Saturday, March 11, 2006

Kosovo independence 'almost inevitable': Straw


11th MAR 2006 09:51 hrs IST

Salzburg: British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said that Kosovo's movement towards independence is "almost inevitable," and said Serbia may have to accept that reality. The comments were among the strongest indications yet of backing for independence for the majority ethnic Albanian Serb province, currently the subject of final status talks."There is a reality which I'm afraid the Serbian population in the end may well have to accept which is that a big majority of people in Kosovo are likely to be in support of independence," he said yesterday at talks among EU foreign ministers. "Everybody accepts that the pre-1999 situation is unsustainable as a basis for the future......(continued)......

Ex-Rebel chief is Kosovo's new premier

Pristina (Kosovo), March 11, 2006 (DPA) Agim Ceku, a former Yugoslav and Croatian army officer and ethnic Albanian guerrilla commander, became the new prime minister of Serbia's breakaway Kosovo province."The newly elected government that I will lead will focus on further strengthening institutions, employment and improving the economic position of all citizens of Kosovo," Ceku said upon his election Friday, giving the statement both in Albanian and Serbian."We will work to create a bridge of trust between the communities in Kosovo.

The time of hatred, discrimination and suffering of all citizens of Kosovo should belong to the past. The time of inter-ethnic reconciliation, integration and overall prosperity has come," he went on to say.Nominated as a non-partisan by the ruling coalition of the League for a Democratic Kosovo (LDK) and the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), Ceku was backed by 65 of the 120 votes in the Kosovo assembly, while five deputies abstained from voting.....(continued)......

Western powers and their meddling in Serbia and Montenegro

Saturday, March 11, 2006
By Boba Borojevic

From the interview with Dr. Srdja Trifkovic for "Monday's Encounter" on CKCU 93.1 FM in Ottawa. February 15, 2006 - Milo Djukanovic started talking about the referendum as far back as the late 1990s. After his election victory in 1997 he made a sharp turn. He used to belong to the Milosevic establishments but then turned his back on Milosevic, and finally became a separatist who claimed that the state union had no future regardless of Milosevic.
Many people had expected after the democratic changes in Serbia in October of 2000 that he would change track, but in fact his pro-separatist rhetoric got even more stringent and more implacable after October 5th. It has been an ongoing process, which has now reached a feverish pitch.

Dr. Srdja Trifkovic, the director of the Center for International Affairs at the Rockford Institute, says that the role of the Western powers has been all along to provide covert support to Djukanovic while at the same time pretending that they are either neutral or even supportive of the continuation of the common state. “We have ample evidence for this,” says Trifkovic. ........(continued)

AFTER KOSOVO: Western Macedonia, Illirida, and Greater Albania

The Greater Albania ideology envisions not only Kosovo and Metohija as integral part of a Greater Ethnic Albania, but also Western Macedonia, or Illirida. The basis for the Greater Albania strategy can be found in the 1878 League of Prizren. The map and borders for the future Greater Albania were determined by the Ottoman Turkish vilayet system. Kosovo and Metohija and Western Macedonia were part of the Kosovo vilayet. The capital of the Kosovo vilayet was Skopje.

Kosovo-Metohija is not the end of the Greater Albania ideology, but only the beginning. Western Macedonia is central in the Greater Albania goal to create an Ethnic or Greater Albania. Albanian separatism begins with Kosovo, but does not end there. Western Macedonia, or Illirida, and Southern Serbia, or Preseheva, are integral parts of an Ethnic Albania under the Greater Albania ideology. They are the next targets, after Kosovo, of Albanian separatism. Western Macedonia and Southern Serbia were part of the Kosovo vilayet in Ottoman Turkey. During World Wear II, the Kosovo vilayet was incorporated into a Greater Albania. The goal of Albanian separatism is to incorporate all the territory of the former Kosovo vilayet into a Greater or Ethnic Albania........(continued)....

Milosevic Dead; Second Serbian Prisoner in Six Days to Die in Hague Captivity

This morning, Serbia’s B-92 announced that former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has died in captivity. The news went around the world in minutes. Apparently his failed plea to seek medical attention in Russia was not the joke or stalling tactic that Western media caustically and constantly derided it as being.

In rejecting Milosevic’s request of 24 February, the Hague voiced fears that he might not come back, and argued that good enough medical care was available in the Netherlands.

