figaro, 23 March 2001.