B-92 reported that when Milosevic’s body was found, he “had already been dead for several hours.” The general secretary of the Serbian Socialist Party which Milosevic once led, Ivica Dacic, angrily stated that “Milosevic didn’t die in Scheveningen [Prison] – he was killed in Scheveningen!” However, he did not provide evidence of how or why Milosevic might have been assassinated......(continued)

Milosevic feared he was being poisoned: lawyer

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Former Yugoslav leader feared he was being poisoned in his detention cell in The Hague his lawyer Zdenko Tomanovic said on Saturday hours after the tribunal announced Milosevic's death.

"Today, I have filed an official request to the tribunal to have the autopsy carried out in Moscow, having in mind his claims yesterday that he was being poisoned in the jail," Tomanovic told reporters in The Hague.

Acting on a request from Milosevic, Tomanovic said he had made a request for protection for his client to the Russian embassy in The Netherlands and to the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow.

"I demanded protection for Slobodan Milosevic over his claims that he was being poisoned. I still haven't received any reply and that's all I have to say at this time," the lawyer said.
Milosevic conducted his own defense at the war crimes trial. Tomanovic acted as his legal representative in other matters as well as helping him prepare his defense.

Hague Allows Haradinaj’s Involvement In Politics

Prishtina, 10 Mar 06 (Radio Kosova) – The Hague Tribunal has reduced limitations against former Kosova Prime Minster Ramush Haradinaj. From now on, Haradinaj can actively engage in politics, including leading his party and speaking to media, AAK Spokesperson Ernest Luma confirmed to KosovaLive.

“The news is true, but further details will be known to the public through a press release issued by the office of the coordinator for protection of Mr. Haradinaj,” Luma said.

The Hague Tribunal indicted Haradinaj for his military activities during the war in Kosova. He has been released on bail by the decision of the same Tribunal.

KFOR Ends Its Mission In Guarding Orthodox Churches

10 Mar 06 (Zeri) – The Orthodox Church in Kaçanik was abandoned last week by KFOR soldiers who were guarding this church since the end of the war in Kosova.

The church was guarded by the Polish – Ukrainian “White Eagle” soldiers which operate in MNB (E). KFOR sources confirmed that “KFOR withdraw its troops from the orthodox church last week at the order of the KFOR headquarters”.

KFOR withdrawal was also confirmed by KPS officials for Gjilan region. KPS regional spokesman, Agim Demiri said that KFOR withdrawal from the church was done by a mutual agreement, according to which KFOR doesn’t guard these objects any more.

He said that KPS took over the responsibility to guard the religious temples, adding that KPS won’t guard this orthodox temple non stop but it will be monitored by KPS patrol. The Orthodox Church wasn’t even touched during the March riots in 2004.

There Are Problems With Minority Rights In Kosovo, Says U.S. Department Of State

Washington/Belgrade, 10 Mar 06 (BETA) - The institutions of Kosovo and UNMIK are honoring the human rights of the population in general, but serious problems still exist primarily with the human rights of the minorities, it was said in a report of the U.S. Department of State about human rights in Serbia-Montenegro in 2005.

The part of the report about Kosovo said the minorities, primarily the Serbs and the Roma, were being discriminated, although the honoring of the minorities' human rights has improved over the past year.

Serb houses are being burned and, in some cases, the Albanian majority is attempting to expel the Serbs by violence. UNMIK has introduced regulations preventing the sale of Serb property in order to stop the intimidation of the minorities, but certain human rights groups have criticized these regulations as limiting the Serbs' right to the free use of their property.

As for education and health care, the Serbs are also victims of discrimination, and there is no progress in cases of ethnic violence against them, the report said. The Roma are living in extreme poverty and those who are living in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica are looked upon by the Albanians as Serbs and, as a result, their houses are being destroyed and they are forced to live in refugee camps.

Ahtisaari Plans New Kosovo Resolution

Belgrade, 10 Mar 06 (B92) - According to daily Politika, UN Kosovo status envoy Martti Ahtisaari is discussing a potential, new Kosovo resolution with US government officials.

Politika claims that Ahtisaari talked to US administration officials in Washington D.C. yesterday about a new proposal that would not mention Kosovo independence at all, but would include a step-by-step integration for Kosovo into international organizations.

Citing reliable sources in Washington, the daily writes that during the meeting between Ahtisaari and US diplomats, the idea of a resolution was mentioned, that would be adopted after the first phase of the Kosovo status discussions, which should be finished within the next six months. The principle idea of the resolution would be solving the problem of the Serbian minority’s status, which will be highlighted in the decentralization talks. Depending on how quickly the guarantees are achieved, Kosovo would then be able to gradually incorporate itself into international financial, athletic and various other institutions.

At the same time, UN member countries would be allowed to, if they wished to do so, begin discussions with the Kosovo Government regarding its recognition as a new nation.

Politika states that these changes in the formula would probably be acceptable for Russia and China, because both countries do not like the idea of proclaiming Kosovo to be independent. Russia would in that way be able to keep its promise to Belgrade that it will not accept a solution that is deemed unacceptable by, or imposed on Belgrade.

According to US State Department officials, the bilateral discussions about Kosovo independence would last years, because they would depend on whether all of the UN Security Council’s demands have been fulfilled.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Montenegrin police seize truckload of weapons


PODGORICA, Serbia-Montenegro -- Police seized a truckload of weapons in Bioce, a town near Podgorica, local media reported on Thursday (9 March). Some reports suggest the material was headed to the Middle East, others suggest Albania. Serbia-Montenegro Army Chief of Staff General Ljubisa Jokic confirmed that the weapons were confiscated, but stressed that the transaction by the Jugoimport-Mont company, a mediator in arms sales, was legal. Another official said that while the necessary paperwork was issued, the problem arose when the company changed the vehicle and personnel transporting the weapons. (Pobjeda, Blic, Vijesti - 10/03/06; B92, RTCG, Beta - 09/03/06)

Western peace prevention continues in former Yugoslavia

PressInfo # 234
March 9, 2006
By Jan Oberg, TFF director

If you believe that Western politics should serve as a model of decency, fairness and principled policies, consider these topical news from ex-Yugoslavia:

• Kofi Annan's envoy on Kosovo, former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, tells Der Spiegel that Kosovo is heading for independence. In a tone that can only be characterized as arrogant, he tells the Serb side that they should know the rules of the game and know their own best interests. This simply means he is no mediator who listens to and respects all sides with a view to find a fair solution. He is an agent for powers who can dictate their solution. Is Kofi Annan concerned?

• Kosovo which was bombed off from Serbia and occupied by NATO's illegal war in 1999 thus seems lost for Serbia. Will the remaining Serbs in Kosovo run away, start a guerrilla movement, try to join Serbia? Will there be a border war at some point? While all experts agree that Kosovo's leaders have not lived up to minimum standards for human rights, tolerance and refugee returns over the last seven years, the status will now come before standards; it is the exactly opposite of what the West decided a few years ago. (continued)...............

US official in Serbia to investigate killing of three Americans

MIL-SERBIA-US-INVESTIGATION US official in Serbia to investigate killing of three Americans

SARAJEVO, March 9 (KUNA) -- US Assistant Undersecretary for Consulate Affairs Mora Harti on Thursday demanded revealing facts behind the killing of three US citizens of Albanian origins in Belgrade seven years ago.At a press conference in the US Embassy in Belgrade, Harti said the Serbian authorities are still evading when asked for information on the death of three members of the Pitici family kidnapped by the Serbian police in 1999, nearby the town of Nish and executed for being of Albanian origins.

The official said Washington gave the Serbian authorities a last chance to provide complete information on the incident, noting that family of the victims demanded the government of their country to exercise some pressure to find the facts behind the incident and punish those responsible for it.She added that the Serbian authorities have recently opened an investigation and pledged to prosecute those responsible for it with the acknowledgement of the US based upon a cooperation agreement in the consulate and legal fields.

(end) yr.fhdKUNA 100118 Mar 06NNNN

EU says Serbia can't rule Kosovo again

09.03.2006 - 17:42 CET By Ekrem Krasniqi

Serbia should admit that it cannot rule Kosovo again, EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn said while speaking about enlargement in Athens on Thursday (9 March), Balkans agency DTT-NET.COM writes.He stated that Brussels expects "realism that there can be no return for Kosovo to Belgrade's rule, and there must be willingness to ensure a sustainable settlement that creates a stable, democratic and multiethnic Kosovo in the European framework.".........(continued)

Serbs reject independent Kosovo

Serbia's foreign minister has said his country can never accept a fully independent Kosovo, ahead of a meeting of European Union foreign ministers. The province is still legally part of Serbia and Montenegro - but it has been under UN protection since 1999.

Ministers from Balkan states aspiring to EU membership are at the two-day talks in the Austrian city of Salzburg.

Delegates will also discuss how to keep the Palestinian territories functioning without funding a Hamas-led government.

Both the EU and the US are debating whether to stop donations after the militant group takes over following its election win.

Hamas does not recognise the right of Israel to exist and is regarded by many as a terrorist organisation.

Ministers are also expected to consider:

The recent Danish cartoon row and ways in which the Christian and Islamic worlds can avoid such clashes in future EU policy on Iran in light of the recent referral to the United Nations Security Council over its nuclear activity The situation in the Ukraine and the forthcoming elections in Belarus.

However, correspondents say new policies will be thin on the ground as the meeting is informal.
'Humiliation' Serbia's foreign minister told the BBC he planned to deliver a message to his European counterparts that Serbia could never accept a fully independent Kosovo.

Vuk Draskovic said the result would be a humiliation for Serbia, dangerous for the region and the whole of Europe.

Talks are due to resume about the status of Kosovo, with many in the international community preferring that it becomes a state in its own right.

Mr Draskovic also acknowledged that the Serbian army and police were shielding Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic, who is wanted for war crimes at the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

The EU has warned Serbia its talks on closer ties with the Union would be disrupted if it failed to co-operate fully with the tribunal.

Analysts Expect Close Vote on Montenegro Independence

2006-03-10 15:35:32

Political parties in Montenegro have accepted European Union guidelines for a May 21 referendum on full independence and an end of the territory's loose link with Serbia, its much larger neighbor. Woman walks by billboard propagating Montenegro's referendum on independence For independence to be internationally accepted, 55 percent of those voting in the referendum must vote yes for independence.

In addition 50 percent of eligible voters must cast ballots. Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica says that while he backs a continuation of the union with Montenegro, Serbia will accept the decision of the Montenegrin people. Vladimir Gligorov, a Balkans expert at Vienna's Institute for International Economics, says the way the case for independence is presented will be crucial to the outcome. "If it [the case for independence] is presented right, they could get even more than 55 percent," said Mr. Gligorov. "If it is presented badly, or if something bad is done or there are political shocks, as can always happen, you could get the other result." Gligorov says a "no" vote would resolve nothing, because pro-independence politicians would continue to complain about Serbian domination.

A "no" vote, he says, would result in a prolonged period of political agony. Montenegro, a mountainous territory with a short, but stunning coastline on the Adriatic, has a population of only 600,000 people. The Serbian capital Belgrade has a much larger population. Montenegrins and Serbs use the same language and share the orthodox faith. Opinion surveys show that independence is favored by perhaps 50 to 55 percent of Montenegrins.

The current link between Serbia and Montenegro was developed only three years ago, in large measure by European Union diplomatic chief Janvier Solana, who favors its continuation. Serbia and Montenegro were the last constituent parts of the old Yugoslavia, which collapsed amid violent conflict in the 1990s. Montenegro has widespread autonomy and uses the euro currency instead of the Serbian dinar. Source: VOA News

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Attack On Checkpoint Near Bujanovac

Bujanovac, 06 Mar 06 (B92) – Unknown assailants conducted an attack on the safety-control police checkpoint “Konculj” which is on the administrative line with Kosovo.

Announcements claims that the attack was conducted on Sunday, around 19:10. Nobody was injured and the police did not return the fire directed at them.

The attack was conducted from an area near the elementary school of “29th of November” which is on the edge of the Albanian village of Konculj. The straight line distance between the assailants and police checkpoint was 600 meters. Bullets fell 10 to 15 meters short of the police buildings.

The crime scene investigation was conducted by the Vranje police and they are undertaking intensive measures to find the assailants. (Beta)

Serbian Car Shot At In Kosovo

Lipljan, 3 Mar 06 (B92) - In the village of Staro Gracko, in the municipality of Lipljan, shots were fired at a car in which three Serbians, Radmila Natovic and Jelena and Igor Djokic, were driving.
The incident occurred at about 7:30 pm last night. There were no injures reported and the Kosovo Police Service is investigating the shooting.

SNV Condemned Latest Attack On Serbs

Kosovska Mitrovica, 06 Mar 06 (KIM Radio) – Sunday night an attack on Serbs from Staro Gracko near Lipljan is just one more indicator of the real-life safety situation for Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija. The Executive Committee of the Serbian National Council for Kosovo and Metohija (IO SNV) most strongly condemned this act of Albanian extremist groups which was directed to intimidate and exile the remaining Serbs from environments in which they still try to survive despite all the discrimination and threats. It is suspected that because Serbs still are the majority in Lipljan, in last couple of years three attacks have happened at the same spot. This is reason enough for the international community to finally protect the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija.

It is not a coincidence that this attack just like many other attacks on Serbs in the province, happens at a moment of a visit by a high international community official, which in this case was Martti Ahtisaari.

IO SNV believes that with this incident Albanian extremist groups are trying to send Ahtisaari a direct message that they will not accept the promises which he gave to the Serbian community in Lipljan municipality, which are in relation to the enabling of the survival and return of the Serbs. IO SNV calls on the international community, KFOR, and the UN that in accordance with the situation in the field they offer protection and provide safety for the Serbian and Non-Albanian communities in Kosovo and Metohija and that way create conditions for the survival of the Serbs in the province.

Mufti Saqipi: Bridge Between Serbia And Kosovo

Bujanovac, 06 Mar 06 (Danas) – Vranje Eparchy of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and the Islamic religious community from Bujanovac, Preshevo, and Medvedja, formed a joint non-government organization, through which they plan to invest in joint projects in the region of South Serbia.

Mufti Nexhmedin Saqipi, president of the Islamic religious community from those three municipalities, said this act “is very normal for the worshipers, regardless how unreal it may sound to some”. Saqipi said that Vranje Eparchy and the Islamic religious community have decided to apply for funds from international donors with the goal of building a printing facility which would be under joint custody.

Father Vlada Milutinovic, secretary of the Vranje Eparchy, said that Vranje Eparchy conducted a couple of contacts with Islamic community in Bujanovac and Mufti Saqipi.

“Because of everything that happened to us, Bujanovac has to be a true bridge between Serbia and Kosovo. Lessons we learned, obligate local Serbs, Albanians, and Romas, that they serve the peace, and be a model for cooperation for all people of goodwill,” added mufti Saqipi.

Ceku: I Will Cooperate With Belgrade, Too

Podgorica, 3 Mar 06 (Beta) - The candidate for Kosovo's new premier, Agim Ceku, said that he will cooperate with everyone in the region, including the government in Belgrade.

"I will cooperate with everyone, but how [the authorities in] Belgrade will react is up to them," Ceku told the Podgorica daily Dan on March 4.

Ceku, who until now was the commander of the Kosovo Protection Corps, told Kosovo's Serbs that they need not fear his election as premier.

"I will try as best I can to solve the issues of Serbs," he said and added that he will need both the support of the international community and the "willingness of Serbs in Kosovo to accept what they are offered" to achieve that goal.

S1 Ivanovic: We Will Talk With Ceku If He Calls Us

Pristina, 6 Mar (Beta) – Leader of Serbian List for Kosovo and Metohija (SLKM) Oliver Ivanovic stated today that members of the List have not met with Kosovo Prime Minister designate Agim Ceku on the forming of a new government, adding that members of SLKM will meet Ceku if he calls them to a meeting.

“We do care to be a part of the cooperation process, but I am not sure if we could accept any eventual offer, because this is a very delicate moment for us”, said Ivanovic to the ‘Beta’ news agency.

Ivanovic noted that members of the List are fully aware that if they want to do something for the Serbian community, than that should be done through the institutions, “which motivates them to do what is needed even in this situation”.

Leader of the Serbian List announced a meeting of the SLKM by the end of this week, at which this issue will be discussed.

Ivanovic had a meeting with UNMIK Søren Jessen Petersen in Pristina today, at which they had talks about Kosovo status, especially decentralization and the new government.

“We will try to give our contribution to Belgrade and Pristina teams. To the Pristina team we will coordinate with our information on our ideas, stances and ideas passed to UNMIK, and to the Belgrade team through our representatives, which are included and written proposals, which we will send to them”, said Ivanovic.

Serbian hierarch: The problem of Kosovo could become a boomerang on a European scale

Moscow, March 7, 2006 Interfax - Metropolitan Amfilohy of Montenegro and Primorje thinks that independence of Kosovo would entail negative consequences for the whole Europe. ‘The problem of Kosovo could become a boomerang on an European scale’, Serbian hierarch said in an interview published by Kommersant daily on Tuesday.First, ‘new problems would arise in the Balkans because of the incorrect solution of the problem of Kosovo’ (separation of Kosovo - IF). ........

UN to allow Ceku to run for Kosovo prime minister

PRISTINA, Kosovo, Serbia-Montenegro -- UNMIK will not attempt to block the candidacy of Kosovo Protection Corps chief Agim Ceku for prime minister, a UN spokesman said on Monday (6 March). "Kosovo has its democratic institutions and has the right to decide about its prime minister," said Neeraj Singh. Serbia has been urging UNMIK to prevent the former Kosovo Liberation Army commander from taking the post.

Also Monday, Kosovo Serb leader Oliver Ivanovic met with UNMIK chief Soren Jessen-Petersen and cautioned about renewed incidents targeting ethnic Serbs in the province. Sunday night, unknown gunmen shot at a car carrying Serbs on the Lipljan-Staro Gracko road. (AFP, RTS, Tanjug - 06/03/06)

U.S. can launch attacks from Romanian bases

Under the agreement on the location of U.S. military facilities in Romania, the United States can launch an attack from Romanian territory without knowledge or approval of the Romanian authorities.Parliament's joint defense and foreign policy committees discussed the accord yesterday with representatives of the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.The agreement, signed last year by Foreign Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu and visiting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on December 6 last year, allows U.S. troops access to four Romanian military bases..........

Monday, March 06, 2006

Tensions Rise After Ukrainian Decision On Transdniester

March 6, 2006 -- Tensions were rising today on Ukraine's unofficial border with Moldova's breakaway region of Transdniester, after Ukrainian authorities effectively banned the import of Transdniestrian goods.

Ukraine on March 3 made illegal the import of Transdniestrian goods that have not been cleared by Moldovan customs.

Today, Ukrainian troops placed tire barriers and armed checkpoints at border crossings, and were inspecting all traffic as hundreds of vehicles lined up at the border.

Transdniester's separatist leader, Igor Smirnov, on March 5 accused Ukraine of siding with Moldova in the dispute between Moldova and its Russian-speaking breakaway region.

Russia's Foreign Ministry called on Ukraine to review the new customs regime, which it said was causing an "escalation of tensions."

Serbian Government Asks From Petersen To Stop Ceku’s Election

04 Mar 06 (Koha Ditore) – Yesterday the Serbian government asked the SRSG, Soren Jessen Petersen to use all of his powers to stop the election of General Agim Ceku for the new Prime Minister of Kosova.

It was concluded in the meeting of the Serbian government that the government is concerned by the fact that Ceku is the one proposed for the new Prime Minister of Kosova. “There are presently investigations, initiated by the justice authorities of Serbia against Ceku. Ceku is accused of war crimes as well as having an international arrest warrant against him. The Serbian Ministry for Internal Affairs has delivered accusations to the Hague Tribunal based on the relevant information against Agim Ceku for the crimes done during the war”, announced the Serbian government.

Major Serb war-crimes suspect commits suicide

Associated Press

Amsterdam — Milan Babic, the Serb leader of a rebel republic in Croatia and one of the key figures in the Balkan wars of the 1990s, committed suicide in prison, the UN war-crimes tribunal said Monday.

Mr. Babic, who was serving 13 years for crimes against humanity, was found dead Sunday evening in his cell at the UN detention centre in Scheveningen, a suburb of The Hague, a tribunal statement said.

The Serb minority revolted after Croatia broke away from Yugoslavia in 1991, setting off a war that lasted until 1995.

With the support of Slobodan Milosevic, the Yugoslav president, Croatian Serbs proclaimed their own republic, with Mr. Babic as its president, and began an "ethnic-cleansing" campaign against non-Serbs.

Mr. Babic later was a pivotal witness at Mr. Milosevic's war-crimes trial, which is continuing in The Hague.

Mr. Babic's family was informed Sunday after the chief medical officer of the centre confirmed the cause of death was suicide. Dutch authorities were notified and a tribunal judge immediately ordered an inquiry.

The tribunal did not say how Mr. Babic killed himself. In Belgrade, the B92 television station said he “probably hanged himself.” .......

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sofia Democrats Head Fears Civil War in Bulgaria

Politics: 5 March 2006, Sunday.Parties like nationalistic fraction Ataka (Attack) could spark a civil war, the head of the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) for Sofia Borislav Brislavov has said.Such parties have definitely appeared because of the divided right wing, Borislavov said Sunday when democrats gathered to plant several pine trees at the communism victims' memorial in Sofia. Although the idea was to gather the scattered parties and fractions and give birth to the forest of the united right wing, diehards Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB) were not represented.Tension is building around the nationalists in Bulgaria, after Ataka gathered thousands at a rally on Bulgaria's national holiday March 3 to yell for resignations and boo the government.

Britain's Sky News with Sensational Documentary on Mujahedin Terrorist Legacy in Bosnia

Sky News has just released a video report on the legacy of Arab and other foreign Islamic fighters who flocked to Bosnia in the 1990's to fight against the Serbs. The report, which relies on vintage video from the period and lists of names of those involved, is causing a sensation at a time when Bosnia's Muslim leaders are trying to convict Serbia of genocide in the World Court.